Thursday, January 29, 2009

A look at Sue from Blue Marble Beads

Sue is one of the first suppliers I bought from at Etsy. She was always very nice, and she had an almost psychic way of guessing exactly what beads I would want when I'd order a grab bag bead mix from her -- wonderful mixes of beads (usually at least two of each, which is perfect, as I make a lot of earrings). Just little by little we started talking here and there. I've come to appreciate the warm, generous, friendly person she is and want to interview her so that others could get to know her, too.

Tell me what made you decide to get into jewelry design and supplies.

I’ve always had a creative side and had been making jewelry for 20+ years as a hobby. One day after looking at a very popular jewelry catalog, it dawned on me that I could be doing this too and it just might be the answer to our prayers. So, like the girl from “Legally Blonde”, I literally decided to open up a jewelry store one day. To put things out in the universe and see what happens! Blue Marble Beading Company was born. came about from having too many beads! This store was opened as a de-stash site. It was to be a temporary site, but it wasn’t long before I realized that the loose beads were selling faster than the finished jewelry and Blue Marble Beads quickly became a steady source of income. I set about doing some research as to what type of beads was most desirable. I found that the majority of finished jewelry sales were of “vintage” designs. I researched vintage bead distributors and decided to specialize in un-circulated vintage beads. I never appreciated acrylic beads until I really started handling them. They truly are amazing! Having this shop has opened my eyes to the beauty of vintage design. I recently opened up a third store that showcases my finished vintage jewelry.

Truth be told, when all is said and done, is my passion. It’s where I breathe. I love gemstones and silver. The fact that they are harvested out of the earth is amazing to me! Finding and working with exceptional quality stones, creating the one of a kind designs is one of my favorite things to do. The other is playing with my son.

I'm interested in your vision -- why you do what you do?

“Necessity is the mother of invention”, a very true statement in my case. I am a single parent of a multi-disabled child. Due to the unstableness of my son’s medical needs, I realized that punching a clock from 9-5 just wasn’t going to work for our family, and that ultimately I would become unemployable. I worked in the legal field for 5 years and was recently let go due to the medical needs of my son and the responsibilities of being his sole caretaker.

What was, and is, your motivation?

I don’t want to be rich, I want to live well. And by that I mean, I want to be able to take vacations, not worry about college money, be able to get my kid braces, have food on the table and a car that runs. My son’s well being has always and will always be my motivation.

How long have you been doing this and how did you get started?

Blue Marble Beading Company debuted on January 31st, 2008.

Blue Marble Beads on May 20th, 2008.

Whisperings on November 26th, 2008.

Also, what are your goals for the future of your business?

My philosophy for business is this. I would rather have a customer for life, than a customer for a day. I want people to trust me. I want them to know that when they order from me they don’t have to worry about the quality of the product. I inspect everything before sending it out and I am completely approachable should they not be satisfied with their purchase. That policy is true to all my stores. My goal is to continue to provide this quality of service.

If business increases at Blue Marble Beads, I will be looking to employ someone to help me. In the near future I will be taking some trips to wade through a couple of vintage bead warehouses that are pretty near to where I am. I am always trolling for new beads to carry. The “one of a kind” goodies! I may look into carrying some Czech glass too.

What drives and inspires you?

Inspiration comes at me from all sides, but mostly nature. I can grab a color palette from the bark of a tree or a fallen leaf. Nature is completely fascinating. If you haven’t looked up lately, you’ve missed a gorgeous sunset, if you haven’t looked down, a colorful patch of flowers.

Having a child keeps your eyes wide open. You stop to show things to them that they have never seen before, and then you experience them all over again.

I have a very close relationship to God. I see the beauty of what He has made and I am inspired by it.

I believe that every being has the desire to create. I believe that those that take the time to create are really living.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Adorn Me Jewelry featured on The American Craft Guide.

