Sunday, July 19, 2009

TDN Creations - Handcrafted Jewelry

My new "Feature A Home Based Business Owner" will be kicked off with entrepreneur and home business owner is Trang Dai Nguyen of TDN Creations.

Bio: Trang Dai has been crafting for as long as she can remember. She "discovered" wire working several years ago, and a passion was born. Trang Dai then decided to take metalsmith classes to bring her creations to the next level. She's been working with many different materials, from felt to silk, to polymer clay and crystals. But her favorite of all is silver. Especially silver wire. Most of Trang Dai's work includes wire because it is so versatile. "You can twist it, weave it, crochet it, knit it, make jump rings and chainmaille with it... So many possibilities that she wants to explore thoroughly. Trang Dai also likes pure lines and simple designs. Because the simple things in life are often the best..."

1- Trang Dai, what inspired you to start your own jewelry making business?

Several years ago, I bought a box of polymer clay in a craft store and started making whimsical creatures with the clay. When I brought them to my workplace, some people asked me if I would sell them. I thought about it and started selling them to be able to buy more supplies. Then, I became an active member of several polymer clay forums and started experimenting with many techniques that I learned from more experienced polymer artists. Many of them were making beads and jewelry, so I tried that too.

One day, a fellow PC artist showed me a wonderful website that was teaching how to make wire jewelry. All the projects were beautiful and I just couldn’t resist trying all of them. Friends and colleagues started to buy my wire and crystal jewelry and that’s when I seriously considered starting a business. After several months, I was looking at some beautiful pieces of jewelry on the internet and was thinking to myself “if only I could make something like that!”. But I couldn’t do that with wire only. So I starting looking for a school, because I didn’t believe that I could learn metalwork all by myself, readings books and looking at videos on the internet. I needed a real teacher! Fortunately for me, I found 2 schools in Montreal that would teach jewelry making and metalwork. I chose the one that concentrated mainly on techniques and was very happy with my choice. Now that I have finished school, I can concentrate on my jewelry making business.

2- What are the goals and aspirations you have set for your business?

I would like to grow my business to have my handcrafted jewelry pieces exposed in well-known art galleries around the world and be able to participate in international juried shows.

3- What inspires your creations?

Ancient civilizations inspire me most. Jewelry making has been around for centuries and I am always amazed at what jewelers from these old times could do. The complexity of their work is unbelievable and the techniques they used are surprising. Nature is another of my inspiration. I like to look at flowers, leaves and animals and make my own interpretation in my designs. Finally, I have always been inspired by geometry. I like simple lines: circles, squares, ovals... There are so many possible combinations that make clean, simple but striking designs.

4 - Do you also work out of the home? If so, how do you manage your schedule to work on your jewelry making business?

I have a studio at home where I work on jewelry pieces that do not require soldering and heavy equipment, such as wire wrapping and wax modeling. But I also rent a space in a larger artists’ studio with other jewelers. We share our equipment, support and teach each other. Most of the time, I would start my working day making jewelry. At break and lunch time, I’d check my various email accounts and answer any important requests. It’s only at the end of the day that I would take care of the rest of the business side: listing new items, working on my website, supplies shopping list, accounting, promotion, etc...

5- Besides your online stores, what other means do you use to display,advertise or introduce your jewelry to potential customers?

I have a Facebook page where fans get special promotions and sales and enjoy sneak peeks. I also promote my work on Twitter at Offline, I organize home parties and plan on exhibiting at local craft shows starting this fall.

6- What have you learned as a home business owner?

Being your own boss is not always easy, especially when you have to deal with all aspects of the business, some of which you are not always familiar with. Time management is also a big challenge. But in the end, it is very rewarding because what you do, you do it for yourself.

7- Please share one resource with my readers that will help them to be successful working from home.

Internet is definitively a great resource. You can find any kind of information on all business related topics; you can network with other crafters, get support from fellow artisans on craft or business questions....

8- Why did you choose this resource?

Internet is the resource I use the most. It is available 24/7 and allows you to reach the world while sitting in front of your screen.

9- What words of advice do you have for others who may want to start their own handcrafting business?

Be persistent and trust your instinct. If you don’t know much about business, you can always take courses or even delegate. Have someone else build your website, take your pictures, do your accounting or even sell your items... As long as you have a passion for your craft, the rest can always be worked out.

10- Please provide my readers with ways they can contact you and/or purchase some of your pieces?

You can visit my Etsy shop at and contact me through the “conversation” system or visit my website at and send me an email at contact [at] tdncreations [dot] com for more information.

Below is a sampling of some of the beautiful pieces you can obtain from TDN Creations:

Again, here's where you can find more TDN Creations:

Etsy shop:
Facebook page:

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