Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Meet Susan Campanini: This Week's Creative Woman in Business

Hi Susan! I found these adorable earrings in your Etsy shop!
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a semi-retired teacher of college-level French and English who does freelance editing online at home and designs one-of-a-kind beaded jewelry. I live in east central Illinois with my husband and my six cats. In addition to work, jewelry making, and family life, I love reading literary fiction, flower gardening, music, art, and movies, to name just a few of my interests.

What is your creative passion, and why?
I love collecting beautiful and unusual beads of all kinds and making designs with them for earrings and necklaces. In part, it’s because I love color so much; also, seeing patterns emerge is like magic. The creative self-expression element is important to me too. But I don’t just like making them – I like the idea of sharing them with people, so that a little bit of beauty can be added to their everyday lives. As a result, I want to keep my jewelry affordable and to make a wide range of beaded materials and styles in the jewelry available in my etsy shop  at all times.

What inspires you?
Beauty in nature is always an inspiration for me--water, trees, flowers, sunsets--but mainly it is the beads themselves that suggest the designs. I just open a drawer full of beads and things start to come together for me. It’s an addiction!

Any business advice for the novice just starting out?
I’m new to etsy (shop open six months and not a lot of sales--yet :) ), but I have been doing craft shows selling my jewelry for 18 years. I think the best advice is to make what you think is lovely, display it nicely so people can choose easily, and make it reasonably priced so they can afford it. I also try to give people as much information and help in choosing as they would like.

What is your favorite item that you have for sale?
I love them all! But there is one necklace in particular that my husband and I worked on together to create wire elements (he has a jig for bending the wire) with beaded units in between. It was featured a while back in a published craft book, which was a really nice honor. I’ve put it on the etsy site for sale: Black-and-White Fantasy Necklace.

It's awesome that you work has been published, Susan!  Congratulations!
What words of wisdom to you try to live your life by?
Be who you are and enjoy it. Don’t take anything for granted. Trust your heart and your instincts and be kind.

For what three things would you like to be remembered?
Hmm, maybe my loyalty, my love of learning new things, and my sense of humor?

Is there any particular cause that is near and dear to your heart?
I am sensitive to the plight of our planet in many ways, so lots of environmental organizations matter to me. I have always adopted rescue cats--the best felines of all!

What else would you like us to know?
I’ve recently started writing a blog. It has information about my beaded jewelry, of course, but also posts about fiction, felines, music, films, gardening, and armchair philosophy. Check it out!

How else can we follow you?
I have a Facebook Fan Page and a Twitter site
and, if you’d like to see my beading studio, come to my flickr photo page


  1. Thanks so much, Ellen, for this lovely feature about me and my wonderful beading hobby!

  2. great interview & beautiful pieces

  3. Hi!
    I met Susan few years ago and i am amazed with her kindness and natural talent.This interview was great!