This week The Spare Room Project is proud to feature Ally Morcom of Inyeri Designs. Ally creates captivating pieces of jewelry that blend wirework, beads, and artistic sensitivity with a fantastical element all their own, for her “shop of reflections” on Etsy.
Ally’s experience is a perfect example of what The Spare Room Project is all about. She’s taken the initiative to begin and sustain a creative effort in a minimal physical space, and it’s paying off – her business is beginning to pay for itself as her artistic vision connects with a wider audience. She gave us an intimate look at where her designs come from and how she brings them to life for her customers:
Three things she said in this interview stuck out as ways to approach growing a business on Etsy.
1. Don’t be afraid to express yourself.
There’s no small risk in giving a piece of your creativity to the world; it makes you vulnerable, and that’s frightening. Even the name of Ally’s business springs from something very personal, and every piece she makes has its own character. But the rewards are worth the risk. You can’t connect with an audience if they know nothing about you. The Etsy community especially loves to see individualism and personality from its members. “My hope is that when a person finds something that is the kind of beauty that speaks to them,” Ally says, “They’re finding a reflection of themselves in me.” That connection reflects back from the audience to the creator. “It’s a very beautiful thing to be known, and to feel like someone out there understands you, if only in small part,” she says. Art should be a kind of give and take with its audience.
2. Take the initiative to study and learn other skills.
Ally’s Etsy shop couldn’t take off until she could show her pieces to the world, and that meant learning some hard lessons about photography. “The first time I went to photograph anything it did take me about two and a half hours,” she remembers, “Mostly because I didn’t have an understanding of lighting, or color cast, or anything like that.” But she continued to put effort into creating high-quality photos of her work, and it’s made all the difference in the growth and loyalty of her audience.
If you find that achieving your creative goals requires a skill you don’t already have, don’t shy away from it just because it wasn’t what you set out to do. Embrace that new challenge as an opportunity to expand your potential.
3. Take the time to reorganize.
The Spare Room Project is built on the idea that creativity can happen in surprisingly small spaces. But for that to happen, you have to maintain that space. “If I allow things to just kind of explode everywhere, then yes, it could take a lot of space,” Ally notes. “So about once a week I go through and I put everything away, and sort of reorganize myself.” Your creativity can only succeed if you commit a space to it, and that commitment is ongoing.
If this article taught you something, take the time to let Ally know on her Esty shop or at the Inyeri Designs Facebook page (don’t forget to Pin her beautiful jewelry from the Inyeri Designs website!). And leave a comment telling us what you’ve learned about creative entrepreneurship, on Etsy or otherwise!