Thursday, December 9, 2010

Be Sure to Check Out the "20 Days of December" Featured Member Promos!

Be sure to check out Artisans/Jewelry Designers Community's "20 Days of December".  Two Featured Members are showcased each day until December 19th - on the 20th day there will be a suprise!
You can access this feature daily by going to  and it is in the middle column of the Main Page.  Or you can catch-up on all the Artisans that have been featured by going to:

Support HANDMADE!  This post is for Day  10, so you can see all posts if you look on the AJD Blog.

Sharon Hightower
Owner of Tres Chic Designs

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Welcome to Julie, with Creations With Heart - Our Featured Artisan!

by Julie

Locations you can be found:

What inspired you to create the business you own?

I needed a way to slow down and relax so I went back to beading. It was my family who mentioned selling it and my website was born!

How long have you been designing jewelry? Do you design any components of the jewelry you make?

I started making jewelry a little over 20 years ago, but really go into it using quality pieces and have been selling it online for almost 5 years now. I do design some of my own components. I'm making bails, forms for earrings, ear wires, unique head pins and I'm working on more!

Do you feel an emotional connection with the designs you create?

I do because I feel there's a little piece of me in each of my creations. I take pride and such care in everything I make. I want each design to be as perfect as I can get it for you!

What types of materials do you use to create your designs?

I use gemstones, Swarovski Crystals, Czech glass, lampwork beads, sterling, pewter and leather, just to name a few.

Do you feel that each of your creations expresses a certain part of you?

Yes! You can see my passion and love for animals in my paw print designs, my support for our service men and women in my military designs, my devotion to God in my inspirational pieces and my creativity in everything else! I hope that people can see that.

Have you ever won awards or been published in a magazine or book, or asked to join any type of organization overseeing information distributed to the public?

I have been featured in several artisans blogs which I'm ecstatic about! Thank you, everyone!!

What is one thing you can't grasp onto about having an online business?

I have a hard time promoting myself! Isn't that silly? It's such an important part in getting yourself seen and I still don't do it well! That's one thing I really need to work on.

Would you design jewelry again if you had a choice? If Not, why?

I sure would! I've always enjoyed jewelry and will continue to. It's a part of who I am.

What advice would you give to other women who are afraid to take that step toward making their dream happen?

Do not compare yourself to anyone else! Your creations are unique to who you are. That makes you and your craft special. Go for it! Take your time, don't be in a rush to learn everything - it will happen. Enjoy the journey!

How would you advise them to stay on track so they maintain and healthy outlook?

Come up with a routine or a list and stick with it. Remember that it's only a guide and "stuff" happens during the day that will send you off track. That's OK. Just get back on the horse and follow your routine. No worries! When you get frustrated always keep in mind why you're doing what you're doing and know your priorities. My customers are important to me. I want them to be happy and feel important - because they are. But, nothing is more important to me than my family and that includes my big, fluffy dogs! My business is more than just a hobby to me, but knowing that family comes first puts things into perspective...for me. Excuse me, but my doggy needs me right now! =] OK. We're back!

What other types of businesses or Hobbies are you involved in?

I try to do what I can to help our animal friends. From donating monetarily to giving blankets and such to the local animal emergency hospital. I've also loved graphic design from the time I took it in high school. Boy, have things changed! I love making logos, banners, avatars, promotional pieces and all the goodies like that! Who knows, maybe I'll open up another shop!

What do you advise about keeping it balanced?

It can be quite challenging to keep it all in balances, but if you know your priorities, things have a better chance for falling into place. It may not go as you planned, but then again, what does?! Stay flexible. Stay happy. From my experiences to you~ =]

Here are some great pictures of Julie's

This is a fabulous lampwork focal bead!

And here are the earrings!

Great leather bracelet with
Sterling and Turquoise additions.

Here is a sterling silver bracelet with
a heart charm and paw prints!
This is so great - I love my puppies too!

And here are some pawprint earrings!

A lovely leather bracelet with Sterling Silver Cross!

I love this carnelian bracelet!

And some equally as lovely carnelian earrings!

I love amethyst so it goes without saying
I am a huge fan of this necklace!

Love the originality of these earrings!

