Those new beginnings,. and a vintage market.

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I’m now making a start on my new ideas. Something I took a fancy to was a vintage watch face simply strung on chain and a super easy necklace that can be as classy or casual as you want it to be. I’m wearing one tonight when I go out with the girls. The other is for sale and will be updated to the website soon.

There is a vintage market coming up next weekend which I am planning on attending with a few smaller items of vintage inspiration – bracelet, earrings and some brooches hopefully. And I have just under a week to go. Eek!

Pictures of the necklace didn’t come out very well. Placing things on black are good for static looks or actual wearing, but for taking photos black is crap. The top picture is from my phone and the ones below from the camera. Another thing I need to do is find the right props for vintage style items and for my brooches.
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Vintage steampunk or steampunked vintage…

For some time now I’ve admired the look of the steampunk attitude towards jewellery. All cogs, and parts and odd bits and pieces. Although eclectic more or less means ‘A bit of all styles’ I feel that steampunk is attracted to the eclectic side of my beading. Popping through spotlight today just having a squiz – we all love spotlight for which ever reason we’re there – and steampunk is still huge in their beading section. I’m going to make a small collection of steampunk scarf bails and brooches as I think it will bring a little crazy to your outfit without going the whole hog as it were.

The vintage side of things has grabbed my attention also. The styles back then – 1920’s onwards – were so much more stylish and funky.  I’ve several books on making jewellery and bags and am definitely going to focus on that side of thing. As usual I have gone from lots of jewellery to wanting fewer styles to going back round again. Sometimes it takes a while to get into the space where you want to be. I’ve been down this vintage path before so I’m figuring it’s more the place I should be. Steampunk and vintage. Definitely an eclectic mix and perfect for those that know me.

As for the title. I’m steampunked vintage jewellery will be pretty funky for sure.

Year of the bead!

Well, that’s what I said back in January. And things were hopping along quite nicely. Until life kinda jumped in and without being very polite nudged the beads off to the side for a bit.
And in my creative mess I wasn’t in the mood to drag it back…until now. I’m making a new start and keeping things simple. I almost feel like I’m selling myself out with this, by deciding on selling multiples, and going mainstream with my stock. I, like many other beaders want to sell one of a kind (OOAK) items and not have many of the same thing. Well, sometimes it just doesn’t work like that. I’ve known this for a while and, yes, have been in denial about it. By doing the few things I will be I can still keep my creative difference even with making stacks of multiples.
It may be June and half way through the year already but The year of the Bead is back on track!
There’s something I want to test out, which are easy to make and can be whipped up in no time at all. Even at markets if I so desire. A simple, stylish something that pretty well all women would like to wear (I hope).
Cheers beady friends, Jen

New thoughts, and a massive SALE!!!

I’m a creative person. In lots of ways. I write. I take photos. I make things. I enjoy cooking and experimenting. And I have a short attention span. At times. For certain things. Well, most of the time actually, and especially for my beads. What sells, what doesn’t sell and what I’m wanting to make. It’s a hard thing. Finding that niche, that thing that will set you apart. Finding the style that will keep me interested for more than five minutes.
I love making necklaces and bracelets and things. All the beads, the time to design and make them. The frustration when they don’t go to plan and the joy when it all comes together.  Sometimes completely differently to what I envisioned. My work space has been a shambles for a while. It quite often is. I try really hard to keep it tidy, but the creative within me decides otherwise. And so a mess it stays.
The other day I had an epiphany. I would concentrate on the accessories side of my business. The small things. Scarf bails, brooches, pendants, rings and earrings.
So with that in mind I can finally start on tidying my room with a plan in mind. Moving cupboards, sorting beads and tossing them out (eek! yes I did it).
Sure it’s coming up to winter and these items will sell better, but I find they are also are becoming my bread and butter items. The regular sellers.
I’m in the process of updating the website and am having a huge sale. To help shift my old stock and make room for new items coming through it’s a massive 40% off sale. Yep, I know that’s huge. I want to move things, so I can get onto my new ideas. At the moment it is 40%off the total but I will be changing the prices to reflect the items that are on sale as there will be my new regular stock also for sale.

So come on over to the website – click on the link to the top right – and go shopping. Remember I will be adding and moving items around regularly so be quick if you see something you like.

Cheers, Jen

Taking a beading break

It’s been way way too long since I’ve been here, or anywhere much in the blogosphere. Dottering about, making, selling,writing, reading.. to say life has gotten in the way is an understatement. I’ve barely touched my craft room (it’s a freaking mess), and keeping my motivation at any kind of productive, working level has been hard.
I have to do some serious work on my website which will be happening this week. I have to make time purely for that otherwise it will never get done and I may as well not even have it. Paying for something that is not working.

I have some new items to put up on the site, and want to have a few limited collections to sell off.  All in good time.  As I tell my husband, I have a list a mile long of things I want to do, and that’s without adding in anything to do with kids, house or him.
So many things to do, so little time to do it.

wet day market & new promotions

Ok, let’s do the new promotions first. I’ve decided, as some of you may already know, that this is the year of the beads. I plan on promoting my wares every which way and the first part of that (aside from being vigilant on updating my social media (ie: Twitter & FB)) is to have actual outside advertising. So onto my favourite printing and merchandise website – Vistaprint – I went and set about designing a flyer and new business cards. The good thing about having a logo is that I can change the design of my cards as much as I like and so long as the logo is there, it’s all good. By which I mean, every time I’ve designed my cards I’ve changed them, as I haven’t found one which I feel is really ‘me’, one that fits what I am. until now. Funky pink flowers it is. And then I got to thinking and I have a car magnet to slap on the car whenever I go out. So they got ordered, and were delivered – they look amazing!! and cards and flyers went into my stockists.
Only one problem. the magnets wouldn’t come in the same design as the cards. Oh well, they are still bright and look pretty good.
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Now, there is more coming. I got so excited about all this, and with the advent of another couple of big markets to attend, the options for bigger reach is just too much to bear.. so I ordered a large vertical banner and stand and as a bonus I get another mini car magnet – both of them with my funky flowers!! yay, super happy. Photos of these when they arrive.

Wet day markets. Ugh.
Saturday just gone was the annual Middleton Fair, perfectly located just 500 metres from my house. If it weren’t for the fact it was all down a steep hill I could probably walk my goods there (it would take a few trips, but the exercise would do me good).
It is always a good day, no longer than any other market I attend when you take into consideration the set up and pack up times; but because it is all outside, there are 90+ stalls, animal nursery, band/s, displays, demonstrations, lucky ‘gate’ prizes, a great load of advertising and local gardening/cooking celebrities.
This year was gearing up to be like any other except for one thing. The weather. Forecast to rain all day (it’s the middle of summer here, so not appreciated) it was going to be a hit and miss kind of day. Like many, I was very tempted to stay in bed and not go, but made the trek (expecting to be closing up early) and I was glad I did. Whole nearly half the stalls either came and left or didn’t bother even arriving, many people braved the weather and came along to visit. It was certainly not like last year’s hot day, but it could have also been bucketing down. I had a slow day, like most except the coffee and hot food people, and only made my stall fee + a small bit, but I know that all markets are different and considering the weather was pleased with what I did.

I did get the details of a lady on Bruny Island who organises a couple of markets there, so will be applying to head over (with mum as she usually does them regularly).
Mum and I shared my large gazebo (not quite twice the size of a regular one) and many people stopped and mentioned how sturdy ours looked and didn’t look like it was going to blow away. after checking the weather everyday in the lead up, I pared down my display so if it was too wet or windy I wouldn’t be chasing my goods all over, or having things broken. And it made it easier for a quick pack up should it be required – which was funny as it took me way longer to set up and pack up than usual.
I now have plans for hiring two sites next year and making a full ‘room’ of my stall, making a full boudoir of awesome pink beadiness.

Til next time, with more banners, magnets and new makes..

BonneyBird – Marcato’s display

This morning I drove off up the road to see Rachel at BonneyBird to update and tidy my display. I may pay her a commission to sell my goods but it’s still my responsibility to make sure everything is looking ok, she is happy and there are enough jewellery items and choices on display.

How could you not want to see what’s inside with an entrance that looks like this?

When I went overseas late last year I invoiced her a small box worth so she had enough to keep it full – or top up if she sold that much – and today I got that box out to have a look.
There were only 3 pieces left in it. Woo!

