Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Jewelry Process...

Many people at my shows ask me how I come up with the designs for my jewelry pieces. So here it is...

The first thing I look at when buying my beads are the color combinations that would go well together and compliment each other. Then I start to design...

I mainly look at using different kinds of beads that have different textures. For example using freshwater pearls with amazonite tumbled nuggets. This gives it some dimension. After only 6 months of making jewelry, I have started to be able design just by trying out different things. Sometimes I put things on the jewelry wire and don't like them, so I change it. I keep changing it until I love it!

My main motto when making jewelry is asking myself "would I wear that?" As a lot of my co-workers can attest to the fact that I wear my own jewelry on a daily basis because I am a walking billboard for my business.

I have a couple principals that I live by when creating new jewelry pieces. One of them I mentioned above about wearing my own jewelry. Secondly, I only make ONE of each piece of jewelry unless I have a customer request to have remake something. I like this because then my customers don't have to worry about walking into a party and having someone else wearing the same necklace. They are all one of a kind creations! I do have a "catalog" at craft shows that have pictures of sold items, so customers can choose from those designs as well. Lastly, I go above and beyond to bargain shop for my beads because I want to make my jewelry reasonably priced. I really try and never buy beads full price, which in turn makes my jewelry more cost effective.

The best part about this journey is that I am learning all along with way different jewelry making techniques and different aspects about small business. Also, it is a great stress relief from my full time job of being a teacher!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jewelry Photography...

When I started this business, I knew that I would need awesome pictures of my jewels for my etsy shop as well as for my "catalogs" I have on display at the craft shows. I decided early on that I wanted to have a lot of inventory, but not display everything on my table. Sometimes too much on a table can be overwhelming for customers.

Luckily, I have a friend who I grew up with that takes awesome pictures. I contacted her and she was excited to try a different type of photography of things that don't move (unlike people). Her name is Liz Cayne. You can find her work on her page on Facebook: Liz Cayne Photography. I have a link under resources on my blog. She really helped me with the colors in the background of the pictures and her ideas about colors inspired my display at the craft fairs. I love to look back at some of my first things I made to see how much I have grown in my technique and ideas. My favorite thing about the pictures are how artistic they are and how they show up close shots of the beads that I use. So here are some of the awesome pictures of my jewelry...

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Display...

I am very proud of my display and have spent hours perfecting it. This business is not only about making the jewelry but displaying it to make it accessible to people shopping as well as to catch the eye of someone walking by! I love the pops of color and the flowers make it feel like you are walking into a store.

I am very proud of my display in the middle of this table. I took a rustic looking open frame and stapled wire (used for gardening) into the back of the frame. All I needed was some "s" hooks and I made my own jewelry display. My favorite thing is using things you normally wouldn't consider to display my jewelry. 


My display has grown and developed significantly from when I first started the market. Check out my "old" set-up. It is cool for me to look back (not so long ago) and see how much I have added to my display and set up.

My far!

I am a special education teacher in the area, which has its peaks and valleys on a daily basis. I love my job, but this past winter I found myself looking for a hobby. I was in a craft store and noticed some "how to" books about making jewelry. I picked up one book and became intrigued. I came home and confidently told my family I was going to make jewelry! I got all my tools and my first set of beads....from there I became a jewelry maker. I decided to make it a business and see if I could profit off of my creativity. Thank goodness my younger sister is getting her degree in business, so she could give me guidance because I dove in head first and have been learning along the way.

In May, I started to vend my jewelry at a local farmer's market! It has been a great experience and my customer service skills I developed all my years at Old Navy have definitely come in handy. I have also started to do some festivals and shows outside of the farmers market, which has been great too! I really enjoy the feeling of someone putting on a piece of my jewelry and seeing their faces light up!

Thanks goodness for my family helping me tirelessly every weekend and keeping me company as well as helping with the set up and break down:-) My family and friends have been there the entire way through the process and despite my sometimes controlling ways, they continue to support me in my endeavors.

This summer, I am taking full advantage of being able to focus on my jewelry business. I love the creative process of making the jewelry and developing/expanding my displays!

My plan is to use this Blog to capture my thoughts about the process of making jewelry as well as my experiences as a vendor.

Hopefully, those of you who don't get to see me on a weekly basis will be able to be part of this new chapter in my life! I am excited for the journey and hoping that my business continues to grow.