"MEET the ARTISAN" is a blog series that spotlights Etsy New York Team artisans and their craft. In this feature, we learn more about Jenny, the creator of J. Topolski.
Q: What is J. Topolski? Can you briefly describe your business for us?
A: I create unique jewelry mostly inspired by animals, along with some urban landscapes. I work primarily by traditional acid-etching, wax-carving (by hand), metalsmithing, and with an eco-friendly resin. Everything is handmade in my studio.
Q: Some artisans develop their products to meet consumer needs, while others craft products based on things and/or experiences that inspire them. What is the inspiration behind your business?
A: I tend to create work that I am interested in, and that I believe is different than the other options in the marketplace. However, when an animal or theme is requested from me repeatedly, I try to find a way to go with the trend.
Q: Oftentimes, each artisan has a different strategy and objective for their business. What are the next steps for you and your business?
A: I have been introducing gemstones in a more major way, and that's main goal for this year. I have been using small stones to accent pieces for a while now, but I'm excited to start designing around some big rocks.
Q: Can you tell us some of the partners you have made? Retail stores where we can find your product?
A: I have work in the Harvard Museum of Natural History shop, The Brass Owl in Astoria, Better Than Jam in Bushwick, and Space Montrose in Houston, to name a few of my favorites. I also have a partnership with Urban Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitation (NYC's first mammal-focused wildlife rehab group), and a portion of profits from my squirrel necklaces go to them.
Q: As many artisans look to grow and further develop their businesses, do you have some advice that you can share with fellow artisans?
A: Set your business up properly at the beginning, instead of trying to backtrack and get organized as you become more successful. Figuring out sales tax, bookkeeping, licenses, etc. only becomes scarier as you get further behind.
Special thanks to Jenny for sharing with us! You can find her products showcased on her Etsy shop at www.jtopolski.etsy.com. You can find Jenny at her May 1st market event at Artrider at Lyndhurst. And, details of her special product GIVEAWAY are below. Please enter for your chance to win!
The GIVEAWAY this month from J. Topolski is a personalized 18" gold-filled chain with lobster clasp with a 1/2" brass locket and elephant charm!
Entry period ends at 11:59pm on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.