Saturday, November 16, 2013

Recent Handmade Purchases - What I've Bought Lately!

I am long overdue for another handmade purchase blog post!  The goal of these posts is just to have a little fun!  You get to be nosy and see what I spend my money on, and I get to introduce you to a few Etsy sellers I really like!  So, let's get on with it!!

This year seemed to be a lot about aromatherapy for me.  I go through phases where scents feel very motivating to me.  And when I can combine my aromatherapy fetish with my soap fetish, I'm extremely blissed out.  Topping it off with awesome packaging and I'm likely a lifetime customer, lol!  First up is my Juniper Seed Mercantile purchase:

My soap fetish was in full swing after this as evidenced by my discovery of Naiad Soap Arts!  The owner, Erin, puts a ton of care into her products and I found a couple of scents that I'd been trying to hunt down for awhile.  One of these is Beach House.  Virtually every Etsy scent and/or soap seller offers a version of a beach scent, but (surprise! surprise!), I'm very peculiar about what I like.  I want something that doesn't overwhelm me with coconut and palm trees, something that feels right in summer or winter.  This is it:

You can even try out her sugar whipped soaps in smaller batches before investing in a big jar!  I also recommend her key lime & grapefruit combination if you're into soap that smells so juicy, you accidentally eat it in the shower.  It has sugar in it for exfoliating purposes, so it's not a complete caloric mistake, lol.

If you read past posts on what I buy, you'll see that this next seller, Chicks in Hats, is a favorite. This is the second year in a row I've purchased this calendar for my Mom.  She's a complete chicken addict/collector.  Julie, the shop and chicken owner, takes these pictures of her own chicks!  They are beyond adorable.

Now, onto some other gifts given this year.  This summer, one of my nieces turned 11!  She's big into swimming and an inspiring kid to be around.  Here's what she got on her special day!

I customized the purse with the quote: "DON'T WISH FOR IT, WORK FOR IT!" and had her first initial, A, as the scrabble tile. She absolutely went BONKERS over it.  

Signage must be on my mind this year!  Because I work from home in my fabulous studio, I get kind of annoyed at the number of people who solicit in our neighborhood.  Every ring of the doorbell is an interruption of my creative spirit, lol!  I bought this sign to help cut down on that.  It's sort of working.  Now, I just get folks who ring the doorbell and then explain to me that they're not actually soliciting whilst they are trying to sell me something.  I think some folks need to review the definition of  'soliciting.'

Awhile back, I wrote a post about all the packaging fun we're having in my shop and forgot to include the fabulous washi tape I got from the Sewing Post!  If you decide to enter this shop, you do so at your own risk! It's unbelievably addicting! Washi tape is worse than beads--addiction wise.  You will start putting tape on your tape.

And finally, the gift I bought for my Dad for his birthday this year (and last year, lol!), Cherry Pie Heart Pops!  They are delicious (he tells me!!).

Well folks, that's the latest look at where my money goes. I'm happy every time I get to support a handmade micro-business because I know how having a successful shop can truly change your life.  If you've never shopped on Etsy, why not give it a go this year?  You can read these posts for previous purchases!!

Be sure to check out all the new products we launched in 2013 HERE!  And all of our personalized Christmas ornaments HERE.

Talk soon,

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Christmas 2013 - New Products We Launched This Year!

Well, as I write this, it's 44 days until Christmas. It's crazy, isn't it? How time flies this fast, I have no idea.  The studio is hopping already!  With the addition of a second assistant this year, it feels like Santa's workshop as the three of us zoom around answering customer questions, printing orders, making pieces, and shipping our little hearts out.  But I am NOT complaining!! Being able to work for myself is a blessing every single day.  Anyhoo, having help this year also meant that I was able to launch several new products in my shop this year, and I'm so grateful that they turned out to be winners. This post is dedicated to these newbies, many of whom are now best sellers in their own right!

One of our new products and big sellers this year has been memorial jewelry, accessories and ornaments.  Many of the prototypes you see in our shop were made for friends and family who lost a loved one.  I'm always saddened when an order comes through, but I feel better when I ship it out knowing that it will hopefully help someone through a difficult time. See all ornaments - memorial, new baby, newlywed, pet, family, etc. here!

We got wrapped up in wrap bracelets this year big time. Our leather wraps - beaded and bar - are big sellers and a lot of fun to make.  They look great on men and women and even teens! We get to do so many different styles of these that it never gets boring!

The leather wraps were such a hit that we immediately branched out into silk ribbon wraps! We carry 16 ribbon colors and some of these suckers sell so fast that they're constantly on re-order, lol.  Our most popular colors are Deep Blue Sea, Terracotta Twist, Ocean Waves, Newspaper, and Chocolate Truffle

At Risky Beads, we're not shy about loving leather.  We launched our wide variety of hand stamped leather cuff bracelets last March and never regretted it for a minute.  We carry 1/2", 1", and 1 1/2" widths and customizable plates in aluminum, copper and brass.  These sold like crazy at Father's Day, so we stocked up like crazy for Christmas!

In the summer of 2013, we were contacted by CaliLiliIndies™  and asked to help design and ultimately produce Cali's new line of pride jewelry! The pieces we designed will actually appear in her upcoming indie film eVe N' god™ as well as being for sale at Risky Beads!  Cali's movie and message are about female empowerment, sexuality, and acceptance, so we were definitely on board!

Now don't go thinking that just because we're pro-female around here, that we forget about the men!  No way!  We launched our Wallet Insert Cards to give people another way to express love, commitment, and anything else on their minds, and they've sold very well!  Say whatever you like and give it to that special someone to tuck away in their wallet and peek at it whenever they like.  It's a great option for people who don't wear much jewelry.  (P.S. We also launched personalized collar stays, a great gift for spouse, dad or boyfriend!)

And, finally, we got a little cuckoo crazy this year and decided to open a second Etsy shop called The Twisted Screw!  You can read all about the new shop here and see all the BDSM and fetish jewelry we've made. The shop is doing well, and it's nice to have a home for my side. LOL.

So, in conclusion, we hope you'll shop with us this Christmas. We promise to answer convos quickly--most folks are amazed at how fast we respond.  We take our time with each and every order and are happy to send a gift to someone on your behalf.  We'll even include your note!  Thanks for reading and happy shopping!

~Lori, Blair, and Shantel

Friday, November 1, 2013

Risky Beads Expands! Welcome to The Twisted Screw!

Well, boys and girls, madness has officially sunk in at Risky Beads. For a long time, I've wanted to open a sister store where I could explore the more...well...twisted side of my brain, and in October 2013, I did it!

Welcome to.......

The Twisted Screw is a new shop on Etsy dedicated to personalized BDSM and fetish jewelry and anything else naughty we decide to think up.  We've already had a few sales (hooray!) and here's just a sampling of the pieces you'll find there...

We're adding more inventory weekly, and you can see everything HERE.  We hope you'll come by and take a peek and help us spread the word. You can follow the shop on Twitter @TheTwistedScrew.  

The Twisted Screw and our first shop, Risky Beads, are stocked to the hilt for Christmas! Time's a wasting, so start shopping now! Our international order deadline for both shops is Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013.  After that, we'll be taking only U.S. orders for Christmas. 

More news soon.......stay tuned and happy shopping!