Latest Fall Pieces

I just did a quick update on my site of a few new fall pieces I put together last night and today.  Hope you enjoy these.  They can all be found on the website if you’re interested in purchasing any of them. 

item-b32.jpg

item-e74.jpg

item-n128.jpg

item-n127.jpg

Why I Switched Passions

I tend to get one question on a pretty regular basis, so decided to answer it here for everyone to see.

 The question?
“Why did you leave teaching for jewelry making?”

The underlying question is of course one of stability since the jewelry business can have many ups and downs before making it big and even then it is sometimes a struggle.  On the other hand, teaching is a stable career that, although it doesn’t pay well (I won’t even get started on that topic!), comes with a regular paycheck that can be counted on to pay those pesky bills.

I don’t know if the answer is a simple one, but for me it seemed to be the right time to make a change.

I’ve been teaching English since 1998 when I accepted my dream teaching position at a private, college prep, boys’ high school in New Jersey.  This was the job I never expected to get right out of college.  I loved everything about it and had high hopes of rising among the ranks in the rather large Englsh department.  Fate didn’t have it that way though.  I met my current husband at the end of my first year at that school and unfortunately fate likes to mess with people because he was moving to Florida a mere six weeks later.  I held my ground in NJ for another  two years before packing my bags to follow the man I loved.  I gave up that job for love.

I spent the next six years trying to bring back the feelings of contentment and eagerness to go to work in the morning as I had had for those three years.  It never happened.  People often say that we never forget our first love and I can’t agree with that more because, in this case, my first true love is that job.  I managed to find friendship and get into a groove where I taught in Florida, but there was never that “perfect fit” feeling.  That was very hard for me to face since I was one of the few people in my elementary school class who was able to answer the ever present question of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” 

How does this lead to jewelry making?  Don’t worry, I’m getting to that 🙂

When my husband and I started planning our wedding in the fall of 2005, I started looking into jewelry for the wedding.  Then that looking turned into making and that making turned into love.  It had been ten years since I had made any type of jewelry, but once I started I never wanted to stop and it’s been that way ever since.  The feeling I used to get from that dream job in New Jersey came back to me when I started making jewelry again.  It has become a passion.

In my heart I am still a teacher.  That’s something that is so a part of who I am that I don’t think I will ever NOT be a teacher, but now in my heart I am also a jewelry designer and creator.  When someone buys a piece that I have created, an overwhelming sense of warmth fills me.  I truly enjoy knowing that someone is getting pleasure out of something I have made.  It isn’t even so much the money that has me making jewelry non stop.  It is that feeling I’ve just described that keeps me going.  It is the same feeling that I used to get when a struggling student finally “got it”. 

My husband will tell you I’m addicted to my jewelry supplies and he’s seen first hand how I go into withdrawl if I haven’t had a chance to create anything in a while.  Sometimes it gets so bad that I just walk over to my work table and go on instinct.  If, in the end, the piece I’ve made doesn’t turn out as I’d wanted then I just start over and try again.  I don’t sell, or give away, any piece that I don’t feel 100% about in the end.  If I’m not happy then I know my customers won’t be happy, but that also works in reverse.  If my customers aren’t happy, I’m really not happy. 

I hope that has answered the question.  It felt good to finally get it all out there and I just hope that it makes sense to those of you who have become avid readers of this blog.  I appreciate you all and love hearing from you.  Keep the comments and emails coming. 

Networking & Information Gathering

My husband and I just got back from NJ this morning.  We decided to make a quick outlet mall stop on the way home and while there ran into the guy who own the sunglass cart.  He happens to go to the same gym as my husband so we always talk to him when we see him.  Today we told him we’re moving to PA which led to an exhange of business cards.  The exchange prompted the usual comment of “Oh, you make jewelry?  How’s that going for you?” to which I mentioned my idea of getting a cart in a local mall once we move. 

The sunglass man, as he will be forever known, told us that his rent is pretty high where he is currently.  He pays $2000 a month for the outlet location and $3500 for the mall location closer to home.  That’s a lot in my opinion for a cart that he has to spend the days at outside in the Florida sun.  He went on to tell me to look for rent that runs under $100 a day, but that if I can find a rent that is $100 a day, I’d be ok.  He also told me that the malls charge him so much because they know his markup is so high and that he’s making a killing on the sunglasses.  These are good things to know. 

