Hello! My name is Angelique Rice and I’m the jeweler behind Ecclectic LadyLand on ArtFire.
I live in Lancaster, California and make different kinds of jewelry, using various materials and techniques. Polymer clay is a big part of it. The most fascinating thing about polymer clay, and what got me started on it, is that it can be made to mimic so many other kinds of materials.
Back when I was a teenager, I wanted every necklace that I saw. Now I create every necklace that I want to see.
I started experimenting with beads as a teenager. Bead work is a lot of fun, but I never did get into the weaving/sewing aspect. Thread and I don’t get along well, at least not yet. Wire and I are acquaintances, we hang out a little and maybe our relationship will grow.
Polymer clay, however, has so many different applications, and there are so many helpful blogs for it on the web. I’ve learned a lot from fellow clay artisans and acquired new challenges and inspirations from the information superhighway. That being said, some people have a knack for showing promise at an art, right off the bat. Most of us learn by practice, practice, practice. I’m from the practice group. If you enjoy doing something, keep at it for the sheer pleasure.
What inspires me?
That shape over there, to the right of the page! Or maybe that pretty blouse your friend is wearing…but seriously, some of the most random things can be catalysts for new designs.
I started selling my work years ago, but took it online in 2010. I use to sell outside my local shopping center, and now I do shows and fairs whenever I can. When I opened my ArtFire shop, it was like a whole new venture, complete with its own set of e-commerce skills to learn, and a fantastic community of fellow artisans to learn from.
An eclectic appreciation for many tastes makes my business unique. Under one “roof” you’ll find quite a diversity of styles, I’m not easily bored, just easily distracted. I won’t chase fly-by-night trends, I love to test a new challenge. I design and construct the product all myself. Until cloning is on the public market, I can’t really swallow the idea of anyone else being involved. This is a highly personal affair.
I have a variety of processes for creating my designs, but it mostly depends on the type of project I’m working on. Sometimes an inspiration with bead work begins as a vague idea with a certain shape or color combination. Then I start “formulating” on a tray, adding and removing components as the design begins to define itself in my minds’ eye. With polymer clay, there are always new techniques and challenges to try. Sometimes one endeavor can end up leading to something else new and surprising.
What My Business Has Taught Me
Running my own business has taught me that I will never be finished learning. This is a life long class, and I’ll enjoy it. It has also taught me about the major differences between being a hobbyist and a seller.
Making my own pendants and beads from polymer clay was a way to diversify my creations, since I’m not into bead-weaving. That medium in itself is a delightfully variable thing, and some techniques are quite a challenge! Most people who start selling online have to learn product photography, too. That, like most other things, is just a matter of research, practice, and trial-and-error. The thing that I really struggle with the most is branding. It requires that one make up their mind.
When you sell locally, you reach a certain demographic, and usually develop a repeat customer base of people who easily get to know you. They get to hold the product in their hands and see it from all angles. When you sell online, you have the ability to put your creations out for the world to see. A good friend and fellow ArtFire seller once said, “Your photos should be so good they don’t require written description, and your descriptions should be so thorough that they don’t require photos.”
My best sellers online are these Bohemian Loose Layered Bracelets. Some have charms, and some can also be worn as anklets. Locally, I sell a lot of what I call Simplicity Necklaces, which are inspired by the short necklaces that were popular in the 90s.
I drive shoppers to my product with thorough and full bodied item descriptions, and social media. When writing descriptions, pretending as if you’re speaking to a blind person is one way to draw it out. I try to anticipate what sort of questions a buyer might have, and answer them. Providing the story behind the item is also important.
I’ve had such an amazing e-commerce education with ArtFire, and have met so many great artisans.
Watching it grow and evolve, and growing with it, has been a valuable experience. I love all the features it provides for a small business like mine, and the control and customization it allows.
When I’m not making jewelry, I love watching movies, reading, and cooking. I’m a huge Stephen King fan, and currently re-reading The Dark Tower series.
Follow EcclecticLadyLand on social media:Seller Spotlights are hand selected by the ArtFire Staff and contacted personally. We ask sellers to tell us a bit more about themselves and their business through their own eyes.