Sunday, September 27, 2015

October and the colours of Autumn...

I was always aware of opal being the birthstone for October, but when I started designing and making jewellery, I discovered that tourmaline is also an October birthstone. What a terrific stone and what a terrific combination of birthstones. Boths stones provide so many different colours. And tourmaline, especially, presents itself, particularly in the lower graded stones, in autumnal shades. Indeed, the yellows, greens, and rose hues are stunning together or separately. I find I used a lot of tourmaline in my copper and bronze designs. And during the month of October, they are particularly relevant and popular.

This design, called Ovals and Scrolls, is a bronze necklace featuring ovals of A-grade tourmaline.
"Ovals & Scrolls"
These stones are nicer than the lower graded stones, but as A grade, they offer a wider range of colours and a more opaque appearance. I've combined the stones in all the beautiful colours of the falling leaves of the season. If this necklace tickles your fancy, just drop me an email at sales@selkieshaunt.com and use the subject line "Ovals and Scrolls". If you wish, I can create earrings to match. The necklace is priced at £66 and matching earrings would retail for £24. If you wish to buy both, the earrings will sell at half price, making your total £78.

I recently spent the good part of week - 20 hours in all - creating a new and really detailed necklace and earrings set. Called "Make a Wish," this set comprises a necklace 56 inches in length, so that it can be doubled or worn very long. With beautifully marked hand-wrapped beads of Red Creek jasper and tourmaline, hand-forged copper jump rings, and "coins" of copper cut from copper sheet, then drilled and polished, it most definitely a labour of love. I adore the way it looks and I've included photographs of the set here in a more formal photograph and also on the display bust. When you consider the time it took to make this necklace, it's cheap at £100. The earrings are £24, but the set retails for £110.  Again, if you are interested in this set, email me at the address given above and use "Make a Wish" as your subject line. 

"Make a Wish" copper necklace with Red Creek jasper and tourmaline.


"Make a Wish" earrings.
"Make a Wish" set on display.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Branding and packaging

Over the last month, not only have I been creating new pieces to add to the collection, albeit briefly, as they have sold the first time they have been on offer, but I have been working to perfect and polish my brand. It was in the last month, while realising it was time I reordered my business cards that I had my "Eureka" moment. While I was moving the graphic around on the business card layout, I came upon the idea of placing the graphic to the side and using only half of the image. I loved it. I had finally cracked the way I wanted the branding to appear. Rather than floating my text on top or beneath a perfectly round example of Celtic knotwork, the knotwork would now provide an off-centre image. And with this final piece of the puzzle in place, I have added this graphic to my other business stationery. What customers will receive from this point on with be a consistent and unmistakable The Selkie's Haunt package - from the business card to the copy of the Terms & Conditions. I am very pleased.

In addition to the new business card and the other ancillary business materials, I have put together new packaging for The Selkie's Haunt. In the past, I have used organza bags for my jewellery, but I felt that I needed to do more. The main reason is that sending jewellery in an organza bag is just about the norm in this business - from cheap tat to  higher quality work. I wanted and needed to do something that was different and more polished. I found a great source for very small ivory pillow boxes. So my jewellery will now be placed in an organza bag, but that bag will be placed in an ivory pillow box of the correct size and then finished with beautiful pale copper organza ribbon. I am so very pleased with the outcome. This also means that if you have purchased some jewellery as a gift, it comes ready to be presented to the recipient. No gift wrapping required on your end! I am working on incorporating the Celtic knotwork design into the packaging as well, so stay tuned.

I have made the decision that I must up the price of my postage costs, however. Because I feel it is important that my packages be insured and trackable, I've always, and will continue to, send my jewellery by Special Delivery. This costs me just over £6. But, for me, it is worth the extra money because I have the peace of mind in knowing that the package can be traced, and, most important, I've never had a package go missing. I am simply not willing to compromise on that. I've only charged £2.50 for shipping, but I hope you will understand the reasoning behind my increasing this to £3. I am still covering over half of the cost of the postage, but I think this is a more equitable split.

I continue to create new pieces that will be showcased at events and in the new e-catalogue available by making a request by emailing catalogue@selkieshaunt.com. I am doing more work with mixed metals and will be transferring that skill to new designs for my sterling silver, gold, and gemstone designs. It's all moving forward for my businesses and I couldn't be more pleased with the progress I am making.

Thank you for your continued support of The Selkie's Haunt.