Thursday, November 3, 2016

Shop Feature! Erika Sándor The StoryTelling Jeweller

Meet Erika Sándor a top-notch jewelry designer, writer, and teacher living in Amsterdam.
She opened her Etsy shop "The Storytelling Jeweller" in 2015. This unique shop features beading tutorials and kits that are fresh, fun, and creative. Erika is a world traveler and her adventurous spirit, beading expertise, and passion for teaching helps her transform experiences into beaded and written memories.
Her designs challenge the most experienced beaders to use their skills in ways that expand their creativity, at the same time beginners are invited to push themselves, grow their beading skills and to simply have fun!

Erika offers professional, beautifully detailed tutorials and kits. When you purchase one of her tutorials you will receive easy-to-understand instructions and clear illustrations that are available via instant download.

 Erika is never more than an email away to answer questions or assist you in finding materials for your project. She also encourages you with”virtual” open arms and thinks of you not as a customer, but as a friend and fellow beader, so she does everything she can to ensure you are successful. As an added bonus she tells a short story with some of her tutorials, which gives you a bit of history, insight into her life, or an interesting fact that she decided to share. Erika also makes teaching licenses available for purchase.

Interview with Erika

How long have you been beading and how did you get started? 

I was beading all my life I suppose, but I got serious about it during the last year of my university studies. It was in 2008/2009. I was under a lot of pressure when preparing for my double major and writing my thesis, and beadwork was a perfect way to ease the stress. Funny, but when I passed the last exam, I already knew that I did not want to be a teacher or an art historian. A friend and I decided to open the first bead shop in Slovakia. After two years I went solo and managed the shop for 4 more years.
I loved the project a lot, but last year I decided to sell the business and turn to jewellery making as a full time job. Currently I am living in Amsterdam. I write tutorials and soon I will start to teach beadwork again!

What moved you to become an Etsy seller and then a member of the Etsy Beadweavers?

Etsy is a great place to offer our handmade goods, and the Etsy Beadweavers Team is the perfect place to exchange ideas, learn and grow together!

What other ways do you market your kits and tutorials?

I blog and show off my work at:
Recently I started a series of articles on the theme “How to take better pictures about jewellery” and I have a regular series: “Face to Face”, where I introduce designers, jewellery makers, and creatives. If you like the idea and would like to get featured, don’t hesitate and contact me at:!
I have a Facebook page at and an Instagram account at I look forward to seeing you there!

Have you made use of the EBW Instagram page?

Yes, I love Criss’s idea and really appreciate her work with it!

Why do you call yourself “The Storytelling Jeweller” come from?

The world is so beautiful around us! I enjoy travelling to new places, getting to know people, reading and learning about everything around me. Then I transform the impressions into beaded and written memories. The beaded memories are available as finished jewellery and beadweaving tutorials in my two Etsy shops, and the written one are waiting for you on my blog at:

How would you describe the type of jewelry your designs produce?

I make two different kinds of jewels. I like to call the result of my bead embroidery “character jewellery”. They are more than fancy accessories. Most of the time they are bold and colourful, sometimes incorporating surprising objects – coins, stones and even a coffee spoon in my latest big necklace, the “Safekeeper” made for the Battle of the Beadsmith competition. The Storytelling Jewellery is for women who are not afraid to talk about their thoughts and world view. Who cherish life, are optimistic and have a respect for themselves and those around them, too.

The beadwoven pieces, which are turned into tutorials are experiments with shapes and colours. Besides the classic shapes I like to use the new two (or more) holed beads, too. When I wear them, people are often surprised to learn that they are not made of readymade components, but of tiny beads. I like to challenge myself while designing, and then challenge my students and learn together.

What is your design process when creating/writing a tutorial?
My creative process in a nutshell is the following:

There’s no fun without bending rusty, good old conventions and a bit of chaos, and there’s no creativity neither. In my case it comes with three messy bead mats, half a dozen notebooks for sketches and a handful of pink, red and turquoise pens to fill the pages.

Developing a flash into something legit and reasonable requires questions, experiments and mistakes. The fear of feeding the “UFO-box” containing UnFinished Objects can nurture and kill ideas, too. Playfulness eliminates the worry about it.


Looking for the perfect place for every tiny bead and redrawing the tutorials until they are the easiest to understand. In the meanwhile, I am grateful for every question and suggestion, and try to learn something new every day.
Your love of detail is evident in all of your tutorials, how would you encourage someone who may be intimidated by the intricacy of your designs to challenge themselves?
I intend to make the tutorials as easy to follow as possible. I work in a professional vector graphic program to draw the diagrams, and my friend Zuzi proofreads them to make sure they are easily understandable.

However, it can of course happen that somebody encounters a problem. I always do my best to help the beader in need. At first I try to explain it better in an email with photos, then in a video. In case of further trouble, it’s possible to schedule a Skype-call to bead and work on the pattern together. If nothing, not even a one-on-one session works, then I offer a full refund for the tutorial. But that was never necessary so far ☺

What has been the most difficult part of offering tutorials and kits in your Etsy shop and what has been the most rewarding?

The most difficult part was (and still is) to improve my time management – I think that’s the key to success besides determination and motivation.
The most rewarding part is to see the tutorials come alive. It’s great when I get to see the finished pieces. Each one is different, even if it was made from the same pattern – marked by the beader’s favourite colours, beloved combinations etc. I encourage beaders to show me the result of their work, and I am happy and proud to share them on my Facebook page

What tips or advice can you share?

Be consistent and be professional! Try to learn, improve, better your skills constantly. And not only your beadwork, but also your skills and knowledge regarding marketing, taking pictures, writing engaging texts etc. Hard work will pay off after all. Good luck and have a nice, creative day!

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Erika, and see some of her finished pieces such as the “Safekeeper” which is an amazing mix of found objects, unusual objects and beautiful beading. by visiting her website and blog at:

Erika Sándor is excited about the journey of life and she invites you with open arms to join her as she tells her story through beautifully crafted pieces of art. It’s true she is the storytelling jeweller, but she is also the sharing and caring jeweller!

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