Happy Halloween everyone and with that said, bring on the holidays! I have already seen way to many ads on TV and it is in the store displays and it all seems way too early. But, since I am technically a retailer I am forced to think about this stuff early too. I am making as many jewelry items as I can to stock my stores full of different designs and make a price point for everyone. Stick around, new items will be flowing in soon.
With all that to consider, what are you going to buy your mom, wife, sister, girlfriend this year? I have a very small family and half of them are not local to me so there isn't a lot of gift exchanging going on but even with only a few gifts to buy it is always so difficult to find just the right gift. I consider my family and friends special so I want to give something more than a gift card or a sweater from a big chain department store. I am sure you feel the same way and with the economy the way it is and all the political mess why not consider handmade. It is unique, most is one of a kind, made here in the US or Europe and you can find something you know wont be forgotten in a few weeks. With money tight even a simple $20 item that is one of a kind is going to mean a lot more to mom or sister when they know the thought and love that was put into not only making the item but the consideration made by you to help out your local artisan/crafter, find something no one else will have and that even on a budget it was picked out for you, someone special. So this holiday season get your loved one a gift that is truly special as the person who is receiving it, help out the local economy and your own wallet and give handmade.
I gave everyone in my family something I made or items that were made by hand from my fellow crafter/artisans and I was the hero at Christmas.
I buy top quality beads and materials for my bracelets but I must say that for them to be affordable some findings(clasp, jump rings,stringing wire) are silver plated. Even with the best care, that plating will wear away after a while and the brass core will start to show. Even sterling silver will discolor and I know it sounds gross but skin and dirt and oils will get into the beads and spaces between. If this happens to your favorite Desert Star Creation, send me an email. I will give you my address and you can ship it back for refreshing. I will clean and even replace parts of the bracelet that have become damaged or dirty. Even if I have to re-string the entire bracelet 10 years from now, I will do it at no charge to you. You will have to pay to send it to me but that is it. There are some items I will not be able to do much with, a simple pair of earrings will shine up well with the proper cleaning solution and polishing cloths. This refreshing is meant for mostly bracelets like my awareness charm bracelets, some necklaces and a select style of earrings.
If you have broken a piece of Desert Star Jewelry, send it to me even if it is in pieces and I will fix it for you for free as well. Again, all you pay is to ship it to me. If the item breaks and you are unable to find all the pieces you can even send it to me then and I will find an affordable way for you to have your favorite Desert Star item back as good as new.
I love all my jewelry and I want it to last and I hope you feel the same way about the items you buy from me. I will always offer to clean and refresh or even repair or replace all or parts of your jewelry for as long as you own it and want to continue to wear it. I want your favorite jewelry to look great every time you put it on and even when you pass it on to your family.
Any questions, please email me. I am always here for my customers.
With the holidays soon arriving I wanted to post a quick note on shipping that applies to my shop policies as well as a lot of online shops.
I use USPS mainly for the ease of use and because EVERYONE deals with the post office. I send all my packages via USPS first class mail and I usually ship within 24 hrs, 6 days a week. I also always get delivery confirmation so that there is a tracking option to see the progress and state of the package. I also offer USPS Priority mail 2-3 day service. I found out the hard way one time that even though you are paying for a faster shipping method, Priority DOES NOT guarantee delivery in that time frame. It is a service for faster delivery but without a promise to be there. If you want a guarantee you must use Express mail. Post office delays are inevitable, machines, car, plane issues and weather are the most common and that doesn't account for human error but I think for the price and options USPS is the best choice. UPS and FedEX are not very cost effective for a small business let alone a sole crafter selling her items for extra craft cash.
Once an item has left the sellers hands it then becomes the shippers responsibility but remember they DO NOT promise anything unless you pay for it. Express has that higher price tag and a promise of delivery buy a certain time. You can also buy insurance on the item to protect against damage or loss, promising some restitution.
Most shops have these standard policies for the shipping of items along with letting you know that they DO NOT offer any refund of items lost or delayed as well as not refunding the shipping cost of returned/exchanged items.
I go above and beyond to make my customers happy so if there is something special you need, a custom item or special shipping and handling just ask, I will try my best to make or get you what you need. Happy Shopping!
When I started beading I was always looking for a bargain. I didn't want to spend too much on materials not only for my own pocket book but because it was then just a hobby that I was just learning. As I started to get better and decided to start selling my items I was pricing them low because of lack of knowledge and it was still in a hobby stage. The more knowledge I gained and better I got at designing, not only beauty but for function, I wanted desperately to work with the precious metals and to buy top quality beads like Swarovski Crystals and sterling silver findings over silver plated brass. It took me about 6 months of selling online to get the funds up and to be able to start buying sterling silver clasps, chain, ear wires, and Swarovski crystals. I have a great collection of the crystals now and I keep a regular stock of them as well as the sterling silver. Of course the more top quality materials drives the price of the jewelry up as well and I have had people tell me that my prices are still low.
A few week ago I started in with my gemstone obsession (a blog post about my addiction is posted below) and even they have a lower and higher quality to them so there are different price points available as well. I have found that on some stones the lower grades can still be very pretty and not so on others so I am adding some gemstone supplies faster than others. When I met Marie (another blog post about her talents is below also) and started to buy here cabochons (cut gemstones that have no holes) I knew I was going to have to learn to wire wrap which I never found to be a style that I liked. I have found that there are many ways to wire wrap and I am finding a happy combination of styles that suits me and my style well. Here I was again at the beginning of learning a new style of jewelry that will hopefully turn into more items to sell but I am starting to buy less expensive materials as I am learning and do not want to waist a lot of money on sterling silver wire for wrapping while I am still in the learning process. I have now practiced making rings and I am happy to the point where I am willing to try it with the sterling silver so can put them up for sale but the price for a sterling silver wire wrapped ring made by me in my amateur status is not cost effective. I would only pay myself a few dollars for a couple hours of my labor. So while I was comparison shopping I found that my favorite supply store offers sterling silver FILLED wire. This has more than just a plating of sterling silver that is not a great with wrapping as it will tear and gouge the metal when cutting and bending. It is not all sterling silver as that has a big price tag now days. IT is in between and also has a anti-varnish coating so it won't yellow like sterling will but at a great price. I got some and made my first amethyst ring which I have had on my finger for well over a week. I was reluctant to wear it all the time, as with any jewelry you should remove it to shower, when adding lotion or perfume, but I wanted to see how this sterling silver filled would hold up. I have showered 3 times, done the dishes 5 times and done my hair and makeup and other tasks with the ring on. The finish, which has a anti-tarnish coating, is still as bright, shiny and still silver after all the abuse and it is still holding it's shape and the stone hasn't moved. Product tested and passed with flying colors! So as I get ready for my first fall/holiday show this Friday I am confident that I now can sell my handmade, wire wrapped rings and have a great affordable price point and not have to worry about the materials. Now on to wire wrapping a gemstone cabochon to make into pendants, wish me luck!
To all you jewelry artisans out there, I highly recommend the sterling silver filled wire and it can be found on Fire Mt Gems.com.
To all my fans, stay tuned as I add all my new wire wrapping items in sterling silver filled and sterling silver (to give a range of price points) jewelry to
Check in here to see if I am able to articulate my thoughts and my creative process. For more info on me, click the INFO tab at the top. Thanks!