Today marks the third anniversary of the day I joined Etsy as a seller. It's been an incredible experience, and I feel so lucky to have met many, many wonderful people - both sellers and buyers. I thought it would be appropriate to take a look back and see how Leaves of Glass looked when I started. Here's the first thing I ever listed:
They were called Cherry Carousel, and I had to take approximately 60 pictures of them to get a picture even this clear. I wish I was kidding. I hadn't picked up a camera in ten years, and had never heard of macro.
Moving on a year to January of 2008. I had learned a bit more by then, and looking back through my listings and sales I'm touched to see how many of my loyal and generous customers came to me in that first year and are still fans. Thank you so much! I would not still be here without you. Lakeshore Earrings:
Moving on to last January, I came to this listing. By last winter, I'd developed a signature style of photograph that included a crumbling book binding as background. I'd also received generous advice and friendly council from seasoned sellers, made dozens of friends whom I cherish, started this blog, collaborated with customers on some very special custom work, sold over 1,000 items, mentored more than a few new sellers myself, and learned to listen to my father's voice in my head. I don't know that I've ever told him this, but every time I answer a convo or work through a thorny problem, I hear my dad editing me. He's a good writer, a temperate and kind-hearted man, and he masters his ego more successfully than anyone else I've ever known. Thank you, Dad. I love you. And I love these vibrant, knobbly blue beads. Note to self: check beadboxes for more Capri beads. Capri Earrings:
Shortly after this listing, I decided to launch a second shop, separating my designs with vintage Lucite from the vintage glass line. I took a break from Leaves of Glass for personal and professional rest, and worked on developing the new shop and a new style of photograph. This second project is still a work in progress - I floundered around for a while, and there's a horrible maudlin section in my Sold listings that shows a style I liked, but never mastered in terms of quality or visual pop. I'm constantly reevaluating my photographs and trying new looks, and at the moment my shop has settled into an amalgam of styles - basically I just choose whichever style I feel best suits the particular piece I'm photographing. I'm still not happy with it, but I've made my peace with the idea that I'm never going to be happy with it. Moving on...
Here's a new pair of earrings I listed today, the first day of Year Three. And yeah, the photograph is bugging me. But as always, I'm in love with the beads. That particular passion never seems to fade, and finding new pieces to design with is still my favorite part of this work.
Thank you to everyone who helped me, befriended me, sought my advice, and liked, promoted and purchased my work. It's been a privilege, and I hope to know you for a long time to come. To thank you, and because it's become a tradition for me, I'm having an anniversary sale in my shop. Stop by anytime!