I had the pleasure of meeting a super talented young lady- that's one a of a kind indie artist and inspiration- The Eclectic Element
1. Introduce yourself _ name, location , Shop name and product(s)you create..
My name is Kayla and I currently reside in Rockford, Illinois. I have pretty much lived in Illinois all my life. My shop is The Eclectic Element and it displays some of the jewelry I handcraft along with some of the I have collected over time. However, I am planning on separating the one and having two shops: The Eclectic Element-Handcrafted and The Eclectic Element-Vintage. Hopefully that will happen sometime in the near future!
2.Where does your shop name come from?
I knew that the shop name was the most important thing and I wanted to add myself into it. When thinking about what I was going to call it, I would write down certain phrases that described what I had to offer and myself. I had about a whole sheet of possibilities and through process of elimination, I found the perfect combination of words that both flowed seamlessly, as well as, described myself. That's when insomnia comes in handy!
3. What inspired you to start making jewelry?
Truth be told, my 7th grade math teacher did. When I first got sick, we didn't know what it was and at the time, she just knew I was sick. Being sick herself, she took me to one of her support groups where they were making jewelry. And I fell in love from the first stretchy bracelet I made!
4. I understand you have been living with for the past 5 1/2 years, which can be very painful to deal with. What skills or methods do you use to create your if any?
Hmm. you are right about one thing; It is very painful to deal with day to day and depending on the day, the pain can be unbearable. I just have to take advantage of the good days to the best of my abilities and push myself through the rest.
5. What is are your favorite materials to work with? What new skill would you love to learn next?
My favorite materials to work with are random things I find at places such as the Goodwill, Salvation Army, or garage sales. I absolutely love to find a necklace or bracelet I can take apart and give new life to.
As for the skill I would love to learn, it would be metal smithing. There are some lovely things that I have planned when I learn.
6. How did you come to find a home on ETSY?
Honestly, I can't remember how I came upon Etsy. I had made a user name awhile back and listed a few things, but that was before I really knew alot about what I was doing. When I became laid up in bed, I figured what the heck!? I need money and I have all the time in the world(literally), so The Eclectic Element came into being.
7. How does it feel to have your own on-line shop at 19yrs old? What have you learned so far about running your own business?
I love having my own shop! I am unable to work, so it's nice to be able to venture out on my own and make the best of a situation where alot of people would just waste away watching television.
8.What is (are) your favorite pieces in your Shop?
I think my favorite pieces would be my Black, White, and Red All Over Up cycled Necklace and Earring Set
and the Au Natural Necklace I made awhile ago.
9.I see you have a Lyme Disease Awareness Section in your shop. Where else can we learn more research about Lyme Disease? Do you have any future projects in the works that will help benefit your cause?
There are several places you can go to research Lyme Disease. A few are www.earthclinic.com where you can also research natural remedies for any ailment. www.youtube.com is a good site to look up Lyme Disease testimonies if you want to have a more personal connection.. However, when you do research, there is alot that you have to be wary of because most of the information you find out there is false or misguided.
Currently, I don't have any projects going to benefit my cause, but when my shops are up and running and I have a bit more energy, I'm going to attempt to come up with some more things to help raise awareness.
10. What is the best piece of advice you can give other young crafters?
I would say the best advice I could give is just have fun with what you create. If you get into the mindset that it is just another job to finish or deadline to catch, it will impair your work. Do what you can, when you can and love every minute of it.
11.Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?
Oh, buying handmade benefits society in so many ways! If we buy handmade, we reduce our carbon footprint for starters. No overproduced, over priced, cheaply made knick knack bought from a chain store can even compare to handmade quality. It also helps the economy because instead of investing into big corporations who are giving multimillion dollar bonuses to workers who don't deserve it, we are investing in each others success. Hard working people that are struggling just the same as we are.
12.Where can we find you other than Etsy to learn more about you? Do you have any other shops?(list whatever info you want to share i.e blogs, twitter, other shops, website..etc)
The Eclectic Element is branching out everyday so you can find me at these sites:
And for those of you who would like to journey with me on my path of healing: