Monday, April 25, 2011

The opportunity of Etsy

At my day job this afternoon, I was reading one of my favourite marketing blogs. Seth Godin is reliably very insightful, but these two particular posts got me thinking about Etsy sellers in particular.
Although the audience for Beyond the Junkpile is quite small, I expect most of you are crafters, most selling on Etsy. Have you ever really thought about why you do it? Beyond the live-the-dream-and-quit-your-day-job stories we hear so much about.

Of course many Etsians would quit their day jobs if they could. But assuming that many of us can't, why do we still do it? Why not just let crafting stay a basement or living room hobby? I've asked myself this question before.

Contemplating my reasons for being on Etsy again today, I think that many of us are gravitating to what Mr. Godin talked about:

"The mass market is being replaced by multiple micro markets and the long tail of choice.

Google is connecting buyers and sellers over vaster distances, more efficiently and more cheaply than ever before.

Manufacturing is more of a conceptual hurdle than a practical one."

Even if we have modest uber-realistic expectations, many of us are hoping that Etsy is a real opportunity to be sustainably, genuinely gainfully, self-employed. Do you feel the same way?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Introducing Circuit Boards

Beyond Junk is now carrying a selection of obsolete computer circuitry from motherboards, DVD ROMs, and hard disk drives.

Cut and shape these fiberglass boards into pendants and rings. Use the die-cut holes or mount them in cabochon blanks. To recycle even more, use watch backs instead of cabochon blanks.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Shining New Brass Bits

Fresh from the Junkpile (or the scrapyard in this case) Beyond Junk has raw brass keys and polished brass tags. Engrave them, etch them, carve, shape, cut and wrap them. These brass parts are ideal for trashion and steampunk art including jewellery and mixed media projects.

Uncut Matte Brass Keys

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Upcycling Vintage Chain

Creating jewellery from recycled material is an excellent way to reuse metal and scrap parts while getting us to think differently about fashion and the possessions we value.

But what about the carbon footprint of the chain, hoops, findings, wire, and any other new materials we use in creating this jewellery? Wouldn't it be better to use 100% recycled material?

When I started offering organic cotton cord, I mentioned how difficult it is to find commercially produced recycled metal chain. Because I am not currently able to make my own recycled metal chain (not in any substantial quantity) I've started looking for sources of vintage chain as an alternative that could still facilite 'greener' recycled jewellery crafting.

Although the search for recycled metal chain continues, I'm excited to add vintage and upcycled chain to the 'shelves' at Beyond Junk.