Sunday, March 13, 2011

Roslyn Broder of Red Ava Designs

I came across Roslyn Broder of Red Ava Designs, at the Handmade Market last month, and she has recently begun metalsmithing jewelry. She's a good example of someone taking a craft and applying a professional designer's skills to the products, and to the self-marketing she has developed.

Tell me a bit about the things you've been making and selling...
Well, I started a little over a year ago, just doing beads and wire - I taught myself how to do it. I work as a graphic designer, and my work wasn't super busy, and I had this idea I wanted to do a craft -

Did this coincide with the economic slump, by chance?
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. And I really liked making the bead and wire jewelry - it's very therapeutic. So then I decided to try the metalsmithing, and now I can do more elaborate things.

So you have your graphic design work, but do you live partially off of jewelry yet?
A little bit, I'm not making enough yet. I couldn't live off this right now.

Do you aspire to do this for a living?
I would love to do it. I set this goal, that for the first year I would see if I could just do it, learning how to do it - especially with metalsmithing, because there's a lot involved. And then for the second year, to see if I can make money doing it. There's definitely people doing jewelry for a living, but I enjoy graphic design work, and will always continue doing that.

What do you like most about being a maker?
I don't know, I've always liked making things. It's in your blood.

What do you think is most unaffordable to get as an Indie Maker?
I think being able to afford supplies. They can get expensive, especially silver. If I didn't have access to the tools in my metals class, then it will get very expensive if I have to buy those. That would be difficult.

What turned out to be easy or cheap to get? 
Actually my metalsmithing class turned out to be a good deal.

Is there something you would do, if you had more time, money or resources?
I would spend more time making things.

What do you think prevents alot of makers from being self-sufficient?
I think alot of people just can't afford to do this. I think if I didn't have some other sources of income, I wouldn't be able to take the time to start a business.

What kind of things or services do you wish existed to help makers become self-sufficient?
Insurance is a big thing. I don't know if the new health insurance initiatives are going to come to fruition. More help for getting a one-person business up off the ground. There's nothing like that, and there's so many people doing crafts. A friend of mine was living in Germany as an independent filmmaker, and she could make a living doing that there, but she couldn't do it here.

You can find Red Ava Designs here:

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