Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Interview with Tracey Weiser of Summerone

Read about Summerone owner, Tracey Weiser. This talented lady has a way with taking something old and changing it into something fabulous!

First off so everyone can get to know each other better what is your 'real' name? And where do you live? Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Tracey Weiser and I live in Moses Lake, WA. My husband and I moved here about three years ago after we got married. He got a job here and the cost of living was so affordable it seemed like a good fit. We had come to check it out the year before, our friend's had moved here and they're the ones who offered the job opportunity. It was a wonderful couple of days, sunny and twinkling and we were smitten right away.

Moving here was another experience, to say the least. It is far away from our families - mine live in BC, his live west of the mountains and don't travel often. Because we were newly married and not finished the immigration process when I got pregnant I was kinda 'trapped' here. And as you can imagine that 'trapped' feeling made the whole process of getting used to a new town difficult. The immigration process is all complete now and a great weight has been lifted.

How did you learn about Etsy?

I had stumbled upon Etsy the year before we moved here, through an artist that was featured in a little mag I'd picked up. I don't remember the title of the magazine but the artist was trixiedelicious from Australia. I have always loved shopping garage sales and second hand stores and I found that last solitary dish from a fancy set to be one item I had a hard time letting pass me by. I would, invariably. But I would yearn for those misplaced, forlorn treasures after wards. So I love that she finds a way to reuse them. She makes them stand alone and be special! In fact, I just had to feature one of her items on my blog last week: her MOFO plate for mother's day! Just to be cheeky!

How did you get started making jewelry and how long have you been doing it?

I've always been interested in the art of making things: paintings, driftwood sculptures, knitting, jewelry. I have a degree in Fine Art and English

I'm not exactly sure when I started making jewelry. I made some things when I was in college, about 10 years ago. And I remember that those friends thought of me as a jewelry maker, but I don't have any of those pieces anymore, so I can't tell you what I made. I DO have a terrible memory, though :D

What do you like most about your shop appearance? What would you like to improve?

I was so happy to find Etsy for the sake of having a store, but I find the process of making my shop the way I'd like it to be to be a difficult one. I like that my shop currently has a cohesive feel to it, but I'm not particularly fond of the overall theme it projects. I'll be changing it again, though that entails taking all new photos. I've been working on my photos and I feel that those are coming along, but I still have work to do there, for sure. I would like to have more close up photos of my jewelry and to be more careful about background colors. Good photos are integral to selling on Etsy, I think. I think, too that a cohesive backgrounds to your photos should suit the theme you want your shop to project and my feels all over the map to me, frankly! I've found to be helpful in tweaking photos for items that I haven't gotten around to taking new photos of. It is a slower process than I'd like it to be but then I'm impatient! I feel the pressure of my to-do list the strongest when I get working. I have a hard time, working and relieving the pressure I put on myself to get more things done. Consequently, I'm usually spinning in circles with too many windows open on my computer and too many projects out on my desk.

What is your creative style? Is your work area neat and tidy or a disaster? What inspires you?

I do wish that I was a cleaner worker. When I'm deep in a project: painting or jewelry, I definitely need a space with a door that I can shut. Just so that I can walk away from it. I'm pretty messy; I love to have all the parts at my disposal, so that I can grab them as I need them and I don't put things away very well. A difficult way to work when you have a toddler. Ha-ha!!

Everything inspires me! I wish it didn't!! The outdoors, fashion catalogs, what my friends wear, my friends: I think about them and make what they would like. I could go on and on! I have far too many ideas racing around my brain - I can't get them out fast enough. I keep photo files and they are filled with examples of work, directions that I'd like to pursue, try my hand at. But when I'm actually working it is quite organic. I have all my beads and wire around me and start a new earring or pendant design just as I finish one, sometimes WHILE I'm working. I'm a very circular thinker! Maybe a little A.D.D! :D That's probably how I got started working with repurposed items.

How did you come up with you shop name?

I called my shop summer's workshop for so many reasons: my birthday is in July and summer is my favorite season! It has such a magic to it; it seems that life is more ripe and bountiful in the summer! Summer's workshop sounds a little like Santa's workshop: another phrase that brings up ideas of magic and possibilities. I'm still not clear on how to present that as a theme for my store, but as I said, ideas are always spinning and I feel that I'm close!!

I noticed you have a lot of variety in your shop and you used recycled, repurposed components. How did you get started on this path? What kind of jewelry do you like to wear?

I've always been a little bit crow: sparkly things catch my attention and I have to snatch them up. I'm also a big fondler, I always touch things in stores and I loved dress up as a child. When I was little, I liked to pick up a long necklace and wrap it around my wrist and if it was long enough twist it under my hand and over my finger for a 'matching' ring! As I got older and got better at different techniques, I would take old necklaces that I found at garage sales or secondhand shops and make bracelets or earrings for myself. Then, gradually, other people asked me to do the same for them, with items that they loved, but that had fallen out of style or they had grown tired of. I love doing it! Seeing what I can come up with! That in particular is a very organic experience. Very experimental. I just play around with different materials until something speaks to me: matches the beads or style of the old piece and I move from there! I love to wear the jewelry I make! Perhaps that sounds self serving, but a lot of times, I make jewelry because I have an outfit that I want to wear and I don't have anything to go with it! So I make something.


Laura said...

Great interview! I enjoyed getting to know Tracey!

Lisa said...

Awesome post! So wonderful to know you better Tracey! Welcome to WA .. even if it is Moses Lake... ~:o) .. saying that with a smile.. I'm not much better.. We've been transplanted not by choice to Wenatchee from the green green of the west side...

L♥Ve your shop ... wishing you All the best!