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Archive for the ‘indie jewelry’ Category

Gliteratti from the City of Brotherly Love: Layne Designs

In indie jewelry, silver jewelry on November 3, 2010 at 1:35 pm

The burgeoning Philadelphia craft scene is home to Layne Freedline of Layne Designs. Freedline’s  heirloom jewelry is made with traditional bench techniques and trendy lapidary cut stones like  druzy and cabochons. This black druzy piece is my favorite.  It is gorgeous!

Layne Designs - Heirloom JewelryFreedline is an accomplished jeweler who can boast an impressive resume of education and experience in the trade. She also teaches workshops on jewelry fabrication when she is not working in her own studio.

Designer Silver Jewelry - Layne DesignsMost Layne Designs custom pieces range in price from $165 to $450 with more elaborate designs fetching up to $700 each. Layne Designs also offers a lower priced production line of $32 inspirational pendants through an Etsy jewelry shop.

Turquoise Jewelry by Layne DesignsFreedline was a 2010 finalist for The Halstead Grant, an annual award competition for new jewelry design entrepreneurs. The 2011 Halstead Grant deadline is June 6, 2011.

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Sticky Sweet and Sparkling Tiffany Kunz Design

In indie jewelry, jewelry, silver jewelry on October 7, 2010 at 9:38 am

Diamonds used to be called ice. Thanks to emerging artists like Tiffany Kunz Design they may be picking up a new moniker.

The clusters of glowing, earth-tone, rough diamonds that Kunz uses as her signature in the new Concord Collection are more like dripping golden honey. She even offers a suite within the collection entitled “In Clover.”

Rough Diamond Jewelry - Tiffany Kunz DesignThe In Clover Suite embodies the best of Kunz’s designer jewelry: hand hammered eco-friendly metals, crystalline bunches of glittering diamonds and open organic forms. The Concord Collection website is reminiscent of a buzzing hive full of honeycomb. And the buzz, buzz, buzzing has already begun. Tiffany Kunz Design is attracting a wave of attention from blogs and magazines.

Wend Necklace - Eco-Friendly Jewelry Tiffany Kunz DesignTiffany Kunz Design is available at several high end boutiques in the Los Angeles area as well as online at http://www.TiffanyKunzDesign.com. Most pieces are available in sterling silver or vermeil of yellow, pink or white gold. Retail prices range from $60 – $625. Santa baby, bring me some honey this year.

Tiffany Kunz Designer JewelryTiffany Kunz Design was a finalist in our 2010 Halstead Grant competition for emerging jewelry designers.

Tags: Rough diamond jewelry, green jewelry, eco-friendly jewelry, starting a jewelry business

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Cowboy’s Sweetheart Jewelry Wins National Award & Business Grant

In indie jewelry, Jewelry Business Grant, silver jewelry on August 11, 2010 at 9:14 am
Cowboy's Sweetheart Jewelry

Western Jewelry for the American Cowgirl

Western jewelry designer Amy Fortunato of Cowboy’s Sweetheart rounded up top honors in the 2010 Jewelry Design Business Development Grant competition. Her prize package includes $6,000 in cash and jewelry supplies. The annual award is sponsored by jewelry supply wholesaler Halstead Bead, Inc.

The grant is awarded to a new jeweler in the bridge or handmade jewelry segment each year in recognition of design skill and business acumen. Candidates must submit lengthy applications including portfolios of original jewelry and details of their business plans.

“Amy’s work beautifully blends western inspired silversmithing with contemporary design elements. Her line is both fashionable and affordable,” said one competition judge, Hilary Halstead Scott, “her witty branding and accessible price points are perfect for an accessory start-up in the current economy.”

Fortunato received her jewelry training as part of a Fine Arts degree from the University of Connecticut. Her career has included graphic design and jewelry production for other companies prior to launching Cowboy’s Sweetheart. Fortunato describes the genesis of her company as her answer to the call “Go West, young lady, go West!” After moving to Colorado she began her love affair with the region’s natural surroundings, history and people.

“I attempt to celebrate a little bit of the American West each time I turn out a new piece.” she stated. “I am thrilled to receive this recognition and the opportunity to grow my business.”

Cowboy’s Sweetheart joins a distinguished list of past Grant winners in the industry. Her jewelry collections are available online at www.Cowboys-Sweetheart.com. A complete list of past grant recipients and finalists as well as competition details are on the Jewelry Design Business Development Grant website at www.HalsteadBead.com/grant.


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Cowboy’s Sweetheart Jewelry Wins National Award & Business Grant.

Julia Failey Eco-Friendly Jewelry

In indie jewelry, jewelry, silver jewelry on April 22, 2010 at 8:32 am

What betterEco-Friendly Jewelry by Julia Failey way to celebrate Earth Day than with an emerging designer profile? Julia Failey is a hot new jewelry talent who is making a name for herself through great PR and her line of sustainable jewelry. All of Failey’s designs are meticulously handcrafted using reclaimed precious metals and Earth-friendly manufacturing techniques. Moreover, her designs are inspired by the natural beauty of the plant and animal kingdom.

