Where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself.I am a New Florixan. I know you are wondering what that means, because I did indeed make it up! I was born and raised in Florida but now reside in New Mexico, which I refer to as my home. The smell of roasting green chiles in August, the mountain in my back yard that is my playground, and the eclectic traditions of the various cultures are all things that make me smile. It is inevitable that a piece of Florida still lives with me, mostly the fear of sea creatures I can’t see when I swim in the ocean and the rocket launches from Cape Canaveral. Which brings me to the next important fact, I am an aerospace engineer during the day time. I am proof that some engineers do have an artistic side, but on the contrary I analyze everything to death!
My shop is rather simple. CNJ is a combination of initials from myself and my husband: with mine being first, his being second, and ours being last. Then of course, ceramics is what I sell. Honestly, my husband (an engineer as well) is my secret helper, he makes a lot of my ideas work, not to mention he loads my kiln. The least I could do was give him a bit of the name, even if it is only 10%.
I started my business from peer pressure really. I made all of the vases for the centerpieces at my wedding reception, along with our cake topper and even the guest favors. My guest asked if they could take these things home for home décor to which I gladly obliged. I received so many compliments on the pieces I made which included the peer pressure to begin to sell them. Everyone was super supportive in making sure my hobby would become a product (particularly my Dad, who is very successful entrepreneur and the source of all my business advice).
First and foremost, I am a mother to a marvelous son; honestly, he is the most rewarding part of my life, he gives me a reason to wake up happy every morning! Second, I love to travel and it can be anywhere and by any means; I am not picky. I live for the experience (and luckily I can be a mother simultaneously)! If I could travel non-stop and still have means to an end, I would.
Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why?Ask me again in a month and it probably will have changed, but right now I am in love with my Terracotta Night and Day Luna Bowl. It is a little piece of me! The piece is a combination of my work and my travels, not to mention it is functional.
What keeps you motivated?My forever revolving brain! I have so many ideas in there for new products that I need to let out; now if only I could buy more time.
If you could give a piece of advice to a new shop - what would it be?You can’t be successful if you never start! By this I mean, don’t wait until “everything” is perfect to get your shop up and running. In the engineering world, your Etsy shop would be known as a spiral process: develope, plan, analysis, evaluate and repeat! Go ahead post your products, right now. Even if you think your pictures are only mediocre or you think your product descriptions are lame, these things are all easily changed, and you will eventually discover that they will evolve. People can’t LOVE your products if you aren’t listing them.
Are there other places on the net we can find you?Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Clay-Space/159523937431433