Introduce Yourself: Hello! My name is Wanda Fraser and I live in Regina Saskatchewan. My daughter Kyla and I are the creators of LaraBella Jewelry Design. We are a mother and daughter team who values artistic creativity and individuality. We strive to offer high quality unique products women will love to wear.
Kyla leads a very busy life as a full time primary school teacher and a part time designer and creator with LaraBella.
LaraBella is my full time job and I do it all: jewelry design and creation, photography, marketing, shipping, and administration.
We both love what we do. Working out of a home studio we are always looking to offer the best in new artistic designs along with an exceptional customer experience.
What is the name of your shop? We are called LaraBella Jewelry Design. About two years ago my daughter Kyla and I decided to open an online jewelry store on Etsy. We both agreed that we wanted a descriptive name, one that would clearly communicate the products we were selling. We also wanted the name to be meaningful by paying tribute to something or someone we hold dear.
For weeks we exchanged ideas back and forth via email, phone calls and text. Kyla settled on the name Laurel, as in the laurel leaf. This leaf symbolizes many things: creative inspiration, eternal youth, immortality and victorious achievements just to name a few. I certainly loved the symbolism.
I however, was hoping to use the name Sarah to pay homage to my grandmother who courageously uprooted her life (and family) from their home in Ireland in hopes to start a new and better life in Canada.
And so we combined the names Laurel and Sarah to Lara. We then added the word Bella (which is Italian for beautiful) as homage to all women and to recognize that every woman possesses her own unique beauty.
How long have you been doing your craft? After retiring from a communications role in the corporate world, I was looking for a way to leverage my life long passion of artistic creativity (such as photography and design) into a business. “LaraBella Jewelry Design” has allowed me to blend together my creative abilities and business skills into a labour of love.
How did you get started? I took an early retirement in 2013 but knew I did not want to actually retire. My goal was to start my own business doing something I loved. Kyla suggested I look at opening a shop on Etsy and so it began. Together with Kyla, and a business plan in hand we took the leap. We opened our shop on October 13, 2014 with only 20 items on our virtual shelves. A little over a year later we have over 135 items and have successfully expanded our revenue stream to include selling at local markets. Our most recent event, the Holiday Bazaart at the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, was one of the highlights of our first season.
What do you like about selling on Etsy? I believe Etsy is like no other e-commerce site on-line today. As a seller I feel that am part of a larger community with the ability to sell my products worldwide.
I also feel that, as a seller, I am not alone within my selling community. The support one can get by joining any of the many Etsy seller teams is absolutely invaluable. Etsy itself supports me by offering a plethora of valuable learning tools, and with the many informative and helpful articles available on their site.
I also enjoy the control I have when creating my personal storefront. The use of my own photography and graphics allows me to build my brand and show the world who I am as a seller.
What brought you to Etsy? Etsy was a good fit for me. It allows sellers a more personal approach to selling online and it was relatively easy to get started.
Etsy was fairly new to Canada when I first started building my business but it was definitely on the lips of everyone I knew. Without a doubt Etsy was where I wanted my online business to be.
What's been your best Etsy experience? In September 2015 LaraBella Jewelry Design participated in the Etsy Made in Canada Event. I loved the opportunity to meet many of the other local sellers and to meet face to face with our customers. Knowing that this event was also happening on the same day in cities all across Canada gave me the feeling of being part of something big. It was a great feeling.
Another great Etsy experience for me was when I made my first overseas sale. This sale was to a young lady on the other side of the globe (Hong Kong). Communicating in different languages (and different time zones) certainly had its challenges. This young lady has since become a repeat customer so I do believe we did all right!
Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your shop or yourself? Personally I have always believed it’s important to give back to the community whenever possible. That’s why LaraBella is proud to sponsor ShelterBox Canada by donating 5% from the profit of each sale to this remarkable organization.
ShelterBox Canada responds to disasters around the world and provides emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies to help families trying to survive in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.
If you would like to learn more about ShelterBox Canada we invite you to click on the following link: http://www.shelterboxcanada.org
At LaraBella we know that life is about creating yourself. Let our unique line of jewelry reflect who you are.
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