Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Featured Artist - Andrea Mitchell, AlyxAndreaDesign

I'm so pleased to introduce you to Andrea Mitchell, of AlyxAndreaDesign. Her jewelry is so intuitive, it leaves you thinking "why didn't I think of that?", yet deep inside you know you could not create a similar design if you tried. Enjoy!

I live in a small town in southern WI and work full-time at a homeless shelter in Madison.  I have always enjoyed crafts but it was difficult for me to find time while raising my daughter and working two jobs which is generally necessary when a person works in social services.  Now that my daughter is 12 I was looking for a way for us to spend more time together so we started playing around with different crafts.  We found making jewelry with beads and ribbon was a lot of fun and allowed us to really experiment with a wide variety of beads, colors and designs.  We quickly had more necklaces than we could ever have use for so we thought we may be able to try and sell them.  I had heard of Etsy and decided to give it a try.  I opened my Etsy store in October 2012 and realized there was a lot I needed to learn and it was not easy.  I’ve had a lot of help from the Promotional Frenzy Team on Etsy and I am very slowly starting to get the hang of on-line selling and promoting.

Polka Dot Ribbon and Bead Necklace
I’m not really sure where my creativity comes from.  I generally start by staring blankly at my supplies.  I pick up different beads, ribbons and pendants and put them back and pick up different ones until an idea strikes me.    

After my daughter and I started making a few necklaces I thought I might try to sell some online because there was no need for us to have so much jewelry just for ourselves.  The shop name comes from our names: Alyx (daughter) + Andrea (mom) + love for making beautiful jewelry = AlyxAndrea Design. My husband happens to be a multi-media designer so he designed my logo and banner.

Heart Pendant Necklace
I had also reached out to a local business that was just starting out called Art Market in Edgerton WI ( and the owner agreed to sell my jewelry for an incredibly low consignment rate.

My original design was inspired by a tutorial on Pinterest which used one type of bead and one ribbon that were woven in a very simple design. The closest thing in my shop is this necklace, except imagine it with just the grey pearls and not the purple tear drops. 

Glass Pearl Beaded Necklace
I took this idea and ran with it.  I use many different kinds of beads and mix and match them to come up with different designs.  I have experimented with different ways of using the ribbon and I very quickly moved past the simple one bead one ribbon design I saw on Pinterest. 

Tri-Colored Leaf Pendant Necklace

I often search Etsy and other on-line retailers and I can honestly say I have never come across anyone who makes jewelry quite like I do. 

Very shortly after I started out, I was posting pictures and links to all of my jewelry on Facebook and I was so excited to show it off.  A colleague of mine sent me a message telling me how awful my jewelry was and that it should be on Regretsy.  I cried and cried then made this necklace.  I wore it the next day and held my head high because I thought it was gorgeous. 

Pink and Turquoise Bead and Ribbon Necklace
Like everyone else in the creative world I still doubt myself on occasion but at the end of the day I’m really proud of myself and my creations. 

I am very open to custom orders and will do my best to work with people to create a piece based on their desired colors, designs etc. I am willing to also go outside my current product line.  The few hairbands I have were actually inspired by a custom order for a hairband when there was not yet one listed in my shop.   My tag-line is “Every Design One of a Kind” but I am willing to create multiples of one design to be used for bridal parties or any other reason someone may wish to have matching jewelry.

Beaded Ribbon Collar Necklace
All of the ready made, one-of-a-kind pieces available on Etsy ship within 1-2 business days but I do not have a set policy for custom orders.  Based on conversations with the customer I would need to find out if I need to purchase additional supplies to make the order but I can typically make something and have it ready to ship within 2-3 business days.  I promptly respond to all correspondence so that I can make sure that products are ready to be shipped quickly and to the customer’s satisfaction.

Outside of Etsy, I have worked in social services for 15 years and currently work Full-time as a Case Manager for a homeless shelter serving single women.  I also facilitate cognitive intervention groups as a contractor for the WI Department of Corrections.  Making jewelry has been a great way for me to relax and take my mind off of these very stressful positions.

Paper Beaded Necklace
Andrea has offered the following special to our readers:

Please use coupon code “DLBLOG” to receive 15% your purchase.  Offer expires on 7/31/13.

Andrea can also be found here:

Art Market
4 E. Fulton St
Edgerton WI 53534

Click here!

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