PIECE by Dana Michelle-Fave Etsy Finds

nathan and dana

 

I recently did a post here on my favorite Etsy shops. PIECE by Dana Michelle was one of the shops that I wrote about and love. Dana is Cary’s cousin’s (and best friend) wife, but she is also a very close friend of mine. I love Dana’s work! Her earrings are so unique and fun. I wanted to expand on Dana’s shop a bit more because I love it so much so I had a few questions for her about her process, running her shop with Nathan, her husband and her goals. Here is our interview…..I hope you enjoy and please check out her shop!!

1. How long have you been designing and making jewelry?

We have been making and designing jewelry for about 3 years now. I played around with it before I met Nate (making some pieces for myself) but never pursued designing pieces for anyone else until he heard my ideas and 100% supported my dream to go for it
2. What started your interest?
 
My interest in jewelry started when I was very young. I’ve always been a one piece kind of jewelry girl. Finding that one piece that’s your favorite, and then picking your whole outfit to match that one awesome pair of earrings or that one necklace. I’ve always stayed pretty classic in clothing choices and go with trends in my accessories. Hence the name of our business “PIECE”…. and our tag line “Find Your Favorite”  I want everyone to find that piece that’s their favorite, just like I have for so many years. 
3. As a husband and wife team what is the best and hardest parts of working together?
 
The best part of being a husband and wife team is the actual time we get to spend together working on our business. We live very busy lives with our 2 children and when we get a chance to brainstorm and create something together it’s extremely refreshing. I lean more to the design side of the business and Nate leans more to the technical side of the business, so we make a great team. It’s gives us both a chance to use the “other” side of our brains while catching up with each other. With that said, the hardest part of being a husband/wife team is FINDING that time to spend on our business. We are working on more of a set schedule to set aside specific time/days to pursue other areas of our business next year. 
4. Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
 
I find inspiration in current trends and classic pieces. Silver and Gold will never go out of style. But you’ll never see a simple gold or silver hoop for sale by PIECE. I like very organic, ethereal materials and like to combine that with classic metals. A lot of the pieces I create are usually related to the time of year it is. Spring and summer pull me towards more brightly colored, fun materials while fall and winter pull me towards much deeper, rich, cool materials. 
5. How do you organize your time for your Etsy business while still working another job?
 
We don’t. I’m just being completely honest, with our schedule it’s been very difficult to organize our time. For the last year our work schedule with PIECE has really just revolved around holidays or when inspiration really hits me. For example, I am obsessed with crosses and anything turquoise right now and all I’ve done for 2 weeks is search for the perfect materials for pieces I have already visually created. We plan to implement a more structured schedule at the first of the year.
 
6. Any advice for someone starting a small business?
 
Be patient. Be persistent. Keep your passion. Patience is key because it takes time to build a successful business, so stay focused and don’t worry about the small things. Persistence is the effort that will keep you there once the business builds, so even when things get tough or seem slow, stick with it. And last but not least, don’t ever lose your passion. Don’t ever forget why you began this in the first place. We started this because we wanted something fun that we could do together. And due to that, we are able to see others enjoy something created by our own hands. It’s an amazing feeling and I know that will never go away.
 
7. What are your future plans and goals for PIECE?
 
We have some plans in the works for PIECE. We currently only sell on Etsy and out of our house equally, but are looking to expand online and into local boutiques by early next year. Look for us!! 
And here are some of my favorite pieces in her shop right now!!

 

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