Artisan Spotlight: HCLTreasures
Please start by telling us a little about yourself and your studio.
My husband Charlie and I were both out of work due to the economy. Charlie was an auto tech for over 35 years and I was in the market research industry for over 25 years. I always enjoyed crafting so we decided to try to make a go of crafting items. Our family and friends loved our items, so we decided to do a few craft shows to see if other people felt the same way. We started by making Handmade Crosses and Handknotted Rosaries.
Because we named our Shop HCL Treasures (HCL for Handcrafters Charlie & Lola (that’s me) I thought we should have more of a potpourri of items. So we continuously try to add different items to our “Treasure List” With that in mind we started designing our own beaded bracelets and on to designing our European Style Bracelets. We then added Handmade Dreamcatchers and also dreamcatcher earrings. Charlie designed a great swarovski keychain which has continued to be one of our best sellers! Our latest venture has been scrabble and glass tile pendants, and keychains. I have several friends who are photographers and they often send me pictures that we use on our tiles, as well as doing mostly custom photo’s.
If there’s one thing that defines you, what is it?
No matter what life brings us, we always took pride in whatever we do. We believe that working and giving the best effort will pay off in the long run.
What role does your family play in your art?
We have great support from our family. And who is better than family to be up front and honest about your work.
Where do you live and what is it like?
We live in Garfield, NJ. We are close to NYC and a few hours from the NJ Shore Points. Right now, I’m enjoying the fall. There are so many wonderful places in the area that have such beautiful fall sights.
Where did you learn your medium?
Mostly self taught. We both enjoy designing and creating. Of course each sale is terrific but we get much satisfaction hearing people say how nice our treasures are!
What are your goals with your ArtFire studio?
I would be lying if I didn’t say to make as many sales as possible. But also, making new friends.
How did you come to selling online?
At the shows, people would ask us if we had a website, so we started and designed our own website. Then in looking at different ways to market we fell upon Etsy and then Artfire.
How did you come to find a home on ArtFire?
I tried both Etsy and ArtFire. We decided to stick with ArtFire mostly because of the graphic detail and the fact that items do not expire which gives you a better exposure on Google. Oh and I love the Kiosk!
What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists?
Never give up! Do what you enjoy! Take pride in the quality of your work.
Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?
When you buy something that is handmade and you give it as a gift it means more to the person receiving it. It also is of higher quality than something that is mass produced.