Archive for Nanuk’s Igloo

Bridal Jewelry Near-Nightmare

Over the last year I have been asked by many of my friends to make their bridal jewelry for them since they know I make jewelry and because they want something no one else will have. 

 I received two such commissions in the past six weeks.  One was for a wedding this Sunday and the other for a wedding in October.  Earlier this month I went to Chicago and met with this weekend’s bride.  We discussed design some more since it was the first time we’d gotten to do so in person and then I came back to Florida.  Although time was running out, I managed to get the design made and shipped to my friend with plenty of time to spare.  Fortunately I asked for a tracking number (and will from now on!) because I received a near-frantic email from her on Wednesday saying the package had been delivered according to the tracking info, but that she didn’t have the package.  She’d asked her building manager if he had it, but he said no.  Here it was only five days before the wedding, the jewelry was no where to be found, and there was nothing I could do to solve the problem from so far away.  Had she been close, I would’ve tried to make her something else to give her bridesmaids to wear, but that’s tough to do from so many states away.  I spent most of yesterday hoping the jewelry would show up. 

This morning I received an email telling me that the jewelry was in the building manager’s office and that it probably had been the entire time, but for some reason he didn’t know it?  Unfortunately my friend was already out of town for the wedding and couldn’t get the jewelry from him until after the wedding, so she needed to find someone to pick it up before they left the city for the weekend’s events. 

Now, this might not seem like too much of a nightmare to some, but as a woman who has just recently gotten married, I know that these stresses can push any sane bride to her breaking point.  My friend weathered the storm fairly well though.  It has also made me rethink my bridal custom order policies.  I will not take a chance like this again for anyone without explaining first that if something is going to be shipped so close to the wedding date that there’s a chance it might not arrive as expected.  I would think that two weeks prior to the wedding is a fair cut off date for any unknown obstacles that might get in the way.  Therefore any orders placed for bridal jewelry need to be placed at least four weeks prior to allow for custom ordering any components and production time. 

I learned something valuable from this experience and hope that maybe someone else will learn from it as well.  My bridal collection can be found at http://www.nanuksigloo.com/bridal.htm and my custom bridal orders (as well as other custom items) can be found at http://www.nanuksigloo.com/custom.htm.

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Craft Shows

In just 5 weeks my husband and I are packing up our house in Florida and moving 1500 miles north back to New Jersey where we grew up.  This is exciting on so many levels, but today I found out that there are a ton of local craft events that take place all throughout the winter.  Here, in Florida, finding an event is tough once June rolls around due to the heat.  I started contacting the shows today and am hoping to conceivably work every weekend through Christmas or at least every other weekend.  Very exciting!

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How I Got Into Making Jewelry

Sometime during high school (1993 I believe) I picked up a copy of Seventeen magazine and saw an extremely long primary color seed bead necklace featured in a retro 70’s inspired clothing spread.  I remember that the necklace didn’t cost all that much (maybe $35?), but I knew I wouldn’t be able buy it so I decided to try making it.  I asked my mother to take me to AC Moore so I could buy some beads.  I bought a couple packages of beads, some thread and needles and went home to recreate the necklace in the magazine.  With a magnifying glass I copied the exact pattern of beads onto a long 40+” necklace.  I still had some beads left over, so I made a second slightly shorter necklace.  The first necklace was long enough to wrap around my wrist many times and wear as a bracelet. 

At the same time, my mother began beadweaving and made many Native American inspired styles and items.  I learned to make woven chokers and bracelets based on the patterns she was using for her jewelry.  Soon I was making jewelry all the time and even decided to try making my own prom jewelry.  I made a woven white pearl (plastic beads, ha!) choker, bracelet and matching earrings for my junior prom.  The following year I toned it down a bit and made a quick strand of pearls to wear to my senior prom, but I also got paid by a fellow senior for a jewelry set. 

That was my first paid piece.  Making that set was a huge step for me as it was for one of the “popular” girls at school.  I wouldn’t get any recognition for the piece, but I would always know that she had come to me for jewelry.  Now, I could say that at the time I knew even then that jewelry was something that could set me above the rest, but that would be lying.  I just liked knowing that I had made her something and that she liked it. 

I went on to make a few items in college, but soon I got busy being a typical college student and didn’t feel like making jewelry anymore because it wasn’t “cool”.  Looking back, I now see that if I had kept at it maybe it wouldn’t have taken me an additional 13 years to gain the small popularity that I have over the last year. 

