Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Stalker - Honey from the Bee

Name: Janet Bocciardi

General Location: Olympic Peninsula, Washington

Business Name: Honey from the Bee

What do you create/sell? Handmade artisan jewelry ranging from colorful semi-precious stone and lampwork bead jewelry to found-object mixed media pieces.  Most of my work is one of a kind, as once I've fulfilled the vision I have for a piece I'm ready to move on to the next passionate creation.

What inspired your shop name? My maiden name was Bie, pronounced Bee.  I'm kind of in to genealogy, among other things, and wanted to honor my ancestry.  My brother actually came up with the name and my cousin designed my logo.

How long have you been creating and how did you get started? I've been a crafter all my life, but I started beading in the mid '90s as a way to fill the dark rainy months when we were living in Vancouver, Washington.  After my career in high tech came to a close I jumped on the chance to become an artist full time.  I've only been online for a couple years, but I did plenty of artisan shows and fairs for a few years to meet people and get feedback on what I was working on.

Tell us about your work space: "I have a fabulous studio that was meant to be a family room.  In one corner I've got my desk and computer.  Facing the window and out over the Strait of Juan du Fuca is an antique oak table I found on Craigs List.  It's where I work so is often covered in tools and pieces of ideas, finished work materials and latest creation.  I have to stop myself sometimes to clean up at least a bit so I have room to work.  I've got lots of storage in a nearby closet as well as drawers within my room that have dividers in them for all of my beads and found objects.

The rest of my studio is out in the garage.  That's where I do the stuff that needs a torch or chemicals.  Right now the only two things I desire is a sink in the garage and a rolling mill."

Any advice for those thinking about starting their own business? "I think a lucky few have things go bonkers from the get go.  I had that happen at art shows, but not online as of yet.  Much of that is I'm kind of learning as I go - improving photos, getting my shop's name out (competition in jewelry field is fierce!) and learning the ropes. 

You have to do it, because you love it and can't imagine doing anything else.  When I'm in my studio I'm in my happy zone.  I even love blogging now which is something I never thought I'd do, but it's a way for me to journal, communicate with those interested in my work, and network."

Fun facts about yourself: "My first idea for a career was to be an airline stewardess, but my Dad who was a Captain for an airline said be a pilot, not a stewardess.  He felt they worked much harder than the pilots and got paid way less.  I liked the glamour of the times... didn't want to be a pilot in the cockpit!

My second idea for a career was to be an archaelogist.  The romance of being on a dig and discovering ancient artifacts while sleeping in tents near good looking scientists was very appealing.  I made the mistake of getting married to my first husband instead of going to La Jolla and school waited.

Me now?  I love to travel with my good looking numbers guy even though I really hate to fly!"


Audrey said...

Terrific interview. I especially love the genealogy/family heritage link...that's one of my many passions too. Lovely shop!!

Janet Bocciardi said...

Thanks Audrey! As others have said before me: UWIB rocks!
As you probably know, genealogy can take over all your spare time. I am proud that I finished a family history of my paternal Bie side and published a book of photos, letters, etc. That endeavor took almost a year to finish working with 2 members overseas. After that book I've not done much as I was burned out, but I'm getting closer to tackling my maternal side which has resided in the U.S. since before the Revolutionary War.

Robin Maria Pedrero said...

Great INterview! I own a lovely beeswax sheep!!