Not only does Victoria make must-have wire-wrapped earrings, she is also a Cancer Biology PhD student at Umass Medical School. It's all I can do to get dinner on the table most evenings! That's why I love doing these interviews--everyone is such an inspiration to me! Such beautiful things in her shop!
Have you personally been affected by cancer?
My grandfather died of colon cancer when I was 5 years old, and I know plenty of friends and family whose lives have been affected by the disease. I have always been interested in starting my career in the medical field, most of my life I wanted to be a medical doctor, but when I did a research project for my undergraduate degree I became passionate about research which led me to grad school to get my PhD in cancer biology. In addition to contributing to cancer treatment research, I also think the science behind the broad disease of cancer is fascinating.
What charity would say is the most beneficial to the cure for cancer cause?
I would say the American Cancer Society (ACS) is the most widely beneficial charity. It contributes money to many different types of cancer whereas a lot of other charities are specific to one type of cancer only. The ACS is the foundation that holds the Relay for Life in many different locations and this is a fun and social way to raise money for cancer!
Your shop started out as a hobby, but with over 200 in sales in 8 months, you could really make this into more than hobby. Several of the people that I have interviewed (or will be interviewing) have walked away from their career to focus on their Etsy shop. Thoughts?
Intriguing question....I would never want to give up science. I do love making jewelry and seeing the growth of my small business but I'm just not sure it would satisfy me as a full time job the way research does. As it is now, my etsy shop has become quite busy (my wire wrapped studs have really taken off) so basically, I am working, with school and jewelry, from when I wake up in the morning until when I go to bed at night....so we will just have to see how everything falls into place in the future.
What has been the most helpful advice that you have received about your Etsy business?
Let's see....I'm going to include more than one thing because it was really a mixture of things that has helped me start to become a bit successful. By far the most important advice was tips on how to take good photos (which I'm still working on) you need to get noticed when customers search the very large jewelry category and the only way to do this is with awesome photos! The second most important thing is to come up with a unique item and run with it, I really don't remember how I came up with the first pair of wire wrapped studs but once I started making multiple color combos and had a large selection, they started selling and since this is my most unique item, it takes up most of my shop. And lastly, my best marketing strategies so far have been word of mouth through friends and family and renewing/relisting 5 items per day Mon-Fri on etsy.
Have you completed the birthstone series yet? I'm a ruby!
I have not completed this series yet, it should be completed by June! And I have some other ideas for the studs stored in my head until I have the time to get them started! :)
Mother's Day, graduation, or Just Because! Go support Victoria in her journey of helping find a cure for cancer. 30% of the procees from the sale of her bracelets for cancer go to the American Cancer Society.