Are you ready for GeekCraft Expo Seattle's Holiday Market November 25 and 26? We'll have more than 70 of the Pacific Northwest's more amazing crafters all under one roof—so you'll be able to find gifts for all the geeks on your list!
Our latest interview is with Toni Mygind of Pretty Spiffy Earrings, whose shop name speaks for itself. Find out more about Toni and discover what she's bringing to Seattle this year!
GeekCraft Expo: Have you always loved jewelry?
Toni Mygind: Honestly, it's not so much the jewelry I love as much as what is on the jewelry. I love being able to wear what I love and have it stick out in a crowd.
GCE: How did you learn to make earrings?
TM: That's a funny story. I have always loved all sorts of crafts. I never intended to make earrings in the beginning. It all came around as something to teach my daughter a lesson in entrepreneurship. "You can make a living doing something you love as long as you put all your love and effort into it!" We put our heads together and came up with making some cool earrings. We picked things we both liked and purchased what we needed.
It's been a lot of trial and error in learning to make earrings incorporating items that weren't specifically intended for earrings, haha. We sat at our dining room table for hours every night and had a lot of fun making close to 200 pairs of earrings over the next several days. I designed cards to put them on to make them stick out, and when we were finished they were posted on a local buy sell trade page on Facebook. To both of our surprise, the earrings sold out in less than 24 hours! The popularity of the earrings grew quickly by word of mouth.
Since then my daughter has learned the lesson that I set out to teach her in the beginning. But, being 10 years old, she has lost interest in continuing to sit at the dining room table with me for hours making the earrings, haha. I told her I was going to continue on and make these Pretty Spiffy Earrings even spiffier! So she's happily back playing with her siblings and friends, and I'm happily crafting my heart out each night with a fun craft that surprisingly took shape into a wonderful little unexpected business . . . and loving every second of it!
GCE: What inspired your designs?
TM: There are so many things that I see each day that I tell myself, “That shouldn't be for that! Those would make adorable earrings!" I've said that a million times since I was young. That was one thought that helped spark this whole business idea. Earrings don't have to be just boring or beautiful. They can be fun and crazy! They can tell a story, your story! So I pick things to use as earrings that aren't originally made for earrings. Buttons, miniatures, shoe charms and scrapbooking materials. If I think it would be better served as a pair of earrings then that's what it becomes!
People always ask, "What do you make your earrings out of?" My answer is, "Everything!" haha, and it's true! The only thing I keep the same is the earrings post materials. I love wearing the earrings I make. I suffer from a severe nickel allergy, like many other people do. I stopped wearing earrings for a long time because unless it was pure gold or silver, my ears would swell up and cause me a lot of pain. One day my grandmother gave me "nickel free" earrings. They worked like a charm! So that is the only way I will make my earrings, nickel free!
GCE: You have so many different types of styles—from pop culture to steampunk to superhero. What are your main categories?
TM: I try to keep a wide variety. I like to say I have a little bit of something for everyone! Anyone should be able to walk up to my table and find a pair of earrings that speaks to them on a personal level. I do my best not to stick to one category over another . . . but to be honest I've always been big on Disney and other nostalgia from my childhood. So you will definitely see more pop culture earrings than other categories.
GCE: What are your most popular earrings?
TM: Like I said before, I literally have something for everyone! That being said, I sell such a wide variety each time I'm at a show that favorites change from day to day depending on the crowd. But, one set of earrings continue to be the stand out star at each event . . . Jack Skellington is a hit with everyone!
GCE: What makes your earrings the perfect gift?
TM: Pretty Spiffy Earrings are the complete package when it comes to gift giving. Since there is something for everyone, you can pick something that just screams the personality of that special someone on your list. You will spot earrings that would be great for people that perhaps weren't originally on your list because they just fit their style and personality so perfectly. The earrings speak to people with reminders of funny memories or special reminders of "that one time" you'll never forget involving that person.
It's hard to put into the right words, but as soon as you walk up to the Pretty Spiffy Earring table, I think you will understand completely. There is literally something for everyone on your list, and for only $5, these earrings are even more spiffy! Did I mention they are the perfect size for stocking stuffers? I bet even Santa stops by one of my tables to complete his list before he boards his sleigh!
GCE: What are you bringing to GeekCraft Expo's Seattle Holiday Market this year?
TM: I'm bringing everything! Including the kitchen sink! Haha.
Thank you to Toni for taking the chance to answer all of our questions. Make sure to RSVP for GeekCraft Expo Seattle's Holiday Market now!