Welcome to our first non-member artisan, Sholeh Mesbah, who can be found on Etsy at her store ZEBA. And, thank you to Teresa Rusk for forwarding her information, so that she could be featured.
Here is a little bit of information on Sholeh. I had a hard time picking out what I wanted to put on this page. And if you will go to her site on Etsy, you will have the same problem! [http://zeba.etsy.com]
What inspired you to create the business you own?
After designing and making jewelry for a year or so, I run into two problems:
1) I did not know what to do with the all the pieces I had made. Even though I was giving them away as gifts to my friends and family, I still had a lot more than I could handle.
2) The second problem was the cost of materials.
That is when my daughter told me about Etsy. So I checked it out and it took me six months to get ready to start my online shop. Most of the time went into picking a name and writing my bio.
How long have you been designing jewelry? Do you design any components of the jewelry you make?
For four years, I started in 2006. Some of my pieces are 100% my design, from forming the metal or the chain to the handmade clasp and some are a combination of my original designs and store bought components. Sometimes, it is more economical, time wise, to buy a part or a finding in the store.
Do you feel an emotional connection with the designs you create?
I think all artists look at their creations as their off spring (LOL). Some pieces are dearer to me than others, but they all make me proud. I always have mixed feeling when I sell a piece.
What types of materials do you use to create your designs?
Currently, I am using sterling silver, gold filled and copper metals as well as geodes, agate slices, point crystals, all kinds of beads and cabochons. I am always looking for new materials and how to use them. My next step is to learn, polymer clay, precious metal clay and resin.
Do you feel that each of your creations expresses a certain part of you?
I am a Piscean and my zodiac symbol is two fish swimming the opposite way. Just like the Fish I like to be able to flow in and out of clothing with ease and I love comfortable clothing. This preference can be seen in all my pieces, I will not make a piece of jewelry that is uncomfortable. My pieces tend to be practical first, trendy second. Pisceans love new sensations; I think that is why you find very distinct styles of jewelry in my shop. You can see the Pisceans love of luxury in my choice of materials and designs.
My pieces definitely represent my personal style. I like sophisticated and luxurious yet bold, colorful, organic and unusual designs.
Have you ever won awards or been published in a magazine or book, or asked to join any type of organization overseeing information distributed to the public?
Not yet, I have not been able to enter in any contests yet.
What is a typical day in your life like?
I am IT professional but since I was laid off nine months ago, I pretty much spent my day working on my jewelry and my online business. I spend the morning online, listing new items (if I have any) renewing, marketing, promoting, advertising, checking what is happening on Etsy, and so forth. Early afternoon, my husband (who is also laid off) and I go for an hour or so walk. Currently, I am working on putting together a catalog, so I spend three hours or so on that and the rest goes to either making new pieces or taking pictures. People don’t believe me when I say this is a full time and half job.
Do you ever deal with Stress, Fatigue or Fear during working on a project?
Usually I deal with frustration trying to bring my designs to life. A lot of times, it takes many trials to learn a new technique or create a new design. I especially hate it when a problem happens right when I think I am done with the piece. When that happens, I have to leave the project and come back the next day to finish it.
Would you design jewelry again if you had a choice? If Not, why?
Definitely, the design possibilities and materials are unlimited. I think I can spend the rest of my life learning new techniques and there will still be a lot more that I can learn.
What advice would you give to other women who are afraid to take that step toward making their dream happen?
I say, “Rome was not built in a day”. Go for it. Jump in with both feet. If you fall, get up and try again. If you like doing what you do, taking your passion public is the next step. I understand you feel vulnerable and think what if no one likes it. I say, don’t worry about it; try again and again until you get it right.
How would you advise them to stay on track so they maintain a healthy outlook?
Stay positive. There will be hard times when you feel you are invisible, when that happens go to your studio and start a project you always wanted to start. The feeling of accomplishment will keep you on track. Keep telling yourself, things will get better; “There is always sunshine after the rain”.
What other types of businesses or Hobbies are you involved in?
My profession is IT (information technology) project manager, I am also a painter, stained glass artist and have dabbed into mosaics. My husband and I are both do-it-yourselfers and have done all of our home repairs and remodeling ourselves. And in the summer time, I am gardening and growing vegetables.
What do you advise about keeping it balanced?
“Do not put all your eggs in one basket”. Be involved in multiple things, exercise, spend time with family and friends and above all take care of your health. A lot of times when I feel I have exhausted my creative side, changing activities brings me new ideas.
Here are some of the beautiful jewelry designs I found on Sholeh's site ZEBA. I know you will want to check out her whole site once you see these designs.