I am a woman who wears a lot of hats. While I do have several hat boxes in my closet filled with stylish vintage chapeaux that I like to wear on occasion this post chats about the many hats I wear in my work-day world.
Most of you know me as a "Jewelry Educator." A teacher of all things jewelry-related. I love teaching others to make jewelry and many of those students have become successful jewelry designers in their own right, designing and selling their own jewelry line.
I love that. LOVE IT!
Now it's my turn.
Yep. I have a new hat. It's called "jewelry designer." I have always designed and sold jewelry during my career, but on a really small scale. Home parties, trunk shows, the occasional craft fair. I have always designed pieces with my student or a class in mind. But now things are changing. Don't worry! I am not taking off my teaching hat. I have A LOT of cool teaching gigs coming up in 2014 (more on that soon.) This is just an addition to the hat collection.
Some of you may know my longtime friend Jess Gaston of Jess Imports. She sells beautiful jewelry components at trade shows. Earlier this year we were at a show together and were checking out the finished jewelry that was offered for sale. That lead to a discussion about trend and business and the people we know in the industry and why didn't we see anything that we really liked and why can't it be made in the USA and what if someone produced a cool, affordable, trendy but not too trendy line don't you think that might sell and that naturally led to..."Hey, wait a minute! Why aren't WE doing that?"
So we are.
Meet the Gaston Collective. Her idea is to bring together American suppliers and artists, supporting them with a living wage and work that they enjoy and feels meaningful. Things have been ramping up this past year with a few trade shows (with a favorable reception) and the addition of artists Cynthia Thornton and Bob Burkett to the mix. It's been so so so fun to create and collaborate and design. This is just the beginning. Jessica's dream is actually starting to come true. I am so excited and proud to be a part of that.
This January is the big debut of the line at three big trade shows in Atlanta, Dallas and Las Vegas. We are moving full steam ahead. And we are asking for a bit of help. Enter crowd funding and really cool contributor perks. We have created an Indiegogo campaign to help gather the funds we need to get things kicked into high gear for January.
Thanks for reading and thanks for your support!