This weeks featured Etsy Mama is Kim Voigt, the owner of…
Visit our Mermaid Charms Giveaway for a chance to win one of Kim’s extraordinary pieces!
MF: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
KV: I grew up in Southern California and could not imagine living anywhere else. I often use my surroundings as inspiration…the beach lifestyle is a wonderful way to live your life. I married my college sweetheart 18 years ago and I am a mother to 3 boys that I affectionately refer to as the Tribe. Needless to say, there is never a dull moment in my house. I often use my time to create as a way to escape all the madness and testosterone.
MF: Obviously you came up with the name of your shop, Mermaid Charms, because of your love for sea glass. I read in your bio that you have been fascinated with sea glass since you were a child. Do you remember when you started incorporating your hobby into a business?
KV: I actually started collecting sea glass as a way to keep my children busy. We have spent countless hours walking up and down beaches looking for that perfect piece and each one of us has a favorite color…mine is aqua. Sea glass designs are the foundation of Mermaid Charms. When I started my company I primarily focused on designing jewelry with sea glass only but over time I have grown to love using other materials as well. Sterling silver, semi-precious stones and a product called Precious Metal Clay have become a part of my regularly used materials. My vision for my company is to create jewelry that makes people remember a great vacation , a simple walk on the beach, and the lazy days of summer.
MF: Aside from the beach, where do you find your inspiration? Do you have a favorite vacation spot or a town you like to visit when you need tap into your creativity?
KV: As a family, we have spent a lot of time on the Hawaiian Islands. The carefree, fun atmosphere is always a perfect place to get the creative juices flowing and the islands have some wonderful beaches in which to find sea glass. I also enjoy visiting Northern California as well. I guess any area that has the potential to find sea glass is the place for me. My husband is entertained by the fact that our vacations are planned around the hopes of striking it rich with sea glass finds.
MF: Do you have a favorite piece from your collection? If so, is there a reason it’s your favorite? Whether it’s the colors, the shape or a story connected to the piece?
KV: If I find a piece of perfectly smoothed piece of aqua sea glass on one of my beach walks then my day has been made. Reluctantly I sold my favorite piece this year. It was aqua, “leaf” shaped and flawless . I found it in Monterey CA on a family vacation. I secretly wished the necklace would never sell … but it did. Happy to say that it went to a very nice grandmother in my town.
MF: I know that when it comes to something as personal as jewelry, it’s hard to create a style that everyone could wear. Do you recommend one piece that you think is universal? Something that could be a staple in every woman’s wardrobe?
KV: I think sterling silver looks fabulous on everyone and can be worn with anything. In my opinion, you can dress it up or down. A great necklace can really make a statement. I have recently started to solder my own silver which has opened up a whole new level of creativity for me. I am hoping to showcase some of my new sterling silver designs in the very near future.
MF: I see in your shop that you use a lot of PMC in your designs along with the sea glass. Can you explain what PMC is to our readers? What other materials do you enjoy using?
KV: Precious Metal Clay, aka PMC, is silver suspended in a binder and water which looks like clay. An artist shapes, molds, adds texture or stamps this clay then fires in a kiln and the end result is a piece of jewelry that is 99.9% pure silver. I love the organic qualities this material produces. Every piece is different and the little imperfections are what gives each piece character. I also love using semi precious stones. My favorite right now is Carnelian which is orange in color and is classified as a chalcedony stone. I love pairing it with peridot or apatite gemstones….very fresh and summery.
MF: Aside from Etsy, do you sell your jewelry at any shops or markets? If yes, where can the locals find you?
KV: I currently have some of my designs in a cute soapsmith boutique in San Clemente CA called Erba.
MF: Do you welcome custom orders?
KV: Special orders are always welcomed.
MF: Do you have any advice for other women who are considering starting their own business?
KV: Be patient and understand that there is a lot of work involved in starting your own business. It is a challenge to find the perfect balance between family and business. I may never find that perfect balance but I plan on enjoying every second of this journey. My children are still young so they are my first priorty. But as they grow I hope my business does as well.
MF: Where can our readers find you? Share your links with us…Twitter? A Blog? An Etsy team?
KV: Sure! Here are some of the places I can be found online –
MF: I’ll have what she’s having! You’re sitting on a quiet beach just relaxing for inspiration, what summery cocktail are you sipping on?
KV: A Mai Tai of course!