It's that time again. Time for me to spotlight another fabulous shop.
Look at how beautiful these Gems are...
1. Tell us a little about yourself…
My name is Som Banerjee. I am a first generation entrepreneur/ business woman. I sell gemstones on Etsy. I am a gem-a-holic! My love for gemstones started early when I played with my mother’s natural rock collection as a kid. Now, that passion helps me drive my business every day because I really love what I do!
Although I am of Indian origin, I stayed in USA for a long time and also got my MBA from there. I have traveled extensively all over India and USA, met a lot of fantastic people ….seen a lot of incredible places. I am married to a terrific young man who is the best husband in the world. My outlook is modern and cosmopolitan. I am a voracious reader and have a deep love for music.
2. How long have you been doing this?
I have been a jeweler for about 4 years, a gemstone supplier for 2 years. I started as a self taught jeweler and ran a successful handmade jewelry business during my stay in Michigan. I did a lot of Custom Bridal work on Etsy, but 75% of my sales were off Etsy. Eventually, I realized that while I was selling a lot of jewelry, I was really good at sourcing beautiful gemstones. So I shifted most of my efforts on what I do best; getting the finest gemstones at the best prices. There is a lot of hard work involved in researching a particular gemstone and then searching for it at the wholesaler. It is a male dominated industry, so it is a challenging job. I do not compromise on quality at any cost. There are times when my suppliers ask if a lesser grade of the same gemstone (and hence a lesser price) would do. My answer is always a no.
I moved to India in September 2009; immediately planned a business trip to the famed gem city of Jaipur. Suppliers at Jaipur procure gemstones from all over the world and have them cut there, simply because artisans at Jaipur have been cutting gemstones for generations. My entire inventory comprises of gemstones that I hand selected from Jaipur and boy, am I pleased with the quality I got from there!
3. Who/What inspires you?
Successful Etsy sellers inspire me, especially other women. I have had the good fortune of meeting and interacting with many fantastic women on Etsy, women who balance two jobs, some who are stay-at-home moms taking care of their kids in addition to taking care of business. It never ceases to amaze me, the number of hats we wear as women, so when ever I have hit a rough spot, I look at these success stories, and get right back on track.
4. What's your favorite piece?
It is very difficult to pick one piece, but if I have to, it would be this AAA London Blue Topaz, Faceted Tear Drop Briolette. A lot of fine gemstones have passed through my hands but I am yet to see a finer color and quality. The color on this strand is a deep rich indigo, almost blackish. And the quality is spectacular!!
5. What advice do you have for a beginner?
Etsy can be a very competitive market place, but also reaches millions across the world. So my first advice to newbies is to be patient. Someone, somewhere is bound to love your product, so hang in there. There are some things which make selling easy.
1)Banner / Avatar needs to tie in with the product you are selling.
2)Fill in your profile - people like to know who you are, what you do, what ticks you etc.
3)Details of store policies are a must too. I see so many new sellers with complete blanks.
4)Price it right, do not undersell yourself if you are serious about your business
5)Do you ship internationally? If not, you are losing out on millions of potential customers.
6)Lastly but most importantly. Pictures. Pictures. Pictures. Selling is tough, but selling online is a very different ball game, so pictures need to be absolutely great!
6. Where can we find you?
Som has generously offered $40.00GC for gemstones as per winner’s choice. Open to a mix of gemstones too. Free Shipping of $10.00 to $15.00 (based on winner’s location) in addition to the gemstones.
Leave a comment telling Som what is your favorite gemstone from Som’s Etsy Store and what new gemstone(s) would you like Som to offer in future?
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Don't forget today is the last day to enter the $25GC to Lori Anderson's Designs Giveaway.