The ACG is having a "i heart handmade" virtual arts and crafts show for Valentine's Day.

They have kindly featured Adorn Me, and the item we donated to the show, on their "Cool Finds - Jan 28" section.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Treasured Rose, A Romantic Era Necklace

Beautiful celluloid roses, oh, how I love thee!

The focal point of this one of a kind, Romantic period necklace is a gorgeous baby blue lucite rose. It is combined with 8mm Aquamarine Celsian Czech glass melon beads, and a fat wire-wrapped, faceted aqua quartz briolette. This is a necklace to treasure.

The colors in these melon beads are dreamy. Aquamarine and teal mix with golden greens in ways that make it hard for me to look away (I've already admitted here that I'm a magpie, so no surprise!). The cherry on the sundae is the light luminous iridescent they have, so that they glow and pick up the light to stunning advantage.

The melon beads travel up the necklace about 4 1/2" on each side, and then antiqued brass chain takes over and meets in the back, with a lobster claw clasp, as well as a brass hand that says "hand made" and a wrapped, matching melon bead.

The necklace is about 18 1/2" in length, but can be made longer or shorter at your request.

We have several other lovely necklaces featuring these roses, in different colors, as well as flower rings on filigree bases, and a lime-colored rose bracelet. More bracelets are on their way!

Just so you know, I bought the rose from Wendy and the beads from Gwynne. If you're unsure of who Wendy and Gwynne are, see this journal entry.

To go to the page for this item, click here. To see all of the other rose and flower items in my store, click here.

Adorn Me's shop at Etsy is having a special right now, but it is only good for subscribers to our mailing list -- a 25% discount. So if you see something you like and want a chunk of the price taken off, sign up here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Etsy's Best Suppliers for Jewelry Designers... in my opinion!

I have personal policy. Crudely put, it is: "I won't hand money to an asshole unless I have to." It's my money; I can choose how I spend it, and who I hand it to, for the most part. Sometimes we have to hand it over; there are times in our lives where we have no choice. But day to day, we vote with our dollars -- with our money we vote, collectively, which businesses will thrive and which will not.

The opposite side of that Yin-Yang coin is that I prefer to hand my money to good, kind people. The women listed here are not just my suppliers, but also some of my favorite people to communicate with at Etsy. It's a pleasure to order from them, and I feel good knowing that if I'm going to be giving someone my money for supplies, it's them. I won't go into specifics about these lovely people, because that might involve divulging confidences, but let me tell you, these women are golden, and have been much more than kind to me. And these are all women I never knew until I met them through buying supplies at Etsy.

There is one constant when it comes to these lovely women: they are all marvelous people. It's not just that they have wonderful products at great prices, fast shipping, great customer service (though all of that is true of them, and very important!), but more, they are the salt of the earth. Generous, kind, helpful, they really care about their customers and they are just very decent, fantastic people.

If you are looking for fantastic items for your jewelry-making endeavours, please look them up -- you won't be disappointed. And please tell them Adorn Me said "Hi!."

Bead Supplies - Shop owner: Wendy

Blue Marble Beads - Shop owner: Sue

Brie's Boutique - Shop owner: Brie

Cathy's Jewels - Shop owner: Cathy

Fab Beads - Shop owner: Shannon

Magnolia Supplies - Shop owner: Mag (well, that's what I call her!)

Mountain Shadow Design - Shop owner: Diana

PenGwynne Beads - Shop owner: Gwynne

Treasures by Karen - Shop owner: Karen

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

i *heart* Handmade

I'm signed up for the American Craft Guide's "i heart handmade" virtual arts and crafts show. This mini-show will be open from Jan. 24 - Feb. 8, 2009. For more information, click here.

Not only will I be donating Adorn Me's Disco Ball ring as one of the prizes, but I will be giving a special 20% discount to customers who buy from my shop using the code that will be on the ACG's "i heart handmade" promotion beginning January 19th. Go take a look. :)