Craft-a-mageddon is a celebration of all things crafty and creative. This month, we had the chance to chat with an out of this world crafty woman, who designs galaxy-inspired jewelry! So climb into the TARDIS, board the Millennium Falcon, or blast off with Team Rocket – whatever space-faring ship and crew you’ve managed to secure! …and get to know Sara Broski, the mastermind behind Tiny Galaxies. Sara crafts all of her jewelry on her own, at her home. She uses resin along with glitter, gold and silver leaf to give each piece of jewelry a galaxy inspired look. And if you stick around until the end, you’ll be able to enter to win a piece of celestially inspired jewelry of your choice!
The International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club matches pen pals each month based on their top 5 geek loves. What are your current top 5 geek loves?
Though I’m not sure that I’m very geeky, I am a total geek for arts and crafts. I’m definitely a cat lady (I have four cat kids). In addition to collecting cats, I’m also a plant lady and I have about 20 houseplants of all different kinds. I just started propagating succulents! Twin Peaks is one of my favorite shows. If you haven’t seen Fargo you should check that out too! I am very interested in the paranormal world, so I think that’s kinda geeky!
When did you begin your business? What first inspired you to start your business?
I started my business in 2010, as a hobby. I have always painted, but have also had a love for jewelry since childhood and really wanted to make something unique. Painting was always more of a commitment, as it would take a lot of time to finish a piece. I wanted a creative outlet that was a little more instantly gratifying. I researched different mediums and learned about resin. I liked the flexibility of it and the ability to create things in any shape I desired. I experimented with it and eventually found my style. It was very important to me that I make things from scratch, so that they could not easily be duplicated. I thoroughly researched the type of jewelry that I was making before I listed it on Etsy, and at the time there was nothing at all like it. I would make jewelry at night after my day job. It started to sell, and I started making more colors and styles. I eventually lost my day job, found a part time job and worked on my jewelry a bit more. After being laid off from my second job, I decided to really make my jewelry business a full time gig. Though I had not set out to make it my ‘job’ originally, it started to feel like that’s where life was taking me, and I was more than willing to follow that path! I began taking it more seriously and eventually got into the wholesale aspect of it in addition to retail. I have been self employed for about 4 years now, doing this full time. I could never imagine going back to a ‘regular’ job again!
What is your workspace like? Do you surround yourself with anything that inspires you, or listen to music to get in the creative mood?
My workspace is a spare bedroom in our home. It has light wood floors, white walls, and lots of light. I have a big pink velvet chair in here that I thrifted a few years ago, and a nice big pink rug. I try to keep it organized, which is a constant struggle. I like to surround myself with pretty things in here, in addition to all of my business and art supplies. My cats are always hanging out with me (or, as they’d say – “helping”). I have some plants near the windows. It is very light, bright, and fun in here. I am always binge watching some tv show, usually on Netflix, as I’m working. Most of my jewelry is made in large batches and I am constantly repeating designs, so although it might seem like I’m always making new things, a lot of times it’s actually very repetitive and boring! If I’m working on the computer editing photos, working on my website, packaging orders or replying to emails, I’m usually listening to a paranormal podcast or some kind of music, which varies VERY greatly depending on my mood!
Sara’s office is so chic. And the cats just make themselves right at home!
Do you participate in craft shows or conventions, in addition to running your etsy? If so, which ones?
I recently shut my Etsy shop down to focus on my own website. It was a choice that I made after a lot of deliberating, and for many reasons. I have struggled for years being seen as an Etsy shop, not a small business. It seems as though some people don’t take having an Etsy shop seriously, even if is your serious business. In the back of my mind, I also worried about letting another business control mine. If Etsy had suddenly shut down, what would I do? After seriously thinking about this I made the transition to my website about a month ago. It was scary and a big step for Tiny Galaxies but so far it’s going well! I am so much more in control of my business now that I have a website of my own. I no longer have to worry about Etsy’s constant changes affecting my business, which is a wonderful feeling! I love having full control of my website and my business.
