Where are you from? And a little bit about you
Leal and I are both from western Washington State. A handful of years ago I moved over the border into British Columbia. Leal still lives in the Seattle area.
I’ve been design jewelry for about 25 years now. My mother started me out very early looking for what crafts and activities would inspire my creativity and make it flourish. Jewelry design was one of the activities I really enjoyed right from the start and it has stuck with me over the years.
How did you decide on your shop name?
That’s actually a pretty difficult question to answer. It was one of those late night insomniacs brainstorming sessions where you’re too delirious with sleep deprivation to think straight and ideas get tossed out at random. Bits n Beads by Gilliauna was the one that stuck, so that’s the one we used.
Why did you start your business?
We both love to create, but neither of us had much of an outlet for all our finished projects once they’re done. Etsy gave us somewhere to share our work with others and hopefully, in time, bring in a little extra much-needed income.
Do you have anything new you plan on adding to your store?
Absolutely! We add fresh new items to our shop daily. It’s very important to both of us that we keep the stock in our shop fresh and new. We work together to ensure there’s always something new added for returning customers to find as well as new customers to enjoy.
What is your favorite thing about being a seller?
Sharing my creations with the world. I love that a piece I’ve created can travel out to become a part of someone else’s life. I absolutely adore the idea that the jewelry I create are sent to homes of women and can at times influence those women’s feelings on their outfits, their beauty or even their day as a whole.
Do you have a blog, twitter, or facebook page?
We also have three blogs, actually. My main blog is “The Meandering Musings of a Consummate Shopper” ( http://gilliauna.blogspot.com/ ) which has daily features for artists and artisans in the handmade marketplace community.
I also write in “It’s not the Journey, It’s the Destination” where myself and my business partner Leal both write on topics concerning what we’ve learned about marketing, business and running a handmade market as well as chronicle our progress.
The third is a photo blog that is a “catch all” for news and updates on what’s going on as far as day-to-day activities for Bits n Beads is concerned.
What inspires you to make the items in your shop?
Everything! I’m very sensitive to my surroundings which can often evoke strong emotions and have a great love for color, music, the mystical and nature. My inspiration is most often spurred from these elements.
Color is especially inspiring for me. I believe that the colors that surround us add an extra level of beauty and richness to our lives. Sometimes color isn’t just seen, it’s experienced through all the senses and even the emotions.
I love that my work can help add a little extra color to the lives of those that wear my jewelry and that I can make each of their days just a little brighter with the variety of beautiful, quality pieces lovingly handcrafted pieces I offer.
What items in your shop do you most enjoy making and why?
I adore working with earrings and little charms and embellishments. I like how delicate they feel to the touch while I’m working on them and I have a hard time not keeping each creation for myself!
Anything else you would like us to know?
I absolutely adore working with a customer to create custom, personalized pieces especially for them or for their loved ones. Some of the pieces I’m most proud of were commissioned in this manner. I’m always happy to take inquiries and answer questions.
** As always I would like to encourage all of you to visit Zoie and Leal’s store. They has many wonderful items that I am sure you will all love! For the next 24 hours you may have an extra entry into any of my giveaways for visiting Bits n Beads by Gilliauna and telling me one thing you learned about them and one item from their shop you just love!