Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Etsy Shop Feature: Koolnecks Accessories

Today's interview is with Sheena, the owner of Koolnecks Accessories on Etsy. She creates and sells beautiful jewelry and is working on getting her first sale on Etsy! Learn more about Sheena and her shop below, and go check out all the amazing things she has available! Click on the pictures to be taken to her listings.

Hello! Tell me a little about yourself!
I am Sheena, the owner, designer, creator and imagination behind Koolnecks Accessories. I have always loved nature – animals, flowers, and the beauty that comes with everything that is not manmade. I was born in Barbados, which I will always call “home”. Being close to the beautiful crystal blue waters and warm sand is how I spent my earliest days. I am married to a great guy, who is also an artist (drawing and graphic design). We have the “four legged children” LOL, one dog, a little mini doxie named Willow and a Desert Box turtle, named Kauai. I love reading, relaxing, going to the beach and of course, creating what I term “artsy stuff”.

Tell me about your Etsy shop! 
My Etsy shop is named Koolnecks Accessories. I must tell you the history! A friend of mine began teaching me how to knit and crochet. I fell in love with it and “went crazy” buying tons……like TONS of yarn and needles and etc to feed my newfound love. After a while, I decided “hmmmm…..this would be nice to do on the side and make a little extra change”. So I thought about names and came up with Koolnecks, because we mostly ear scarves in the “cool” winter weather, and around our “neck”, so why not – coolnecks, but with a twist on the spelling. Hence, Koolnecks was born. It was at first Koolnecks Scarves. Then, my desire to knit and crochet fizzled off a little. About a year or little more ago I began learning how to make jewelry. Funny thing, the same friend that was teaching me to knit and crochet is the same friend who began teaching me (and a few others of us) how to make jewelry. Ok, you guessed it; I fell in love with that too! This time the love for this craft has sprung into what you see now – my Etsy shop! Koolnecks Accessories. I decided to keep the name because it was “my baby”, I was attached to that name (and it fits so perfectly). So instead of Koolnecks Scarves, Koolnecks Accessories! I stumbled upon Etsy one day at work, I saw one of my co-workers had the site up and I saw that vivid orange Etsy sign and was curious. I typed in the browser and it was “love and first sight!” So, came home showed it to my hubby and read all about Etsy and decided to open my shop. I opened my shop in May 2012, but had not actually listed anything until October-ish or so. I had, by this time, created quite a few pieces. 

Do you sell anywhere else?
Yes, I do sell elsewhere. My hubby is a jewel. He decided to talk to one of the owners of a salon and spa that he knows and ask them about having me set up a display in their shop. They wanted to see some of my work, so I stopped in one day and brought in a couple photos of some pieces and they loved what they saw and said “YES”!!! So, I have a contract with them, I have a display set up in the store and it has been going pretty good!! 

What is your favorite thing to create? Do you have a favorite item in your shop?
I think would be earrings. I love earrings, myself and I see so much potential in them. I am an Island girl through and through. So I am always seeing something “Islandy” in my mind when I create. My favorite item changes from time to time. I think at the moment I have a couple, these are the links to them: 
These are, I think, my favs right now, because of the color and quality of the beads themselves and the intricacy with which I surprised myself that I was able to use to create them. For instance, I hand wrapped the wire for the earrings on the blue set. I am so proud of how I was able to wrap the wire around the smaller beads in the earrings. I say that because I still consider myself quite an amateur. 

How has your business evolved from when you first started out?
My business has evolved, in that I am more knowledgeable now on what it takes to run a business than when I first started. I had no clue. I have been able to take my shop from being empty to having a few pieces and having no views….when I say no views, I mean “0” views, NONE, LOL. Now I have lots of views, I get favorited all the time, featured in treasuries etc. It has been soooooo exciting. I never thought that my little simple, “island girl” hands could make something that people would love to see and compliment me on, I get so excited, it is an indescribable feeling. I have worked really hard on making my shop a place that people admire, and like to visit and find a little bit of the “islands” there for themselves. However, even though I love that others find my shop and my jewelry pretty, it has been a way for me to express my creative side and to stay true to myself. 

What advice do you have for others who want to open an Etsy shop or start a small business?
To anyone interested in opening an Etsy shop, I would say “go for it”. It has been a wonderful journey thus far. I have learned so much in what I consider a short space of time it is amazing! However, you must also be willing to put in the effort and the work it takes. It does take work. It is rewarding to be able to look back on something that you’ve created, something that you’ve done…..an expression of you, and smile with a healthy measure of pride yet a humble sense that you still have a lot to learn. I also advise all starting out, to be like a sponge, soak up all the wonderful advice that experienced Etsy sellers and others have to offer, such advice and tips have been invaluable to me and my shop. Also, join teams, active and supportive teams, be a supportive of other Etsy sellers and participate in the Etsy community. You won’t regret it! Also, read, read, read and research anything and everything you can about your craft and business. Acquire all the knowledge you can to aid you to be successful. Remember, also to measure success carefully, do not measure it solely based on sales numbers, you may be disappointed, but base it on something more and the sales will come! Finally – HAVE FUN!!!!

Where do you see your business going in the future?
My goal is to eventually have my business to a point where I don’t need to work for anyone else………. let’s see where this journey takes me! 

Visit the links below to learn more about Sheena and her jewelry!


  1. Thanks Ashley for featuring me and my shop in your blog!!