And last, but not least if a great necklace
combination of turqouise, silver and hemp.

Thanks, once again to Julie, for letting me
post her beautiful jewelry.  Hope everyone
enjoyed this display as much as I did
posting it.  Be sure to check out Julie's
various designs to see everything she has to offer.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Welcome to Jeannie Dukic, Owner of Jewelry by Jeannie, September 7, 2010, An Article She Wrote We Will All Benefit From

I wrote this article back in 2008 for our local newspaper The Bulletin. I like to read it when I need a reality check or a kick in the pants. I'd like to share it with you.

All small business owners experience failure at one point or another. These reasons for failure are in no particular order and I am going to ask that you take a look at each one and really ask yourself if any applies to you. Not just ask the question but decide what you are going to do about it to create success for yourself, your business, or your business idea:

1. Not believing in your own ability to succeed

If you struggle to believe that you can be successful, that, to me, is the greatest failure point of all. When you do not believe in yourself, your abilities, your human potential, you tend to sabotage your own success.

You remain stuck in self-limiting beliefs. When you think about becoming hugely successful, are you shrouded in doubt or positive expectation? What will you do this week to move in the direction of positive expectation? There is no shortage of books, audio, etc for embarking on a transformation in your mindset and beliefs regarding the limitless success you can most definitely have.

2. Allowing fear to stop you

Small business owners all experience fear at some level. The hugely successful entrepreneurs are the ones who feel the fear and do it anyway. Whatever that “it” is. Think about the acronym F.E.A.R. False Experiences Appearing Real. Often what goes on in our mind is FAR greater than reality. What fear is stopping you? What will you do this week to move past it?

3. Allowing failure to stop you

If you are living and breathing, failure is inevitable. Some small business owners live their lives avoiding failure, while others allow failure to become a teacher and instructor. Which category are you in? The learners of failure rise up with greater strength and knowledge for the next challenge or opportunity ahead.

You can shift your thoughts from the failure itself and instead focus on what you can learn from the failure and how you can put that learning to good use going forward. Where is your focus when failure happens — on the failure or on the learning? What will you choose to focus on next time failure hits?

4. Going it alone

This is huge. With regard to the business that you are in or the one that you hope to start, who are your mentors and like-minded people you can gather with weekly or monthly. I’d highly recommend that you begin to meet regularly with like-minded people. Find groups that can hold you accountable and groups that become a source of ideas for your business as well.

Our Inner Circle groups and coaching programs were created with that need in mind. If you cannot join ours, find something in your community. I belong to two different groups of entrepreneurs that I meet with regularly and I attribute a great deal of my success to that kind of interaction and involvement. Do not ever go into business alone. Figure out what groups or associations you will join and get into conversation with successful people on a regular basis.

5. Not investing in your learning and growth

I never stop learning. I am usually reading 2-3 books at a time and I continue my education by taking classes. You don’t need to do exactly what I’m doing. However, my question for you is “What are you pouring into your mind weekly regarding your business or business idea?” If your business is to succeed, you must have a source of continued learning regarding business success.

There is no shortage of material in that category. Start feeding your mind with a steady diet of what it takes to be successful. Go to the bookstore or the library and get what you need. Never stop learning. To stop learning is to stop growing. I’ve never met a successful entrepreneur who wasn’t constantly investing in their own growth and learning.

6. Talk vs Action

This is one criteria for remarkable success that I cannot stress enough. I meet so many people who receive countless opportunities and ideas to create success in their businesses. And they choose do nothing. It’s a choice. And it’s often a choice because of #1 above. When opportunity crosses my desk, I jump on it. It may fail, but that doesn’t matter, at least I tried. I took action.

People tell me all the time they wish they could own a business. Telling ME isn't going to make it happen. When I started my first business I did not have two pennies to rub together. I went to 16 banks for a loan before the 17 bank said yes. They saw something in me that the other's did not. I believed in myself.

Massive action is a success ingredient that I picked up from hugely successful entrepreneurs. (I'm a shaker and a mover.) They don’t sit around analyzing for very long. They are always in action—daily, weekly, monthly. What business ideas have you acted upon in the last week? Set a goal for yourself to move your business forward by specific daily or weekly actions that will do precisely that for you—move you forward. And that movement forward will spurn you into even more action and therefore more success.

