Friday, November 20, 2009

Bear Hugs: Tree Of Life Designs

It's early. The house is silent except for the rain on the roof. I'm all cozy with my coffee and I've got a little time on my hands. I feel like passing out some bear hugs this morning.

Today I’m featuring Michelle, aka TreeOfLifeDesigns. Last summer, Michelle bought a sample of my Muddah Buddah belly butter as a surprise for a pregnant friend. It was sent anonymously. It was fun to be involved in the conspiracy. Michelle lives in Denver and makes jewelry. Her pieces are beautiful, and her photography (not to mention her collection of ceramics that she uses as props) is awesome. So, meet Michelle….

I love hearing the stories behind shop names, tell me about yours.

I have always had a strange love for trees and the tree symbol. I had a tree embossed on my wedding invites. In doing research about the “Tree of Life”, I found that it is a symbol that crosses many, many cultures and is found in art all over the world throughout history. The tree, to me, symbolizes the need to reach for the sky while at the same time keeping yourself firmly planted to the ground.

How'd you start doing what you do?

I moved to Denver form the east coast where I grew up, and was lucky enough to land a job and a little mom-and-pop-jewelry store. I have always been somewhat creative, and LOVE jewelry, so it did not surprise me (or any of my friends and family) that I ended up working where I did. Over the 9 years I worked there, the owners taught me almost everything I know about making jewelry.

Your Tara earrings are my current favorite in your shop. I love the asymmetry and the length. What's your favorite item right now, and why?

It is so hard to pick a favorite! But I love the Blythe earrings. I always love the green and blue combination, and the stones in these earrings are really yummy. They also are a great length and dangle really nicely on the ear; I love the way they move when you wear them.

Tell me about your most memorable Etsy moment.

Recently, someone ordered a necklace from me…to wear on her wedding day! What a compliment!

Do you have any secrets of success to share?

The support of my girlfriends throughout my jewelry career has been such a tremendous help to me. Not only did they tell me that I was doing great work, but as they wear my jewelry out and about, they are constantly asked about the pieces and get to tell other people about my work. They give me great feedback about particular designs….when they all respond well to a piece, I know it will be a popular design!

What's your favorite "Tip"? (Doesn't have to be shop-related, it can be life-related, a cleaning tip, etc.)

“Do what you love, the rest will come”(–Walt Whitman, I think?)


T@PoppyPlacePdx said...

You are right not only is her Jewelry gorgeous, her photography is amazing and her pottery collection to be envied :0

Have a wonderful weekend, regards, T. :)

Alyssa S. said...

Beautiful store! I always envy other jewelry makers because everyone seems to know how to take great pics...but me. Sigh.

Here's a Once Bitten from Teddy Started It!!! I've been meaning to tell you, the jar you sent me has been a savior this late in the mosquito season. Summer wasn't bad because we were so hot and dry and bugless...but when it cooled off and we got rain, those little suckers were out...and my Amelia gets awful welts from the mosquitoes. Like half dollar sized. I've been dabbing on your cream and covering them with Band Aids (to keep her from scratching) and in about 3 days they are all dried out and the redness is all gone. THANK YOU!!!!

Kerry_Kid Giddy said...

love the top earrings. great shop feature! k