I am so pleased to share this interview with you today!  I’m also pleased to count the lovelyJess Van Den of Epheriell Designsand *bespoke* zineas my friend and role model.  She graciously gave so much wisdom and encouragement in her interview that I know you’re going to love it, and her!

In case some people don’t know about your amazing jewelry lines and magazine, would you mind giving them a little peek into what lovely things you create?

I’ve love to! I’m first and foremost a silversmith – I create modern, sleek sterling silver jewellery using recycled metal under the labelEpheriell. Jewellery was the thing that got me started on this amazing journey, and I’m so happy to have achieved a modicum of success with that aspect of my business!

I’m also afull-time blogger, and in mid-2010 I decided I wanted to curate a zine about creative and crafty people. Hence,*bespoke* zinewas born, and the 5th Issue (in print and digital) came out this December just gone. I love providing a place where people can share their passions and their creations!

Your business consists of many different parts, from two lines of jewelry to a business blog to a magazine.  Do you find that helps you have constant revenue despite the seasons?  Is it hard to manage them all?

Absolutely – it’s the old ‘never put all your eggs in one basket’ situation. When my jewellery business slows down at certain times of the year, I can spend more time working on other aspects of my business to bring in more revenue.

And yes – it does definitely get hard to manage them all sometimes. Thankfully, I have an amazing stay-at-home husband who also does my book-keeping (BIG load off there) and so I have a lot of time to devote to the business. One of my core goals for 2012 was to space out my jewellery line launches, *bespoke* launches, and new ebooks/ecourses so that I am sure of having good solid revenue all year.

You have come such a long way since you started your business.  At any point were you worried it wouldn’t work?  And what helped you push on to get where you are today?

Hmm, I kinda fell into this as a full-time gig accidentally, so by the time it was taking off it was almost a happy accident!

I won’t give you the long story, but in short, I had some health problems in 2010 (which prevented my husband and I from going on our dream round-Australia campervan trip). I was at home, and a bored Jess is an unhappy Jess, so I threw myself headlong into what had – up until that point – just been a hobby, and after working a few months of 14-16 hour days (driven by passion and the amazing thrill I got every time a sale came in) I had turned it into a viable full-time thing.

So, I’ve never had to go back to work, and my business is growing every month. And no, we still haven’t gone on the round-Oz trip, though we’ve done some pretty good chunks of it!

You’re amazing at social media.  How did you grow such an interactive following?

Time, consistency, passion, fun, being helpful, being useful, and ENJOYING it! Sometimes when I mention that I have over 4,400 followers on twitter, people go ‘oh wow, that’s SO many!’ but I always make the point that yep, it’s a decent number, but I’ve been on twitter since 2008, and I have grown my network authentically and slowly.

That is, I have never played the ‘follow people to get follow-back’s’ game, or any other tricksy way to build numbers. Quantity of followers is great, sure, but quality of interaction is paramount. To be frank – you have to care, you have to be a real person, and you have to be genuine. Do those things, and realise it won’t happen in the next 5 minutes, and you’ll be on your way.

You have a new course coming up,Crafty and Connected(which I’ll be reviewing on Monday!!), that’s even more intense (and more fun!) than your books,The Crafty Guide to TwitterandThe Crafty Guide to Facebook.  What will you be teaching?

LOTS!:DIt’s a 6-week interactive course that covers all the fundamental social media. I’ll be teaching my students about twitter and facebook, for sure, but we’ll also cover other media such as Pinterest, Flickr, StumbleUpon, and blogging (because blogging was the original social media, really). We’ll touch on a few others too – but we’ll also start off with the ‘why’ of social media – why it’s SO important for your business – so you start off on the right foot.

This course is made specifically for creative entrepreneurs – crafters, artists, photographers, bloggers etc – who want to build a full-time online business (or a booming side-business!). The great thing about this being a ‘live’ course is that we’ll have Q&A chats, where students can ask me all their burning social media questions, as well as a forum for students to interact and get to know each other!

Anyone who wants all the details can visit thecourse site, and the FAQ page, too.

Don’t forget to check out Jess’s blog,Epheriell Designs, to receive daily entrepreneurial advice!  And come back on Monday to see my review of her new social media course!