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Yesterday, I met up with Joan of Fiori Fine Silver for lunch and to talk Etsy. We had a mission–it was time for Joan to list her first item on Etsy. Not that I needed an excuse to go out to lunch and talk crafty business. Those are two of my favorite things anyway.

I met Joan last month at a show at Ci|Creative. Talking about art and craft and the business of selling handmade, we immediately connected. Since Joan had not yet made the leap to Etsy, we agreed to get together and talk through the process. At lunch, she showed me some of her lovely jewelry pieces, we talked about the design process, and ultimately, we created a listing for a very pretty pair of fine silver hoop earrings. Joan creates unique textures on her pieces that I just love. These particular earrings have a leaf and vine pattern, but wait until she gets a few more listed! Each piece is different and lovely. Joan is still in the beginning phases of stocking and decorating her Etsy shop, but do stop by for a peek! Joan also wrote about our lunch date, and she talks more about her process creating the hoop earrings on her blog.

One of the things I have wanted to work on for awhile now has been to expand my circle of real-life creative friends. Having been a student for so long, I wasn’t surrounded by a lot of people who share my creative interests. And although I love connecting with the creative community online, it’s nice to see a real face every now and then. It can be hard to find other artists sometimes, though, especially when you’re a little shy, so the going has been slow. But lunch with Joan was one step forward, and I’m started to connect with other local artists, too.

I’m not sure if it’s just me that struggles to connect with other creative people in real life, so I’d love to hear your take on this. Do you have a real life creative community or friendships, or do the people around you not really understand that crafty stuff you do? Are you taking steps to forge new relationships with like-minded people? Let me know!