Sunday, August 15, 2010

Crafter Spotlight - Martha Pullen

Sweet Avenue - Creations by Martha Pullen
Handmade Jewelry & Beaded Jewelry Repair

1. Tell us a little bit about your business and how you got started.

My business is called Sweet Avenue. I make all kinds of jewelry, but lately I've been focusing on two types of items, my collage pendants (lightweight acrylic pendants with images transferred onto colorful scrapbooking papers), and my resin flower jewelry and accessories. I started beading with seed beads at summer camp when I was eight years old, and have been making jewelry ever since. Since I was making more jewelry than I could ever possibly wear, this past spring I started Sweet Avenue (and my shop on It's been a wonderful creative project that has taken off way faster than I had expected, and I'm having a blast!

2. Who/what inspires you?

Etsy itself has been a great source of inspiration, and I'm so glad I discovered it. There are so many talented, creative, imaginative people on the site. You can find every type of awesome handmade product that you could possibly imagine, from jewelry to furniture to works of art to bizarre items that you've never even heard of! It's also great to be able to chat and connect with so many other artisans from around the globe, as well as here in Vermont. I'm a member of the Made in Vermont Etsy Street Team, a group of Vermonters who have Etsy shops. We all chat together, share ideas and support, and help to promote each others businesses.

3. Give us a peek into your work space. Where do you create? Describe your work space or studio.

Well, I won't take a picture because right now it looks like a tornado hit it! I tend to work rather frenetically - I start making pretty things and then I start to jump from one to another. However, I do love it when my space is neat and clear, so I periodically clean it all up, then proceed to make a huge mess again. I live in a two-bedroom apartment with my boyfriend Eric, and the second bedroom is my work space. It has two windows that let in a lot of light. I have three different tables around the room to spread out on, and when those are covered, I take it to the floor!

4. Where do you sell and promote your work?

Sweet Avenue started purely as an Etsy shop, but now you can find my things at Trinket on Church Street in Burlington (the sister store to Sweet Lady Jane). In addition, I sell my earrings at Spirit Dancer, also in downtown Burlington. I plan to find more shops around Vermont that would like to sell my work. This fall I am going to start doing some small craft fairs, starting with the Art Hop Extravaganza on September 11.

5. What are three things you can't live without?

Music, color, and my family, which includes my parents, my sister, my boyfriend, and my best friend. They mean everything to me.

6. What are your three favorite things about Vermont?

The fact that there are NO billboards, the independent spirit of the people who live here, and the land itself. I love being outdoors in Vermont, and we are so lucky to have Lake Champlain.

7. What does term indie craft mean to you?
I think indie craft means creating things that you like, regardless of what the rest of the world says. The jewelry I make is all jewelry that I want for myself and that I have fun making. Sometimes it's hard to sell them because I love them so much! I've been fortunate to find that my items are things that apparently other people want too, because they are buying them, but they are all things that I would make anyway.

8. Any new products, projects or news you want to share?

I definitely hope to see everyone at the Art Hop Extravaganza on September 11! The Art Hop is always a great event, and I'm looking forward to being a part of it this year. If you'd like to stay updated about Sweet Avenue, you can also join my Facebook page. Also, I'd like to give a big thank you to Kacey for the great work that she's doing in supporting local artisans!