Saturday, April 4, 2009

Meet Teri from The Beaded Branch

Hello everyone!

It's been a pretty eventful week for me, I came down with a pretty nasty cold! At first, I thought it was just my allergies kicked into overdrive, but, when the Allergi-TEA wasn't as effective as it usually is, and when resorting to OTC options didn't help, I realized that I had a cold virus. Fortunately, I was able to knock it out pretty quickly with a secret weapon (I'll share the secret weapon with you on my other blog).

But on to more interesting topics... such as the artwork of one Teri Landow of The Beaded Branch.

Recently, I was able to interview Teri about her amazing jewelry, as well as her thoughts on art and selling online. I hope that you'll find her interview as enlightening as I did! Enjoy!

How long have you been creating your art?

I've been crafting and creating pretty much one way or another for my entire life. With a mother who sews and crafts, and a father who does woodwork and basket weaving, I've always been surrounded by people who were creative and creating, so it was natural that I took up crafting too. It was about 10 years ago after taking one or two classes in beading that I really caught the jewelry bug, and feel as if I truly found my niche in the art world.

Where do you sell your art?

I started off at one local craft show which I still do, Fluvanna County Old Farm Day. I also do one or two other very small local craft shows, as time permits. After starting to sell at craft shows, I started selling online, at Over the last year, I finally decided to start slowly moving all my stock over to my store on Etsy: I also sell on consignment at a small local store, the Palmyra Country Store.

How do you market/advertise your store?

Marketing and advertising is something I'm still learning a lot about. Right now, I concentrate only on free advertising. I have pages on,,, and facebook. I also participate in IndieSpotting, where I can submit one piece a week to be on their spotlight page. Plurk and Twitter have also been helpful, along with the old standby, business cards. Right now my business cards have only my main web address on them, but when I order more, I will also include my etsy shop address. I leave them on any community bulletin board I can and my husband hands them out when he's at work, to coworkers and other people who might be interested.

At what point did you decide to sell your art?

It was around eight years ago that I decided to start selling my jewelry. I had been making jewelry on my breaks at work, and people kept asking me, "How much is that one worth?" After my jewelry stash started to fill up several plastic shoeboxes, I decided I was never going to be able to wear it all, and so I had better get my business license and start selling. If for no other reason, than to recap some of the losses I had from trying to buy every bead I could get my hands on.

Photo from The Beaded Branch on Etsy

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?

I have several pieces of advice:

  1. Learn time management skills. They will be invaluable to you as your business grows.
  2. Figure out how big you want your business to grow. How much time do you have to put in to this?
  3. Figure out what you want to sell. If you are only in it to make money, then don't do it. If you truly love your art, and want others to be able to enjoy it, then by all means, sell.
  4. Stay organized. Organize your finished stock by where you want to sell it. Keep your supplies organized. Keep your paper work up to date and organized. Do whatever it takes. Disorganization takes time away from creating, listing, and promoting.

[Good advice. I definitely can learn from the disorganization tip... I so badly need to get organized!]

What inspires you?

Everything. Books I read, nature, architecture, photography, art, friends, family, magazines, and movies. I try to glean inspiration from wherever I can get it. People inspire me the most. I'll pick a person I know, and create a bunch of jewelry that I believe they would like. I think about the colors they wear, or should wear, what styles they like to wear, how they carry themselves, everything. I believe that if one person in the world likes it, then there's a pretty good chance that there is one other person in the world who will like it.

Every artist experiences "creative block" -- a creative dry spell -- how do you deal with creative block?

Walk away. I get away from it for a while. I try working in a new or different medium. I color with my kids; I cook a new dish that I have never tried before. I listen to new music. I just see if I can experience something new and different, or re-experience something I haven't done in a while. And most importantly, I don't let it bother me.

How did you choose the medium you work with?

I have to admit, I kind of giggled at this question. Yes, I work in jewelry, and yes, I basically work with beads. But there are so many other mediums I use at this point that I start to lose count. But it all ends up as jewelry. I love the versatility of jewelry. There are a million different mediums that can be used to make it, and it seems like more are coming out every day. I love to try different things, experiment and play with my supplies with only a basic knowledge of how they work and what they are supposed to do. I'm less afraid to to try something new if I haven't taken a class in it, because then I don't have a bunch of "can't do's" or "won't works" hanging over my head. ("You can't do that." "Well, you can try it, but it probably won't work.") More or less the actual medium I use pretty much choose me. I get an idea, and then have to figure out what medium will be best to create the pendant, earrings, necklace, or whatever it is I'm trying to envision.

How do you wish to be remembered?

First off, as a good mommy and wife. Of course, that goes without saying, probably. Second, as a jewelry artist who might not have pushed everything to its very limit, but did step enough outside the box once in awhile to create something beautiful and unique.

Who are your favorite artists (living and deceased)?

Salvador Dali, MC Escher, Leonardo Da Vinci, Rene Jules Lalique, and my mom and dad.

What blogs do you visit on a regular basis?

and (which is my brother's very conservative blog, but he's my brother and I love him anyway!)

For anyone who might be reading, what shops would you recommend that they visit right now? and

and of course: (Thanks Anne!)

Any final thoughts?

Go ahead and play. Get your hands dirty. Color in a coloring book, but color outside the lines. When life gives you lemons, make grape juice and make people wonder how you did it? ;-)

Thanks for the great interview, Teri! Very informative!

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