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Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015...Quite The Year...

Welcome!

How did the time fly by so quickly??? I most definitely was not consistent in posting this past year...lots of health set backs prevented me from doing so, actually from doing quite a bit and from accomplishing all the goals and dreams I had hoped to achieve.  On the road to recovery again and hoping my health will continue to improve as this new year goes on :)

Not everything was bad...I did get myself a new camera and photo light tent which improved my photos A LOT...I also recently got some new backgrounds that give my products a totally different look.

I had the inspiration to make some long feather earrings and was thinking about how to better capture the bright beautiful colors...lots of other sellers (on Etsy) were using natural wood as a background and the feathers just seemed to pop...but my first thought was "That doesn't go with my branding look at all...but if it was grey..." So I went on the hunt and found place mats, yes I did say place mats, that were grey wood texture printed cloth...FABULOUS!!! I have two that I bought since I wasn't sure which I'd like better, turns out I love them both!

So what am I talking about? Let me show you the progression of my photos (I honestly can't believe how bad they were in the beginning...but it was the best I could do with what I had then)
Old photo vs new photo for Feather Earrings
 I had to edit so much to try to get the colors to brighten up so that they might look closer to how they appeared in real life...hours upon hours of editing...now they don't need any editing at all! The colors just naturally pop and have more depth against the new background.
Photo quality progression of Peyote Stitch Cuff

 The top row was old camera with white sheet for a background.  Middle row was a huge improvement with new camera, photo light tent and hand display.  Bottom row was adding the new grey background to the new set up and voila!  It's a much softer look, and after constantly trying to "brighten" and "whiten" my photos it sure took some getting used to...I kept thinking they were too dark...but the details and color show so much better on the softer grey.  All the feedback I have been getting assures me I'm now on the right track and "more professional" is the main comment I get now, what do you think?

So that was one of the good things that happened this past year, another, well maybe the most exciting for me was getting accepted to Etsy Wholesale!!!

I had applied the previous year (yes...with those not so great photos...) and I was not accepted.  I thought I would try again, now that my photos looked better and I had the BEST Friday the 13th EVER!!! This was in November, and even though I was fighting yet another virus and feeling terrible I was overjoyed!

Now...wholesale is a totally different mind set than retail.  I never wanted to "mass produce" the same thing over and over again...that gets boring to me...and most of my pieces are one of a kind...so there was some figuring to do...

I decided to only offer items that I knew I would ENJOY repeating the process of, or pieces that even though they are the "same" there are variations within each piece.  For example I had wanted to make some Silk Crocheted "Wear-Alls" with gemstone chips for quite some time (because I have a gazillion...) but didn't really like the idea of multiples of the same necklace...but that's what wholesale is all about! So Perfect fit! As well, when working with gemstone chips you find because they are natural, there will be variations in size, shape, color and pattern; resulting in each necklace being unique in its own way...I like that :)

I also had to think about packaging in a whole new way...no little gift box with tissue paper inside to keep items separated and safe... so I decided on clear cello bags that will hold each individual piece, either on a necklace/earring card, hanging tag or with a simple tag attached with string.  Those were another issue...right now I make my own cards but for boutiques I didn't feel that they looked professional enough for the owners to want to display them.  So I found a wonderful lady on Etsy and placed an order with her, enough to get me started and then when I get some orders I will replenish as I need to.  Here is a photo of a few of the different types of cards I ordered:
My new "boutique cards"
I went with my color scheme in my business cards of red, grey and black and I'm so happy with how they turned out!  I also added "Eclectic. Bohemian." to them because I think that best describes my style of creating and the finished pieces.

Now I can't wait to get an order so I can use them!  But first...making at least one of everything I will offer (almost done with that part) then photos, editing photos (cropping & re-sizing are all that is needed now) after that creating listings and putting together my linesheet...lots to do....enjoying every minute of it and looking forward to 2016!  :)






 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Quick Update...

Welcome!

It has been months since I've had a chance to sit down and write! Lots of good, and a few not so good things happened, but I think things will continue to improve as the months go on :)

Just wanted to let you all know that my Annual Holiday Sale is going on in my Etsy shop until tomorrow (midnight CST) 20% off the entire shop--click on the Etsy button--> right hand side of the page & it will take you directly there!