It doesn’t seem like much, but this is in many ways the start of my information gathering that I’ll need to do in order to get the setup I’d like eventually.

Malls?

Recently I have become one of the youngest mall walkers in Florida.  Each morning I meet a friend to walk about five miles which consists of about four laps in the local mall.  While there I get the chance to do some window shopping and really enjoy the peaceful time in what is usually a pretty hectic shopping situation. 

Our local mall has a large number of small cart and kiosk businesses which got me thinking about opening my own mall kiosk.  This is something that I’ve talked about for the past year, but something that I’ve always been a bit intimidated by.  By chance, I met someone this summer who I have become friends with and who also happens to own two jewelry kiosks in NJ malls.  To me, this seems like perfect timing.  With our upcoming move to PA, I will need income.  I love the idea of getting my jewelry out there in a mall for everyone to see and when people see my jewelry, they buy it. 

On Sunday night I did a little research into who runs the kiosks at the mall closest to where I am going to be living while my husband attends a residential academy.  I emailed the person in charge and just wait for his response. 

I’m excited at the idea and hope to find out how viable this idea truly is before too long.
This also means I’ll be looking for help because I don’t know where to start.  So bring on the comments and suggestions 🙂
I’ve decided that I think a cart is the way to go initially and then I can always build my jewelry empire from there.

Thanks again for reading.

New Bridal Additions

I got into jewelry making again when I was planning my wedding.  I was surprised at the simplicity of a lot of the jewelry available to brides and decided I could do it myself.  Because of that, I’ve enjoyed accessorizing many of my friends for their own weddings in addition to making my own bridal set. 

Recently I made a very simple bracelet that strikes me as being a “bridal bracelet” without being overly stereotypical.  This bracelet is for the younger, funkier bride who still wants a touch of elegance.  It is made of sterling silver link chain and Crystal Quartz beads. 

item-bd7.jpg

A few days later, I then went back and made the earrings to go with it.  Again, they are very simple yet fun.

item-be8.jpg

I know it isn’t prime bridal season, but to me the fall will always hold that special wedding feeling so I love bringing out new bridal pieces once the weather starts to get that proverbial chill and the leaves start to change color.  (Or at least that’s how I remember it since Florida doesn’t have either of those things, ha!)

Once again, thank you all for reading!

Paid to Post?

Although this has very little to do with my own business, I wanted to share this information with those of you out there who might also like this idea.

 I stumbled across this idea that you can be paid to post about certain topics in your blog and to someone who is, for all intents and purposes, unemployed this seemed like an interesting and not too difficult way to maybe make a little bit of extra cash (for me for beads and jewelry supplies of course 😉 ).

This is my first post about this opportunity and I’m still learning a bit about it, but for the most part it seems pretty simple and doesn’t seem to take much time.  I actually found the information about Pay Per Post on Facebook as one of the ads on there.  I was just curious so gave it a click which is something I don’t really ever do because I don’t think these things work.  I’ll be waiting to see if this one works and if it doesn’t then I haven’t lost anything other than a few minutes of my evening that I probably would’ve spent staring pointlessly at a rerun on tv.  I look forward to learning more about this idea and seeing how it really works.  Let me know if you or anyone you know does this and how it is working out for you.

If you’re interested in checking out this opportunity, please visit http://www.payperclick.com and sign up today.

blog reviews

Welcome to a new Home

Welcome to the new Nanuk’s Igloo Custom Jewelry Blog.  If you followed me over from the old, recently oddly updated, blog then you know the reasons for the new one.  If you are new to my blog, then don’t worry about why I’m here and just accept a great big warm welcome.

These days my life is filled with thoughts of moving, so it seems only fit that I have a new blog to go along with a new start to life.  In just about a month Nanuk’s Igloo will move from Naples, FL to Hope, NJ and then to some as-of-right-now-unknown town in PA about seven months later so that my husband can follow his heart to achieve one of his greatest dreams.  During that time I will also be making my major push to follow my own dream of becoming a famous jewelry artist.  It is an exciting adventure that is many years in the making.