Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Feature -
Laura from Dumb Bunny Designs

I was looking for some specific crystal specimens for a treasury I was creating and I discovered Dumb Bunny Designs...what a find! Laura's shop is filled with amazing crystal and gemstone specimens, fossils and some fabulous jewelry. I especially like her 'instant collections'. They're perfect for someone getting started with collecting!
Chakra Stone Instant Collection
I had the opportunity to talk to Laura about her shop, how she got started and some other fun facts. Here's the interview.

Q: What types of items to you make/sell? Tell us what makes your items special.
Laura: Well I have two Etys shops, Yesterday’s Silhouette, which specializes in all things vintage, and Dumb Bunny Designs, which focuses on gemstones and jewelry. Between both shops I’d have to say what makes what I sell special is the uniqueness of each product. With the vintage shop I strive to find one-of-a-kind items, and when it comes to my gemstones, each and every one of them has its own personal beauty.

Q: How long have you been working in your area of interest?
Laura: I’ve always been obsessed with vintage ever since I was a little girl, and I have been collecting gemstones since I was about 17 years old.

Q: How did you get involved in your area of interest?
Laura: I got into selling gemstones to help pay for my collection about 10 years ago. I’ve always been a music lover, and when I was 20 I began bringing some of my handmade jewelry and gemstones to concerts with me and I would sell them in the parking lot to people tailgating before the show. What began as me walking through parking lots with a backpack eventually evolved into the professional vending I partake in today.
I decided to start selling vintage to justify my constant thrifting. There’s so much cool stuff out there! Unfortunately I can’t keep it all, so I decided to open the vintage shop. It’s nice to be able to bring home a cool find, learn about it, and pass it on to the next person.

Q How long have you been selling your wares…how long on Etsy?
Laura: I’ve been selling gemstones for about a decade now. I opened Dumb Bunny Designs in June of 2009, but didn’t put much effort into the Etsy shop until recently since I sell mostly at shows. Yesterday’s Silhouette opened the following year. I’ve been spending more time beefing up the gemstone shop on Etsy since becoming a mother in 2010. It’s a lot harder to vend with a toddler running around! I don’t vend the vintage anywhere else but on Etsy. It’s too much to move around. Hauling boxes of rocks is bad enough as it is! I always joke with people that in my next life I’m going to sell feathers.

Q: What prompted you to start an Etsy shop?
Laura: A friend suggested I look at Etsy back in early 2009. After spending waaaaay too much time shopping on the site, I finally got around to opening my own shop in June of that year.

Q:  How did you come up with the name for your shop?
Laura: Dumb Bunny Designs was named after a high school nick name. I often contemplate changing the name of the shop to something more, well mature, but I haven’t come up with anything I like better, so for now, it stays.
In my vintage Etsy shop, the items I sell aim to illuminate a figure of times past, thus creating what I like to refer to as, Yesterday’s Silhouette. 

Q:  What is your favorite item in your shop and why?
Laura: At DBD I love this piece of yellow barite. It’s a rare specimen, and it’s of amazing quality.
Laura: In YS I’m completely infatuated by this marionette. I’ve been researching it more, and have found it’s got such a fun history. 

Q:  What inspires you…in your craft and/or life in general?
Laura: Good people and good music.

Q:  Tell us about a favorite moment or sense of accomplishment related to you work.
Laura: I just received word a few days ago that some of my mineral photography had been selected to accompany an exhibit that the Hudson Valley Gem & Mineral Society will be holding. That was super exciting. Yesterday’s Silhouette has been featured in the Etsy Finds newsletter too. That was a cool moment.

Q:  What advice would you offer someone interested in getting involved with your area of interest?
Laura: To be able to peruse your personal passions as a career is wonderful thing, and there is nothing better than being your own boss, but with that said you have to remember to stay focused and determined. There is a direct correlation between how much effort you put into something and the success you see. Sometimes it takes a while to find your niche. If you are thinking of starting your own business, you can compare it to a sculptor starting out with a fresh block of stone. The perfected form is not going to appear overnight, rather it’s going to take many hours of fine tuning before you have something to show for your effort. Also, don’t be afraid to change. If one game plan isn’t working, try another…and another…and another, until you get your desired results.

Q:  What do you do when you’re not working on your shop…hobbies, career, family etc.? 
Laura: When I’m not working on my Etsy shops I’m a full time mother to my amazing two year-old daughter, Liberty. I also work as a freelance journalist/photographer for multiple local news publications. During the summer months I release my inner hippie and follow bands such as Further (the remaining members of The Grateful Dead) and Phish around the northeast area, and try to attend as many music festivals as possible.

Q:  Can we connect with you elsewhere online? (provide links to any social media or online destinations to connect with you and/or your business)

Laura: Sure can!
Yesterday’s Silhouette:

 Dumb Bunny Designs: