Monday, April 28, 2008

Featured Seller: SmuTopia

Who are you?
My Name is Jessica Smutek and I am the creative force behind the shop SmuTopia, my handmade jewelry business.

Why did you choose your shop name?
I love that I have a unique last name (thanks to my husband!) There just aren’t that many Smuteks around. When I’m feeling especially silly, I like to come up with new Smu-words. Smu-pendous is one of my all-time favorites, but Smu-topia seemed like a better shop name.

Where are you located?
I am located in Raleigh, NC.

What do you create?
Jewelry! Most of my designs are crafted of freshwater pearls, natural stones, and glass beads.

What inspires you?
The inspiration for my designs often comes from nature. I gravitate toward natural materials such as pearls, stones and even wood. My passion for nature developed early—as a child on my parents’ farm I spent most of my time outdoors, which gave me a strong connection to the natural world. I also majored in environmental and evolutionary biology in college—nature has inspired me in many facets of my life in addition to my jewelry design.

What is you most popular item that you create?
The most popular item I create—it’s a toss-up between my ‘Orphan-Bead Baubles’ and my ‘Fruit-Flavored Pearl Bracelets’. The bead baubles are always my best seller at shows, where I list them as zipper pulls/charms (though there is often creative discussion about other possible uses). Everyone has a zipper, and many love the idea of adding few beads to dress up their sweater, jacket or purse. The ‘Fruit-Flavored’ bracelets have been my most popular item on Etsy—I think it is because they are so photogenic!

Do you have any advice to share on how you have made your business grow?
The best advice I can give to anyone starting their own business is simply this—you get out of it what you put into it. The more time you spend networking and promoting, the better you will do!

What do you do when you are not creating?
I am a serious baseball fan (Go Red Sox!), so considering that each MLB team plays 162 games per season I spend a good deal of time in front of the TV with my beads on a folding tray—it depends on the game whether I spend more time watching or crafting. I also spend at least an hour a day playing DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) which is fantastic exercise! It may sound silly that I exercise using a videogame, but I’ve managed to lose 120 lbs in the past few years—don’t mess with success, right?!

--If you'd like to read more from Jessica, check out her blog. She's also also on Flickr.


  1. Well, Smutopia, I love your work and your story despite the reference to Red Sox!

  2. Great interview! Jessica, you rock...not only for your beautiful jewelry, but also for losing 120 lbs.! Woohoo!