Sustainable Jewelry by Julia Failey

The Julia Failey collection includes a broad range of focal silhouettes that have often been imitated by other designers in the trade. Her trademark lotus, rose and wing designs are unmistakable and have been favorites of the celebrity set and many fashion publications. The dragonfly wings shown here are one of my personal favorites.

Julia Failey Designer JewelryYou can find Julia Failey’s work on her retail website of eco-friendly jewelry at http://www.JuliaFailey.com. Or, shop at many fine boutiques in the Chicago area where she is located. To celebrate Earth Day, you can save 30% off all jewelry on the Julia Failey website through today, April 22nd. Use the Promo code Earth30 and wear your environmentally conscious jewelry with pride!

Julia Failey was a 2008 finalist in the Jewelry Design Business Development Grant competition sponsored by jewelry supply wholesaler Halstead Bead, Inc.

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Call for Entries – Jewelry Design Business Development Grant

In indie jewelry, Jewelry Business Grant, Jewelry Business Topics on January 28, 2010 at 8:35 am

Halstead Bead, Inc. is calling for entries to its fifth annual Business Development Grant competition for new American jewelry designers entering the bridge jewelry trade. The deadline for packet submissions is June 9, 2010. The winner of the 2010 Grant will receive $6,000 in cash and jewelry supplies as well as other benefits.

The Halstead Bead Jewelry Business Development Grant differs from other jewelry industry competitions and awards because of its emphasis on business skills. Entrants must demonstrate not only extraordinary design, but also a strong business strategy for their start-up. The application experience promotes the business planning required to make a jewelry brand commercially viable at the national level.

Jewelry designers utilizing a wide variety of fabrication techniques including casting, lampworking, metal clay, beading, or metalsmithing are eligible to enter the competition. Entrepreneur candidates must be US citizens who began their small businesses after January 1, 2007. Their design companies must focus on “bridge” jewelry which is the segment between costume jewelry and fine jewelry that includes accessories in sterling silver, Argentium, semi-precious stones, crystal, freshwater pearls and other similar materials.

Complete application details can be found at http://www.halsteadbead.com/Grant. Candidates must submit a design portfolio, resume and answers to several business planning questions. Applications must be received between April 15 and June 9, 2010. The grant website also includes several helpful articles on launching a national jewelry brand as well as information on past winners and finalists. Previous grant winners include VOSTENAKstudios, Bridgland Studios, Belle Brooke Designs, and Ananda Khalsa Jewelry.

The grant sponsor, Halstead Bead, Inc., is one of North America’s leading jewelry supply wholesalers. The firm was established 37 years ago and now supplies thousands of component resellers and jewelry manufacturers around the globe. Halstead Bead, Inc. is wholesale only and sells findings, chain, wire, sheet & beads for the bridge jewelry segment.

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Day of the Dead Jewelry

In indie jewelry, jewelry, Jewelry Trends on October 8, 2009 at 1:35 pm

The designs above can be found on the websites and Etsy stores of the talented artists: Kathy Cano-Murillo the Crafty ChicaMystic Bohemian, Grigio DesignIllustrated Ink and Ilaments Jewelry.

The Day of the Dead, or el Dia de los Muertos, is a traditional holiday celebrated by Mexicans and Mexican Americans living throughout North America. Day of the Dead is celebrated on two days, November 1st and 2nd, to remember friends and family members who have passed away. Celebrants honor departed loved ones by creating a decorative altar to commemorate their lives, enjoying a feast with their favorite foods and visiting the family cemetery to pay respects.

The rich cultural traditions surrounding Day of the Dead have yielded a vast array of  handicrafts and jewelry. The skulls, or calaveras, and skeletons, or calacas, can seem a bit macabre to the uninitiated. But, after learning about the vibrant traditions and heartfelt communion with ancestors that define the Day of the Dead it is easy to see the humor and unique aesthetic of el Dia de los Muertos. Far from a somber affair, Day of the Dead is indeed a celebration of life, love and family. Gatherings are full of laughter and fond nostalgia for people who are truly missed.

I adore Latino arts and handicrafts such as vibrantly painted talavera tiles, the small milagro prayer ornaments or the beautiful perforated tin work housewares. Feed your soul by learning about a beautiful cultural celebration and remember your dearly departed fondly with a funny story or a raised glass when you wear these colorful creations.

Halstead Bead Inc. has a special selection of pewter charms & findings for making muertos jewelry as well as other wholesale beads & findings.

