Wednesday, January 26, 2011

FEATURED SELLER: Extrano - Monika

Monika is the owner of Extrano - an Etsy store specializing in beaded jewelry products and also tutorials on how to make your own products, just like hers. 

Tell us bit about yourself

I live in Poland, in a small city near Warsaw with my husband and 3 lovely children, two daughters and a son. I am a real "beadaholique" although I explain it to myself saying that I am not obsessed but I am focused:)

Apart from creating, what do you do?

As my son is just one year old, I am a full time mother at this time, helping my husband to run his business. I used to work as a financial advisor, advising on big mergers, acquisitions and other big deals. Am I going to do it again? Who knows?

What first made you want to become an artist?

Frankly speaking I have never planned to choose an artistic profession (ok, for a while, as little girl, I wanted to be a dress-maker). And I did not. But all the time, when I was young and when I grew up, I was knitting, sewing, gluing. I made my first piece of jewelry when I was 16, and you don't want to know what supplies I have used then (really disgusting, but i still have that necklace). Years later, 3 years ago, I discovered a jewelry photo forum, on-line bead shops, visited shops in Barcelona with wonderful handmade items. All that made me thinking about jewelry making. I tried many techniques but finally I focused on bead-weaving with its endless possibilities for creating beautiful, eye-catching jewelry our of small, inconspicuous seed beads, tiny gemstones and sterling silver.

Describe your creative process.

I'll let you in on two of my secrets:

1.      I bead in my mind, everywhere, during everyday activities (cooking, cleaning, fitness), choose stitch, main bead, colors of seed beads, and then without any hesitation transfer it into reality if only I have free evening. Being good at math, especially at geometry, really helps while beading in mind:)
2.      Many of my most popular designs were formed while playing with beads, using old, well known patterns. WHAT IF? seems to be the most important issue in my beading. What if....I change the number of beads, their size, colour, order etc.

What advice would you give to other artists on Etsy?

“Do what you love and you will never work” said one famous man and he was completely right.

What does your day looks like

Third child makes a big difference, believe me... I usually was well-organized, always on time, etc. Now, I am late all the time, still looking for something that is needed immediately, trying to find a few moment for myself, my husband and for beading. I hope it is going to get better soon.

How do you promote?

Here on Etsy I sell mainly tutorials for beadwoven jewelry (Beadwoven Treasure series) so I mainly promote through being a part of beading communities around the world. Within few months my project will be published in Beadwork, most famous magazine for people interested in beadweaving. I believe it makes my designs more recognizable.
I rarely promote ready-to-wear jewelry as I mainly sell through galleries that make most of their own marketing.

Your favorite seller and products on Etsy

It is hard to indicate just one or even few sellers I admire on Etsy. So many wonderful items, so little time... Very rarely I spend my free time looking at other beadweavers shops (especially those from Etsy Beadweavers Team like myfairladyvt4, MoreThanSomewhat, CieloDesign,  Trytobe and many others)  just admiring their wonderful creations.

If you'd like to find out more about Monika and her beautiful bead work, check out her website and follow her on facebook


  1. Gorgeous works!
    Congratulations on finding the time for your passion :)

    Me [mother of two ;)]

  2. interesting interview and is nice to discover new shop!

  3. I'm happy: getting know new Poletsians are always nice adventure :)

  4. Thank you for sharing!
    Love your work, jewelry is stunning!

  5. pretty creations! thank you for sharing :)
    ps. I like this expression of being "focused" :D


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