Handmade Feature and Giveaway – Queen Bean Jewels

September 23, 2009 separator giveaway

Awhile back, I contacted Maureen of Queen Bean Jewels to do a feature. How did I found her? Well, her beautiful shop, much to my surprise, was on the Pounce: Undiscovered feature because she hadn’t had a sale yet! You guys know I love to expose newbie shops, so I was instantly hung up on this little gem. When you see her fortune cookie necklace and antiqued lace pendants, you’ll feel the same.

I digress – my whole point was that while I’ve been getting to know Maureen over the last month or so, I’ve grown to adore this quirky, unpredictable, super creative, tons of fun – gem of an artist!!! Since I ‘met’ her waaaaaay back when (not so long ago, in fact), her business has blown up to 18 sales, a first-time treasury that enjoyed the limelight on the Front Page, several featured spots in treasuries, and a Storque feature!!! Now, you guys all know how long it took me to manage any of that, so I’m a little jealous, but I couldn’t be happier for this wonderful lady, and you’re going to love her too, after you read through her interview!!!

Q. What’s the story behind Queen Bean Jewels?
A. Well Bean is my giant (25 pound) cat, and he used to be the logo for my jewelry design. “Queen” has been my nickname, partly because I would make my nieces and nephews call me Queen Maureen if they wanted me to do things for them. My dad was horrified one time to come out to his pool and see me with a group of little kids all yelling “Queen Maureen” to me (which was the condition to get me to swim with them).

Q. What has been the most difficult aspect of selling on Etsy? Any advice for the newbies?
A. Well, trying to get yourself noticed is challenging. Jewelry, especially is pretty saturated on Etsy. I found on other selling sites, to go to forums, ask questions, get advice. It is important to become part of a community. I joined the California team, hoping to actually meet fellow Etsy-ans in person. I made my first sales by participating in Etsy’s Labor Day Weekend Deal. Etsy offers regular weekend promoting sales, free shipping, etc.

By participating in the Labor Day sale, I was featured in a gift guide and the Storque, and went from zero to five sales. I am very new still and still ask a lot of questions. I am starting to promote off-Etsy too, which is important, like Facebook, Twitter, and Handmade in California is a great web site of California crafters that I will be in for the holidays (Oct 1 thru Dec 31). There will also be weekly giveaways there from all stores.

Maybe most of all – PHOTOGRAPHS!!! Take a look at the way the photos are shot and composed on the front page, gift guides, etc. on Etsy. If you photo is well shot, lit and well styled, you are more likely to be featured by Etsy or another seller. I have been very fortunate to get into gift guides and the like. It really is great free advertising.

There are valuable tools for Etsy sellers on Craftcult, Craftopolis, and Etsy Hacks.

Q. What is your favorite thing about your art?
A. I am so fortunate to have so many ways to express my creative side. I am also a professional artist as my “day job.” I have been a designer for more than 20 years. Since I work mostly on the computer these days, my jewelry and mixed media art is a great way to work off the computer, so there’s not too much NOT to love about how blessed I feel to be creative.

Q. Least favorite?
A. I am also cursed, as well as blessed, to have made my living for years as a creative. It has always been a very challenging way to make a living. I think that everyone struggles to price their work fairly. Threads about shop pricing in the Etsy forums always seems to become very heated. I think that proves that it is difficult for many people.

Q. What’s your motto in life?
A. This too shall pass…

Q. A horrible troll has just kidnapped you and is keeping you prisoner for the rest of your life. Fortunately, he’s had a stroke of kindness and has decided to let you choose your cellmate. Who are you going to bunk with for the next eternity: Lindsay Lohan, Michael Moore, or Simon Cowell?
A. Obviously whether or not the troll was “kind” appears subjective based on those choices. I would kill myself with Lindsay as a cellmate, and I would likely have to kill Simon (though he would be highly entertaining for a while). Ultimately I would choose Michael Moore, because if prison conditions declined, I could eat him!

Q. What always makes you smile, no matter what?
A. My pet family. They are quite the characters, frankly. My cats did not get the “cats are aloof” memo and are attention whores (much to the chagrin my my rescue Golden Retriever). All of them seem to need to be in the thick of things. They will hang out when I have a party, like everyone was there for them. Because I was so close to the station fire (evacuated, even), they now think that when you smell smoke the Party! is at our house. So many friends came over to help and even stay when things got dicey, I fear that my pets might start setting fires to get everyone to come back.

Q. What song best represents you?
A. No idea…”Brick House?” Just kidding. I have no answer to this…

Q. What makes you so mad you could scream?
A. In all seriousness…MULLETS!!! The set my teeth on edge. I have no reasonable explanation for it at all. More often I see them on old re-runs and I really think less of the person under that hair do…I am getting all riled up just typing this. I cannot imagine why I react like that!

