I have really enjoyed interviewing and getting to know a little bit more about some of my favorite shops and designers on etsy. This time I had the opportunity to interview Jen Perez, creator of swanky wearables at Jupiter's Haven. Thank you, Jen, for sharing with all of us!
What first made you want to become a jewelry designer?
"I had an obsessive image come to me of a bracelet that was in a woven/beaded style; but I couldn't find anything remotely close to what was in my head. I had inherited my mom's seed beads, played around with them, and somehow transferred myself to the realm of elastic bracelets. I ended up making a *ridiculous* amount, and wore them all on my left arm. Still nothing like the image I had in my head, but it was apparently only the first stepping stone!"
How do you begin your design process?
"I would love to say that I have a fool proof system! Some days I just sit in front of my shiny hoard and let creations come to me. My muse sometimes gives me a head start by dancing incandescent pictures of finished jewelry around in my brain. I also have a magpie/pack rat addiction to most things that cross my path; sometimes I see beads, or some bauble and it inspires me to make something with it."
What are your favorite materials to work with?
"I *love* metal, always have. My dream is to do my own metal work in the future; in the meantime, I sugarcoat the craving with chain and rings! I loves me the sparkly gems, but, who doesn't? On a non-jewelry related side note, I also love to work with fabric, but I'm still a novice."
What do you remember about your very first customer and sale?
"I worked in a Spa gift shop, and was fortunate that my manager encouraged me to sell my elastic bracelets. My first sale was to one of the more frequent guests, who traveled all over the world. I thought it memorable that she had all this fortune at her disposal, but she bought a $20 charm bracelet in a little gift shop. It definitely felt pretty awesome!"
Apart from designing beautiful jewelry, what else do you enjoy doing?
"I'm a pretty big nerd, although I don't entirely come off that way. I try to devote a couple hours every few nights to playing Diablo 3 with my other half. I also photograph whenever possible; I live to photograph! Movies are another huge addiction of mine; my collection has things like The X-Files, Star Trek, Alien, the original Doctor Doolittle, Harry Potter, Invader Zim, Jaws, and many more. Movies are definitely a huge part of my existence!"
What handmade possession do you cherish the most?
"My mom's friend made me a farmer-themed blanket when I was born, that is still in quite good condition for how long it's been used. I'm sure I'll never part with it."
Where can we find your lovely jewelry?
On Etsy at jupitershaven.etsy.com, and thedragoneggs.etsy.com
I use my Facebook fan page and Twitter for announcing new items in my shop, promoting my, as well as some of my favorite Etsians', sales, photographed events, and peeks behind the scenes: facebook.com/lovers.of.jupiters.haven
You can also find me here! (I have way too many interests :) )
Photos courtesy of Jen Perez