BALC Blog Hop #2 – Who am I and Where am I going?


This class is certainly a challenge!  On so many levels.  I haven’t had to think this hard in a very long time.  I am so inspired by my classmates.  Many of them face daily personal challenges much greater than my own – and they continue to create beautiful jewelry.  My hat is off to all of them.

For the second month of class we have focused on:

  • Why we should care about high fashion as seen in Vogue magazine and how it influences our jewelry making.
  • Define where we are in jewelry making – Hobbyist, Jewelry Maker, or Jewelry Designer
  • Managing our jewelry inventory so that we can determine our own personal supply and demand needs.
  • Pyramid pricing – creating price levels in our jewelry line
  • Pricing our jewelry for profit.

VOGUE – Ugh!

One requirement of this class was to subscribe to Vogue magazine.    I resisted this but finally caved.  Lots of photos – mostly advertisements – of skinny women in strange clothes.  Lots of dark colors.  I did like the Land’s End and J Crewe coats.  Must admit, I loved some of the purses.

The class module on Vogue said we should analyze the featured fashions.  Analyze the fashions??  I wanted to send the designers to analysis!  And I wanted to feed the models! So, I picked the photos apart – my version of analysis.  Began to look at the lines and the colors – mostly the colors.    I was disappointed at the lack of jewelry shown with the fashions.  The color combinations were interesting – some quite beautiful.  I began to imagine the kind of jewelry that would work with the clothing lines.

The result of my very rough analysis is that I still don’t like Vogue – will not be renewing the subscription.  But I will follow fashion online.  And I will be going through the issues I have and tearing out the things that appeal to me – colors and lines and shapes.

So, sorry Brenda.  No Vogue convert here.  But I did see the value in viewing the issues and considering the clothing as art as well as fashion.

If Not Vogue, then What (or Who) does Inspire me?

Why Pinterest, of course.  I get many ideas for composition and color combinations from the photos of vintage and contemporary jewelry.  I love the designs of Miriam Haskell, Juliana, and designers from the Victorian era. I like the complicated compositions and the colors that grab your attention.  I love analyzing vintage pieces to see how they are constructed.  Because Pinterest is the place you find things that people love, you have a good chance of seeing what your target customer loves.  I hope to appeal to women from their 30’s to their 80’s.  Women who shop for jewelry that speaks to them.  Women who truly enjoy wearing jewelry – even to the grocery store.

Most of my inspiration comes from members of the B’Sue Boutiques Creative group on Facebook!  – including the wonderful Miss Brenda. There are so many talented jewelry artists in the group.  I constantly discover a different way of using a component – usually with a slap to my forehead and a “Why didn’t I think of that?”.  Before joining the group I had never thought to use a bead cap as a bezel; had never tried to spray paint metal stampings; had only used patinas for dollhouses; had never added small accents like pearls; had never riveted jewelry; would never have used a heart stamping upside down or smashed a bead cap; and, heaven forbid, would never ever have mixed metals.  The list goes on and on.  So you guys and gals in the facebook group are my real inspiration.  I would like to spend a few days with each of you just to watch you create.


The Devil Wears Prada

One of my all-time favorite movies!  I adore Meryl Streep!  Meeting this class requirement was a treat.  And, I loved the fashions in the movie.  I would wear any of the Streep outfits. (And maybe some of Stanley Tucci’s suits.)  Can I have her hair also?

Costume designer Patricia Field was 65 years old when the movie was released.  Her designs set the tone for the movie. They illustrated the story of Miranda Priestly (Anne Hathaway’s character) so very well.   The “Cerulean Blue” scene is priceless.  And, the lesson is obvious.  The decisions made by couture designers influence clothing buyers for years to come.  Their runway fashions are altered and modified to sell in high-end boutiques, chain department stores, etc.  Most of us, I think, do not see the influence of the designers when we buy that pretty outfit at Macy’s.  But we are reaping the benefits of their imaginations.

So Who Am I? Hobbyist, Jewelry Maker, or Jewelry Designer?  

The class participants were asked to determine what category we fall in and whether we are happy in that category.

I have had many, many hobbies.  Some were born of necessity.  I took Wilton classes and decorated cakes because I couldn’t afford bakery cakes for my kids.  That ‘hobby’ was ‘work’ – walked away from it pretty quickly!  The wedding cake for my brother was the straw that broke that camel’s back.

Some of them remain wonderful ways to relax – cross-stitching and miniatures for example.

Two of my ‘hobbies’ transitioned to small businesses – very small businesses. We built dollhouses and vignettes for many years and I was a decorative painter also. For many years we sold at more than 20 craft fairs a year.

I returned to jewelry making after we closed “Sunflower Folk Art” – our retail store where we taught decorative painting and sold supplies.

We hosted several jewelry classes at our painting store.  After the store closed, it was jewelry-making that pulled me out of a deep dark hole.