I have two very successful brick and mortar businesses that I apply this information to it everyday. My jewelry business makes me feel like a failure. Here's why: I still think of it as a hobby so I don't apply these business practices and TIME. I struggle between my professional life and my beading life everyday. Maybe one has got to go.

Jeannie Dukic
Owner of Jewelry by Jeannie

Below are links to Jeannie's website and blog:

Also, we have some photos of some of Jeannie's jewelry designs to share.
After you look at them I am sure you will agree that she does not need to leave her jewelry business, she is a very creative, and talented Artisan/Jewelry Designer, and a Polymer Clay Artist .  She has had her work appear in several magazines, she is constantly entering contests with gorgeous designs and if you like her polymer clay beads, or the paper beads - check out her website for some great discounts!  I believe she is extremely talented and I am hoping she gets some great remarks and "comments" from those of you who read her article.

One of Jeannie's designs, using "paper beads" (which she makes and sells
on her site) that are eco friendly.  I love these beads!

Here is one of Jeannie's designs with the focal bead being one of her
polymer clay designs.  She not only works with normal
beads and metal, and makes "paper beads",
but she is a Polymer Clay Artist .

OK - so here are some examples of her polymer clay bead designs!
Wow! This lady does not know how talented she is?? Better read her
article again!  I vote for her to continue to CREATE!

Here is another polymer clay design
including the "leather textured" bracelet..

Very creative "Lonely Hearts" made with polymer clay!

And we will end her article with a wonderful pair of earrings,
 with Vintaj brass butterflies,
Which she has named "Summer Wings."

Thank you, Jeannie!
Your article has given me a real kick in the pants!
I think we all need a reality check
once in a while.

Please leave comments for Jeannie's article and let us know how it has impacted you!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I am so happy to finally post the interview I did with my good friend and
fellow artisan/jewelry designer, Gloria Cohen, of BAD DOG JEWELS!

Name: Gloria Cohen

Business Name: Bad Dog Jewels


Home: Hingham, MA

What is it that you design and create?

I’ve been making jewelry for about eight years and I’m interested in many different kinds of jewelry. I started with wirework, added metal and then got interested in chain maille. Once I learned fusing, another aspect of jewelry making was available to me. I’ve made pieces that reflect all of these techniques.

What is your favorite part of the design process?

Once a design is in place, my favorite part is the process of creating the piece; working with the raw materials to the finished piece is the part that is exciting for me.

How did you come up with your business name?

I once had a dog when I lived in the city. I came home from work and found him chewing one of my shoes. When I was looking for a name, an image of that dog came to mind and Bad Dog Jewels was born.

When and how did it all begin?

About eight years ago, when I was working the 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm shift, I was online and found a tutorial written by Connie Fox, a wonderful jewelry designer, for a beautiful lamp work and wire bracelet. I decided I could do this and bought some copper wire at the hardware store along with some beads and inexpensive tools and made my first wire and bead bracelet. I was thrilled.

Who or what inspires you?

I’m inspired mostly by shapes and forms I see around me; cobblestones, grates, stones. About two years ago, I made a necklace, I call “Shield Necklace”. It was inspired my neighbor’s beautiful dry stacked rock wall. It’s a wall constructed without cement with many sizes and shapes of rocks that fit into the whole configuration. I see that wall everyday and I never get tired of looking at it. Other people’s jewelry inspires me. I’m always looking at jewelry. Ancient jewelry that’s simple inspires me. A lot of my pieces look like they could be relics.

What advice would you give other independent artists who are just starting out?

About five years ago, I took a jewelry class at a well known school in Boston. However, I was asked to leave the class by the teacher who was also the Director of the Jewelry program because my soldering skills weren’t up to her standards. I realized that I could learn on my own. I’m mostly self taught. There is a lot of material on the internet and many tutorials available. My advice to anyone starting out is buy some inexpensive tools, beads and wire and practice a lot before you buy expensive materials. You can make lovely jewelry with just a few tools, some wire and beads.

What music are you listening to?

