Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Product Story: The Lydia Collection

Lydia necklaces, layered
by BokBok Jewelry

Brick red shell spike necklace
 by BokBok Jewelry
A few birthdays back, my parents treated me to a shopping trip at Joann's Fabrics. While there, I found a whole collection of mother-of-pearl beads, freshwater pearls, shell beads, acrylic beads, and glass pearls in matching and complementary colors - pinks, browns, mauves, creams, whites, and silver. I usually make unique, one-of-a-kind pieces, but I wanted to make a signature line this time - this was my Big Project, as soon as I saw those mother-of-pearl beads.

I had picked out focal beads for several necklace designs (these being the mother-of-pearl and acrylic beads), and planned to use the rest of the beads as the body of the necklace. Necklaces, I should say, because I had picked out enough beads for two necklaces in each design, plus matching earrings, and anything left I would use in a bracelet and maybe a cluster pendant.

This was truly an example of a focused, cohesive design plan that worked. All of the designs looked great together, as well they should have since I had bought beads specifically for this project; I did do some bead layouts to make sure I had enough for two of each design, but everything just went swimmingly. I only worked on one specific design at a time, but intuition (and some bead-counting) worked for me - I had enough of each type of bead to make each of the necklaces that I wanted, and I didn't have to fiddle with the designs for very long before I had something I liked.

In addition to making a specific collection of jewelry, the other new-to-me thing that I did in this project was to hand-form my own clasps. Hammering out the clasp with a new baby in the house was the most challenging part of this project, but I made it work...somehow. The first year with my daughter is kind of a blur to me, so I'm not 100% sure how it worked, but it did.
Shell leaf earrings, by BokBok Jewelry

At the time, I had a store on Etsy. When I first listed the Lydia Collection (as I call it; I don't know any Lydia's, but I have always thought the name was pretty), I tried doing a market search for similar pieces to check my competitors' pricing to compare, but there weren't any other necklaces or earrings like that out there (on Etsy, at least). Within a month, several other people had listed similar pieces. I'm not sure if it was just a creative brainwave that went out to several of us - and I just happened to get it listed first - or if it was a case of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, or maybe I'm just a trend-setter. Either way, shell spike necklaces are starting to become a thing, and I like to think that it was because of me. :)

And, shameless self-promotion time -
Browse the entire Lydia Collection at Zibbet!

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