Sunday, June 22, 2008

Etsy Artist: Astrid

I really enjoy a website called Etsy. For those uninitiated, Etsy is a place to buy (or sell) hand made goods. You can find delicious stuff, from jewellery to original art, clothing, and more.

I recently learned that you can find artists by location. I did a little search and tons of South African artists! Yippeeee! I did a little emailing, and in the next while will be giving you some insight into these remarkable people and their lovely wares.

My first is Astrid. First, my apologies to Astrid for making her wait so long for this, but school kind of took over my life for a while. Rather late than never, I say!

Astrid is a beader, and she creates the most beautiful pieces. I recently had my first experience making jewellery, and picking out the beads was certainly the most difficult part. I can see how someone can get really into those little beads...

Tell us about yourself, and what you sell on Etsy
My name is Astrid Riedel and live in Pretoria, South Africa. I sell handmade glass beads on Etsy, for a couple of months now.

How did you come to creating what you sell?

How I discovered glass bead making, or originally known as Lampworking, by chance. I found a book on making beads and was so excited by it, I always had dreams of doing glass blowing. I got onto the internet and imported everything I needed from Germany, and ordered some books from USA. Ever since that time, now 5 years ago, I have been obsessed by making beads and it takes all my spare time.

What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from everything that God has created, flowers, shapes, colors, textures, everything can always be found in nature! My tastes are diverse and I don't think I have just one style, I like to experiment with new techniques all the time. This is what has kept me so fascinated with glass.

What is your bestselling piece? What makes it sell?
I think you can sell anything that is not common and everyday. On Etsy and on Ebay you reach so many people with different tastes that anything that is unique and well made will sell.

Do you have any advice for someone in South Africa who would like to sell on etsy?

The biggest challenge for S.A is to find a way to get paid, as we can not receive via Paypal. I have found 2 companies with whom I have registered www.moneybookers(for EU clients), and USA clients). I believe I am the pioneer with this and have passed it on to one other S.A beader who now also sells on Etsy.

Is there anywhere else customers could go to buy your work (website or actual location)?
My other site is Ebay and you will find me by searching for "Astrid Riedel"

I truly hope that more S.Africans will be selling their handmade articles through Etsy.

Thank you, Astrid. I love your handiwork, and sometimes think they look good enough to eat!

You can see more of Astrid's work on Etsy, and Ebay.

Other Etsy artists soon!

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