My display is now tidy and fresh, with all items on the table. I re-arranged things and have a few ideas to zip it up another notch later on. Namely making it more of a pink and white display, with some extra height. When I called in the other day Rachel had placed a mirror on the table which was awesome as I had not thought of supplying one. The only problem here, it was for sale, so if sold, there was nothing for my potential buyers to check out how a necklace might look. So I delivered one of my own. I have my banner on the wall behind, and while I like it, I feel it is a little bland, and would like to update it. It hangs wonky, but I know how to fix that. And then I can update it. Banner wise, is to get a vertical banner for markets.

Last night I went off to a garden birthday party and several things happened. My name was thrown around a bit with some of the guests not believing my name really is Jennifer Hawkins. Miss Australia, you say? no no no, Miss Universe thank you very much.
But the important bits, 1) Rachel was there and said I had sold something else that very morning, 2) I got lots of compliments on the necklace I was wearing, 3) another customer was wearing her necklace which was getting lots of attention and I hence got the compliments and 4) a friend asked me how much a certain item was she had seen on Facebook and said she was very interested in it as a gift (and has since said ‘Sold’ for delivery this week).
To say I am happy is an understatement. My new cards, flyers and the car magnet will be arriving this week ready for the big fair on Saturday, so there will be more pictures later. And I am super excited about seeing how they look!

Til then, keep creative
Jen 🙂

Meet Charlie!

Now Charlie is not your usual girl’s name but my newest staff member is not your usual girl. Tall and slight, with a beautiful soul she is definitely my classy one. With a twisted sense of humour to keep you on your toes.
Like Josephine she jumped straight into the modelling scene, with this beautifully delicate chain piece. The necklace of two chains with pretty green beads is perfect for her.

While Josephine has the curves to work well with the chunkier pieces, Charlie’s slight build mean the delicate and light pieces are all hers to manage. Given the two girls have been inseparable all afternoon I don’t think there will be anything to worry about when it comes to them working together.

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Next up will be introducing the twins and my two sets of triplets. Eight more gorgeous girls to work with. Thankfully we get on pretty well, not too many arguments happening here.
Jen

Stockists: Bonney Bird – Claire & Lila – Post Office

It’s going to be my year. I’m going to get in your face and push my jewellery.  I have new business cards which are funkier and more in tune with me, flyers with pictures and a list of where to find me and the big one – a car magnet. Drive around advertising. Gotta love it.
I have 3 stockists currently, but will be looking for more to get in out there and as each place has their own vibe I can tailor their stock to their customer base.

So far I have my place of work and two other small shops. One has just opened but the other two have been doing alright.

Having stockists means I have to work my prices to make sure I get what I want (and covering costs of course) and they don’t have to over price them to
One shop has bought them outright so I get paid while the other two have them on commission.  Both work well for me.
Buying outright means I get paid and can work on other things, but the seller then has to do the work to make sure they get their money back. Selling on commission means we both have to work on it. I’ll promote the s**t out their shop and share it, and for any shopkeeper – good service, reasonable prices and a welcoming atmosphere will get people back in.

My stockists are:

the Woodbridge Post Office – a selection of brooches and earrings

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Bonney Bird, Electrona – a funky eclectic collection. Hair clips, rings, necklaces and my limited edition Marca-ties – a bid style necklace of beads sewn onto a neck tie.
I do need to pop in and give my display a spruce up, but the picture will give you an idea of what’s there.

Claire & Lila Creations, Margate Train – feminine asymmetrical necklaces and my ball and chain collection (felt or wooden beads on chain)

For local readers and tourists alike please check out these gorgeous shops and support local artists.
You will easily find them right off the highway as you travel south of Hobart down ‘the Channel’ with stunning water views and passing through quaint villages.

Meet Josephine!

This week I welcomed a new ‘staff’ member to my team. She is still a little green and needs to look at how she presents herself, I think she will be a valuable part of the Marcato group.
She jumped right into the modelling aspect as you can see from this shot of her with a lovely red daisy chain necklace.

Later in the week we will be welcoming another new member which we’re both quite excited about.  Luckily the other girls aren’t the jealous sort, and if they had arms would have opened them to her.

Once I have everyone gathered we will have a group photo.

Josephine
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Jennifer 🙂