Poison Ivy Designs
Tell us about your business.I got started with holiday jewelry that my mom showed me from a home jewelry party that she had been to. I made a pair of swarovski crystal and sterling silver earrings for my mom. Then we went to a summer craft show and I saw the work of a local artist that I've never seen again, my mom and I both bought a piece of his and it's what encouraged me to do what I do now. To this day I haven't been able to figure how that guy made his pieces but I've developed my own style and it just keeps evolving. My business came to be in the throws of an unpleasant divorce when I found some items I had made in college and had no intentions of keeping for myself. I happened upon Etsy while searching for something one day, did some research on it and decided it wasn't a bad deal to give it a shot for a few months and see what happened. So I opened my Etsy shop with 5 crocheted scarves I made in college and started making jewelry very different from my current style and went from there.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.For the last 4 years my workspace was the coffee table in my parent's basement. Last year in May I finally got my own place and am still in process of rehabbing one of the bedrooms into my studio space. I started by painting it the brightest blue/Caribbean turquoise you could imagine and I LOVE it! I have already acquired a desk/work station top from a friend who rehabbed some flooring from an old automotive plant here in Detroit that's over 100 years old that I'm VERY excited about and got some shelving for organizational purposes. I plan on redoing the flooring with wood or tile rather than carpet and adding a bit of lighting over my desk. I can't wait till it's done and everything is organized again!
What inspires you?Everything! I mean that literally. Every time I turn around something is giving me a new idea. Evening gowns to knight's armor to leatherwork and other jewelry artist's work inspire me. Trees, flowers, even my pets!
What makes your business stand out?90% of what I make is one of a kind and you'll never see another piece exactly the same. Each piece has to meet my own quality standards and if it's not good enough for me then it's not good enough for me to sell and I have rather high standards.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?Just do it! Whatever it is a local craft fair, Etsy shop, website, Facebook shop, or just making some things for friends or family. You never know what could happen, just jump in head first and don't look back, some of the best and most exciting things happen when you don't really think about it.
What does American Made mean to you?American made means the heart and soul of a company or individual went into the process of making whatever the end product is. When you buy american made you keep our economy moving.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 9, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.Vote now
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
Join us for our annual event in New York City.Buy tickets now