There are SO MANY items to choose from including rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, custom stamped pieces and a few pieces for the guys in your life like braided leather bracelets, a custom stamped cuff, tie clip or money clip!  Be sure to pick out a gift for your family, friends and co-workers...and of course a little something special for yourself!  ;)

I'm still getting over virus #6 since September (my Colitis medication is an immune-suppressant, making this time of year very difficult for me) so I will keep it short and sweet today.

Lots of new and exciting things are starting to happen for LITVA'S Jewelry and I will come back soon to give you all the fabulous details :)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Few Goals Accomplished...

Welcome!

 Quite a bit has been going on since I last had a chance to post...

On Friday July 19th I had my first live show in many years, here's a quick (and blurry) photo of me and part of my table:
Me & My Booth Set Up  
 I was so looking forward to this event! For months I had prepared; buying a few new displays, table skirt, awesome banner, putting everything that could go on cards with my logo stamped & price tags, printing out signs for other items, and pre-stuffing gift bags with my business cards, Care guideline cards and a loyal customer coupon code (the latter two I print out & cut by hand with my fabulous paper cutter) for future purchases from my Etsy shop....

Unfortunately...this seemed to be more of a "promotional" event rather than a retail/selling event...

Aside from two ladies who bought a hand stamped ring each, two vendors came over and purchased some bracelets....

After my booth fee and mandatory door prize gift I didn't even manage to break even...BUT... this was a huge step for me and my health getting better as I was actually able to make it to the event, stay the entire time (even though it got pretty bad with my Colitis and anxiety for a while) and be around 800+ people.

So I guess God's plan for me wasn't to sell a whole bunch but to just accomplish the goal of being able to do something I've wanted to for years.

With medication I'm quite limited, I lose about 4-5 hours each day, so an all day & early morning events are out of the question for now but I'm hoping that this victory was a sign of things to come!

My next possibility will be at the end of April next year and I'm hoping to be healthier and able to do well there seeing as it is an actual shopping event at a local church called their "Spring Market".

So....another big thing is that Monday July 20th marked 1 year for LITVA'S Jewelry on Etsy!  My first "Etsy-versary"!

I'm having an Anniversary Sale of 30% off THE ENTIRE SHOP (excluding custom stamped rings) AND ladies will receive a FREE GIFT with your order!

Did I mention that I ship internationally???

So pop over to my shop (click on the Etsy button in the right hand margin) and browse around...NOW is the time to get yourself that piece you've been thinking about and a great time to stock up on gifts for friends and family! Happy Shopping! :)

 

 

Monday, June 15, 2015

A New Solution To An Old Problem...

Welcome!

This past little while I have been trying to think of a new solution to an old problem plaguing one of my jewelry essentials: stacking stretch bracelets...

Here are some of the issues I have found with these popular little guys as I have been wearing them for years...everywhere... but especially to the salon where they are exposed to water frequently; the elastic inevitably stretched out farther leaving a not so pretty gap of elastic showing (left photo) and the accent bead I use to hide the glued surgeon's knot looks terrible as the plating wears off (right photo--those used to be a pretty gunmetal color...)
Old Style of Stacking Stretch Bracelets
 I understand I am rougher on my jewelry than the average customer, but things like this bother me and I want my pieces to stand the test of time; years later, it is just as beautiful as the day you purchased it.

So I did some thinking...and came up with a modified version of how I wire wrap my Freshwater Pearl pendants, I had seen a few ladies doing something similar on Instagram and Etsy, so I really took my time figuring out how to make mine in my own unique style. This is what I came up with:
New Style of Stacking Bracelets
 I'm in love!!! Not only are they more durable, the wire has a non-tarnish coating on it so it will never change and they are still flexible making it quite easy to squeeze together to catch the hook onto the loop for closure :)

Now....I have had these gemstone beads that I bought specifically for stretch bracelets for a while now, in three sizes: 8mm, 6mm and 4mm.  Little did I know just how much of a headache they were going to give me as I tried to figure out length measurements for different wrist sizes.... you see the larger beads take up more space on the wrist; meaning I need a much longer length than 6" to fit a 6" wrist comfortably.  

