While exhibiting at Art & Wine Shows, one question that I have been asked several times is “How long does it take you to make a pair of earrings?” With a chuckle, I respond “After your first 500 or so pairs you get to be pretty quick.” This question makes me wonder, what is my customer really asking? I suspect they are trying to place a value on that one pair of earrings. So I thought I would share with you some of the steps that go into offering that one pair of earrings for sale.
My mission at Dolce Beada is to bring you jewelry that combines the traditions of Italian glass bead making with contemporary jewelry styles. This means selecting authentic high quality beads handmade in Italy. In doing this I am always researching new color trends and new styles with the best Venetian glass sources. Choosing new designs is always a risk. I want to offer a variety of choices but I also have to ask myself, “will this color appeal to my customers?” “which colors look best in this new design?” “Is this color going to be a classic or too trendy?” At the same time I am offering new designs, I have to make sure that I have plenty of my most popular styles on hand as well.
After I have made my decisions about which beads to buy and how many, I have to make sure that I have the other pieces I need to make the jewelry. So for earrings this would be the sterling earwires, the headpins and the small silver detail beads that I like to add to accent the Venetian beads. I try to have plenty of these supplies on hand so I can make batches of earrings at one time.
Because each of the Venetian beads are handmade, they all have a little of their own “personality”. So when I make earrings I have to hand match each pair. I look at the thickness, the size, the depth of color, even how the foil lays under the glass in order to match up the best pair of earrings. And sometimes a bead does not match well enough and ends up in my collection of earrings without mates hopefully to be used at a different time.
Once the earrings are made, they are put on a display card, priced and stored until they are ready to be presented at a show or they may need to be photographed to be offered online for sale.
Once I have put together a collection of choices, it is up to you to find the pair that you value the most.
Perfect for Valentines Day – or any day for that matter because who doesn’t love a big fabulous glass heart!
I just saw my necklace featured in the latest Giftware News Magazine From the Heart Section. It is always a thrill to see your work displayed in print and I am honored to be included with such a lovely selection of gifts.
I have been working with wholesale clients since I did my first show in San Francisco in 2004. Because my jewelry features the highest quality glass beads handmade in Venice and Murano, I have been featured in some wonderful museums including The Field Museum, The National Gallery of Art and The Frye Museum. I also have several boutiques and gift shops that I have worked with for a number of years including Delaney Street Mercantile in Lake Geneva, WI.
My jewelry is not trendy, it is classic and elegant just like Italy. Yet I always carry the latest in bead designs and colors from the most skilled Venetian bead makers. All of my jewelry pieces are handmade in my California studio in the Santa Cruz Mountains. All Pendants come on slip knotted leather cords and on display cards which tell the story of Venetian glass bead making. Perfect for gift giving. Please check out my Etsy shop to see a sampling of my current offerings.
If you are interested in consideration as a retailer for Dolce Beada, please feel free to contact me at angelakeller(at)dolcebeada.com, I would love to talk with you about the possibilities.
Okay, I think I have found my new hobby – not that I have time for a hobby ;-). This pair of earrings was project #2 in my bead embroidery exploration. This technique is so much fun! It is very free form and you just kind of go where it takes you.
I started with a Venetian bead cabachon that I glued down to the backing and then did a peyote stitch around it to “secure” it. From that point it just becomes a matter of choosing various size beads and finding a pattern that is pleasing to the eye. I love the varying texture that comes from the different beads. A fish hook style earwire is attached to the back and then covered in ultrasuede making the whole backing very neat.
I think I enjoy this technique so much because it is basically hand sewing beads and reminds me of quilting. My first job was in a small quilting shop and all of my great grandmothers were prolific quilters. This pair of earrings probably took me about 6-7 hours! I completed them in a couple of very late nights while my husband was out of town.