Friday, March 4, 2011

Welcome to a Special Cottage Guest!

Where to start? Well, first off, I think I’ll start with a really warm welcome to our special cottage guest – Bouvier Jewelry. This shop, I have to say, is one of my all time favourites on Etsy and I’m thrilled to have the chance to sit and talk with someone who, I think, is an Etsy inspiration!

Located out of Virginia, USA, Bouvier Jewelry is a shop that doesn’t just make and sell gorgeous jewelry but, rather, creates jewelry art that has been inspired from her worldwide travels. The pieces featured in this shop are elegant, timeless, chic and, to put it simply, beautiful.

I have been following Bouvier Jewelry almost since it’s inception in early 2009. I was immediately taken aback by the stunning necklaces I found in the shop and was quickly hooked on the tremendous variety of earrings, bracelets, and event jewelry I also found there. I adore big, hearty necklaces in particular and Bouvier Jewelry’s use of semi-precious and precious stones was right up my alley. Sterling silver, pearls, gemstones, and vintage finds soon found a place in my heart as I explored and fell in love with (and I’m not kidding) nearly every piece in the shop!!

As I mentioned, I got the opportunity to speak with the owner of Bouvier Jewelry and was interested to hear her views on our wonderful Etsyland!

When did you first hear about Etsy? Was it a tough decision to open up shop?

I had been making jewelry for myself and my friends for several years. My friend Cara is the one who suggested it. She convinced me that more people than me (and my friends) would want to wear my designs.
It wasn’t a tough decision to start the shop at all! In fact, it all made a lot of sense, and once I started, everything really fell into place. It’s one of the best and most fun things I’ve ever done!

Where did the name Bouvier Jewelry come from?

I wanted a name that invoked simplicity and timelessness. Since ‘Bouvier’ is my last name, it was an easy choice.

Where do you major inspirations come from for your jewelry?

From so many places! I visit museums, read magazines, wander through shops and boutiques… anywhere “color” strikes me. I also get a lot of inspiration from the seasons. In the winter, I want something a little more subdued. In the summer, it’s all about color, and anything you can wear with a summer dress. In a recent trip to San Francisco, I was inspired by the Middle Eastern shops with all their bright colors and luxe fabrics. It reminded me of Marrakesh. One of my upcoming summer collections is going to be reflective of exotic colors and spices. I can’t wait. I’m designing like crazy right now.

What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about having an Etsy shop?

The people I meet! I have some wonderful customers, who make me so happy to do what I do. I also love meeting new people, designing custom pieces for people, and hearing their stories. One of the most rewarding things for me is hearing the “after story”, or getting a picture of a wedding or event where someone wore my jewelry. It’s such a great feeling.

And what would you say, then, is the most challenging thing about having an Etsy shop?

To have a successful Etsy shop, it requires a lot of time and dedication. Like everyone else, I have a busy life, and finding the time to make my shop the way I want it to be can be a challenge.

If you could add any feature to Etsy, if any, what would it be?

I wish I could design the layout of my own shop more so than what Etsy allows, but it works for now. I suppose someday I will have my own website, but until that day comes, Etsy is a great venue for my creativity.

What would you say, in terms of advice, to people who are new to selling on Etsy?

You get out of your shop what you put into it. Having a successful shop requires good photography, good writing and product descriptions, and building a sense of trust and rapport with your customers. It’s all about how you brand yourself. You have to figure out who you are and how you want to communicate that through your products to your customers. I’ve talked to a few new Etsy sellers, who haven’t sold anything in the first couple months of having a shop, who get very discouraged. But I tell them to keep at it. Make sure the photos are bright and inviting. Make sure the writing is good, and keep making it better. It takes a lot of work. I’m constantly trying to improve upon what I’m doing. Getting good photographs that show the beauty of the jewelry is the hardest part for me, so that’s something I continually try to improve upon.

I also feel like it’s important to have a fair return policy. Buying things online can be scary for some people. There’s nothing worse than being “stuck with something” that doesn’t work for you. Accepting returns builds trust with customers, which is a key to success on Etsy.

One of the most fun things about Etsy is finding other shops that you love and always return to...who do you love on Etsy?

My two favorite sellers are:
- Heart My Closet: They make custom dresses. I have gotten several super gorgeous dresses that make me feel like a pin-up girl. The work is impeccable and the turnaround is quick.

- Donna Geissler Photography: Her photography is calming, wistful, romantic, and beautiful. In my hectic life, her work makes me feel so good!

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit me here at the Hand Crafted Cottage!!! Do you have any final thoughts?

Having an Etsy shop has been so fun and such a great creative outlet for me. The best thing is the connection that is formed with other artists and people who appreciate art. I’m so happy to be part of such a great community of people!

Whether you are looking for a gorgeous signature piece, something to wear on a special occasion, or just because, Bouvier Jewelry is somewhere you must stop by and fall in love with a piece...or two...or, if you are me...all of them!
Please take a moment and check out Bouvier Jewelry. Post in the comments section below which is your favourite piece – I love to compare our wish lists!!


  1. What a lovely Etsy shop! Saw you in the blog forum and have enjoyed reading your blog!