Lucky us - we were asked to provide jewelry for a magical bohemian photo shoot last summer in Vancouver, BC. Perfect Wedding Magazine, the Canadian luxury blog and magazine loved the concept and images so much that they've featured it both in print and online for Spring/Summer 2014 but we had to keep it hush hush for almost a year.... until now.....
A few weeks ago I had the privilege of being interviewed by Amy Cliser, the director of social media for Rio Grande Jewelry which happens to be one of my favorite places to buy tools and equipment. Our conversation resulted in this article in the Rio Blog. Amy wanted my take on starting a jewelry business on Etsy, something I set out to do five or six years ago. In case you're unfamiliar with Etsy, it's an e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items, as well as art and craft supplies. These items cover a wide range, including art, photography, clothing, jewelry, food, bath and beauty products, quilts, knick-knacks, and toys. They see themselves as "anthropologists of commerce", connecting buyers and sellers of unique items. As a maker, Etsy has been a wonderful and complex gift, linking me with amazing like minded customers and allowed me to get the business off the ground quickly without having to build an e-commerce web site. I've since developed by own site and online presence and also continue to be very involved with the Etsy community. Thank you Rio, for the recognition! I would love to hear about your experiences with buying and selling on Etsy. Please leave a comment. Here's a reprint of the article:
Barbara Polinsky with her beautiful rings masterfully cast from twigs I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Etsy jeweler and business woman, Barbara Polinsky, who has built a successful jewelry business over the past five years. We spotlighted Barbara's cast-from-nature jewelry here on The Studio back in April, but in today's conversation she will share some of her best advice about how to find success on Etsy.com. Selling as Barbara Michelle Jacobs on Etsy, she has been featured on Brides.com Summer Jewelry Finds 2010, Etsy Weddings, Lucky Magazine, Refinery 29, Huffington Post Weddings—where her work was the Handmade Object of the Week in October 2011, Glamour.com, and more.
I recently attended the annual MJSA trade show at which Rio Grande Jewelry was a major sponsor. Marketing Manager, Eugene Brill, gave a rousing seminar on e-commerce and he invited designers and other industry professionals to submit articles and ideas for blog entries on Rio's web site. I submitted my article " Flora Refashioned," published in Belle Armoire Jewelry. To my great delight, they accepted and posted it! See their posting titled "In the Spotlight: Barbara Michelle Jacobs Casts from Nature in the Concrete Jungle". I am so thrilled to be endorsed by Rio Grande, a well respected industry resource for tools, supplies and training.
Examples of jewelry cast directly from nature can be found here.
This past summer I was contacted by the Editor of Belle Armoire Jewelry and asked to write an article about casting Jewelry from nature. Specifically, how to make coiled twig rings. What a thrill to see it in print! Bell Armoire is published by Stampington Publications who are known for fine magazines on crafting.
The brand new Huffpost Weddings launched this week and I'm pleased to say that the Unisex Golden Twig Rings were selected as the Handmade Etsy Object of the week.
Last summer I wrote an article about the creative process behind my collection, Beauty in Imperfection. My friend Alma suggested that I submit the story to Stampington Publications and it was just published it in their lovely Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine.
Beauty in Imperfection
It’s not perfect, and that’s the point. File marks, visible seams and solder – things that other jewelers might consider bewildering - are the trademark of my collection. Inspired by the imperfection that abounds in nature, people, and in life, these rings, bracelets, pendants and earrings are a tribute to acceptance. The forms are clean and simple. As in life, It’s the blemishes that add the depth and character.
Beauty in Imperfection was born in a moment of frustration. I was working in the studio, trying unsuccessfully to fabricate a new design. That day, nothing was going right and I kept making careless mistakes. In total exasperation, I squished the entire piece I was working on through a rolling mill! When it emerged through the other end of the mill, I was astonished at the graceful irregular form. I sat back and smiled.