Nadine Krejci-Adam from Massachusetts runs Karma Spirals, selling little treasures called Karma Spirals - personal amulets made from polymer clay, inks and sometimes silver or copper leaf. They are meant to bring good karma and good luck to the owner.
When did you turn your craft into a business?
I grew up in a very creative household and must have gotten those genes from my parents because I have always been into one craft or another. For a few years before the birth of Karma Spirals, I was making shadow boxes with found objects. I loved searching for and collecting weird things that I might use in one of those creations. On one box, I wanted to create a black and white tile floor from the 20’s, and stumbled onto polymer clay as a solution. While I struggled to get the look I wanted, I realized that I loved the feel of the clay and started making other small pieces for my boxes.
In my quest to learn more about polymer clay, I stumbled upon a technique I could use to make these beautiful spirals. As I became more experienced, I was getting more and more thrilled with the outcome.
I have never before thought about selling my crafts, but when I shared them with family and friends I realized that they loved them as much as I did and I thought that others would too. That was the germ of the idea for selling them, and Etsy was the logical place to land.
How did you come up with a name for your store?
I thought about how these beautiful little spirals made me feel. They definitely had a calming effect. I started to use them during meditation, to slow my breathing and calm my mind. I also began carrying them with me wherever I went. I had them in pockets, on my desk and in my car. Some great things were starting to happen for me.
I interpreted that into “karma” - the luck (good or bad) that you bring upon yourself by your actions in life. I believe in karma and try to live my life with that believe at hand, and knew I wanted that as part of my store name. I truly believe that while you make your own good karma and good luck about 75% of the time, but that other 25% of the time – that’s magic! And I believe these little treasures give that magic its mojo.
Do you talk to your customers? Do you run a website or blog, social media?
I have a website, www.karmaspirals.com, powered through Etsy. I also have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KarmaSpirals in which I post pictures of my new products, as well as beautifully depicted inspirational quotes next to similar karma spirals to catch the attention of the Facebook community.
How did you start selling on Etsy?
I was already familiar with Etsy and felt it was the best place to showcase my products. I started by posting a few spirals about 10 months ago, and posting information about that on my personal Facebook page. I got a few orders. As time went on, and my technique got better, so did my product. Today, they are bigger and more beautiful than when I began, and I am always getting ideas for new designs. I have already added two different types of pendants and, most recently, a new line of beautiful pet memorials. Etsy was just the most natural place for my spirals to land.
What’s your favorite product?
I love all my products and use/wear them every day. However, I have a special place in my heart for the original Karma Spirals. I have always loved color and the end product of each Karma Spiral creation never ceases to thrill and amaze me. And I love seeing the excitement on someone’s face when presented with a pile of them from which to choose. I love that I can create something that will put joy on someone’s face and give some tiny thing to believe in.
Even if I were never to sell a single Karma Spiral, I would still make them and love them. I truly believe they give me good luck and good karma. And the most potent ones are the ones I’ve had the longest. This is because as you handle these spirals, a part of you seeps into each one, making it a very personal amulet.
What are your future goals?
Very recently, I launched Karma Spiral Pet Memorials. They look just like the original Karma Spirals, but are much bigger. I am offering some already made, but also have the ability to make one to order where I can incorporate some of the pet’s cremains in the center of the spiral. These are beautiful objects and a great way to memorialize a cherished pet.
I am also about to launch a new product – Karma Spiral Earrings. And of course, I am always working hard to build up my business on Etsy. The challenge for me is that Karma Spirals did not exist before, so no one is actually searching Etsy for “Karma Spirals” – at least not yet! I’m learning a lot about marketing through this channel. I’m also looking for other ways to extend my product line and bring more people to my store, and have several ideas brewing. Polymer clay is such a versatile medium and I’m looking forward to other product creations.
What’s your process from an idea to a finished product?
I work a lot with dies and usually start by preparing my clay with different dyes, letting the colors speak to me as I go. Each preparation is different. I’m crazy about copper so at times I add some copper or silver leaf in my clay preparation for sparkle. I decide ahead of time whether I’m going to make an original Karma Spiral, a pendant, a pet memorial or earrings, as the sizes are quite different. After baking my pieces, pendants and earrings are pared with complementary beads and findings to complete the piece. Here again, I let both colors and shapes speak to me, trying different combinations as I go along.
Some of these are things I can control. But there are so many things that are at play with the final results – the color and amount of ink, how the colored clay is blended and the skill in creating the shape. I’m honestly never sure exactly how the final product will come out and that’s what makes this so much fun for me! That’s also what makes each piece totally unique. At times I come out with something so spectacular that I believe the heavens are looking down on me. This process is so hypnotizing for me that I often look up to find hours have gone by without realizing it.
When and where do you find yourself most creatively inspired?
I have a studio in my home, and I’ve always been a morning person. I usually prepare my clay with inks and let them dry overnight. In the morning, I can’t wait to see how they will come out. I’ve told myself many times that I’ll just take a quick peak at the clay, and hours later I decide I better go have some breakfast. I also get some very interesting ideas just before falling asleep at night, and make sure I jot down the ideas for the next day.