Most of my business is based online, and craft shows are not a big part of it. I do however do two shows in Scranton, PA, which is about 25 minutes from my home. They are the ‘Scranton Made’ shows, which happen in July and December. They have only been happening for a few years now, and it’s always a great time with a lot of awesome local vendors. I also sell my jewelry on the wholesale side of my business to brick and mortars across the country, which keeps me very busy behind the scenes.
Necklaces by Tiny Galaxies
Do you have a favorite product you yourself love to wear?
I actually don’t end up keeping most of my own jewelry. It’s a strange thing that I think many artists do! I’m fascinated by jewelry so I purchase a ton of it from other places – everything from mass produced to other small businesses. I do love one of my original designs, the globe earrings, which I only carry now in two colors. Once I started making glitter post earrings, I saw so many other people start making them. I have since moved away from those designs, since I want to stay unique and definitely don’t want to sell things that others are selling. I do still love my globe earrings and wear them often! I will probably be bringing more of them back to the store once I have time! Another one of my newer designs is becoming a fast favorite, and I think I’m going to keep some for myself if I can manage to not guilt myself out of it!
What has been your favorite item to design so far?
They are all very similar to make, so this is a difficult question to answer. Some of my newer teardrop earrings can be very fun to make because of the colors and more free-flowing nature of the gold leaf placement, but they are also very hard to repeat! I also love the gold leaf and resin drop earrings – the gold just pops with any color combination. One of my favorites is my new hot pink and gold leaf teardrop earring. It probably wouldn’t seem that difficult, but it took me years to find the perfect hot pink pigment! I finally found it and I’m going hot pink crazy!
Pink earrings by Tiny Galaxies
Does anyone help you run the business? Do you want to give a shoutout to anyone who has helped you along the way or inspired you?
I run my business alone, but my husband is my ‘take the packages to the mailbox’ guy and ‘listen to me talk about my business constantly’ guy. He deserves a shout out for that! He has also encouraged and fully supported all of the scary changes I’ve made throughout the years. My parents also own a screen printing and embroidery business that they run from the basement of their home, which is undoubtedly where I got my entrepreneur spirit. They have always encouraged my artistic talents and interests and I’m thankful for that.
What advice would you give to a geek girl just starting out who wants to begin her own business?
It may sound very cliche, but don’t give up. You should start out with something truly unique. Make sure that someone else isn’t doing it. You will likely not sell much at first, or maybe not even at all! Great product photos are key, and natural light is your best friend. Tweak your photos, make sure to have all of your item details listed clearly in your descriptions, do NOT underprice your items. Prepare yourself to do all of this, many, many, many times over. You will have to keep improving, and you will! If you believe in your idea, others will too. Passion for what you’re doing is irreplaceable and will keep you motivated. Do not give up and always try to get better at every little aspect of your business. I’m still doing all of this!
If you were a character from a book, movie, TV show, cartoon, or comic book, who would it be and why?
I’ve always loved Alice in Wonderland. I know, not that geeky and probably a cliche answer, but it’s true! Her sense of wonder, independence, appreciation of the strange, and fearlessness are always things I’ve identified with. As a petite blonde who is often underestimated, I’ve often felt as though people do not take me seriously because of my appearance, and stand up to all the little injustices of life and obstacles in my path. The world is a strange place, full of interesting and absurd characters and I can not help but notice the ridiculousness of life! I was even Alice for Halloween in kindergarten, haha!
So many amazing galactic choices from Tiny Galaxies!
Thanks to Sara for chatting with us and for giving away some of her amazing hand-crafted jewelry! Be sure to show these off with your favorite outer space inspired everyday cosplay, or just any day you want to give this great galaxy some lovin. Here’s how you can enter to win a piece of jewelry of your choice from Tiny Galaxies.