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Me and my prom date.  May 1994.

Thank you as always for reading and taking the time to travel down memory lane with me.  For more recent information, please visit my website at Nanuk’s Igloo Custom Jewelry.

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Quartz Properties – Amethyst, Crystal, and Golden

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My latest necklace features Amethyst, White and Golden faceted Quartz beads on a silver link chain.  As I was creating the necklace I only thought of how I liked the unusual color combination of the Golden and Amethyst Quartz, but then I started wondering what properties the three types of Quartz would hold together.  Here is the breakdown as I’ve been able to figure based on some brief research.

Amethyst Quartz:
Amethyst will remove radiation that the body sometimes store at the temples due to the amount of time we spend on computers and cell phones these days.  It is also said to increase physical activity for the wearer and helps the person protect themself against excess whether that be in the form of eatings, drinking or even shopping. 

Golden Quartz:
Golden Quartz is the stone of hapiness and can be used to release negative energies and toxins from a person’s body.  Because of this, it is also said to be one of the primary metaphysicl treatments for depression.  Golden Quartz is also believed to reinforce self-confidence which can in return bring about the happiness that the stone is believed to provide. 

Crystal Quartz:
Crystal Quartz is the most powerful Quartz stone since it is said to enhance all other stones.  On its own it can do many things including increasing energy, repairing a forgotten memory and giving the wearing an increased sense of personal value.

I’ve decided that this necklace will be one of good things with all the positive energies surrounding it.  Anyone who wears it will find themself smiling due to an increased sense of happiness and self appreciation.  The combination of energies is even better than the combination of colors it seems. 

Another new creation is this Crystal Quartz Bridal Bracelet.
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Ebay?

Due to a sudden need for cash, I’ve decided to try the Ebay route to success and have put many of my jewelry items on the site.  In the past I’ve had a lot of success selling the random item from around the house (old textbooks, discarded beads, old jewelry, computers and printers), but I haven’t really tried to sell my jewelry very often.  I have on occassion listed a necklace here or there with a couple sales, but I’ve never put much serious thought into it.  I’ve thought of ebay more as a way to draw people to my main website rather than a way to sell items.  Now, as I said, I need to make some money.  Everywhere you turn people are selling items on ebay.  That includes a ton of jewelry – handcrafted, like mine, or manufactured.  It seems jewelry has just inundated the world and there’s little a new seller can do to break into the market without going to extremes.  So what’s my next step?  Any ideas?

And since I’m doing a shameless promotion anyway…  my Ebay store: http://stores.ebay.com/Nanuks-Igloo-Custom-Jewelry

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Jewelry Show Frustrations

This weekend I was planning to do two home shows for my jewelry.  One was at my house for my neighborhood.  The other was at a friend’s house for her neighbors.  The one for this Sunday seems to be a bust since I haven’t received any RSVPs and the one person who did say she’d be here from the start had to back out because her husband is taking her out for her birthday.  I’m pretty much over that, but as for my friend’s party….

Not so much.

When we originally talked about doing the party she planned to have a get together of her own on Saturday night where I would set up my tables and displays for her neighbors to see.  I told her to make sure that the people invited know I’m there to sell jewelry and that should be the focus of the party.   The other day I receive a phone call saying that she can’t have the party on Saturday, but instead on Sunday so I could maybe just come over for that and bring a couple of my necklaces with me.  I told her I need set up time and that I had the other show scheduled from 2-4 so wouldn’t be there until well after 5.  It didn’t matter.  She told me to come whenever and then that no one really had any money anyway so to just bring a few things.  That’s not a show.  That’s a party with friends. 

 It got me thinking that I don’t believe people take my jewelry business seriously.  They humor me when I talk about it, but for the most part my friends don’t see it as being what I want to do with my life.  If this one friend did see it that way she wouldn’t tell me just to come over with a couple things nor would she just blow it off as if it’s no big deal.  My husband is also constantly explaining to his family and friends that this is what I’m going to do now and they just don’t get it.  They tell him instead that I should be teaching or that he’s so generous for allowing me to do something like this.  Yes, he is being generous, but he’s also being supportive and seeing that I’m serious about this. 

How do I get people to take this seriously? 

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Home Show Depression

The word went out to the neighborhood this past weekend and so far I haven’t gotten a single RSVP.  I’m starting to think that this might end up being a bust. 

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