I’m so excited to bring you Lovely Indeed’s first guest interview, featuring Amy Gesler from Funk on a String! Amy is a beyond-talented jewelry designer, and recently opened Funk on a String’s Etsy shop. We recently chatted with her about everything from her design style, to tools, to what it’s like going into business for yourself.
Read the post and see more gorgeous jewelry after the jump. And be sure to read all the way to the bottom — Miss Amy has a very special offer, just for you Lovely Indeed readers!
Tell us a little about Funk on a String!
The idea behind Funk On A String is to pull people out of their style comfort zones. I want to create things people will wear for a lifetime. It’s my life’s passion to take the beauty of the world we live in and transform it into jewelry. Each piece has a story and each color combination is a distinctive choice. The story only begins with Funk On a String though. The way someone wears a piece of jewelry takes what I do and turns it into a part of their life.
What led you to be a jewelry designer, and to the type of design that you specialize in?
I was encouraged to start making jewelry as a hobby and it quickly turned into much more. I have always loved fashion, and when I realized I could create accessories I went crazy!
We’ve noticed that you have a penchant for big, beautiful, colorful stones! Do you have any favorites to work with?
I have so many favorite stones! A few of them include sugilite, lapis lazuli, chalcedony, coral, and any sort of agate. I am completely enamored with druzy quartz right now and tourmaline is also another favorite. There are so many choices that sometimes it can be overwhelming. I love going to rock and gem shows and perusing through all the different stones. I like free form beads the best but I try to keep a nice variety of shapes and sizes.
Any jewelry-making techniques or tools that you really love?
There are so many tools! I could never live without my Tronex flush cutters. They are the Cadillac of all cutters. The quality of my craftsmanship has improved drastically because of these amazing cutters. I also couldn’t live without my dremel. I have recently started doing a lot of work with metal and have been experimenting with different techniques. Some of the tools I use on a regular basis are my hammer, chain nose and round nose pliers, bench block (a piece of steel to hammer on), and my butane torch. I’m patiently waiting for my disc cutter to come in the mail and I am really excited to start using that. Watch out for some rockin’ metal jewelry!
We know you recently opened an Etsy shop — what are some of your favorite pieces there?
Etsy is such a great marketplace. I love the Sterling Leaves necklace, the Coral Denim necklace, and the King’s Cross necklace. I have just started listing stuff so everything there has a special place in my heart!
Any advice for creative folks who are striking out and starting a business?
Starting a business from the ground up is difficult. There are so many things to learn! I would say that some of the most important things are having excellent branding, a working knowledge of the free technology available for promotion (i.e. Facebook fan pages vs. friend pages, Etsy, blogging), and having a point of difference. I think it’s also very important to make sure that you have an excellent handle on your craft before promoting your product. I’ve spent a lot of time practicing what I do and I don’t really have any of my first items for sale. They have all been torn apart or given away as gifts.
What else do we need to know about you, aside from the fact that you make rockin’ jewelry?
Other than rockin’ jewelry, I snowboard. I snowboard over 200 days a year and I think that I’ll be spending this winter in Spokane working as the Children’s Program supervisor. I’m just as passionate about snowboarding as I am about jewelry. The Pacific Northwest weather experts are predicting an El Nina year which means I’ll be out shredding through some beautiful powder before Thanksgiving…and maybe even before Halloween! I am stoked!
What a cool chick, right? So cool, in fact, that she’s offering Lovely Indeed readers 10% off of anything at Funk on a String’s Etsy shop, and a free pair of earrings on purchases over $100! The holidays are coming, kiddos — what better way to celebrate giving than by also supporting an amazing indie designer? Amy has decided to keep the offer open for a week, so head over to her shop any time from now until Thursday, October 7th, and you can take her up on her super-generous offer. Just click the “Contact” button in her Etsy shop, and send her a message with the code “Lovely.” She’ll set you right up!
In the meantime, I’ll be rocking the Sweetheart Drop Earrings from Funk on a String — they arrived in the mail last week, and I can’t seem to take them off. xoxo