BOLINGBROOK – Lifelong Bolingbrook resident Trisha Meyers says she has active hands.
Meyers, 38, is a HAVI Global Solutions account analyst and mother of three children—John, Christian and Miranda. Juggling her job and the daily practices and activities normal to a 5-, 12- and 16-year-olds, Meyers says she has always had a knack for logistics and compartmentalizing.
"Sometimes, life is organized chaos," Meyers said. "I need a release to flex my creative muscles and craft things with my hands."
About three years ago, Meyers bought a jewelry kit at Hobby Lobby and began making charm bracelets and jewelry. She especially loved working with wiring and various metals.
"Something just stuck," Meyers said. "I really got into soldering and casting the metals and wires."
For dexterous individuals, working with metals is very rewarding because it can shaped, stamped and stretched, yet is very permanent, Meyers said.
A year later, she began her own jewelry business – Completely Wired – marketing her product online and selling pieces at local craft fairs.
But, the "grind" was tiresome and the results were not worth the effort put forth.
"It seemed like I was hitting a different trade and craft show every week and had nothing to show for it," Meyers said. "It became a burden trying to balance that that with my three children and professional career."
Meyers came to another realization: she received the most gratification making personalized pieces for customers – charms, penants and jewelry stamped with inscriptions and quotes.
There was an increasing market of people who wanted specially crafted items for a loved one, Meyers said, but it was hard to convince customers to pay upfront at craft shows.
She needed a middle man.
During her time at the shows, Meyers met a group of friends – an artistic support group – whom she fondly refers to as the "craft mafia." One of these creative mobsters then told her about Etsy, an e-commerce website where individuals and small businesses sell a wide array of handmade items and supplies.
By this time, Meyers had already set up a work bench in her kitchen, and although she had a niche, online retail was uncharted territory.
"It took a lot of tweaking, Meyers said. "I would love to throw my work out there and just say, 'buy my work, it's really awesome.' But it's so much more than that. It's categorizing, selling yourself and your art, and figuring out buzz words in order to stand out."
Creative juices flow through the Meyers bloodline.
Her father John Meyers was a handyman who often built stained-glass pieces, and her mother, Dottie Meyers, owned a crafts business.
"I've tried my hand at many projects," Meyers said. "I write, I've painted and drawn using several mediums, I made pottery for awhile, and I still photograph things whenever possible."
Her years of side projects helped her transition into e-commerce, according to Meyers. She could take photographs of her work and could write catchy hooks and item descriptions.
Most importantly, she had a good product that people wanted and PayPal handled the upfront payments. She could even support the industry by purchasing all her materials on Etsy.
Now, she laughs when asked if her business is "flourishing."
"It is impossible to flourish in the jewelry business," Meyers said. "It's nice that I'm turning a profit, but, to me, it's much more satisfying to take requests, make something that I know the customer will be satisfied and deliver a piece that will last forever. It is metal, afterall."