A little bit of life, love, and artisan jewelry but mostly the

Home of the Confused Muse..

Where you will find the meadering thoughts of an actively artistic brain - as well as my latest creations, events, soapboxes, dramas, crisis, blessings, and life in general.

This is also the home of "ChrissyMarie Jewelry and Accessories", named for my daughter! Twenty-Five Percent of all sales from this line are donated to B.I.T.S. aka "Better in the Saddle", a local non-profit Equine Assisted Therapy Program ....because we KNOW horses help make miracles!


October 30, 2010

ArtFire Collections sure make a Gal feel good!

I love ArtFire Collections :)  When someone chooses one of my designs it feels good. When another artist includes one of my designs in a Collection, well, it make me feel GREAT!  It's always an honor to be included with other artisans especially when you take into account just how many pieces they have to choose from...kind of mind boggling for me.  (We all know it's not hard to "boggle" MY mind :)

This Collection features my Wire Wrapped Purple Sugilite and Sterling Silver pendant and....

 This Collection features a pendant necklace I call "Ocean Dreams" ...
 but really...you should go look at all of the beautiful Collections!

I've been especially blessed and have had several pieces featured in ArtFire Collections.  I know how very fortunate I am and honestly I hadn't really thought about sharing these "mini awards" here - on my Blog page until today.  I don't know why exactly except I get SO excited when it happens and I start doing my happy dance. Then my brain goes on hold and I can't figure out how to do anything but post it on my Face book page or tweet about it - they have buttons right there on the page to make it simple for those of us not-so-computer-literate artists.  And that's another thing...I still feel weird using the word "artist" or "designer" when referring to myself!  I'm just me. Good old what you see is what you get Adrienne.  Maybe that's why these little pats on the back, from people I truly respect, mean so much :) Anyway, I hope you'll go visit the links and take it all in.  It's an amazing experience immersed with color and design, texture and imagination...enjoy!

October 08, 2010

The BEST way to sell Jewelry...Separates or Sets?

This is and has been a conundrum of sorts for me and I assume many other jewelry artisans.  How would my customers prefer to buy jewelry? I used to sell all matching pieces in a set but it seemed I was constantly getting requests to purchase only one or two items in a set.  I changed my listing strategy and started offering matching pieces but everything was sold separately.  If a customer bought two or more items from a matched set I offered discounted shipping and/or a discount on the purchase of those items.

However, this morning I had a little discussion with some of my Facebook friends and asked for their input.  In today's economy I would have assumed they would prefer to buy items separately but much to my surprise they preferred to buy in sets!  The reasons...the "complete look" and convenience - not having to shop around for matching pieces.

I've also had people tell me they don't like to buy "matchy matchy" jewelry. They preferred a more freestyle appearance, items that worked well together but weren't an exact match. Now I'm completely confused!!

I make a lot of necklaces and bracelets.  I also make a lot of earrings that would match them but I haven't been selling them as sets.  Why? Because I may create two or even three entirely different styles of earrings that would "match" the necklace or earrings.  It seems, in the world of jewelry, there are as many different approaches to shopping and buying as there are styles available for sale. I want to give my customers options. I want to give them variety.  I want to make my jewelry affordable and guilt free! 

Full view photo Pink and Brown Stripe Jasper Necklace

 For example, this is a necklace I created using a carved Pink and Brown Stripe Jasper Leaf as the focal piece. 

Cropped photo for a more detail (1)

I used a medium weight Sterling Silver Rolo chain to connect the various wire wrapped bead sections. The "sections" included: Wood and Bali beads, Lodolite Quartz and Rose Quartz, and the last sections were made up of single gemstone beads with double extender chains.  The "S" style clasp is handmade and hammered Sterling Silver.

 This necklace can either be all about a natural, earthy look or all about classic elegance. Knowing I needed to be able to meet the needs of either style I made two pair of earrings to match giving my customers a choice of styles. 

The first, a pair of Wood and Bali Bead drop earrings on Bali Silver headpins. I used the same wood beads used in the necklace. They are more casual. A very simple, earthy, and light weight design.

Then I designed a second pair of earrings.  These are gemstone earrings.  I combined Lodolite Quartz beads and Rose Quartz with Bali beads suspended from the same Sterling Silver Rolo Chain used in the necklace. The ear wires are Bali Silver. Handmade sterling silver coiled headpins add a touch of artisan elegance. These earrings are definitely more dressy. 

Which brings me back to my original question....Separates or Sets? Which pair would you sell with the necklace in a set?  Or...would you sell the earrings separately so the customer can choose the earrings of THEIR choice? 

I have yet to list these items simply because I can't quite figure out how to market them.  I would really like to hear from you..ALL of you! If you're a seller, I'd love to get your take on the subject. More importantly if you are a past, current, or a potential customer.  I want to hear from YOU!  How would you prefer to buy this jewelry?  Sets or Separates? 
Oh heck!  I know I'm over-thinking this...Maybe I should offer both pair of earrings and the necklace as a set!  Just think, you could wear the necklace with blue jeans and a t-shirt AND with a classic sheath dress or suit.  A complete range of style and all you have to do is change the earrings... (and of course your shoes :) 

October 04, 2010

Chrissy Marie has a brand new Artfire Studio!

Hammered Copper and Sterling Silver Circle Earrings
 Well, I finally did it! I started a separate new Studio for my Chrissy Marie line of jewelry and accessories.  I started off on ArtFire combining both lines of jewelry but I think it was a bit confusing. Chrissy Marie is my daughter and this line is dedicated to her.  It's all about being young at heart, trendy, spirited, and super affordable.

If you keep up with this blog at all you know that we, as a family, truly believe in Equine Assisted Therapy (Also called Hippo therapy or Therapeutic Riding).  Chrissy started riding with a local group several years ago and could hardly function socially and mentally.  Soon after she began riding we saw amazing progress! Over the years we have been astounded at the progress she made and the young woman she has become.  Unfortunately the group she rode with moved outside of our area but a new program was born to replace it.  Chrissy will now be riding as an advanced rider in special shows and rodeos as well a volunteering in the program as a trained Horse Handler and Side Walker.

Back in May I began riding in an experimental Equine Assisted Therapy program to see if riding more often would have a bigger or more long lasting effect on disabled riders.  It was an amazing experience and even  more amazing....Chrissy assisted as my Horse Handler and Side Walker! We've switched roles :)

Unfortunately, due to an extremely wet, hot summer I had to give up riding for a few months.  I have a "broken" internal thermostat and take medication that does not allow me to tolerate extreme heat.  However I'm looking forward to getting back in the saddle again soon.

Run For the Roses Arabian Horse Magnet
 Twenty-five percent of all sales from the Chrissy Marie shop will go to the new local Equine Assisted Therapy Program - "Better in the Saddle" aka "B.I.T.S." They are struggling a bit (no pun intended) to get up and running so I'm trying to help as much as I can.  While some items are equine or horse related, most are not. Come see what I have in the Studio and check back often as I'll be adding new goodies as often as possible!

Hope to see you soon :)