Q. What are you most proud of having done in your life?
A. I have always been a bit of an overachiever which can be a bit obnoxious. I have had a lot of success in my career – as a woman who owned her own design firm, had cars, house, etc. I was found to have been living for years with a broken neck that became a rather dire situation. But the fact that I feel that I am a survivor and have never pinned my self-worth on what I did or had has been what has made me most successful. After nearly 6 month house-bound, I made the choice to simplify my life. The economy had already started to change in 2002 My lease was up, so I decided to close my office and moved my work home. I don’t miss having employees or the stress of keeping all those balls in the air, frankly. Though there are days I seriously miss having a secretary!

Q. You have $50 to spend on Etsy for all things stylish for Bean. What will you buy?
A. Since Bean is not, literally, internationally famous for wearing a chicken hat on YouTube, we know he will wear a hat. Believe it or not, you cannot get a collar on him without someone crying and bleeding (usually me).

HONEST! It is only a coincidence that this shop seems to be named for Bean items. For our family Festivus celebration: Festivus Dog Hat from Bean Town Handmade . And I did go a bit over my budget, but the wig alone is the selling point here: Reggae Dog Outfit with Dreadlock Wig from sumigirl (also needs to be made MUCH bigger).

Q. What’s your favorite Etsy shop and blog?
A. Tough to narrow down a favorite Etsy shop. I love the handmade soaps and creams. I am currently obsessed with a shop, Woodtec, that sells the most amazing iPod docking stations made from wood…how do I describe them…more like small logs are the docking stations. Hi great wood USB stick was the inspiration for a fun Treasury I did recently (that made Etsy’s Front Page, by the way).

The Etsy Twitter Team blog is great and really beautifully designed (yes I am trying to get on that team)…and not to brown nose, but I love your blog too! { * Thanks Maureen, and just for the record – I’m not above being brown-nosed! * }


Can’t get enough Queen Bean Jewels? Want some more giant cat in your life?
Facebook Fan Page
Twitter
Website & Blog
Shop
The Infamous Bean-in-a-Chicken-Hat Video!!!



The Giveaway
Maureen is giving away a Small Fine Silver Fortune Cookie Necklace to one of my readers! I’m just dying to have one of these darling little things, and so will you after you read Maureen’s adorable description, A Fine Silver (.999) fortune cookie is made exactly the way a real fortune cookie is…well except using fine silver and “baked” in over 1,700 degree “oven” / kiln.” Maureen has also been sweet enough to offer you guys 15% off everything in her shop through the giveaway and for a week following! You can just put ‘Shrimp15’ in the Message to Seller box at checkout. She’ll refund the discount via PayPal. The giveaway will end at midnight on October 4, and the winner will be announced the following day.
  • To enter, you must visit Queen Bean Jewelry and choose a favorite piece. You can also suggest something you’d like to see in the shop. Leave one comment here with your answer. This step is mandatory before earning additional entries. Feel free to heart the shop as well! Make sure that you leave your e-mail address in at least your first entry.

Additional Entries

  • Become a follower of Shrimp Salad Circus using the ‘subscribe’ options on the left sidebar. Leave one comment telling me you did so.
  • If you’re already a follower, then you’re absolutely fabulous, and thank you! Leave two comments telling me such.
  • Follow Shrimp Salad Circus and Queen Bean Jewelry on Twitter, and tweet about this giveway for one extra entry Copy and paste the following message: Win a Fine Silver Fortune Cookie Necklace from Queen Bean jewels at http://tinyurl.com/mufpx3! @ShrimpSalad @QueenBeanJewels #giveaway Leave one comment with the URL from the tweet.
  • Put a Shrimp Salad Circus button {Vintage Musings} on your blog sidebar for two extra entries. The button is located on our right sidebar. Leave two comments with a link to your blog after adding the button.
  • Stumble or Digg this post or favorite me on Technorati for one extra entry each. You can use the ‘Share’ button immediately below the post signature. Leave one separate comment for each action with your username or a link to the page.
  • Blog about this giveaway and include a link and the photo of the giveaway item from above for three extra entries. Leave three separate comments with a link to the post.
  • Purchase something from Queen Bean Jewelry for five extra entries. Leave five separate comments telling me what you bought. You could end up with something great for you and a friend, and with that 15 percent discount – why not?
  • Become a fan of Queen Bean on Facebook. Refer all your friends because Maureen’s giving away two $30 gift certificates for her fans! Make sure to leave a comment on this thread saying you were referred by Lindsay of Shrimp Salad Circus because I want a fortune cookie of my own!!! If you do this, you get two extra entries. Leave two comments telling me you did so.

