13 June 2011

A Portrait of The Artist: Jazzies & Lilies



A Portrait of The Artist is presenting Glenn Ricasa - a self taught jewelry designer in the Bay Area of California. With a dream to start her own business with designs handmade by her, she decided to create Jazzies & Lilies Designs in 2009, named after her daughter Jasmine, the Jazz Dancer, and her favorite flowers, Stargazer Lilies.

a Lil’Jazz, also named after Jasmine, is her first line of jewelry, which features a range of designs to fit any personality from a funky, chic look to a sophisticated style. Glenn invests a lot of time and dedication towards her passion to have her customers feel fabulous and beautiful accessorizing with a Lil’Jazz.


Tell us a little bit about yourself. How is your family supporting you in your handmade business?
I am a stay at home mother of an 8 year old daughter hoping to have more children one day. I love to travel and spend quality time with my husband and daughter, go shopping with my sisters and mother, and eat out at different restaurants. 

My family is very supportive in different ways. My mother, my teenage niece and sisters give me design critiques and quality assurance advice. My father and husband would send out my packages if needed. But most of all, my husband has provided me the opportunity to stay at home to live out my dreams while he works. I am truly grateful for all of their support!  
a Lil' Best Friends
How did you start making jewelry?
One day I went to the mall and  saw a piece of jewelry that I wanted to buy, but it was too expensive. I told my husband that I was just going to make my own jewelry. I wanted to prove to him that I was capable of making jewelry, and I did by making my first Wire Wrapped Pearl Ring. I showed it to the rest of my family, and they were very excited about it. My sister decided to sell my jewelry at her school at an affordable price, and it was quite a hit. That's when I decided that I need to open a shop on Etsy.

What is your greatest inspiration? Can you introduce us to your creative process?
My inspiration for my Jewelry Designs is my love for Fashion! Every time I go to the mall, look through fashion magazines or just think about fashion, I get a whole lot of ideas rushing through my mind. I don't draw pictures, and I rarely write down my ideas. I just create them by hand from the image I've designed in my mind. This is why my designs are unique and one of a kind. Since my designs are all handmade, not one piece of jewelry will be the exact same.
a Lil' Believe in Music


How long after you came up with the idea for your jewelry did you set up an etsy shop?
I signed up for an etsy shop, but it took me almost a year to start listing items. I really needed a confidence booster and the motivation to do so, and that's when I started a blog on Tumblr. The support from my followers and other bloggers, who featured my items, gave me the confidence that I needed to start selling my designs at my shop. Last month, I reached over 100 sales! It's quite a milestone for my business.

How is your work eco-friendly? Do you put efforts to be sustainable?
I use copper wire, metal wire and metal chains that are all recyclable. All my shipping supplies as well are either from recyclable material and/or recyclable. I always make sure my wires or any materials that aren't being used anymore are being recycled.

For my future business in clothing, I plan on using old clothes and upcycle it into new clothes just like I do with some of my jewelry designs. I use old jewelry to create new jewelry, three in particular that are listed at my shop, a Lil' Silver Roses Two Finger Ring, Bracelet, and Necklace Designs.
a Lil' Infinite Love



Where do you see yourself creatively in 5 years?
In the future, I plan to open my own boutique in the Bay Area of California. I will definitely have an Accessories Line and a Clothing Line within Jazzies & Lilies Designs. Additionally, I will continue to expand my a Lil'Jazz Jewelry Line.

What is your current favorite item from another etsy seller?
I love Fashion, especially clothing. So right now my favorite would have to be this dress. I actually favorite her shop! Love mostly all her dresses! It's very inspiring and I would love to one day sew my own clothes and later on sell my handmade clothes as well.

Follow along with Glenn from Jazzies & Lilies

Etsy Shop: http://www.jazziesandlilies.etsy.com
Blog: http://aliljazz.tumblr.com

You can check out other editions of A Portrait of The Artist here