Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Meet Brigitta!

What is your craft of choice, and how long have you been doing that?
My craft of choice in terms of selling is jewelry (and rosary) design and creation. I’ve been at it for somewhere around two years. At the same time, I love to knit and have been doing that for over 20 years, although I’ve forgotten all but the basics it seems so I’m pretty much a permanent beginner when it comes to knitting. When it comes to my jewelry and rosaries I feel like I learn something new each and every day and hope for it always to be that way.

How did you get started?
I was stuck at my parents’ house (a definite downer when you’re facing your 30th birthday), recovering from what should have been “minor” surgery and suffering from the culture shock of having just uprooted myself from two years of living and working in Prague to an emergency move home for health insurance and the aforementioned surgery. Going stir crazy I needed something to occupy my mind, my creativity and my hands. I thought of making jewelry because my sister and an old friend both made jewelry and I knew I could call them for help and advice. And an obsession was born!Bold
What is your inspiration?
At the risk of sounding like a total cheeseball…colors, pictures of pieces that pop into my head, the smile that I love to see on the face of an in-person customer who chooses one of my pieces, seeing a piece I like but don’t quite love and trying to create it in a form that makes me love it, the desire to create a special gift for someone I love that then spins into a new idea or a new line (which is actually why I started handcrafting rosaries)…

How long have you been on Etsy?
It feels like much longer than Etsy tells me but, apparently, since November 2007. Although I didn’t open my shop then—that was when I became a user because I fell in love with some pieces from Montezuma Mudd ( and absolutely had to buy them as Christmas gifts. LOL, I ended up keeping one of the two pieces I bought!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
To be honest, I don’t. Despite being an obsessive planner and list maker, I’ve learned that my life rarely takes the direction that I expected and, as a result, planning more than six months to a year out can lead to disappointments, forgotten dreams, etc. So, instead I have general goals without time limits. I would love to live in Austria, either Vienna or Graz, to be fluent in both Czech and German, to be making a living from crafting, to be visited often by my nephews and parents and to be with my current boyfriend in whatever capacity life takes us to.

What is the most challenging thing about having an online business?
For me I’d have to say the marketing and dealing with the long dry periods without sales. I’ve had sales off of Etsy through craft fairs, co-workers and friends but never felt like my business has really taken off and this is something I am determined to work towards yet often feel stymied by my struggles with marketing and balancing my time. (And, lately, with a lack of cash flow to buy the new materials that I crave.)

What is the most rewarding thing about having an online business?
Hmmm…many thoughts are popping into my head. I love the interaction with other sellers, something that I have only recently discovered/tapped into. I feel like I would lack this if I had a bricks-and-mortar shop—or at least it would be harder to establish. Also, in many ways I like the anonymity of it. While I love chatting with potential customers at the few craft shows I’ve done, I hate “selling.” It’s easy for me to talk about my work but not so easy for me to push/encourage someone to purchase it. Ha ha, this obviously ties in to my marketing issues!

How does your internet business fit into your life? Is it your job or do you have another job as well?
With both great difficulty and great joy. I work full-time as the senior communications associate (read: editor, writer, project manager, thinker, nag) for a nonprofit philanthropic collaborative and my work often follows me home in the evenings and over the weekends. While I enjoy my “day job” it comes with the frustrations that all office jobs come with and well, it isn’t crafting. So, I find that my BrigaBauble shop on Etsy is both a creative outlet and a calming factor in my life. I can flip on the TV, wash my mind of writer’s block or frustration with a co-worker who ignores deadlines and wrap myself in colors and shapes and textures and testing ideas.

When you are not crafting, how do you spend your time?
Aside from working my day job…Both my boyfriend and I love to watch movies and are Netflix addicts so, we watch a lot of movies; I read—alternating between works of literature and spy/thriller/legal novels I think of as “brain candy”; spend time with my fabulous and adorable nephews, ages 4 and 10, and with my parents; when I have the time and the money I adore traveling; I watch some telly…wow, my life sounds so exciting, doesn’t it? I also do a variety of crafts for fun so, when I’m not working on my jewelry it’s not unusual for me to be crafting in some other way.

Are there any links you’d like to share?
Sure, thanks for asking! There are the obvious (and selfish) links…
My Etsy shop:
Flickr account:

And then there are the links to a few of my favorite Etsy sellers:


HanamiGallery said...

nice work and i really enjoyed reading the interview! good luck online and i hope your dreams will come true!~

BrigaBauble said...

Thank you so much Robyn! I feel very special to have been featured in your blog today. (And thanks for the kind words HanamiGallery.)

random addem said...

I have been dragged [kicking and screaming] to various craft & beading stores. However, when I see the complete project, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

kudos to you and to Robyn for bringing more joy to the world!

KanYoFuse said...

Amazing feature Robyn. Thank you for wonder info on this great Etsy seller and shop. I love your take on long term goals Brigitta. My your dreams come true.

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