New Moon // New Year

ImageToday, the new year begins, and tonight, the new moon sits darkly in the sky. This rare combination is the perfect opportunity to let go of disappointments from the past year, reflect on accomplishments, and sow seeds for the year to come. This new year new moon provides the ultimate cleanse and recharge for our bodies and our minds. Make sure to let your rock collection bask in the moonlight tonight, to vanquish unwanted energy from the past year, retain the good, and strengthen their properties.

The past year has been momentous. Just before the beginning of 2013, in November of 2012, a lifetime of rock collecting and jewelry making, combined with years of saving, research, and learning culminated in the opening of my Etsy shop. Since then, I have made 189 sales, and gained 573 admirers. Pretty good for also working full time in special education! The Facebook page is up to 736 likes, and Instagram followers number in the thousands! I’ve even had a Tumblr post reach over 4,200 notes, and my audience there grows steadily each day. I could not feel more grateful for those who support me or more satisfied with what I’ve accomplished. 

Just over a year ago I stood victorious with my arms in the air, about to attend my first gem show as a metalsmith.

ImageAt this gem show, I met experts, acquired knowledge about exceedingly rare stones, and extended the foundational collection of cabochons (stones cut for setting in jewelry) that would allow me to create my business. After this gem show, my passion for jewelry making exploded with indomitable creative energy, and I began churning out pieces for my shop. My first pieces, in retrospect riddled with errors, filled me with pride.

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I even managed to knock out some complex designs that I plan on revisiting and recreating soon.

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In the past year Soliloquy Jewelry has raised money for various charities, been on the runway in a fashion show, and made it to countries all over the world. I went from working in a tiny corner of a miniscule apartment, to having an in-home studio in the apartment of my dreams. I feel incredibly lucky for what the past year has brought me, and cannot wait to charge ahead and continue to grow as an artist. I hope that the rest of you are able to reflect on the last year with satisfaction, and that those who can’t find a fresh start on this night of renewal.

In celebration of moving forward, I’ve put some of my older pieces on sale. Some other pieces may be added to the sale section soon as well, to make room for new additions. I’m in the process of designing a maker’s mark stamp so that I can sign all of my pieces, and new business cards will follow that development. I will also soon be providing the option to include a laminated card with your order that has the story, myth, or symbolism of your piece, along with any relevant stone information. The concept behind my pieces are just as important as the pieces themselves, so I cannot wait to offer this option.

Next on the blog: long overdue post about the intriguing and historic Salem, Mass.

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Giveaway time!

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To celebrate reaching and far surpassing 100 sales on Etsy, I’m hosting another giveaway! Head on over to my Instagram profile @soliloquyjewelry to enter.

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Three of Wands // Envisioning the Future

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The three of wands, from my tarot deck by The Wild Unknown, pictured with a citrine cluster and quartz point.

In many of my recent tarot readings I’ve drawn the three of wands. This is a card of envisioning the future, enacting self reliance, and casting aside the opinions of others. It appears when you’ve been building momentum for a while, as a sign to harness that momentum and plunge forward into the future. Perfect timing. Moving forward with my business, I’ve been changing up some things in the shop to better reflect the mood of Soliloquy Jewelry. A new banner has been added, with a reworded (read: better!) tagline that still embodies the original concept (more on that later) of Soliloquy: “Adorn your body // Speak your soul.” I’ve also been working on the format of item listings, condensing the details (measurements, shipping, etc.) section so that I can trim some length while still providing stories, myth, and stone information, as always. I’ve also been tweaking photos and packaging, and designing new business cards. This hasn’t been the speediest of processes because I have two full time jobs on my plate, but day by day I’m getting there. Envisioning the future, and the future is almost here.

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A small fall collection has been listed in the shop, my favorite of which has already sold. The Shades of Autumn Collection boasts bold jewel tones and rich colors reminiscent of the changing foliage. This collection mostly consists of mini-pendants, which I have become very fond of. Sometimes, less is more.

This winter comes the Earth & Ore Collection, featuring prong set rough stones and specimens. This collection has been in the works for a long time, but I’ve been waiting for the winter months to release it. Included in this collection are The Witch’s Mirror Ring — which made a brief preview debut on Instagram a few months ago, and Wildfire Rings — made to order with tumbled peridot, inspired by the horrifying, all-consuming green flames in Game of Thrones. You can see the older, slightly different version of this ring here. This collection will be released to the Etsy shop at the end of November/beginning of December.

