Please tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Irina Kupryukhina. I was born in Kazakhstan and for the past two years I lived in the USA with my husband and son. I am a creative person and always loved working with my hands: I created abstract leather landscapes, cross-stitched, gardened and so forth. But all these were just temporary hobbies until I began to make jewelry. From that point on, my life has changed, my hobby turned into an occupation that I love.
What kind of items do you sell?
Mostly I sell jewelry with natural stones for people who like unusual and whimsical pieces. I also sell felted articles of clothing and accessories. I love to combine various materials and experiment.
What inspires you?
Nature, everyday life and my customers' happy eyes inspire me and give me the desire to work non-stop and grow.
What is your favorite medium?
Natural stones are my favorite medium. I feel their energy, the power of the stones. It might seem strange, but sometimes I ask the stones what kind of jewelry they would like to become. I never plan in advance and never make sketches, everything just comes together as I work. Sometimes I modify a piece of jewelry many times until the stone is content with its placement. My customers are always happy wearing my creations because I put a lot of love into my work.
Do you take custom orders?
Yes, I have a lot of repeat customers. Many of my customers appreciate me for my individual approach to each one of them. Before I start work for a particular client, I research her compatibility with stones. I do it because a stone that was not appropriately selected can harm its owner, while a properly selected stone can help its owner and amplify positive energy.
What are your favorite stones?
I love amber! Amber is my favorite stone, it is the most alive and it is an ideal match for me. I can wear it every day. However, there is a lot of other stones that I wear depending on the situation.
You also make felted items, how did you come to work with felt?
For a whole year I admired the works of wonderful craftsmen from RusTeam on Etsy who work with felt. I really wanted to try my hand in this technique, and once I started felting, I could not stop. I would like to give special thanks to Galina (galafilc) for her support and advice. I am still at the beginning of my felting journey and have a lot to learn.
How did Etsy come into your life?
When I had accumulated a lot of jewelry pieces I decided to open my own little store. For a whole year I did not try to sell anything, I was just watching from the sidelines. I decided to start selling in November of 2009.
How did you come up with the name of your store?
Beautyland is the place where any person is wishing to be. It is an imaginary world of beauty that is at the same time real. It is the world where all of your fantasies can come true, and my works will help you to feel original and unique.
How much time do you spend working?
I work about 14 hours a day and I enjoy it. I do work for my internet store, get prepared to various shows, work on custom orders, and do many more other things. I am very happy doing all this because this work fulfills me and brings me joy.
Are you working a day job too?
Once a week I volunteer at the Fire Bird art studio where I work with kids who speak or want to learn to speak Russian. I help these kids to get acquainted with the wonderful world of creativity and learn to work with various materials. We sometimes participate in festivals and other events. That is another interesting aspect of my life.
What are your web site, blog, Twitter, Facebook page?
My web site is www.beautyland.us
My blog is http://beautyandforyou.
If you could define your creations in 3 words or less, what would it be?
Made with love!
What would you like to say to our readers?
Open your eyes and you will see how beautiful the life is. Be happy!