I have a fairly large jewelry collection; consequently if I am going to expand my collection the piece needs to be unusual. Ordinary just won't do. Classic hoops are not going to excite me, neither are plain gold studs. Luckily, Etsy is ripe with unique shops and ebony and sterling silver earrings are modern and striking in their simplicity. Many of her jewelry pieces are stunning in their use of different materials, whether it's plastic or felt. They exemplify how the use of unexpected materials can create an attractive and refreshing result.
Also of note are Cantu's crocheted European style scarves. You can step out in style this winter with one of these around your neck. Add a pair of earrings to the mix and you'll have a hip new look to add an extra bounce to your step.
Cantu answered a few questions over email about her work and art.
The Daily Page: How do you motivate your creativity?
Cantu: I love busy work so I don't have the problem of motivating my creativity. I'm always making things, even if it's paperclips and Post-its.
Describe your workspace. Are you at the kitchen table or in a dedicated work area?
My workspace is in my living room. I have a desk and chair as well as cabinets and baskets. I make everything from crocheted scarves to jewelry to drawings and paintings.
What is your favorite piece and why?
My favorite piece is a pair of raised sterling silver wine goblets I made for Art on the Vine, which is an annual auction to raise money for Oregon College of Art & Craft. When I applied I wanted the opportunity to make something I knew I would never be able to make again outside of art school. They were sold at auction and raised a lot of money for the school, but when I'm feeling nostalgic I remember soldering the pearls on the stems.
What advice do you have for people interested in starting an online store? How do you make the separation between your store and your day job/personal life?
I recommend people who want to start an online store have a good-sized inventory in place before buying their space online. You have to be organized, diligent, and patient. You also have to remember to invest in your business. It's hard for me to choose between buying tools and materials or a nice dinner out.
I wait tables for a living -- what a cliché I know -- but I advertise my store at work. I wear my jewelry, pass out my business cards and I've even brought jewelry into work to sell to my coworkers. I don't have much separation.