We’ve arrived at the middle of our Build-A-Line Challenge Classroom with Brenda Sue Lansdowne. We’re being led with a loose but loving group of hands, and hopefully one set is our own. I’ve realized that the challenge is not just a contest about winning, but it’s all about learning.
Our ultimate goal in this class is to design a line of jewelry that is cohesive and looks like it’s all been made by the same designer. We’ve learned that we need to have levels of complexity in our pieces so that we can have different price points. If we only have “Over-the-Top,” “One-of-A-Kind” pieces in our collection we’ll be limiting our customer base. That makes total sense. One thing that Brenda Sue and the rest of her design team strives to do for us is to teach us common sense. Obviously one thing I’m in very short supply of, as proven by my first and second necklaces.
My first necklace is still growing – literally. It needs some flowers, there’s coloring to be done on the etched parts & more & more. Definitely WAY over the top!
The class kept discussing what we needed to do to brand ourselves, how to package our items so when a customer went home with one of OUR treasures everyone would know immediately where it came from. Designer after designer was showing her wonderful work. Simple, unique, with clean lines and cohesive looks. Brenda Sue made a wonderful new video showing how she made her line based on her first piece. I got it, I understood it, but I couldn’t seem to make it. Then late one night I got out that classic book by Deanna Farneti Cera “The Jewels of Miriam Haskell.” There’s a picture in there that’s so close to what I was working on for my first necklace it had to have come out of my subconscious memory of the first time I checked this book out of the library.
Now obviously no one’s going to wear all those leaves on a regular basis, so I looked at the following pages.
As I continued to read, VERY late into the night I started to SEE it, how I could still say what I wanted, actually NEEDED to say with my jewelry, and make it SIMPLE.
This is Not cheap jewelry, as some may fear, we’ve been discussing that for days and days. This is merely scaled down jewelry based on our ultimate pieces. It will be made in such a way that anyone can afford it, and most everyone interested in our style will want it.
Each piece will work with the others and can be added to whatever parts of the whole the client already has purchased. If a husband shows up wanting to buy a part of the set I can say, “Well, does she have the necklace? What about getting her the hair barrettes?
Once I saw more pieces designed by Frank Hess for Miriam Haskell I had more ideas than time to organize them.
I took the whole pile of everything I’d bought from B’Sue Boutique and everything I’d made so far & started spreading it out on my bed so I could see it all at once.
I’d seen pictures in Cera’s book showing Chatelaine clips, Sautoirs, wrap bracelets, lariat necklaces, earrings of all types and clusters.
I came up with more pairs of earrings as well.
My favorite ones can’t be reproduced more than once, since I only have a few pieces of these crystal branches.
I had so many NEW ideas – based on the research I was doing as well as the help from all of the participants in our class, the design team and of course our intrepid leader Brenda Sue herself.
I was on the verge of giving up on this idea and switching to my back up design, which I really like too, but I felt like I’d failed. I definitely wasn’t living up to my feeling that I was going to prosper like “a tree planted by living water.”
One of my favorite verses, based partly on my nickname of Trees.
So now that I’ve spent weeks trying out new techniques, and feeling like I haven’t actually mastered any of them,
I feel like I’m ready to begin! You may be thinking “It’s about time lady!” And you are so right.
So, tonight, instead of typing up my blog like a good little girl, I started playing with another idea! I had so much fun!
This bracelet seemed to make itself, or almost anyhow. I need to take the stamping blank off and learn how to stamp in the wording. I’m not too keen on etching right now, but I’ll save that info for another post. My daughter’s are both in love with this one, and the branch is a lot faster to make than resin coating a real one!
Please take the time to follow the other ladies through all of their trials and travails too. I’m sure you’ll be as inspired as I have been.
Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue Boutiques
Mary Katherine Deis
You are Here for – Teresa Shurter TreeZ’s Treasurs Keep going!
Jennifer Merrill Williams
Denise Lussier Poirier