Sunday, June 02, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 61

This week we are back to semi-local to me..Rochester, NY

Name:  Mark Thone, Heart on Sleeve Jewelry
Age:  30
Occupation:  Jeweler, business owner

Tell us a little about yourself.  
Creating is my passion.  I work 7 days a week, and don't always know what to do with myself if I'm not making things.  My business has consumed my life in it's entirety.  The only thing more important is my family.  Along with running a business, I am a full time dad with a 9 year old son.  I'm from Rochester, NY and have a Bachelors degree in Jewelry design and metals.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?  
I've been creating in one way or another my whole life.  It wasn't until 2008 when I started my etsy page that I realized I can actually start to make money doing things I just thought were fun.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?  
I'm the type of person who does wear their "heart on their sleeve", so the name I chose to be fitting.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?  
My business has become a full time job for the past few years.  My etsy shop, is just one small cog in the wheel.  Along with etsy, social media, and my website, I work to maintain a web presence as Heart on Sleeve

How would you describe your creative process? 
Lately I've been so busy making what everyone else wants, I don't have a lot of time expressing myself in my own work.  That's the double edged sword when mainly dealing with custom orders. When I do get the chance though, I just go for it.  Some of my nicer pieces are made with no planning, just by working and evolving the design as I go.

Where do you get your inspiration from?  
I am really into the arts and crafts movement of the early 1900's, as well as modern art/post-mordern art movements minimalism, geometry, and optical art.

Do you also sell your work at craft shows? 
A few times a year I will do craft shows, although I tend to use the internet mostly.

• What shows have you taken part of, and do you have a favorite?  
Since I don't do many, I stick to what's local.  I will be at the Clothesline art fest in September this year, in Rochester NY at the memorial art gallery.

• How long does it take you to prepare for a show? Do you have any special methods of getting ready?  
 I have accumulated a lot of "stuff"  throughout the years, so when I do shows it's normally a matter of picking out what I want to bring, and what I think will sell.

• Describe an experience from a show (good or bad) and why that pushes you to continue with your work   
I don't think there's one particular experience.  Each time you do a show you can learn a little bit from it.  What are other people selling?  What do I see people walking around with?  What's popular with this crowd here?  These types of things help me figure out what works and what doesn't and apply them to future ideas.

What is your most cherished handmade item?  
I try an not get too attached to "things"

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?  
Running my business is like 3 full time jobs, you have to wear many hats.  Creating is only one part of being self employed, so I have very little free time.  Whatever free time I do have, I try and spend with my son.

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?  
I thought for so long that I would be a body piercer or tattoo artist.  Tried piercing, but I wasn't that good.  I still think I could tattoo great (I do love to draw!), but feel like I wouldn't want to tattoo anything except what I enjoy drawing.  All things aside, I did find my dream job.

Five years from now you will be…  
At work, and trolling the latest social media tool (I'm sure facebook will be like msypace by then)

Describe yourself in five words:  
Calm, collected, (while still) eager, busy, and hungry (I really do have an insatiable appetite!)

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list? 
I'm all over the place with music, but a few ones I'm stuck on lately:  Daft punk "RAM", Kid cudi "Indicud",  The strokes "comedown machine", and something about this time of year always brings me back to the Get up kids "four minute mile"

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?  
Start out doing what you like.  If you are passionate about what you do, you will get back what you put out there.  Take baby steps, and don't take on more than you can handle at first.