Friday, December 6, 2013

Many Hats

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 (Indiegogo campagin link is here.) to help gather the funds we need to get things kicked into high gear for January.

So if you can contribute, that would be awesome! You will have our sincere thanks and get a really cool gift in return. If you can’t contribute, that doesn’t mean you can’t help. We'd really appreciate if you would help pass on the word via social media, word of mouth,  or in your holiday newsletter (okay, just kidding on that one.)

Here is the link to our Indiegogo page. 

Thanks for reading and thanks for your support!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

We have got a winner!

Hi Gang!

Thanks so much for your kind comments. The random number generator just picked three winners and they are as follows:

Kath who said:
Love to play with fire, and I think your book would give me a boost of inspiration. Also "liked" on FB, twittered on k8ofkatehall & instagram kate_jewelry. 

Debbie who said:
I have watched your "Metalsmithing at Home" video on Craftsy many times. You are an absolute hoot! I adore your enthusiasm, your sense of humor, not to mention you are so talented. I don't have a copy of "Simple Soldering" so winning a copy would be amazing! Soldering is one of those things that constantly eludes me.
(Debbie I could not contact you through Google, would you send me your info using the contact on my blog?)

Deb who said:
Oh could I be this lucky!!! Looks like a beautiful book and DVD!

 Whooohoooo! Congrats and I'll be contacting you shortly and mailing them off.

Thanks again and I loved reading each comment.