I've had the pleasure of talking with Donna via email and got to ask her some question on running a homebased business and homeschooling...
What inspired you to begin creating cell charms and open your homebased business? I've always loved crafting of all sorts. I started beading about 5 years ago, and it really stuck! I made and gave away all the bracelets, earrings, necklaces and jeans jewelry that I could, and then I discovered the little straps for making cell charms...I was hooked! I made and gave them away until everyone I knew had one of my charms. I was interested in selling my crafts, but knew that weekend craft shows didn't mesh with our lifestyle. I placed my items in several boutiques, but having to sell them at wholesale prices made it difficult to make a decent profit.A few weeks ago, I discovered Etsy and thought I had died and gone to heaven! It was exactly the venue I wanted. It's like having your items in a 24/7 craft show with the entire world as potential customers, and you never have to leave your house!
What inspires you? Almost anything - I'll see something where the colors catch my eye, and think about how I can use that in a piece of jewelry or a decorative accessory. For example, I was making a pumpkin pie yesterday, and when I had dumped the sugar, ginger, and cinnamon in a bowl, I thought, "Ooo-o-oh! Nice colors. That would look great in a cell phone charm." Check my shop - I'll be adding a charm called "Sugar and Spice" soon :o)
Why do you homeschool? and what lead you to that decision? We homeschool because we feel it offers the best educational oppotunities for our very bright child. I guess what led us to that decision was the experience of having our child in public school for grades K-5, and realizing that we wanted something different.
How do you balance running a home-based business and homeschooling your children? With our eclectic style of homeschooling, it all kind of blends together actually. Starting the home-based business is giving lots of opportunities for practical, real-life educational experiences.
What has been you biggest handmade "oops"? There are probably lots! The first to come to mind is when I decided I just HAD to try working with PMC (precious metal clay). I made one attempt at a pair of earrings -- the clay dried way too quickly as I tried to work with it. I finally fired the pieces in my little "hot pot", and then promptly broke one of the earrings in half as I tried to finish them. Before I could try a second project, I broke the lid to my hot pot, so I have shelved my interest in PMC for awhile!
How do you spend your time when you are not creating? We love to camp, so every now and then we pack up the people, the 3 dogs, the cat and the Abyssinian guinea pig and head off to the wild blue yonder.