Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Aria Images and Prettified

Today we talk with Melody from Aria Images and Prettified. She is a multi talented artist with two shops on Etsy. Read on to see what makes this busy mom tick.

Melody Kristensen

Queens, NY (soon to be Charlotte, NC at the end of September)

Business Name
Aria Images / Prettified

Describe what you sell.
Aria Images: I sell photography I have taken depicting mainly architecture, landscape and sculptures on my travels and at home. / Prettified: I create glass pendants, paperweights, brooches and other items featuring vintage prints, photos and japanese washi paper.

What is your real life like?
I am the proud mother of a 6 month old little girl cat named Bella. No real kiddies yet. :) I am also the proud wife of my Swedish prince (well I think he's a prince anyway). We have been married for 4 years next month. Currently my Etsy shops are my main mode of work but I hope to get a part time job so that I can continue my Etsy businesses but help hubby out with the bills a bit more. Before quitting my last job I was a Legal Secretary.

What is your process?
For photography, I use a Canon Rebel XTi. Most of my early work was taken with a point-and-shoot Kodak Easyshare. When I tell people that, they dont believe me. :) But I recently was able to purchase the Canon and I am very happy with it. I also use a professional photo lab to print out my work so that I can ensure the very best of quality/ For my Prettified shop, I use mainly glass tiles. I find really high quality vintage images and Japanese washi paper on and off Etsy and think about what shape and size glass would look good with what image. As a photographer, I am not used to using my hands but the desire was there so I opened this shop and I am so happy I did. Its enormously fun to create.

Business Goals and Vision...
As a photographer, my short term goal would be to start some photography classes after we move to Charlotte. I am completely self taught so it would be nice to have some education under my belt. Especially when it comes to shooting people which I have no experience in. About 10 years ago my dream was to photograph children and I would still very much like to do that. Long term - I would love to be paid to travel the world and take photos. That would be a dream come true. I love history, traveling and photography and to combine them would be amazing. Bit by bit, I plan on making that dream come true. /
As the shop owner of Prettified, I would love to see it take off to where my items are in shops around the country, even around the world. I have new items coming out that I think are pretty unique and Im excited to introduce them soon. I think those two ideas might take off. Well I hope so.

How do you market your business?

I mainly market on Etsy. I recently starting using Craigslist and also utilized plug boards for a while but that can be incredibly time consuming but still worth the effort. Also, my blog ( is a great marketing tool for myself and others. I hope to add trade shows to the list after we move.

What inspires you?
For my photography shop, I am very much inspired by architecture. The lines and angles of it. I don't know where the love of buildings came from but its been there for a very long time. I am also inspired by nature. The colors found in nature and how amazing they are. Even though I was born and raised in NYC, I have always had a huge love of nature, seeing things in a certain way. Wanting to capture that exact moment, the lighting, the breeze, the shadows, is what got me really excited about photography. For my Prettified shop, I have a huge affinity for all things vintage. I always told my mom I was born in the wrong generation. I grew up listening to Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and even older music like the Charleston (the 20's). Showing that love through my jewelry is so fun. I also love the Asian cultures and the washi paper is inspiring to use in itself. The colors and textures of it are stunning.

Do you subscribe to any business related blogs,zines or magazines?
Actually, I find the best advice to be found in the Business Section of Etsy. I have the entrepeuner spirit as we all do but although I initially subscribed to a few business related zines in the beginning, I found the advice at Etsy to be just as if not more value. I highly recommend it to other Etsy and Indie artists.

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
From my Aria Images shop: Wait For Me because it evokes that vintage feel and I am super proud of that shot and Ancient Arches because it shows the silent power of the Colosseum. In Prettified, my Japanese Washi Chiyogami Yuzen Paper Paperweights Set and my Shiro - Mini Bauble Japanese Washi Chiyogami Yuzen Paper Ring because they were two ideas I came up with and I really love the way they turned out. :)

Am a fan of these places...
1. Youtube - I am a youtube junkie, especially now that I found out there are tutorials on there. I love to crochet but not good at it so excited to learn new stitches throught the tutorials I find.
2. NetFlix - I love the DVD's you can watch instantly. I watched all of season 1 and 2 of Heroes online. I had never seen it before and now I am hooked!
3. Haunt - Amazing soaps and B&B products!
4. DoubleDippedSweets - Hubby and I are addicted to her goodies.
5. Vintaj - I want everything in that shop

Find Melody at...

But starting in the fall both shops will also be on Lollishops. I am also working on getting my own websites for both shops soon.


able mabel said...

Thanks for sharing such a great artist with us! Good Luck on your endeavors Melody! Wishing your Etsy shops the best of luck!

Pretty Fun said...

Greeat feature! I have had an AriaImage print sitting in my favorites for a long time and it was nice to learn more about the artist.

La Alicia said...

what a nice feature!


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