Introducing today: AlyxAndrea Design!
What’s the story behind your company?
AlyxAndrea Design was basically started by accident. I have always loved crafts and as my daughter is getting older I was looking for projects we could do together. I got lost in the time vortex known as Pinterest and found a tutorial on how to make a necklace using beads and ribbon. The design was very simple and looked basically like this necklace. It was easy enough for my 12 year old daughter to do as well. I started experimenting with different designs and quickly evolved past the basic design from Pinterest. I feel I have created pieces that are now unlike anything anyone else has ever created.
My daughter and I started making more necklaces and bracelets than we could ever hope to wear or give away so I started looking into on-line jewelry sales. Since my daughter’s name is Alyx and my name is Andrea I named our store AlyxAndrea Design and created http://www.alyxandreadesign.etsy.com/ on Etsy.
I quickly learned that having an on-line business takes a lot of work and there was a lot I needed to learn. I have come a long way in 8 very short months and have been afforded many amazing opportunities including having my work for sale at Art Market in Edgerton WI, becoming a member of The Artisan Group and being accepted to be featured at The RAW Artists Showcase in Madison WI this summer.
What inspires you?
There is nothing really magical about how I come up with designs. I generally stare blankly into my supply case which happens to be a tackle box. I pick up and put down different combinations of beads and ribbon until an idea pops into my head.
What is your favorite product to make?
Necklaces allow for the most creativity and are therefore my favorite to make. I have the option to use one or two ribbons, different pendants and many different beading techniques.
How would you describe your style in 3 words?
Avente Garde, innovative, trendy
In your opinion, what’s the best part of being an entrepreneur?
I love that my whole family is involved. My husband is a multimedia designer and he helps design promotional materials and is helping me develop my brand. The three of us go to craft shows together and work as a team to develop new products and designs.
If you were to start all over again, what would you do differently?
I may not have chosen to only create one-of-a-kind pieces. My husband came up with the tagline – Every Design One of a Kind because I like the idea that each person who makes a purchase can have the guarantee that no one else will ever have the same thing. However, as a business this is difficult to maintain. I have to take photos and create a listing on Etsy and promote every single product I create. This is very time consuming and not cost effective. Someone that has a product line can keep re-listing the same product on Etsy (or other marketplace) over and over again and re-produce the product only when it is sold.
What’s next? Any plans for the future?
I’m getting my feet wet at doing Art and Craft fairs and I’m hoping that I can be successful and have fun with them. This year is more of a learning experience to hopefully be more educated for choosing the right venues for next year. My first outdoor fair involved my tent turning into a crumbled heap of metal due to the wind completely destroying the frame. So that was a HUGE learning experience. I will be using my new, sturdier tent from now on.
I recently joined The Artisan Group and I had the opportunity to have my business cards distributed to celebrities at GBK’s Emmy Awards Gift Lounge this September which may open some doors for me. The next step would be to have my products gifted to celebrities at an event but that may come much further down the line for me.
Name: Andrea Mitchell – AlyxAndrea Design
*** If you are a successful artisan with an online store and fabulous products and would like to be “In the Spotlight”, feel free to submit your info. ***