There’s nothing more thrilling than receiving the things you ordered online. When that package is cute handmade jewellery, it’s so much better.
Both Jess and I had been following Charmful Mermaid – aka Lena Gershevitch – on Tumblr for a while before we realised that she had an Etsy store. Finding it was like finding a hidden treasure.
The mark of any good online store is that for a good few minutes all we could do is scroll through it and sigh: “Oh, I want that one”. “Ooh, that one too!”, “Oh…It’s so pretty!”.
Only 17 years old, Lena has 289 sales this year and counting. We talked to her about the inspiration behind getting her store up and running.
“I loved making jewellery when I was younger but I never considered making money from it. From being on Tumblr I realised there’s a demand for jewellery for girls who like girls. I thought – hey, I can do that! I’m a gay girl who loves making necklaces. There’s a fantastic community on Tumblr that would be interested. I chose Etsy because it’s so easy to use and the marketplace is huge, and they are very devoted to handmade items and independent creators.”
The love for handmade jewellery by independent creators is a love that we share. Jess and I adore the idea that while we’re finding the perfect and unique accessory, the money we spend is going to a person who put in the time and effort to make everything perfect and shares the same values as we do.
“I want to make sure my store is an accessible place for girls who like girls and others who love jewellery too, and for it to be affordable – which is important to me. I source materials from local and independent sellers whenever I can and strive to give good customer support to everyone who buys or is interested in buying from my shop.”
Most of what Lena sources comes from Ebay or other independent sellers of jewellery materials and local shops.
“I also find some amazing findings on Etsy from shops that sell especially for jewellery makers”, she says.
“The biggest challenge for me was finding everything I needed. I started buying materials and setting up shop about 3 months before I opened. By the time I had everything I needed and I finally opened I was so excited and when I started selling items my motivation became even greater. From there I just kept thinking of more ideas for what I could create.”
Her favourite item to make? The double venus necklace.
“Every time I get an order of that necklace it makes me so happy – knowing there are girls out there celebrating their love of other girls. It brings me so much joy making them. I also enjoy making my mermaid scales bottles – all that glitter sure does make things messy but my table ends up such a pretty, glittery place it’s hard not to love it.”
Her inspiration comes a lot from current trends in jewellery, and keeping an eye on the market to predict what will sell.
“I spend a lot of time looking at jewellery stores online and in store at their pieces and what is selling well. I find ways to incorporate that into what I make and put a spin on it for my audience that I think they will like.”
That particular spin seems to be working well, and Charmful Mermaid boasts an overall five-star rating from her customers. We asked Lena what she sees her store going in the future.
“Hopefully very far! Every day I am coming up with more ideas of pieces I want to create and keep sketches of different designs. I have so many ideas and I can’t wait to see where they and Charmful Mermaid takes me in the future!”
Wherever you go Lena, your journey is going to be as magical as the mermaid scales bottle choker. We’ll be cheering you on while wearing the most stunning handmade jewellery we’ve ever seen.