HAPPY FEATURE FRIDAY!
This week we’re featuring Ashling Gabig of Killer Sprinkles. We love her polymer clay food jewelry! She picked the name Killer Sprinkles because she wanted something that expressed her brand that was equal parts cute and sassy. Her polymer creations express just that vibe, as they are so adorable and uniquely edgy. You can find Killer Sprinkles pieces on her Etsy store. If you’ve ever been interested in running your own Etsy store or starting your own jewelry line, read on to learn about Ashling’s journey.
: Tell us a little about yourself.
: My name is Ashling, and I am the owner of Killer Sprinkles, a polymer clay jewelry business based out of Southern California. I have been seriously working with polymer clay for about the last two years. I also have a great day job in marketing, working at an agency as an Account Executive. My third job is being the proud mom of my sweet little senior Shih Tzu, Watson.
: We love your polymer clay jewelry! How did your brand, Killer Sprinkles, get its start?
: Thanks! It all started about two years ago when I was stuck at home with a broken ankle. I’m really independent and like staying busy, so I was trying to find ways to still be active when I couldn’t walk or leave the house. I’ve always loved crafting, and I had an interest in clay miniatures, so I ordered some supplies and got started. I had no idea what I was doing, and had never really thought about opening an Etsy store. When I realized how much fun I was having, I decided to keep working at it. It wasn’t until January of 2015 that I really wanted to focus on my jewelry and open my own Etsy shop.
: There is so much detail and realism in your work. What are some tips for working with polymer clay to get a realistic look?
: Getting that fine detail involves lots of experimenting and patience. Since everything is in miniature, you have to be super careful and deliberate while you are working with polymer clay. You should also be prepared to mess up. A lot. I have so many pieces in the reject pile. But each time I messed up, my technique got better and better. And you really don’t need fancy supplies to work with clay. I use so many household items to shape and texturize my pieces, and I think it adds a special touch that makes everything look more real.
: What drew you to your specialty making miniature food?
: There is something so whimsical about tiny food. Plus, who doesn’t love everything about food? I’ve been commissioned to make non-food pieces before, but I’m always drawn back to miniature food. The options for food inspiration are endless. I also wanted Killer Sprinkles to be a brand that didn’t take itself too seriously. There is something so great about wearing tiny donut earrings to a business meeting.
: With so many fun choices do you have a favorite food to make?
: Any of my pieces that make me laugh are usually my favorite. I still get a kick out of creating my chicken nugget charm bracelet, and I really love when people order it. My absolute favorite has to be my donut earrings because I love donuts, and it’s the piece that really pushed me to start my Etsy shop.
: You run your own Etsy store. What are some business tips that you’ve learned along the way?
: I learned that Etsy is a lot more involved than I expected. If you want to have a successful shop, you can’t just list something and hope it sells. It involves a lot of shop maintenance and optimization. You have to constantly be educating yourself on running a business so you can stay ahead of the game. I’ve also learned about the importance of customer service. It has such a huge impact, even for an online shop. I try my best to incorporate that philosophy in everything from my social media to my listing descriptions.
: Your Instagram feed is so fun! It’s easy to only show the successes on social media. Tell us about a creation that didn’t go as perfectly as your feed.
: I tend to have these grand, complicated jewelry ideas, and they sometimes fail miserably. I’m also very particular about how my pieces look, so don’t like creating anything less than great. I had this idea to create a big orange creamsicle on a necklace. It definitely did not turn out the way I planned. In fact, it was kind of ugly. I shelved that piece for another day when I get the inspiration to tackle it again.
: You live in SoCal. What about your environment influences your brand?
: I’m influenced by all of the different cultures and food out here. It’s always fun making donuts and cute foods, but it is also a nice challenge making detailed ramen bowls, sushi, and pan dulce. I eventually want to expand my line of jewelry to include more multi-cultural foods that are representative of my own background and where I live.
: Many of us who jump into a new business or other venture have a support system pushing us towards our goals. Who you do have to thank for helping you get to where you are today?
: My boyfriend is super supportive of my business. He is usually the first one to tell people about my jewelry. I’m still a little shy about the whole self-promotion thing, and it is really nice to know how proud he is of my work. I know jewelry and tiny clay food is not really his thing, but he still gets excited for me whenever I make a sale.
: Any advice?
: Just go for it! I used to be so worried about not having all of my ducks in a row before I officially opened my shop. I think I was nervous about failure, but I decided I would rather fail a few times than never try at all. Having a business has been a bit of a roller coaster ride, but I’m so happy I went for it.
To see more and get your hands on one of these amazing pieces check Killer Sprinkles SM below: