THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.
FK: Until I met Christine and saw her work, you couldn’t have convinced me that bottle cap jewelry could be so creative, so sophisticated, so … gorgeous! Don’t believe me? Just you wait and see …
FK: Let's start with your basic contact information.
Your name: Christine Wilson
Your etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BrewedAdornments
Your blog: http://christinesbeadworks.blogspot.com/
Your website: http://brewedadornments.com/
Your Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BrewedAdornments
FK: Tell me, Christine, where in Michigan do you live? Did you grow up there?
I live in Novi, Michigan, a city about 30 minutes northwest of Detroit. We moved to Novi shortly after our daughter was born, both to follow the job market and to be closer to family. Novi is one of the fastest growing cities in the state, and ranks among the top communities for research, technology and service companies. I was born in Alaska a “couple” of decades ago but grew up in Kokomo, Indiana. Kokomo refers to itself as the City of Firsts, for the technical and engineering innovations developed there, primarily in the automotive industry. Prior to Novi, I lived in North Carolina, California and Oregon, all following my earlier career as a financial analyst and my husband’s career in engineering.
|Beaded Jellyfish Bottle Cap Necklace|
FK: Wow – you’ve been all over the place! Tell me about your art background. How did you get started?
My educational background is in Business with a Bachelor of Science in Business from Indiana University and an MBA from Loyola Marymount. I don’t have a formal education in art but am fortunate to belong to the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild, a strong local guild that brings in a wide variety of national instructors. While I’ve experimented in a few different craft related mediums, it wasn’t until a friend introduced me to jewelry making that I truly became inspired. Through self-exploration, visiting instructors, and pure problem solving, I’ve begun to develop my own style and voice. A course with Mary Hettsmansperger led me to view the bottle cap in a whole new way and I’ve been incorporating it in my work for the last couple of years. Bottle caps provide me with focus in a diverse area of possibilities and I’ve only just begun to play with them in my work.
|Made to Order Bottle Cap Bracelet Vernors|
FK: Talk to me about your etsy shop. How long have you had the shop?
My first etsy shop was Christines Beadworks. As I began to develop bottle caps into a wholesale line, I knew I needed a more appropriate business identity. I changed to Brewed Adornments and have slowly transitioned to the new name on all my sites. Fortunately, customers can find me under either name.
|Bottle Cap Adjustable Ring 3 Floyds|
At Brewed Adornments the goal is transformation and it’s not limited to bottle caps. My husband often jokes that if it's not nailed down, I'll bead around it. Hand crafted buttons, painted bottle caps, graphic pin backs; all of these and more have been incorporated in my designs.
|Ballywood Days Cuff|
|Made to Order Bottle Cap Earrings Nunn Design Components|
FK: Many etsy artists are already selling wholesale or planning to transition into it. How do you go about finding and approaching your customers?
The transition to wholesale has been primarily possible through the support of the local community. Many shops support the local artist community, it’s just a matter of finding the right fit. For my particular product, personal introductions from customers and/or other artists almost always translate into a new account, but it pays to explore every option if you want to offer a wholesale line. I’ve found art shows to be equally effective; even a low attendance show can have great follow-up contact. For example, a local art show, Funky Ferndale, has generated three of my accounts. Cold calls work as well, but I’ve found that you really need to do this in person. Emails and phone calls simply do not work as well. I’m grateful to accounts like New Holland Brewery that purchased my cuffs, sight unseen, from an email contact.
|New Holland Brewing|
|Atwater Brewery Collection|
|Arbor Brewing Company Cuff|
FK: Full disclosure: Arbor Brewing Company is owned by my nephew Matt Greff and his wife Rene. I’m thrilled that Christine is working with them. Although I’m not much of a beer drinker, I love their bottle caps and I love Christine’s work. Here’s the piece I own!
|Mine!! All Mine!!|
FK: Tell me about your creative life. What do you love doing the most? And what’s your inspiration to get going?
While my metal line is the foundation of Brewed Adornments, I get the most enjoyment from the one or two pieces I create each year that really test the boundaries of what can be done with a bottle cap. The first piece I created with this material was a beadwoven pendant. I’ve since created several art pieces with caps as the focal point. Swimming around in my brain are two pieces using only metal that I hope to create after the holiday season.
|Metal Work Vintage Bottle Cap Necklace|
I often get asked about what inspires me to create. It’s a hard question, but mostly I problem solve. In pursuit of a solution to a particular construction issue, I spend hours researching and experimenting and some of my most creative pieces have come from a mistake I worked to correct.
|Detroit Red Wings Stainless Steel Bottle Cap Keychain|
FK: I know what you mean, although I don’t call them mistakes, I call them “happy accidents.” Where do you work on your art?
My studio is in the basement but I tend to do it everywhere in the house and keeping organized is probably the greatest frustration. I work like a fiend and by the end of the project I’ll go from having a nice work surface to working frantically with only about 5 inches visible on my workbench. I keep saying I need a surgical nurse following me around that puts everything back in place and hands them to me when I need them.
|Riveted Bottle Cap Bracelet Blue Point Brewing|
FK: When I work I do the same thing – I end up with just those 5 inches visible on my work table also! What do you do when you’re not being an artist?
Mother, daughter, sister, friend, wife, artist….it’s a lot of hats to wear and doesn’t leave time for much more. Adding accountant and marketer to that list is a difficult part of the business that sometimes gets overlooked.
|Champagne Crown Capsule Necklace Winery|
FK: Okay, you convinced me that bottle cap jewelry is beautiful! Now tell us about your giveaway.
FK: That’s wonderful, Christine. Thank you for this enjoyable visit to your Michigan studio. Now let me tell everyone how to enter.
How to Enter
First entry: Visit Christine’s shop, come back here, and tell us about your favorite piece(s).
Second entry: Enter a comment if you have signed up to follow Christine’s Facebook page (or comment if you already follow).
Third entry: Enter a comment that you signed up to follow Christine’s blog.
Fourth entry: Enter a comment that you signed up to follow my blog (or comment that you already follow).
Fifth entry: Enter a comment that you signed up to follow my Facebook page AND/OR my Pinterest page (or comment that you already follow).
Still with me? That's five chances to enter for the random drawing! Please be sure that your correct email address is in your profile; if it is not, include your email address in your comment. I will use random number generator to pick a winner after
12 NOON, EDT
TUESDAY, SEPT. 10