Friday, February 5, 2010
Name: Tracy Owens Chasteen
General Location: Austin, Texas – Live Music Capital of the World!
Shop Name: http://polishedtwo.etsy.com
What do you create? I design beaded jewelry, including lots of earrings, linked bracelets, whimsical hair accessories, and one-of-a-kind pottery shard necklaces. I love to make bold, funky-chunky styles that are meant to be seen.
What inspired your shop name? It really came out of necessity. My sister and I were making jewelry together under the name POLISHED. Each of us has since married and we each wanted our own Etsy shop from our own addresses. She became polishedone.etsy and I became polishedtwo.etsy. My sister has since become GemJunkie.etsy – but my name stuck! J
How long have you been creating and how did you get started? I have been creating ever since I can remember. My mom was always doing crafts when I was growing up. She does a lot of crocheting and sewing. I tried my hand at quite a few crafts over the years, from puffy-painted T-shirts and rubber stamping in the 1980s to my current obsession with beads. I got started into beading just over 10 years ago when I saw really chunky—but expensive—necklaces in the Austin boutiques, but I had just moved here, was just starting out in my field, and could not yet afford them. As any avid crafter can relate, I eyed them and thought “Well, I can make that!” In the beginning, I was self-taught, but later ended up taking a class to make sure I had the basics down. My whole desire was to capture the look of the big, funky necklaces I was drawn to, but to make them at a more affordable price. I started out making things for myself and my family, but as my craft space overflowed with goodies, it was a natural progression to begin selling what I made.
Tell us about your work space: My work space is full of hundreds of thousands of beads. I have as many beads on hand as many of my local bead stores! I find it easier to create something when inspiration hits me if I have an entire palette of bead colors and materials already in front of me. I have an entire room full of wall-mounted shelving and a few desk areas. The shelves are piled with plastic organizer boxes full of loose beads. One of the desks serves as my beading workspace—and that desk is COVERED in mountains of beads and other creative goodies at any given moment. If I even attempt to clean it up, I can’t find what I need. I have another desk area set up for wrapping packages. It is a station laid out with boxes, bubble mailers, ribbons, mini cards, pens, scissors, and glue sticks—all of the essentials for packing up purchases. (That used to be my husband’s desk, but I have really taken over the entire room at this point.) I also have a metal shelving unit that is stacked with handled buckets full of my bead strands, each sorted out by color family. When inspiration strikes, I usually have to dump the entire bucket out and dig through my strands to find what I need—and inevitably end up pulling out a few other strands that will end up being the next project in the process!
Any advice for those thinking about starting their own business? Do what you love! I know everybody says that, but if you’re going to invest your time and money in something, make sure it is something that brings you joy.
Visit her shop on Etsy today!