Lindsay Wisecup of House of Introspection creates intriguing mixed media jewelry and hair accessories that combine repurposed vintage findings with techniques such as beadweaving, etching, and resin. The Dallas resident recently talked with IndieMade about the benefits of keeping all aspects of her business — from jewelry making to teaching — on one website, and how social media has changed the world for small businesses.
What attracted you to your jewelry business?
Jewelry and accessories have always been my favorite part of fashion. Jewelry doesn’t have to fit just right or be worn in a particular season. It says a lot about a person’s personality because uniqueness never goes out of style.
In 2008, I found myself unemployed and needed something to keep me sane while looking for a job that didn’t involve sitting behind a desk. I was given a beading magazine and instantly got hooked. After exhausting the magazine aisles, I searched for local bead stores. I found a shop practically in my backyard! After three hours of inspecting what seemed to be every bead in the store, I was surprised to see a “Hiring” sign at the register. Although I had not been making jewelry for more than a few months, I was encouraged to apply. The Artful Bead is now my home and this has allowed me to educate myself in the best jewelry making techniques to apply to my own designs.
What piece of advice would you give someone just starting out in the jewelry business?
Be willing to learn some serious time management skills. As an artist, you love to create. However, if you’re a one-man show, some creative time will be sacrificed. For your business to succeed, it is necessary to learn marketing and networking skills, computer proficiency, and how to promote yourself.
Besides on your website, where do you sell your stuff?
House of Introspection is in a few Dallas boutiques and gift stores, including Ten Of Arts. I also do several local handmade indie shows in the spring and fall.
Why did you decide to expand beyond Etsy?
I started selling on Etsy in 2009, and things have changed a lot since then. Not only with my business, but how Internet sales and marketing work. I wanted a more professional feel and cohesiveness to my brand that allowed me to interact with customers and not just be another “shop” on Etsy.
How are you promoting your business online?
Social media has changed the way society communicates. This has made a lot of traditional marketing techniques irrelevant. I am constantly learning to change with the newest technology to stay connected. All available social media avenues like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. should be integrated into promoting your business.
Social media is key to staying in touch with customers. Their feedback is important and you can learn a lot by doing a little research. I always follow up with my customers via email to make sure they’re happy with their purchases.
Do you blog?
I’ll admit I’m not the best at blogging. I do enjoy writing but I can’t seem to get it into my head that it IS OK to just write small, informative, and frequent posts. I’m working on that.
Why did you decide to try IndieMade?
I had tried both Blogger and Wordpress. It seemed as though I was always having to tweak something every time I wanted to add new content. IndieMade integrated my store, blog, class calendar, and social media connections all into one place.
What is your favorite part of using IndieMade? Do you have any tips for new users?
IndieMade has provided a professional place to build my brand. Highly customizable, but not overwhelmingly so, it has allowed me to put forth a strong online presence. After two days of playing around with my free trial, I knew I had made a good choice.
Connect to all social media avenues you have available to you. Take it slow and perfect one page at a time before moving on to the next. Sometimes, simple is better.
What's on the horizon for your business?
I am always looking for new ways to repurpose everyday objects into art jewelry. Metalwork still calls to me the most. I would like to see House of Introspection combining more beadweaving techniques with metalwork because of the visual textures they can create together. Teaching and working for The Artful Bead has become a great inspiration because the success and excitement I see in my students is contagious.