Saturday, July 30, 2011

School Supplies Are Out Already?

I can't believe I see back to school displays everywhere I go these days!  I was just scraping ice off my roof!  Is it just me?  What's next?  Christmas sales next week?  I'm just not ready. Maybe I'm too slow...or maybe I'm getting old. I like to live in the present...

It's even harder to focus on those things yet when I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to make for these award shows!  I'm working on prototypes day and night and I don't like any of them!! I've already ordered packaging, which I don't know is dumb, because I don't know what I'm making yet, or smart, because alot of the ones I'm interested in are out of stock!  By the way, if any jewelry artists need a place to find great jewelry packaging and wrapping paper,  go to Awesome site!

I'll keep you guys posted on my progress the next time I come up for air! Now I have to go buy school supplies!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Artisan Group  ( is a website where the creme de la creme of Etsy is selected to be featured for the world to see. It is a juried process, and a very stringent one for jewelrymakers in particular, since there are so many.  I'm proud to say that one of my necklaces, La Primavera Necklace, was on the front page of Etsylush this morning! This, I couldn't have done without the help of my colleagues at The Artisan Group, who guided me through some photo formatting issues, and in general are just a wonderful, supportive group of artists. I call them the "SWAT" Team,  because if a member has any issue or question, they swoop in and help you find a solution. An amazing, very giving group of women and men. I feel very fortunate to be part of the gang! Also, if it weren't for them, I would never have been part of the Swag bags for the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards! A toast to the Artisan Group!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Winner of LexiBead's Online Free Giveaway

Congratulations to Nikki Futch for winning the LexiBead's Online Free Giveaway! Nikki chose the Chrysanthemum Cabochons as her prize!

Someone Pinch Me! The Oscars and The Golden Globes!

You guys know that in addition to LexiBeads, I also own Alexis Studio Design LLC, where I sell my handmade jewelry creations. Well, guess what? One of my pieces will be in the goody bags given to the celebrities at the 2012 Golden Globes, and the 2012 Academy Awards! Someone pinch me!

I started ASD in 2006, and I gave you it's history in my first post, but it's only recently that I've started networking like a crazy woman, and that led to this opportunity. I don't know what exactly will come of this, but I hope it will prove to my daughters the mantra I've been repeating to them, over and over for years, ad nauseum..."Do what you love and success will follow."

I have no idea which piece I should submit...any thoughts?
Check out and let me know what you think?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Adding an Element of the Exotic to Your Designs

Browsing through jewelry shops, either online or in person, makes me feel like a kid in a candy store! So much variety! Different styles, colors, techniques.  I'll see beautiful Victorian jewelry, with brass filigree, cameos, and beautiful stampings. There's wire wrapped jewelry, with sumptuous gemstones wrapped in either gold or silver wire, to make pendants or rings. There's statement jewelry, from bib necklaces, to large cocktail rings, to long, elaborate chandelier earrings.

One style, however, always seems to catch my eye. Tribal, or ethnic jewelry...It has a primal energy to it, and raw beauty. Some pieces are very colorful and elaborate. I'm particularly fond of Moroccan jewelry and East Indian jewelry. Moroccan jewelry with it's gorgeous motifs, and Indian jewelry, with it's use of colorful gemstones, rich, 22kt gold, silver, and elaborate designs. Truly wearable art!

LexiBeads carries exotic beads and components that allow a jewelry designer to add a unique flavor to their designs...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gifts from Nature-Agate Slices

Sometimes, the most beautiful components of a jewelry design are found in nature.  Agate slices are one of my favorites! They lend a piece such an organic flavor, with their irregular outlines, beautiful muticolor bands, sometimes resembling a landscape, or a beach. They can be found in a multitude of colors, and make stunning focal pieces for necklaces.

Monday, July 4, 2011

My Latest Listing on LexiBeads!

The Optimist Creed

These are words I try my best to live by...The Optimist Creed by Christian Larson. Copies are posted all over my home...

Promise Yourself
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature you meet.
To give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud word, but in great deeds.
To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side, so long as you are true to the best that is in you.

Pearl Necklaces Aren't Like Grandma's Anymore

I love working with pearls, particularly freshwater pearls. They come in many shapes, and their imperfections add to their charm. They can be dyed just about any color, and the scope of their use in jewelry design is vast!  Keishi pearls are my favorite...they're so beautiful, and uncommon. Freshwater pearls also come  shaped as coins, branches, diamonds, rectangles, squares. Either alone, or combined with beautiful crystal or gemstone briolettes, pearl necklaces today are far from the traditional pearl necklaces of generations past. Freshwater pearls are also relatively inexpensive, so you can have a variety of shapes and colors to work with.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Challenges of Running a Small Home Business

A bit of history...before LexiBeads, there was, and still is,  Alexis Studio Design LLC. It started out as a home business where I made jewelry, lampshades, sachets, and other small gifts. In 2009, I made the fatal mistake of opening a brick and mortar store...what a nightmare!!!  Buying furniture, painting, a new sign, permits, marketing... Still, I went in with a positive attitude, and I actually fell in love with the final product! My store had a Zen, Asian feel to it, with an aqua/ brown color scheme, lots of plants and bamboos, my personal Buddha collection and a beautiful waterfall. All that despite the fact that a well meaning friend hired an interior designer as a gift for me, and this designer, in keeping with my Asian theme wanted to add her homemade Christmas wreaths above my waterfall, and blue fishing nets in the store window! (True story!!!) Unfortunately, the store was in a terrible location, with no foot traffic, and I ended up closing the doors one year later. I look at it as a learning experience, allbeit an expensive one.

So, back to working from home. I did a few craft fairs, home parties. Some of my work was in galleries and boutiques. However, my website failed to pull in any business, despite the beautiful design by a web designer. So, I opened shop on Etsy, and later added LexiBeads.

As a single parent, who suffers from chronic migraines, it ain't easy running a business from home!!  My two children are at an age where they have an active social life, and lot's of activities, and need to be driven everywhere! And every doctor's appointment, dentist get the idea. I have no family nearby, and although I try to carpool with other parents as often as possible,  the chauffeuring eats up a big chunk of my time!

Then there are the migraines. I have them almost daily, see a neurologist, and a bevy of medications aren't helping. I'm now trying biofeedback.

So, then there are the businesses.  I'm the type of person who needs structure in their day...there's the shipping, the marketing, the blogging and twittering (tweeting?), the photographing...when the hell do I find the time to actually make the jewelry???  My stock and inventory are finding their way into every room of my home...even my bedroom.

Etsy is a fabulous community of artists, I really love it, but my sales are slow...there's alot, I mean ALOT of competition out there! It's a challenge to find a niche that will make me stand out!

I would love to hear from other small home business owners! Any thoughts, solutions, funny stories? I always feel it's easier to deal with these challenges with others who are going through the same...