nevadawoods


nevadawoods by Robi began as a jewelry shop, but quickly expanded to offer crocheted purses, scarves, baby clothes and shawls. Robi also recently opened a spinoff shop featuring these crocheted items. She does custom orders and specializes in Southwestern-style nature and animal jewelry. A member of Etsy's Etsy for Animals Team, Robi donates a percentage of her profits to alleycat.org, aspca.org, and bestfriends.org in addition to crocheting Snuggles to comfort animals in shelters.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft, Robi.
I have been doing crafts since I was a little girl. I used to draw all the time. My older sisters and I would take our sketchbooks and go out to the country and just spend the day sketching. I always planned to focus my time on painting and other crafts when I retired from teaching high school English. I retired in 2004. Within a few months, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis which affected the joints in my fingers. I will not let the disease affect my love for crafts. I still make jewelry and crochet. I did have to give up painting and embroidery.

I still teach part time as a college literature professor.

I think I made my first bead necklace as a college student in the late 1960's/early 1970's--love beads. I went into my first bead store while living in San Francisco in the mid 1970's. I was in awe of all the sparkling beads. I still go into bead stores and experience the same sensory pleasure. When I moved to the Southwest, I began collecting animal fetish beads.

I taught myself to crochet in my twenties to pass the time while I would accompany my future husband fishing. Years later, someone told me that I crochet backwards, but it's the only way I know.

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
I love to ride my horse whenever I can. I also enjoy being with my husband, my two daughters, my four cats, and my dog. Animals are a very important part of my life, and I often take time to crochet blankets for homeless pets in shelters.

I am happiest when I am creating something.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
I live about forty miles from the nearest post office, so mailing is always a special trip to town. With the price of gas, that cannot always be lucrative. Unfortunately, our mail carriers are not actual postal employees and are not trustworthy enough to give my mail to.

What item in your shop would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
I would love the shawls and also the turquoise and fetish jewelry.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a journalist and travel all over. I ended up teaching journalism instead. I never regretted my decision to become a teacher.

What other shops or artists out there do you love?
I love Yarntopia Treasures. I first bought some yarn from them on Ebay. Then I discovered she was on Etsy. I have made some items from their lovely hand dyed yarns. [See the SCS interview with Yarntopia Treasures here - ED.]

I love the paintings done by MVegan in her shop. She is also the founder of Etsy for Animals.

What does your future hold?
I hope to continue to make jewelry and crocheted items as long as I am able. I love doing crafts and cannot imagine a life without them.