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Welcome to Voetsy

Voetsy is an online marketplace and creative community that brings together talented sellers and buyers looking for something unique

Year: 2018

Talking to Talent: Michelle from Shabach Jewellery

Here at Voetsy, we believe all our vendors are creative geniuses… and Michelle is no exception! Her stunning range of jewellery wows us every time she uploads a new product to our site, if you know anything about our team here, you’ll know that we get very excited to see the new products our vendors upload, and Michelle never disappoints!

We asked Michelle to give us some insights into the work that goes on behind the scenes and what it takes to make her beautiful products. Read on to find out more about the person behind the products…

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Michelle, Owner of Shabach Jewellery

How would you describe the products that you make and sell?

I try to always think out of the box when making my products. I would say it’s typically not the same things you will see in each and every shop you can find, it is different.  My personal style has always been different than the average person and I think a lot of my personal style flows into the products. I try to cater for everyone but my thinking sometimes gets limited to what kind of product I like and that is then what I make. I’m obsessed with black and that is sometimes seen in my products. Color scares me now and again but I’m getting pretty good at mixing some color in with the black.

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How long have you been making your products?

I started my company in January 2018 so it really has not been a very long time. December 2017 I started thinking about wanting to do my own thing and earn my own income and it was just a part time job. It ended up in August of this year that I had no other choice as to do it full time.

How did you learn your craft?

In 2006 my mother worked in a small local bead shop and I helped out a lot. My mom had to give classes on different arts from beading to decoupage, etc and we (me and my mom) started collecting some beads and played around and my dad was always mad as the whole house would be full of beads so we kinda stopped. We had this one box still full of beading supplies that followed us from house to house until this year when it was a great launching pad for me to start making jewellery.

What do you love about the creative process behind your products?

It always makes me think outside of the box. In our daily lives we can quickly get stuck in routine and routine thinking. But when you’re at your craft station there can be no routine thinking. I’m not a routine person at all, I actually hate it. Even my daily routine I would do for a week or so and then switch it up a bit. So when I sit in front of all my supplies it forces me to think outside of the routine, outside of what other people already is selling, outside of what is popular. It really is a lot of brain exercise thinking that much.

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Describe your craft space for us.

Unfortunately it is really small. I have to work with what I have and I kind of just wing it from there. It’s a lot of clutter and everything not in its place. I always end up searching for something, not finding it and then skip to something else. When I make the something else I find what I was looking for. From time to time I will clean up and sort out but that doesn’t last very long. Certain things I can tell where it is “Oh you want a pair of scissors? On the table there! Oh you want findings it’s in that small little bin there” but overall my table looks like chaos for the small little thing it is.

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What is an absolute essential for you to have in your craft space while you’re creating?

Something to drink and my Vaseline (laughing face). I use Vaseline as lip ice and it’s a necessity. Crafting wise I would say my pliers, without it I would be stuck!

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Mostly I would sit at the table and pray and ask God for guidance and creativity, asking to assist and give me patience – especially when I think of something cool and I cannot seem to make it work.

I would also scroll through Pinterest, see what the people make, try and do it myself and fail. Do it my way, my design and I end up doing okay. I would get an idea from Pinterest and play around with it and make it my own – or while I would play around with it another idea hits me and I try that.

When are you at your most creative?

Oh it differs… Sometimes in the morning, sometimes late afternoon. I don’t have a specific time really, I kind of force myself to be creative even when I really do not feel like it or have no idea what I’m going to do or how to make something work.

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How do you overcome creative blocks?

I take a walk or go and do something else. I would maybe chill a bit, listen to some music, read a book or I would leave the jewellery making for a week and hope I feel better next week (laughing face)

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What is your opinion on buying handmade products versus mass produced retail products?

You get exactly what you want! For me all my products can be arranged the way the client wants it especially the colour and I do a lot of custom things as well. Mass produced retail products is copy cat’s of everything on the shelve. They buy 200 of the same product which is mostly probably not a bad thing, but if you wanna stand out go hand made. A lot of my products is once off’s which means you will be the only one in the world wearing that piece (well unless someone copies my design of course).

What advice would you give to crafters thinking of selling online?

It really takes a lot of work. I have the experience of having my products inside a physical shop in a mall and having my products online and online is really a lot of work. It’s a lot of advertising, trying to get new clients, uploading all the products, thinking of creative descriptions for each product.

Don’t get me wrong Voetsy takes sooo much work out of our job and I love that, but just like any other job you have your things you love to do and things you hate to do.