Perhaps more exciting than any of this news is that about a month ago I surpassed 100 sales on Etsy! Currently up to 130 sales, and I couldn’t be happier or more grateful for the support of my wonderful customers. To show my thanks, I am happy to announce that I’ll be having another giveaway next week! I’m not sure what type of item it will be yet, but it will take place on Instagram, so get following if you’re not already! (@soliloquyjewelry)

On top of surpassing 100 sales, I’m also approaching the first anniversary of my shop opening (November 22nd)! To celebrate this I’ll be having a week long sale on Etsy from November 18-24. The sale will be announced and code will be posted that week on Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr, so keep your eyes out!

Finally, you’ll notice in the shop announcement that I am currently closed for custom requests. I’ve already been flooded with custom orders for the holidays, so I’m not taking anymore until they are finished. Don’t fret — once this batch is complete I’ll resume taking new ones.

And with that, I am off to package orders and hit the hay. Next post will chronicle my recent trip to Salem, MA. Lots of photos, get pumped!

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Flaunting Finds // Offering Advice

Last weekend I was lucky enough to return to the Brimfield Antique Show in Brimfield, Mass. This gigantic outdoor fair began in the 1950’s and is now the largest of its kind in the entire country. A must-do if you live close enough (although serious antique hunters travel from all over to make it to this show). Don’t fret if you missed it! Round two is July 9th to the 14th, and round three is held on September 3rd to the 8th. If you love vintage jewelry, kitchenware, street signs, clothing, or essentially any other sort of nick-nack, I highly recommend you make the trip!

At fairs like this (read: enormous, hot, overwhelming) it is important to dress well, and I mean that in a number of ways. Practicality comes first. Make sure to check the weather and dress accordingly, and wear the comfiest shoes you own. But there is another, more often ignored significance in the clothing you choose to wear to such an event. In Brimfield’s tips section, they recommend making and wearing a shirt that says “I COLLECT (insert item here)” because it will draw vendors to you. My version of this tip has the same effect with none of the goofiness: choose clothes that express your aesthetic and, if possible, incorporate the types of items your looking for into your outfit. I took this approach and it worked wonders for me.

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As usual, I was decked head-to-toe in black, with colorful accents in my jewelry. I wore a floor-length cotton dress and fishnet tights, which was perfect for the weather that day, and supportive yet lightweight leather boots. Comfortable attire: check. I also made sure to wear a few articles of vintage jewelry (of Navajo, Nepali, Tibetan, and Mayan origins), because they reflected the types of items I was looking for at the fair. This helped me immensely. Countless vendors pointed me in the right direction once I stepped into their tent, just by taking a glance at my jewelry. One vendor offered to trade me an incredible Navajo bracelet for the bracelet I was wearing — an offer I almost accepted. That opportunity never would have arisen if I hadn’t chosen my jewelry carefully. Wear things that express your interests and show you know what you want. Worst case scenario: you look awesome at the fair. Best case scenario: you find those perfect items, start conversations with collectors and form relationships with experts, and maybe even stumble upon a discount or two! I certainly did with some of my loot:

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Now, I won’t reveal the jaw-dropping (low!) prices I paid for some of these items, but I will say that the turquoise bracelet, earrings, and two rings were heavily discounted. Just from taking the time to have conversations with people! Of course, you can always haggle at Brimfield, but vendors are used to that. Everyone tries it, every year. Remember that vendors are people too, and that sometimes a stimulating conversation will get you further than aggressive bartering.

Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Although such a large show is time consuming as it is, be sure to check out the nooks and crannies. Sometimes they’re the most beautiful.

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The most intriguing.

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The most mystical.

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The most nostalgic.

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The most alluring.

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Or the most outlandish.

ImageAnd when you’re finished exploring and rummaging, find the items you can’t live without.

ImageTake a moment to drool over the ones you can’t afford.

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And get what you came for.

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Hello winter, glad you finally joined us!

I didn’t think I would be happy about the snow, but I am! I’ll always secretly love it, even if I do complain about it. New England is my home, after all. Plus, my job is in the middle of a tree sanctuary, so I have this gorgeous view all day.

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Grand Opening

Grand Opening

My line will launch tonight on etsy!

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