I started out with simple stringing and then beadweaving.  And, then, discovered assemblage jewelry.  I will still do some beadweaving but assemblage has become my first love.  And I get to paint!

Began doing craft shows again about ten years ago. Had to support my habit. I love meeting people and listening to their comments.  There is nothing like direct contact with the customer.

Booth Photo Collage

So, I am no longer a hobbyist.  I am definitely a jewelry maker and maybe borderline jewelry designer.  That term implies that I create original designs.  Not sure that fits me in that you can find many jewelry pieces similar to mine.  When I create a beadwoven piece, it is most likely a  pattern that I purchased.  Although I may alter the pattern, I certainly did not design the piece.

I want to grow my business – especially my online business. I want to develop a brand that customers recognize.  I want  to transition from doing so many craft fairs.  Simply getting too old to do the hard work of set up and tear down.  And doing juried shows mandates travel – with all the costs involved.  Ideally, I would like to do five or six shows a year – good, juried shows.

I also want to have a line that I can present to retail shops in a 100-mile radius of our home.  My price points are established so that I can offer wholesale and still have a good profit margin.

The Pyramid of Sales

Pyramid of Sales Graph

This graph is an excellent tool for determining the levels of jewelry that you make.  As indicated by the pyramid shape, you should have the majority of your jewelry priced in the bottom two levels.  That will be the majority of your sales.  And, in my case, the bottom two tiers represent the items in my line with the highest profit margin.  I love making the statement pieces and will always make them.  But I will concentrate on the lower tiers.


My “Pretty in Pink” Theme

2015-09-23 14.08.10

This photo of “The Lady Elaine” necklace gave me the idea for “Pretty in Pink”.  She was created for a blog hop challenge in September 2015.

So, Where am I Going with “Pretty in Pink”?

PIP Step Out Pink Rose Statement Piece

I am working on several pieces for the line.  The constant theme will be the color pink, in many shades.  The collection I plan to finish for class will feature porcelain roses.   The photo shows components for a necklace that is nearly done. Wonderful components from

I have finished a necklace and am playing with ideas for simple pendants, brooches, earrings, and maybe a ring. Taking lots of photos as I go.

Where will I go from here?  I want to develop several collections to present to shops.  This floral pink line will be one.  I hope to expand on the floral theme to include other colors. I am developing plans for other collections such as  – Romantic, featuring hearts, cameos and figurals; Western, featuring cowgirl stuff.  I like the idea of “Collections” – lines built around a theme or a life event.

I will continue to make jewelry using vintage components. They will be one-of-a-kind or limited editions.  I now offer my “Yesterday’s Treasures” collection  in my Etsy shop and at craft fairs.

Streep in purple

Thanks for reading.

If you would like to see more of my jewelry, please visit my Etsy shop to see what is available –

Looking forward to seeing my classmates’ blog posts.  Please continue the hop by selecting any of the links below.

  1. Brenda Sue Lansdowne  Jewelry Making Outside the Box

2. Diana Buynak  –  Butterfly Emporium Ceramic Studio

3. Irene Hoffman  – Heartsdezirebyirene

4.  Clare Wells Nemeth  – Creative Magick

5.  Mary Reckmeyer –  Afrayedknot

6.  Marcia Tuzzolino  – Aurora Designs

7.  Elizabeth Wilks – Wearable Art by Lizzie

8.  Jeanette Rose Belmont – One Canvas at a time

9.  Lyn Joy Reeve – A Journey from Jewels to Jubilation

10.  Belinda Reed-Ingle  – Vogue Rocks

11.  Beth Trubman – The Journey of Jewelry

12.  Carole Carlson – Beadsophisticate

13.  Jann Tague – Clever Designs by Jann

14.  Shari Gardner – SLG Jewelry Designs

15.  Susan Bolton – Fern’s Place

16.  Chris Kemp – NoodlePie Bracelets

17.  Barbara Kelley – Angels’ Keep

18.  Susan Bowerman – Woodside WireWorks

19.  Pamela Anger – Novegatti Designs

20.  Joan Donovan – Hailey’s Cottage

21.  Alison Huie – Ally’s Baubles

22.  Sharon Palac – Sharon’s Jewelry Garden

23.  Erica Olmos – Beeb’s Closet

24.  Erin Whitacre – Shattered Time Jewelry

25.  Fran Sitton – Sitton Up Front

26.  Ginger Hammond – Lynn Leigh Designs – YOU ARE HERE!

27.  Paula Gaskill – Lovely LaylaBug Jewels 

28.  Mary Katherine – The Rose Sword 

29.  Renee Webb Allen – Small Stuff Design

30.  Valerie Tilghman- ArtJewelsandGifts

31.  Chris Cravens Vintage Cravens

32.  Leslie Carver

33.  Donna Parry, JewelryDonna

34.  Gina-Marie Hammer – Tangles, Twists and Treasures

35.  Kelly Wymer  Winged Wisdom Enchantments

Please mark your calendars and join us!  The next blog hop is April 1 – No Fooling!