Sunday, 4 March 2012

Featured Business: Perfect Imperfections

Today Caroline Haniak shares her experience of running Perfect Imperfections, a beautiful jewellery store on Etsy

What is your mission for Perfect Imperfections?

Perfect Imperfections mission is to provide unique and creative homemade jewellery but also share my passion for Macrame and Tatting. Macrame is the technique I use to make my bracelets which are popularly known as Friendship Bracelets. I am also experimenting with a dying art of lace making called Tatting and hopefully raising it’s profile.

Tell me more about Perfect Imperfections on Etsy.

Knotted Friendship Bracelet
Perfect Imperfections was inspired by a quote from an American Philosopher – Sam Keen. “Love isn't finding a perfect person. It's seeing an imperfect person perfectly.” I felt this was true of homemade products. My jewellery isn’t made by machines and therefore will not be ‘perfect’ but what is special about my jewellery is that it is unique. You fall in love with an item and you love it perfectly.

Despite my love for crafts spanning a lifetime, Perfect Imperfections is a new venture for me. I have only been open since November 2011, on Etsy, and I have taken my time populating my shop with items that inspire me and hopefully will inspire others. My jewellery is generally for casual wear however Tatted items look so elegant and dramatic that they would be suitable for those times you need something extra special to stand out in.

Friendship bracelets traditionally are supposed to be worn till they literally break and fall off you. You make a wish when you tie them on and when they fall off your wish will come true. They are made by tying small knots in embroidery thread, in different ways, with different colours. The technique takes a lot of patience and time but the end results look amazing. I’ve also added clasps and chains on to some of my friendship bracelets, for those who prefer removable bracelets. You can take them off when you want and mix and match colours in the way you want to.

Who do you target your products at?

Friendship bracelets are adored by young people and teenagers. You can swap them, share them, wear loads at the same time or just one or two. They make lovely, bright, colourful presents for friends. However it’s not only young people who like wearing these unique bracelets. The clasp finish appeals to most people who like to change their jewellery regularly and match it with outfits. My tatted jewellery gives an air of vintage sophistication with a modern twist. These items appeal to people who love Victorian fashion and have a love for lace (like me!!).

Why should people buy your products?

Sea Blue Ankara Friendship Bracelet

Jewellery from Perfect Imperfections is intricate in its detail and a long time is spent making each piece. The friendship bracelets are made with high quality Anchor Embroidery Thread and the colours are chosen carefully for each pattern. I am also interested in making custom jewellery for people. I love the idea of owning something that was created just for me and I want to give that feeling to others. I work closely with customers to make sure I create a piece that they will love perfectly.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m 24 years old and live in Manchester, England. I have experimented with different crafts from a very young age. My Mum always encouraged us to be creative and most of my fondest childhood memories involve paint, glitter and glue!! When I got a bit older one of my family members owned a small craft shop and I was mesmerized by the colours of the embroidery thread and the intricate designs of cross stitch patterns. I took up cross stitching and tapestry and created some lovely wall art, but I didn’t come across Macrame until a few years ago when a friend showed me how to make a small friendship bracelet. Since then I’ve been hooked! It’s a great way of relaxing for me and I get a lot of enjoyment out of making each piece. My recent find is Tatting and if it wasn’t for getting involved with the Esty community I may not have ever known about it. I have always had a thing for lace and to now be designing and creating my own is utterly thrilling for me. My tatting collection will be growing and growing so watch this space!

How do you build relationships with your customers?

I have recently set up my Facebook page and have been using it not only to promote myself but also share other unique and inspiring crafts from Etsy. Personally I can be a fussy buyer and what really helps me is being able to talk to the seller before I make my purchase and that is what I can offer anyone looking to purchase from my shop. I love getting feedback and critiques because I can then really begin to improve things and strive for that perfection. I am also very active in the Etsy community and try to share and pick up as much advice as possible. Outside of Etsy I am part of the international friendship bracelet community and we share our experiences as well as our products on a regular basis.

How and where do you promote your products?
For the time being I use Facebook and Etsy to promote my shop. I believe in Karma though and the more I support other people on Etsy and their wonderful talents, the more support I will get from them. If I treat my customers well and engage their interest they will continue to support me.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?

Woven Macrame Friendship Bracelet
The one thing I love about the homemade jewellery I offer is the patterns. It often feels like magic, that making tiny knots in embroidery thread can result in a magnificent, intricate pattern, and better still you can wear them as statements on your wrists. I love the process of making each item and I spend a lot of time with each piece making sure that whoever it’s meant for is truly happy.


What is the best resource that you use and would recommend to others?

The best resource that has really helped me set up my shop in the last few months has been the Etsy Community. My advice for anyone with a shop on Etsy would be to join some of the teams and speak to those who are successful or well established. Their advice is priceless and it has and will continue to help me.

To find out more about Perfect Imperfections and to stay up to date with news and offers, take a look at the store's facebook page.