Come join me at our 30th anniversary show, American Handcrafted, held at the Philadelphia Convention Center 2/19-21, Booth 1807! We have the new ACJ line, featuring low-mid priced polymers and resins and gemstones. We will also feature some bestsellers and some amazing deals! Free shipping with $300+, free gift with every order, and no minimums to worry about! Plus treats from our Amish friends at Reading Terminal Market..yum!
It has been quite a journey. Here are some interesting tidbits you might not know.
- I was trained at Rhode Island School of Design and took classes at FIT and Parsons.
- I made jewelry in high school and in college for expenses
- I sold jewelry on Saturday nights in Soho and on Bleecker St. with a wheelie cart and and a cardboard box covered in a velvet curtain. Keeping it klassy!
- my first actual "show" was PS 41 Greenwich Village flea market held Saturdays in the school yard. The table was $35!
- my first real craft show was Crafts On Columbus, at 80th Street in NYC.
- my first store to carry my work was Wearable Energy, on Houston and Broadway in Soho. Frances Colon was the buyer and designer of high end clothing, and sold out of my inventory in a day.
- I made jewelry for various club personae in downtown NYC.
- I have worked with interior decorators, purse designers, clothing designers, and department stores.
-I have sold work to galleries and boutiques in many countries
- I have helped launch several designers through mentorships.
- I have won an award for Best Booth Design (ACC, Baltimore, 2019)
- I work with cotton balls and paper and resin because the end result is nearly weightless jewelry. This is because I love big jewelry, but can't stand the weight.
- My famous handmade butterfly chain was made at the suggestion of one of my customers in order to make pieces fully adjustable.
- My inspiration for my collars came from Christmas wreaths.
- I have put several kids through college and trade school.
Some memorable moments:
- a man dumped his entire collection of pipes on my table at a craft show and insisted I sell them. Yeah, ok...
- a lady dumped her huge purse on the floor of my booth for no apparent reason. She kept saying she was famous. Hmm...
- I had a lady change her baby on my show chair without asking. Eww.
- I had a man sit down next to me, wearing 3 toothless chiwahwahs held in baby carriers around his chest. He talked a bit to me, then fainted (and died). I had to call an ambulance to pick him up. And yes, I still had to serve customers!
- I was doing a long slow trade show in Boston. The last minute of the show, I was spotted by a buyer at a major chain store. They wrote almost 60k in business in one order for all of their stores. See? You never know!
- I has to call 2 of my cousins to help me take orders in NY because I couldn't write orders any faster.
- My best retail show total was 5 figures in 3 days. Westport, CT. I also had my worst case of shoplifting there.
- I fell in love with my husband on our date at Bookbinders Oyster House in Philadelphia. My fellow exhibitors at the trade show I was doing, mentioned how "glowing" I was.
- all the gals on my row in Handmade in NYIGF were pregnant at the same time! I was 4 months along with twins. And had terrible morning sickness while working!
I feel very fortunate to have great support in my life, and I have paid it forward many times over. So a huge thank you to our customers, and I am grateful for your continued involvement with us, even in the midst of these crazy times we live in. I hope to see you at my wholesale show in Philadelphia (American Handcrafted, booth 1807, 2/19-21) or at a summer show tba!
Each year, we begin dusting off the holiday geegaws and doodads right after we wake up from our Thanksgiving turkey slumber. We never really know when Hanukah falls as the Jewish calendar differs each year. So this year, it came very early, and we had to get those presents rolling! As Adam Sandler says, " We have 8 Craaazy nights!" My kids understand that I cannot always get them fabulous omg stuff, so they suffice with a few nice gift cards, a couple of splurges like a phone upgrade or perhaps a meal at a fancy restaurant. Honestly, my kids are not spoiled at all. They appreciate the smallest things. Most of all, they enjoy their family and their friends, and they are very generous souls.
After the 8th night, I have to get a box, put away all the geegaws and doodads, which are basically a few menorahs, and some wooden dreidels. The kids now get ready to do Xmas with my hubby's family. As Jews, we do not really celebrate, but I like to think of it as helping others with their celebrations. So they get to decorate a tree, gets some gifts, and eat some seriously fattening foods! Half Jewish Half Catholic, they get the best of all worlds. And if they ever go into politics, well, they can check off the diversity box.
My in laws have a tradition where they wrap the presents from Santa, as we used to from "Hanukah Harry, Santa's best pal," and open them at midnight. It may be a Czech tradition to do this, they are not sure. It is complete chaos, people stuffed into a tiny living room, eating very non-Kosher and very Pennsylvanian ring bologna, Ritz crackers, and various assorted goodies clogging up the kitchen table, brought by the Amish neighbors. The Amish kids sometime stop by for a snack, a yak, and just enjoying the company of us "English". I am lucky to see this rarified world. I betcha I am the only Jew they have ever met! There is always a surprise addition, a neighbor, or a new baby these days. So the room gets ever more congested.
Sadly, because of Covid, we had to skip a couple of years' worth of fun, and this year we are going on a plane for a very long overdue visit with my Canadian family. However, no one really likes going to Winnipeg in 20 below weather, so we all meet in the Palm Springs, CA area. We rent a bunch of condos, and the whole area becomes a haven for the "Snowbirds," most of whom hail from Toronto, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, and other Midwestern-ish areas.
The Midwestern Canadian is like a Canadian goose: they like to flock together and eat together. It is a constant stream of food, family, multi-generational friends, recipe exchanges, potlucks and coffee klatches. We go and shop at the outlets and my favorite pastime location: Ye Olde Swap Meet. California had 2 kinds of swap meets: 1 is where literally people trade car parts and paraphernalia, maybe set up a booth with Mexican food stuffs, and then the other is similar but with imported items, date shakes, and lots of cheapo trendy clothes. Who buys all this crap? Well, me for one. In addition, I plan on resting my weary bones in the hot springs. Yes, I will smell like rotten eggs because of the sulfur, but I can't wait. Then I may take a mini walk in the desert by Joshua Tree. I will report back when I return! In the meantime, happy holidays to all of you!