Not that I hate the hard work I do enjoy it a lot, but do not think for one second you can just pop everything online and its gonna market itself or sell itself.

What’s in store for the future?

I would like to get more shops to sell my products and I want to push myself in doing more, thinking more outside of the box. I would like to get new product ranges and I would definitely like to make more jewellery for men (which is probably my hardest thing to do like ever).

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View Michelle’s shop to see more of her gorgeous products, made by hand and with lots of love!

13 Things You Should Give Up To Be A Successful Crafter

So I came across an article written by Zdravko Cvijetic on www.observer.com recently, that remarkably managed to narrow down to just 13, the number of things you should give up to be successful. My initial thoughts were somewhat skeptical, as I can list more than 13 chocolates alone that I would have to give up, never mind all the other deep and meaningful things. That said, I am a crafter, a creative… so generally the rules of normal human thinking don’t apply to me in Purple Fairycorn land. So would I be successful giving up these 13 things too?

Give up your unhealthy lifestyle…

Eating healthy and exercising is what’s called for here… So as a crafter I take this to basically mean a diet free of sawdust, spraypaint and wood splinters from chewing on the end of my paintbrushes. My biggest challenge would be to avoid getting sucked into my deeper than deep space “creative zone”, where the only thing being eaten is my time, and a whole day goes by where I forget to eat real food that doesn’t sparkle or need drying time.

Exercise is easy, I get so much exercise from raising my expectations that my resin will dry bubble free, that my paints will dry the same shiny juicy hue they were in the bottle, and that my masterpiece will turn out exactly like it looks on Pinterest, that I am practically as ripped as Superman… mentally though, not physically, which is good thing, I guess.

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“Give up the short-term mindset”

So this one’s about long term goaling with short term habiting for normal people… Now I don’t know if you’ve ever had to wait for paint to dry or for Herbert Evans to have an art sale, but only true creatives and visionaries are able to wait for that end goal, no matter the days, hours or months that must go by. Crafters are among those rarest of humans in this world that have mastered the patience skill to levels that are almost supernatural when it comes to their creations. Because they have to. Because fingerprints and smudges when wet.

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“Give up playing small”

Okay, so this one is a bit tricky… don’t shrink down to accommodate others feelings and don’t be afraid to fail. I don’t know many crafters that accept compliments on their work with, “Yes, thank you, I know how super awesomely talented I am, and how mind meltingly amazing my work is”… modesty is a hard thing to give up for creative geniuses such as myself. I do know that I’m not afraid to fail though. If I can try to make something new, or test out some new craft, I will… no fear of the unknown there, no sir, and my overcrowded cupboards of every craft material known to man will prove that. I think what I should really give up here as a crafter is my small house that can’t contain my wool, paints, spray paints, brushes, decoupage, scrapbooking, markers, colouring books… there’s more but you get the gist.

“Give up your excuses”

Yes yes, an artist never blames his tools, fish paste etc.… but seriously… crafters have some leeway with this one, surely. I mean, I just cannot pour resin on a project if the resin has dust in it, or if the cup has resin in it, actually, I just can’t pour resin. If you think that’s an excuse, go try it… I dare you, kiss your floors goodbye. Resin aside, bakers can’t bake without sugar… oh, they can? Never mind. Then think of a knitter who doesn’t have needles or an artist who must use his hands to paint and doesn’t have any,  no, wait… You know what? Crafters are awesome and they don’t make any excuses to create, resin is just dumb, and that’s what I’ll give up to be successfully sane.

“Give up the fixed mindset”

Change your mindset that talent alone is what it takes to succeed, and that you don’t have to put in effort as well. Um… look, I don’t know how other people’s fixed mindsets work, but as a crafter, I know that as talented as I may think I am, ain’t no painting going to be painting itself just by having my super talented self stand next to a canvas. The only fixed mindset I would have to give up as a crafter is I don’t have enough spray paint colours, because no one can achieve greatness with a mere twenty colours.

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“Give up believing in the “magic bullet”.”

So normal people cannot believe in the magic of overnight success and must give it up. No, sorry, not going to happen… I am creative, and this idea of a magic bullet appeals to me, and you used the word magic, which is my kryptonite. Now I’m fixated on a magic bullet and what it can do, and does it come from a magic gun too? Maybe wielded by a magic person… Also, as a crafter, overnight success is actually a thing… you paint it, it dries, overnight… success.