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421 comments

  1. I love the “Kitty Kitty silver pendant”. I too have a giant tomcat, except his name is Romeo!!
    Thanks so much! pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

  2. My favorite piece is the heart necklace for me. For my friend who is all so hard to buy for, it would have to be the fortune cookie necklace. If I don’t win, I will be back to Maureens shop.

  3. Oh so many cute things–I love the fortune cookie I’ve been looking for a good luck charm!! I also love the CAT IN JACK-O-LATERN – Halloween Pendant–and the KITTY ITTY FINE SILVER PENDANT.
    [email protected]

  4. Okay, this is definitly one of those shops where I change my mind on favourites – and a definite keeper – right into my bookmarks!

    My fav for the sake of this is “Nestle Coffee-mate Make Every Cup Count Trivia Contest

  5. I picked one favorite, then another but had to stop so – PEACE – MERCY positive affirmation charm / pendant Steampunk

  6. She is very talented and I love her cat, Mr. Bean. I have a cat that is almost as large as he is.
    I like her beautiful Lotus Flower ABUNDANCE, Fine Silver Necklace, the most.

  7. Lovely shop!!! This is one of my favourite items:
    CUTE AS A BUTTON – OOAK Shadow Box Reversable Pendant

    thansk!

    cal_rubies at yahoo dot es

  8. It was SO HARD to choose a favorite, as everything is so whimsical and darling… but I choose:
    BLACK CAT and JACK O LANTERNS – HALLOWEEN – soldered pendant
    Thank you!

  9. I LOVE the Fortune Cookie necklace!! But if I had to choose something else it would be lotus flower necklace.

    info @ bookofrandomness .com

  10. I became a Fan of Queen Bean on Facebook and found her twitter link there that worked so I’m following on twitter too (Tina12312)

    thank you!

  11. So very talented, she does such gorgeous work! I am in love with her fortune cookie necklace and also her Lotus Flower ABUNDANCE Fine Silver Necklace. Thank you so much!

  12. I love the Small Fine Silver Fortune Cookie Necklace i have always looked for one.

    My etsy is designerpick if you need any information.

  13. I like the Lotus Flower ABUNDANCE Fine Silver Necklace and the Fortune Cookie necklace best but the ribbon necklaces are awesome too.

    khal5671 AT gmail.com

  14. I adore the Lotus Flower ABUNDANCE Fine Silver Necklace; so simple but elegant. Thanks for the giveaway!

    its.a.hit at gmail dot com

  15. I became a fan on Facebook, and said I was referred by you.
    (my profile there is Piroska–my post was #6).

    pippirose59 at gmail dot com

  16. I love all the Halloween stuff. My favorite is GIRL and JACK O LANTERN HALLOWEEN – soldered pendant.

    carethediva[at]hotmail[dot]com

  17. XOXO Tiny Message in a Bottle Pendant or Charm Steampunk- is really cute! Thanks for entering me into this giveaway.

    unforgetable_dreamer_always(at)hotmail.com

  18. I also really like the Lotus Flower Abundance necklace. It looks gorgeous, and must have been so difficult to make, and it looks great!
    abigail.lee {At} gmail.com

  19. My favourites would have to be the “Lotus Flower ABUNDANCE Fine Silver Necklace” and the “ANTIQUED LACE IN GLASS soldered pendant”. Gorgeous and unique. *Loves*

    bandaiblossom(at)gmail(dot)com

  20. I like the little ghost with the frown on his face. I’m guessing he didn’t scare anyone and that’s why he’s sad.

    You can find me on Etsy if I win. Thanks!

  21. the in and out earrings are so cute and clever! I’d like to see more hobby-related charms in your shop-cameras, eating utensils, and the like.

    gemini5757 at hotmail.com

  22. Wow, as a owner of 2 black kitties from head to tail I have to say the black cat pendants are gorgeous. The GIRL AND BLACK CAT BEST FRIENDS – soldered pendant is my favorite.
    dikatzen at yahoo dot fr

  23. i really love the ANTIQUED LACE IN GLASS soldered pendant and the Lotus Flower ABUNDANCE Fine Silver Necklace! they’re so beautiful!

    miriam dot nussbaum at gmail

  24. From Queen Bean Jewels: I am adding more silver stuff this weekend! Be sure to check back (and re-post your comments about newbies here!)

  25. I really like the WOVEN Sterling and Fine Silver Cuff Bracelet; i definitely would wanna see more cuffs!

    katch05 at gmail dot com

  26. I love the Lotus Flower ABUNDANCE Fine Silver Necklace and ring. I’d love to see either a four leaf clover or claudaugh or something irish. I’m always on the lookout for that. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Bridgette Groschen
    [email protected]

  27. I love the Hollow Heart PMC Fine Silver Necklace! It is such a gorgeous piece. I would love to see more silver pieces, I think they’re fabulous!

    irina.sagarbarria at gmail dot com

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