December 1, 2010



Sorry I am screaming- I am just very excited to introduce to you this team member who really embraces the Handmade Movement. She even skipped black friday shopping and proudly announced on facebook, " I have tried to buy all our gifts from handmade artists or from local businesses. I am working on trying to help out the local economy instead of giving more money to the big businesses and the outsourcing companies."

Enjoy! I give you...

Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Melissa Wilks. I have been married for 8 years and am the mother of two young boys. I am a full-time college student working on a degree for Special Education and spend as much time as I can working on my glass, metal and art.

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand?
Wire-wrapped bracelets

How and why did you make it?
I was in 6th grade and our art teacher had a lot of random wire that I discovered could be wrapped into colorful bracelets. Soon everyone in my school wanted them and I went into business. Sadly a few weeks in and the school made me stop. Turns out parents got upset that some kids were using their lunch money to buy them.

What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas come from everywhere. I use nature a lot and sometimes even my kids have great ideas, too.

What are your favorite materials?
Glass and Metal

Any tips for selling handmade stuff?
Just keep trying. Eventually you will find your niche.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Be a mother and lots of studying.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?

I have many, but I think my most cherished is a paper bracelet my son Preston made for me when he was 3.

What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Have lots of pictures and be sure to use all your tags. Treasuries are also a great way to get started.

How do you promote your work?

I use Facebook, Twitter, Face-to-Face and Word of Mouth. I also do lots of networking and talking to people at various shows.

Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.
I rarely sit down and make anything from start to finish. Most of my pieces get started one day and finished whenever I can find the time. I usually have three or four projects, at least, going at one time. I jump around between metal, glass, wire and beadwork depending on my mood. Many of my work is done during naptime or around midnight.

What first made you want to become an artist?
I am not sure I ever just sat down and decided that was what I wanted to do. I think I have just always been involved in the arts. Crafting just makes me happy.

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