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“Give up your perfectionism”

Ugh… really do I have to? No, I’m a crafter and making things perfectly is kind of a thing… I can’t make something knowing it not perfect. Hours must be spent examining said creation for any small blemish until it’s pronounced as complete… or is that just me? I get that most things can’t be perfect, like the family dinner you cook, that has some glitter in it, or your child’s hair you brush for school… that has some glitter in it. But my crafts must be perfect, and generally glitter tends to makes them that.

“Give up multi-tasking”

Look, I have to say I agree with this one. My life as a crafter would be a lot better if I focused on one thing, and didn’t have to spend five minutes, every five minutes, looking for the thing I just put down five seconds ago. This one’s universal, crafter or no.

“Give up your need to control everything”

Oh no problems here… given up, gone, forgotten. As a crafter, you learn this lesson a lot. Nothing will teach you that you are not in control more than a dirty acrylic pour or a dropped stitch if you a beginner at knitting. Been there, done that… got the dirty floors and tangled wool balls that were meant to be jerseys to show for it.

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“Give up saying YES to things that don’t support your goals”

This one is a brain teaser… you’ll find that if you’re creative, invariably you’ll be asked to help with a lot of things where ideas and glitter are required. However, most crafters have a goal in life… to always be crafting, so really… if you’re helping Aunty Liz hand make wedding decorations, or baking themed cupcakes for Cousin Johnny’s birthday… you’re saying yes a lot, but also to crafting. So it’s a win-win in my eyes.

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“Give up the toxic people”

Another one I think also applies to all crafters… including me… maybe only me, I don’t know. I must stop talking like I’m the United Nations of Craft here. Personally speaking, if I encounter people who cannot see the dancing rainbow unicorn in my abstract art, or the genius of tying sticks together to make super interesting home décor, I know I should either ditch them, or give them the sticks for Christmas. No one needs the kind of negativity you get when someone is bad smell squinting at your masterpieces. Also, on the subject… I should wear masks when spray painting, it’s not only people that are toxic.

“Give up your need to be liked”

Goes hand in hand with step 12 of what to junk in your life. Except… as a crafter it’s more about caring that people like what you make more than liking you. So give that up by order of the United Nations of Craft. Not everyone is going to see your dancing unicorn vision. In a perfect world, everyone, including you, is Bob Ross-ish, genuinely awesome, amazingly talented too, and all the trees are happy. If that’s not your world, guess what? You’re an artist! You can just make whatever world you want, out of tinfoil and papermache, you’re like a crafty MacGyver with Heritage Modge Podge and Glue Gun and no one can stop you escaping reality.

“Give up your dependency on Social Media and Television”

So I’m just going to go and YouTube a How to Make Handmade Christmas Cards, while I ask my Craft Group for suggestions on Wedding Decorations, and check Pinterest for pictures of Unicorns, while I update my Instagram Feed with pictures of my current project progress. I find this to be a toxic request that I have to give up, because I need to say yes to things that support my goals. The internet supports my creative goals with ideas. #lol #aintgonnahappen

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There are valid points made in the original article, and you should probably go read that, a lot more profesh than my ramblings. As for me… I’m just going to stick to what makes me happy, and give up what doesn’t… it’s what Bob would do.

Happy Bobbing
Nicole@Voetsy
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Howzit Halloween!

So yes, Halloween in South Africa may not be the all out boo-nanza it is in America… but it does seem as though every year the Halloween spirit is rising. Two puns, one sentence… not bad.

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So what’s the big deal about Halloween? We could enthrall you with the history of the day, the obviously fascinating origins and the tantalizing taboos… but we’re pretty sure you know how to work the Google machine just as well as we do, so we’ll skip on that and get to the good stuff…

The Sweeties…oviaas!

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For anyone who has children, you will understand (every other day of the week) that the idea of pretending to be your favorite someone or something is appealing (it’s why we hate Barney, be honest), but added to that, the concept of free candy from strangers WITH your parents’ permission? Little minds blown! And for those of us bigger children, remaining anonymous behind a Crazy Store mask whilst facilitating the intake of free sweets to sneak from your kids later may also have its appeal, I don’t know, maybe… speaking for a friend, ahem.

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It’s a fun thing to get into for kids and bigger kids, so check out this great article from Joburg.co.za for an all you need to know run down on the freaky fun next week.

Happy Halloweening!
The Voetsy Blog Team

Get into the Halloween spirit with some creepy cool products available right here on voetsy from our fab vendors:

Click on the image to view product details!

Trick or Treat Bags!
Matches your costume!
Creepy Tee!
Spooky stickers for cards or planners!

The Art of Embellishing