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RockLove: Breaking All the Rules

In indie jewelry, Jewelry Business Grant, silver jewelry, Uncategorized on October 5, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Everything about RockLove designer Allison Hourcade screams “ENERGY!” with a capital “E.” Her line is a frenetic compilation of original works and collaborations with edgy appeal. RockLove designer jewelry is casual and accessible with an emphasis on layered looks and iconic symbols. RockLove Siouxsie5

I’ll admit it, when I first read about RockLove and her extensive product placement I had to go to the internet a dozen times to look things up. I never thought I would feel so old already! Skinny Puppy, Repo The Genetic Opera, Keana Teixera….who are these people? …Kat Von D, September Mourning, The Creep Show…Miley Cyrus, Fran Drescher, whew, at least I know a couple….the list goes on and on and on. Plus, she throws around words like “steampunk” and “emo.” Huh? This girl moves and shakes in circles I have never even heard of and she is so overrun with orders that she sells out of limited editions as fast as she releases them. RockLove Posy_1

After I came to grips with the fact that I am not nearly so hip and trendy as I once believed, I learned that all these minor and major celebrities are part of underground music and counter culture scenes that have huge followings around the country. Not every jewelry designer dreams of being in Vogue after all. RockLove is rockin’ all over glossies like Bust, VenusZine, Fangoria, Gothic Beauty and Rebel Rodz. Instead of traditional trade shows like JCK and New York Gift she made a killing at Ink-N-Iron and the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly weekend.RockLove Palimpsest1

Hourcade is a talented wax carver and caster with a penchant for … Click the red button below to continue reading

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Anna Balkan: Passionate About Life & Style

In indie jewelry, jewelry, Jewelry Business Grant, silver jewelry on September 23, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Call it nerve, vivacity or chutzpah. Whatever word you choose, it is clear that independent jewelry designers have something special that drives them to succeed. All entrepreneurs struggle against the tide of risk and uncertainty on a daily basis. Those who succeed have my utmost respect and admiration. Anna Balkan is one of those designers. balkan 1

Anna Balkan has endured more adversity than most design entrepreneurs, which is saying a lot. She arrived to the United States from Russia seventeen years ago without any money or English language skills.From this humble beginning, Balkan tenaciously fought for a better life by dedicating herself to hard work, a college education, a consulting job with a prestigious firm and now the creation of her own business. When you are with her you cannot help but be impressed by her energy and charisma. Her passion for life is evident in her story, her tireless work for her business and, of course, her designs.

Anna Balkan designer jewelry is feminine and colorful. Each piece is created from a multitude of gems and pearls bound together with intricate wire work. Each piece exudes the same verve as Balkan herself. Her line is enormous with jewelry pieces available in every color combination under the sun. Each pretty bauble begs to be worn with a sun dress or evening gown. Or, adding an Anna Balkan piece to a business ensemble is the perfect way to flash elegant style along with conservative attire. Balkan’s work has been featured in national fashion magazines and is for sale at fine boutiques around the country. balkan 3

But Balkan’s  story does not end there. While her career in jewelry design continues to flourish, Balkan has developed a new flair for philanthropy. She sits on the board for STOP International, a non-profit dedicated to stopping human sex trafficking and providing social services to rescued victims. This worthy cause is close to her heart since so many immigrants from her native Russia are exploited through trafficking around the world. Anna Balkan donates 10% of profits to  STOP International. She has also designed a signature necklace to raise awareness and donations for the charity.

Anna Balkan was a 2009 finalist in the Jewelry Design Business Development Grant competition sponsored by Halstead Bead, Inc.

The Barefoot Sandal

In indie jewelry, jewelry, Jewelry Trends on September 1, 2009 at 3:25 pm

If you are reading this blog, you probably have a jewelry box brimming with necklaces, bracelets and earrings. But nontraditional accessories abound in the modern jewelry market. One of my favorites is the barefoot sandal.

Jan Seaside Splendor1Women across Asia have worn similar foot ornaments for ages. They are becoming popularized in the United States because of Bollywood’s fashion influence and the destination wedding trend that has an increasing number of brides saying their vows while barefoot on a beach. A simple pedicure is not always enough when you are celebrating your nuptials in the sand. So, barefoot sandals are a great addition to the bridal regalia. More daring fashionistas are also sporting the footwear poolside or on more casual days at the coast. One great source for barefoot sandals is Jewels by Jan in San Diego.

Jan Romantic_Ruby2

These gals have such cute feet! There are so many possibilities for this accessory. I hope to see many more interpretations as this trend spreads.

EC Design Studio – An Impressive New Jewelry Talent

In indie jewelry, jewelry, Jewelry Business Grant, silver jewelry on August 25, 2009 at 1:19 pm

EC Design Studio is an emerging jewelry  studio to watch.  Emily Johnson’s brilliant collections  will surely be available in fine galleries all over the country before long. Her work mainly consists of sterling silver with solid gold and diamond embellishments. Johnson, a Minneapolis native, is a credit to the burgeoning craft culture in Minnesota. EC Design Studio

My favorite collection is Cells and Windows, which combines raw hammered metalwork with intriguing geometric accents. The collection is aptly named. The creations in Cells and Windows demonstrate the studio’s tag line, “jewelry metalwork sculpture.” The pieces are composed like sculptural art with clean lines, great contrast and utter simplicity. EC1

Johnson’s second primary collection is Hearts and Wishbones. The collection is centered around an anatomical heart focal piece that is truly provocative. The silhouette is instantly recognizable with a mechanical appearance that adds to the interpretive depth of the design. EC3

At a very young age, Johnson has already established a signature style that is evident across her broad selection. Her work can currently be purchased through her website and at craft galleries throughout Minnesota.

EC Design Studio was recently named as a finalist in the 2009 Jewelry Design Business Development Grant competition sponsored by Halstead Bead, Inc.