I was so thrilled to interview Gloria from Mornin’Glorias Artfire Shop! As you can see from her shop, she makes these gorgeous Victorian inspired hair accessories. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I enjoyed the experience!
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I love creating. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve done some sort of crafting or jewelry making and I think there is something so rewarding about being able to nurture a piece of art from start to finish. I guess that’s why I love the handmade world. I also love dance. I am currently a full time student in my last year (yay!) as a double major in psychology and dance and I plan on getting my master’s in dance-movement therapy.
2. How did you learn/get started with your craft?
I began making french beaded flowers in 2005 when I was on vacation and spotted a cute pen with a beaded flower on top. I had never seen one before and I was fascinated with how delicate the seed beads looked. I studied it from every angle and with A LOT of trial and error, I eventually figured out the physics of it and began making my own. I laugh looking back because the first ones I made were not very pretty. I loved wearing flowers in my hair, so I made some beaded flowers hair clips and I’d wear them to my dance classes. Then some of the other girls were wanting me to make them some and to buy them as gifts….and so began MorninGloria’s.
3. What inspires you to create?
It seems so fitting that this technique originated during the victorian era because I love the colors, textures, and romanticism of that time, but I try to give it a contemporary twist. I’m also very drawn to the colors of nature and the flowers I notice in my everyday life. Living in wine country, I’m surrounded by vineyards and I’ve realized that a lot of my items are made with the colors you’d find at a winery.
4. Can you take us through your design process?
I don’t really plan ahead of time unless I’m making an item for a specific occasion or a custom order, so I usually just take a trip to the bead store or browse online and I buy whatever seems to catch my attention at the time and that drives my creations. When it comes time to put something together, even if I think I know what I want to do, I almost always end up making a big mess because I try every combination I think might look right to make sure it ends up looking just right. This isn’t the most organized method, but it works for me.
5. How many hours a week are you able to dedicate to your craft?
I’m a full-time student so during the semester I probably spend about 20 hours a week, but on winter/summer break, I’ll spend anywhere from 40-50 hours a week. Because of my studies, the bulk of my creating happens when during the summer and winter months, and during the semester, I spend mostly doing the business part…taking pictures, listing items, promoting, and shipping. I still create whenever I can, though.
6. Is your craft a hobby, a business or a little of both?
Definitely both. I absolutely believe in the healing powers of the arts so as a hobby, my creations have definitely helped me cope through some tough times. But I also would like my business to grow to hopefully help me pay for my college expenses.
7. Other than Artfire, where else on the web can we find you?
I have a shop on Etsy, a Facebook fanpage, Twitter, and I have a blog….all under the name MorninGlorias!
8. What advice do you have for other artists/crafters interested in selling online?
There’s TONS of advice I could give, but these are what come to mind:
1. Don’t expect to make money right away. It can take 2-3 years before making a real profit.
2. BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET (I tend to get carried away when buying new supplies)
3. Research BEFORE opening your Etsy shop. I made a lot of mistakes with pricing, product description, and pictures that took me so much time to redo that I wished I had taken the time to research what were the best way to do things.
4. There is a lot of competition with selling jewelry, so I really recommend getting a seller’s permit and selling at craft shows and events. Most of the time, people want to be able to see/feel/try on jewelry.
9. What are your future goals for your craft?
The bulk of my sales have come from weddings and so I would like to focus more on creating unique wedding items such as bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, etc., and more accessories and jewelry geared towards the bride.
10. Is there anything else you would like to add?
(Is this the part where I give my broke-college-student sob story?) Really, just that I am grateful to be able to continue creating and meeting other wonderful people who share my passion. Support the handmade movement!