Spring Weekend in NYC

Here's what to wear!
Here’s what to wear!

Here’s the recipe for a great weekend in New York City! Choose a gorgeous day to take a very early walk on the High Line, have brunch at  Good Enough to eat on the Upper Westside and then go to see the Cindy Sherman show at  MOMO.  Dinner at the adorable West Village restaurant the Owl. At some point- off hours, or you won’t get in, sneak in to the best ramen joint in NYC- Totto in Hell’s Kitchen.  Before you head home finish it up with a walk up to Zabars, stopping at a cafe to watch humanity stroll by!  More time? get a ticket to a matinee and leave feeling like you got a real taste of the city- till next time! What to wear- I wore this pretty Pam Older Designs one of a kind necklace made from tanzanite, mandarin garnets and rutilated quartz .

Setting Up a Handmade Jewelry Business- Part One

pearl earring

Setting up a handmade jewelry business involves some things you might not even consider, in fact you may be surprised to find yourself spending most of your time in activities somewhat unrelated to making handmade earrings and necklaces! I think this post may be one of many delving into this topic.

Without question you will be spending time selling your wares. If you are going to be successful, it means selling a lot and keeping your costs under control. Resisting all those gorgeous stones and materials is difficult for us at Pam Older Designs, and it will be for you too, but of course an artists needs materials to create. However, selling is key and you must be creative about how and where you sell to maximize your efforts and diligent about selling all the time.  If you are just starting out you will probably start selling to your friends, local shops and exhibiting at  local crafts shows. Try to find venues where you do not have to pay too much to make those sales.  As your business grows, pay attention to trade shows that cater to galleries, museum gift stores and boutiques.  In the New York area, January means shows where buyers are already buying for Spring.  Christmas jewelry buyers start in August!  Preparation for these shows like the Buyers Market of American Craft or the New York Gift Show start just as your Christmas and Spring peak selling times end.

The single most important thing you need is a camera, proficiency in taking good clear pictures and the ability to retouch images. These are advantages you cannot underestimate. You will need to save images for print, email, your website and promotional opportunities. Eventually you may have a catalog or line sheets. Start photographing- or have someone do it for you to save time.  You will need a library of shots saved at hi resolution for print and low resolution for the web.  Marketing never stops? I have spent more time taking pictures and photo re-touching than I would ever have imagined.  Good photography is an absolute necessity and the sooner you have it the easier it will be for you to get the word out about your business!

What to buy on my website? Try this gorgeous necklace that will add bling to anything you wear!

Bridal Jewelry You can Design and Afford

Your dream wedding- an exquisite bridal gown, a gracious venue and your gorgeous bridal party dressed in their dresses and smiles!  Where do you go for the  perfect bridal jewelry? As a jewelry designer I have access to stones in every color of the rainbow, gold or silver and the creativity to make your jewelry dreams come true.  If it’s diamonds in platinum or a simple silver necklace, Pam Older Designs can make handcrafted bridal jewelry the way you envision it- customized to the women you are giving it to.

Pam Older Designs offers customized jewelry for brides, bridesmaids and flower girls. Select from existing styles or collaborate with us on designs for handmade earrings and necklaces that will enhance your wedding. Send us pictures of your dresses, swatches of fabric and other materials that you would like to us to use as inspiration. Our semiprecious stones will  flatter your wedding party and make unique gifts.

Like most brides these days, you are most likely looking for jewelry that accents the colors of the dresses you have chosen for your bridal party.  The semiprecious stone earrings and necklaces we make for them will become a cherished gift – a personal thank you  for being part of your wedding day. Pam Older Designs has worked with many brides to design their perfect bridal jewelry.  Westchester Weddings and Bridal Guide Magazine  both featured my handmade jewelry! One of my favorite pictures in The Bridal Guide  is a long coral necklace they used in a destination wedding article.

Color is big right now and many of my designs on http://www.pamolderdesigns.com work for wedding jewelry. I adore working with brides to custom make artisan wedding jewelry. Just give us some notice so we can work with you to find the most gorgeous materials available.   I truly lovve making beautiful bridal jewelry – its my way of making a meaningful contribution to all the beautiful brides on their wedding day!

Article From Hudson Valley Magazine by Liz Stein- 1/08

Remember back when we were in the third grade and had an obsession with EZ 2 Do? We loved designing our own bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings. We’d spend endless hours at sleepovers, tediously crafting our very own jewelry collections (usually of the gaudy “gemstone” or beaded variety) — and, of course, embellishing any piece of fabric we owned with our trusty BeDazzler (I think I even tried to BeDazzle a pair of satin leggings … what’s worse, that I did this, or that I owned a pair of satin leggings?). Then there was lanyard (also known as Boondoggle or gimp) — yards and yards of the plastic lace, in a vast rainbow of insanely bright colors, which we used to create bracelets, key chains, and other vibrant accessories. And you can’t forget that huge pink caboodle, filled with thousands of tiny, sparkly beads and elastic thread. I even recall a few of my über-crafty friends using their Easy-Bake Oven to manufacture their own clay beads. Weren’t we always so proud of our jewelry? Our colorful little bracelets were truly an expression of ourselves — a representation, if you will. (Unfortunately, I wasn’t a very talented jeweler — at all, now that I think about it.)

Anyhow, the point is, I was accessories shopping this past Monday and couldn’t help but notice how utterly mainstream everything appeared. It looked as if there was one giant fashion house designing all of our jewelry (and I’m not just talking about Forever 21 look-alikes). From the cheap little bodegas in the malls to the racks at retail chain stores to the counters at Saks, it’s all one big heaping mess of long chain necklaces, chunky bangles, and large Beyoncé-esque earrings these days.

Whatever happened to our girl’s nights of beading and bedazzling? Have they been completely displaced by Mojitos and stiletto-wearing evenings out? I’m not suggesting a need for the revival of slumber parties, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a fabulous necklace that no one else has, everyone loves, and doesn’t bear the label “Made in Korea”?

Well, as I stated before, I’m no craft queen. But these days, I do have a penchant for unique bling — as well as an aversion to the commonplace, blah status of mass produced-jewelry. To satisfy my craving, I tracked down a handful of local jewelry designers (yes, they do exist north of Soho), and to my delight, I found oodles of fantastically fun — and classy — pieces for every style preference and occasion. Ranging from welded cuffs to beaded earrings and gold necklaces, these artists have given me a breath of fresh air — and an outlet for my latest fashion fetish.

Larchmont’s Pam Older, who previously had a career in magazine publishing, launched her jewelry company in 2003. She was profiled in the January 2006 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, and last year her jewelry was shown on Desperate Housewives. You can purchase her colorful, elegant designs on her Web site or at boutiques and galleries all over the country.

Vermeil Nugget Hoop Earrings, $125
Teardrop hoops in 22k vermeil with a thin layer of 22k gold over a sterling silver bead

Four Strand Vermeil Bracelet, $165

Four strands of vermeil beads joined with a bold toggle clasp; also available in silver

Here are a few local stores that carry her wares:

Woodstock Designs, Woodstock

Wondrous Things, Croton On Hudson, NY

Glass Onion, Pleasantville, NY

Mary Stuart Designs, Lenox, MA

Hoadley Gallery, Lenox, MA