If you missed our first ‘shop local’ post be sure to check it out here. As you begin (or continue) your Holiday shopping consider seeking out great local artisans like Sarah of Loganberry Beads. Sarah is a local mamma I met a few weeks ago, and thought that you should all know about her really creative, beautiful, beaded creations. You should probably add one of her ‘save the date’ bracelets to your Christmas list. I have never seen such an elegant way to remember an important date. Using birthstone beads, crystals and pearls; coupled with creative placement and spacing, Sarah can create a ‘save the date’ bracelet for you. I’ll let her tell you more about her beads, bracelets, and a little about how she manages to run a business with a nine-month-old in tow. Be sure to check out her Etsy shop!
I got started making jewelry when I was very little. My mom was very crafty and she was always working on all kinds of projects. I was naturally drawn towards beads and I loved stringing them together. As I got older she would give me beads and it would keep me busy for hours. Long car trips would just fly by! Once I was in college and when I first started teaching people would ask me where I got my jewelry and I would tell them I had made it. Gradually I got requests to make duplicates of pieces I had already done. Eventually, it just fell into a business and I started selling my jewelry at craft shows and online. In 2011, my husband and I had been talking about starting a family for awhile and it was more difficult for us than we had expected. My husband suggested taking some time off from teaching so we could focus on our family and that way I could work on my jewelry full time. Apparently that was the right idea because we had our daughter 9 months later!
Save the Date bracelets are one of my most favorite type of piece I make. I came up with the idea when I had a good friend getting married. She asked me to make her a piece of jewelry for her wedding. I thought and thought. I wanted it to be something special, a keepsake that would have meaning well after her wedding day had passed. I knew I would make a bracelet since she was wearing her grandmother’s pearl necklace. She was getting married in October and I began toying with the idea of a bracelet using opal colored crystals since opal is the birthstone for October. Then I figured, why just stop at the month, why not add use beads to represent the day and year of her wedding as well. And the idea was born. I used a pretty combination of crystals, pearls and other beads to represent each number in her wedding date. I also added a vintage bead, a bead from my wedding dress and a blue bead to be sure she had something old, something borrowed and something blue! I was so honored that she actually wore my bracelet down the aisle. She got many comments and questions about the bracelet. When she explained the bracelet, the idea took off and I received requests for other wedding dates, anniversaries and children’s birth dates. Since I have been making Save the Date bracelets, I have gotten requests for all kinds of special dates including salvation dates, first communion dates, first day at a new job, first trip to Disney World and even pet’s birthdays! Any day can be celebrated!!
Basically, if it has beads in it, I like to do it. I have dabbled in all types of jewelry making, from bead weaving to wire wrapping. I even have my own torch where I melt glass to make some of my own beads. But really I just playing with the colors and textures of different beads and seeing what comes out. One of my favorite things to do is to create jewelry based on some of my favorite poems or song lyrics that I find particularly meaningful.
It certainly isn’t easy trying to run a business with a baby, especially when my business involves beads that are colorful, glittery and VERY appealing to a nine month old! But I find time because I love it. The most important thing is that she comes first. Making jewelry just happens to be something else in my life that I love, and the fact that there are people who like it as well is a wonderful bonus! My business allows me to set my own pace. I certainly do a lot of work after she goes to bed! And my husband is always very encouraging with my business as well. I also try to set my self up for success. For example, I like to get my online orders shipped out the next day, but I always give my customers a 3-5 day window. This gives me some leeway if my daughter happens to be super fussy and I can’t get to the post office the next day. Little buffers like that keep my jewelry business something I love instead of something that could stress me out.
This post is sponsored by Sarah of Loganberry Beads. While the PSMB team received a free product to review, all opinions expressed here are my own!