Here’s what Spotlight is about; it’s an interview that promotes you! It will feature questions that are formatted to your needs. Questions will be focused on your work, upcoming work and some personal [but not intrusive] questions for your fans to get to know you more!
Today features Mary Thomas
Tell us about yourself
My name is Mary Thomas and I’m a jewelry maker from East Tennessee. I have a passion for creating unique, one of a jewelry pieces and things that make people smile. I am married to a writer. I have two cats, gargoyles in my kitchen, an extensive collection of Pez dispensers, millions of beads and I cram it all into a tiny little efficiency house.
Share with us some of your interests
Aside from jewelry and stitching, I enjoy card making, scrap booking, cooking, baking, writing, doodling, singing, and watching horror movies. I am a social media addict, an art lover, a candy maker and a complete X Files nerd. I also love working with kids and doing various forms of charity work.
What makes you the person you are?
I have a wonderful, supportive husband who has helped me, in the 8 years we have been together, to become the person I am now. He supports everything I do, from charity work to outlandish craft projects that never leave the bottom of the closet. My friends and family have also helped enormously in shaping the person I have become.
About your work;
What is it you do?
I make things, mostly jewelry. I work with all kinds of beads, findings, styles and designs. I also enjoy recycling old jewelry to make something new and exciting. And recently I have taken up cross stitch. I love making samplers from my favorite book quotes and funny sayings.
Do you own your own business?
My business is mainly a hobby business at this time. It’s a nice little income booster when I need it to be, but mostly I create as a form of therapy. I find each finished piece more calming and satisfying than the last.
What makes your jewelry different from others?
My level of dedication to each piece.Not every single item I make is unique or special to anyone other than me. From the most delicate to the most extreme, each piece is crafted with love and consideration. So much so, that I often end up with pieces I can never part with.
How do you maintain your creativity?
This is a question I am asked often, and I never have a suitable answer. I find creative inspiration everywhere. From books and movies to nature to current trending topics on the internet. Sometimes I get creative blocks, just like a writer or artist would. During those times I want to set every bead in my house on fire and never look back. Other times, I will sit and create for 12 solid hours without hesitation. But usually, I maintain a steady rate of creativity that keeps me patient enough to work with hundreds of seed beads and tiny jump rings or free enough to paint with my fingers.
Adding something else;
If you could be hired on by anyone to make their jewelry; who would you like it to be?
Oh wow, that’s a tough one. I might have a metal meltdown at the thought of some of my favorite celebrities wearing my jewelry. But I might die of delight if Gillian Anderson wore one of my creations. 😉
How do you keep the fun in making jewelry?
I keep it fun by varying my styles as often as possible. I love mixing unlike colors and learning new techniques.
What has inspired you in making jewelry?
So many things.As I said before, everything from nature to current trends.Flowers, birds, paintings, even just seeing an item of clothing and thinking of a piece that would be a nice accent.
What’s the best part about making jewelry? And vice versa.
I love making things that make other people happy. Or that make them feel beautiful. Or inspired. Nothing makes me smile as much as a happy customer.
How do you stay confident in yourself especially by putting yourself in the internet world?
It took a lot out of me when I first created an online shop. I was terrified of failure and even kind, creative criticism broke my heart. But over the past few years I have learned from my mistakes as well as how to use criticism to my advantage, even when it’s negative.
How do you handle rejection if you receive that?
It sounds cliché, but I simply remind myself that you can’t please everyone. I have had far more happy customers and positive reviews than negative ones. So I use that to remind myself that everyone fails sometimes.
How would you recommend marketing for making jewelry?
Well, that is something I struggle with myself. It’s a daily struggle to find effective ways to market that don’t cost a fortune. Facebook can be helpful, if you are diligent about posting and reminding your followers to keep up with you.
What is something you wish you knew when you started up that you think others should know?
If you truly love what you do, don’t let anyone tell you it’s not good enough. Take constructive criticism into consideration, and appreciate that someone took their time to show you a kindness. But don’t ever let anyone make you feel like your product is inferior because they do something more complex. Also a decent camera and good lighting are the KEYS to making an online shop look professional. Listen to your peers, don’t ever be afraid to ask questions and seek the advice of those more experienced than you.
What kind of things should people making jewelry keep themselves updated on?
Current color and style trends, as well as maintaining a healthy appreciation for vintage and abstract styles.And if you sell on line keeping up with shipping fee increases is very important.
Featuring your work and or upcoming work;
How did you start making jewelry?
I’ve been into crafts as long as I can remember. From learning to sew with my grandmother when I was a child, to a giant box of de-stashed supplies from a family friend when I was in high school, to deciding one day in early 2011, that I could and WOULD make my own jewelry. It’s been a passion ever since.
What services do you offer?
I offer one of a kind and custom jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets, earrings, anklets and hair clips. And I love doing revamps of old jewelry.
And how do they benefit others who will hire you?
Many of my custom creations have been completely personalized, right down to the smallest elements.With my revamps, I can take an old piece with sentimental value and make it into something more suitable to the wearer’s taste.
Do you have a favorite jewelry piece that you have created?
Two actually, one is a red and white beaded necklace with a glass heart charm that sold to my number one customer and a recent bracelet with pale blue and aquamarine glass beads and silver findings.
How do you deal with difficult clients? If you haven’t how would you?
I offer to fix any problems that I can. But again, some people just can’t be pleased and you have to move on instead of dwelling on the negative.
Do you have a target audience for your jewelry?
Not really. I have a wide range of customers who appreciate the diversity of my pieces.
How do you stay updated in your field?
Google! Haha! Seriously, online research, magazines, being connected with other handcrafters.
How do you promote your work?
Facebook, tumblr, business cards, a lot of word of mouth and customer referals.
Is making jewelry yourself harder then you thought it would be? What makes it worth all your time?
Not at all actually. Some elements are much easier than I thought they’d be going in. And what makes it worth my time is that even if I never sold a single piece, I would have these unique little pieces of art that I made with my own two hands. But the fact that I do make sales and that people are happy and proud to wear my pieces… that truly makes it worth all the time.
Is it expensive to make jewelry like yours?
It can be, depending on the elements that go into the piece. But I like to make affordable items because in this economy, I feel blessed when someone wants to spend their hard earned money in my shop.
If you weren’t making jewelry what would you be doing instead?
I’d love to sing in a rockabilly band, but I have horrible stage fright and don’t know any musicians. Haha. But as far as a career I love working with children and would love the opportunity to do that.
Have you ever had trouble finishing a project?
I have tons of unfinished projects. Sometimes I harvest them for parts, but often they just sit in my craft closet until I come up with an idea for them.
What do you do for marketing?
Facebook sales.Lots of them.
Promote yourself in a sentence or less
Buy handmade, support independent artists, shop Wicked Creations.
What are you working on currently?
A triple strand beaded necklace with key charms. I’m also doing polymer clay kitty charms for an animal charity.
Mary Thomas’ Links;
Links that readers can contact and or connect with you at
or send an email to email@example.com
Links to websites that sell your work
—- Or links to websites that will be having your work soon
And the pet charity shop is located here.