Today we’d like to introduce you to Cristal Sepulveda.
Hi Cristal, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, you could tell our readers some of your backstories.
At the start of the Pandemic in 2020, like many others, I had just been laid off from my office job. It was difficult for me as I liked what I did and didn’t have an immediate north. After some weeks, while conversing with my husband, we discussed how it would be good for me to find something to do during the lockdown. He suggested I did what I liked to do when I needed an escape: Art. Art has always had a big place in my heart; from painting to designing, I’ve always done different things related to art. At the time, while looking for inspiration, I stumbled over some beautiful Pinterest pictures of these earrings and necklaces that I had not seen before. It intrigued me since I had not seen the material used in those earrings anywhere else.
Since that day on June 6, 2020, I started looking into how to make them myself and where to get the materials, so I started creating some simple shaped earrings. At first, it was a bit frustrating trying to work with Polymer Clay since there was a limited amount of information about it, so I burned many pieces or didn’t bake them long enough, and they would brake or bend. I practiced every day for about 2 months until I felt confident enough with the result to send some to friends as gifts. After continuing to work with clay for a year, a friend suggested that I exhibit my designs online and be open to selling them if people liked them. That’s how Liuliette Handmade came to life.
In November 2021, I opened an Instagram page and an Etsy store to sell my polymer clay jewelry. It took a lot of work for me to market my earrings because I noticed that people want to see a lifestyle more than the product itself, especially on social media. I am a very private person, but thankfully by being consistent and showing my work at markets and fairs, customers have been able to discover my art, wear them and recommend them to others. I have my website, www.liuliette.com, where I sell not only Liuliette Handmade pieces but also MEYCHO, which are pieces inspired in the Caribbean, and a collab with a fellow maker, Genesis Yems.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been smooth?
Not a smooth road. For starters, I had very little capital, there wasn’t much information, and fewer tutorials than there are right now. There was a lot of trial and error involved; learning to work with clay is tricky as it depends on temperature, the polymers have to be mixed up correctly, and the color mixing takes time and physical effort. So it took a lot of my time and energy, and I am often up for long hours of the night to complete a slab of a specific design I have in mind.
Thanks for sharing that. So, you could tell us a bit more about your business.
I make Polymer Clay Earrings. I specialize in doing 3D designs, and it’s a kind of wearable art. I like taking inspiration from different landscapes and destinations. What sets my designs apart from other makers/artists is that I want to do quirky designs since I started to make my friends happy and express myself thru my creations; many of my earrings are brightly colored and have lots of details. I am proud of producing good quality pieces. I create in small batches and check every pair to ensure they will be durable since polymer clay pieces tend to be delicate. I make not only earrings but also necklaces and bracelets as well. I offer custom, bridal, and wholesale handmade jewelry.
Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
Many might not know I do everything by myself, from designing the pieces to baking them, assembling them, marketing them, and shipping them. Many people have a team, but I have always done everything on my own; there are things you learn when times get hard, and this is something I learned with this business. Every day, as it grows, it becomes more challenging, but knowing that I have customers waiting to see what new styles I come up with and a supportive husband by my side helps me keep going.
- $12 – Studs
- $16-$24 – Hoops
- $28 – $32 – 3D Dangles