Right now I’ve been listening to Joan Baez.

What TV show are you hooked on?

The Office and 30 Rock.

What was the last movie you saw?

The last movie I saw was Julie and Julia.

What is your favorite food?

An organic salad with lots of fresh greens and vegetables.

What is your favorite candy or treat?

Dark chocolate.

Coffee or Tea?

Coffee and Tea

What store could you walk around in for hours and be happy?

My local bead store.

Any pets?

A thirteen year old red cat named Dusty.

Favorite place to visit or would like to visit?

I don’t like to travel, so staying home is fine with me.

Celebrity crush?


Favorite holiday?


If you were a shoe what shoe would you be?

A leopard skin high heeled shoe.  *I knew we would be friends with that answer!!! LOL*

What do you secretly wish you could do or be?

I’m really content with the place I’m at in my life right now, making jewelry.

Favorite piece of clothing?

My black Coach Bag.

Do you speak any languages or want to learn one?

Maybe when I retire from my job.

Plans for yourself/business?

I’ve always been more focused on making jewelry than selling jewelry. My plan is to just keep learning different techniques and incorporate them into my pieces.

I am proud to say I was able to purchase this before someone else snagged it!! 
One of my favorite pieces of jewelry!!

What great rings!  I cannot imagine doing metalsmithing!!

This is so pretty - love the balance of beads with the metal!

Another of her pieces I covet!!!

I cannot imagine doing this.....doesn't this look like it
requires patience??  Beautiful!

OK - I honestly, snagged these too, and had her make a similar pair for my Sis!
Love her designs!

Another lovely pair of earrings!

And she does rings..........all the things I love!!

Really gorgeous lampwork orb necklace!

OK, now I know Gloria is currently having a 20% off sale in her on-line store at
What wonderful timing for those of you who are looking for something
really special for yourself or someone you love.


Monday, April 26, 2010


The sale at Tres Chic Designs Jewelry has been extended through the week of April 26 - 30th, 2010.
Prices have already been cut by 50% and the price you see is the marked down price.  Each day
Monday - Friday, there will be an added bonus to any purchase.

Monday, today, until midnight CST, with any purchase, you can buy a second item at 25% the already marked down price.

You will have the check the Etsy store each day to see what the additional mark down will be. This may be the best one or there may be another one later in the week that is more on the second item purchase.
All orders hae free shipping within the U.S.


Hope you will check out the site.  This is gemstone merchandise, real stones, real Swarovski crystals,
real pearls, real 925+ sterling silver, or gold plated findings.  This is merchandise that has been sold in upper end boutiques.  These items are a "deal" that you will find no where else, as most of them are one of a kind.  Perfect gifts for Mother's Day, graduation, birthday gifts, brides, bridesmaids, and special occasion.

Need to clear my inventory for new items. 
Please stop by and check out what is available.
Sharon Hightower
Tres Chic Designs Jewelry

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

There is a huge sale on jewelry at Jewelry Tres Chic at Etsy Thur April 15, 2010

We are having a huge sale on inventory at Jewelry Tres Chic
through April 15, 2010,
This inventory would be great for Mother'Day
graduation gifts, wedding gifts, prom accessories.
All inventory marked off over 50% of good quality semiprecious stones,
sterling silver, Swarovski Crystals, fresh water pearls.
We are cleaning out inventory for New Inventory to be placed in shop.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Its not all about me! Seaching for potential guests for interviews.


I could post pictures of my jewelry forever on this page, but I am looking for some jewelry designers, or artisans that do other creative things to feature on my blog.  If you would like to be featured, please let me know and I will send you some questions to answer, and you can send me some pictures of your designs. Also if you have a shop banner, include that. 

I am all about encouraging and helping people promote themselves.  If you would like to post something regarding  the interview that will allow people to promote you and you will also donate a prize to the person that Tweets you the most, goes to your own blog and leaves a message regarding this person's inventory and confirms this with a message,selects something you think is gorgeous and add a coment to the blog we do on you, you can reward those out there tweeting you, and promoting your shop in many ways.

Please contact me at in order to talk about submitting your information to be posted at a later date.
Ciao, and happy beading!
Sharon Hightower