Of course the length adjustment is different for each size of bead...and I'm not a machine so sometimes my free-handed wire wrapping is not exactly perfect each time between each bead...changing the length again...BUT I don't necessarily want it to be perfect...there in lies the beauty of handmade; each piece is unique in its own way :)

So I figured out most of the measurements and found that keeping a group that I'm working on flat on my bead mat helped the process of sizing;
New Stacking Bracelets Laid Flat to Measure
As you can see I have two colors of wire that I am using: the dark gunmetal color (my FAVORITE) for the silver lovers, and the vintage brass for the warm toned metal lovers;
New Gemstone Stacking Bracelets
What about the gemstone chip stretch bracelets you ask??? Well I came up with an idea for those as well; similar technique but just a little bit different as to accommodate the chips;
New Gemstone Chip Stacking Bracelets
I'm currently still working with the round gemstone beads...there are A LOT of them waiting to become new wire wrapped stacking bracelets... when I have had my fill of wrapping those and using most of my inventory I will move onto the chips...if you only knew how many chips I have....

As for availability; I will start photographing the rounds as soon as I have a good amount of variety in stones and various wrist sizes.  I will keep you posted here or on Facebook and Instagram.

As always, I would love your feed back on the new and improved style of stacking bracelets!

Monday, June 1, 2015

It's Been A While...

Welcome!

Well it has definitely been quite a while since I was last on here... between taking new photos of my endless inventory, 3 computer crashes (that's right THREE) and my health not doing very well for a few months, the time has just flown by.

Lots of new things going on this year with my jewelry, but first I want to mention that the monthly giveaway on my Facebook page is going on this week! Just click on the button in the right side bar to pop over and enter...it's the perfect gift for Father's Day... (open to U.S. residents only)

So...those photos I mentioned... here is just an example of how far I've come in a short amount of time;
 
Progression of Listing Photos


  It just amazes me how dark the photos were, how off colored the background was and even how dull the color of the actual jewelry was!

 Here are the old listing photos of my Peyote Stitch Cuffs versus the new ones;
Old Listing Photos
New Listing Photos
 Did I mention I bought myself a frosted acrylic hand display? Best $15 I ever spent!  Well... the new camera and photo light tent are of course up there as well :)

What do you think? They are just so much clearer and crisp on the detail of these tiny little beads, and the whole photo looks "cleaner" to me, more professional.

It took quite some time to photograph my 600+ items (with several photos of each item) then of course the editing (cropping, resizing, color & exposure balancing) but still less time to edit as the photos were significantly better to begin with!  Of course then I had to go in and swap each of the photos of my listings.... having your own business is no small feat that's for sure! :)

I really noticed a difference as well in the Wire Wrapped Freshwater Pearl Necklaces
Old Listing Photos
 
New Listing Photos
 Though the Hand Stamped Cuff Bracelets may have the most noticeable difference....

 
Old Listing Photos

 
New Listings Photos

I'm just so happy with the results!  Of course I still have more to learn and improve on, and each time I retake photos or take photos of new items I think I will continue to improve each time :)

I would love if you would pop over to my Etsy shop (by clicking the button on the right side bar) and take a peek at my new look, come back and let me know what you think! :)

 


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year! It's Going To Be A Great One...

Welcome!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!  I can't believe it's been so long since I've written a blog post!  The time seemed to just fly by!

My first Holiday Season on Etsy was wonderful!  I so enjoyed stamping out personalized pieces for gifts and wrapping up ready to ship pieces such as hammered bangles, feather earrings, chandelier earrings, silk crocheted (necklace/ bracelet/ anklet) wear-alls, silk knotted gemstone chip necklaces and some of my new black chain necklaces with freshwater pearls and the gemstone tassel!!!

So what's in store for 2015?  Well....of course I have more ideas to add to the black chain necklace series...but the biggest thing I think will be my monthly giveaways on my Facebook page!

The first Monday of each month I will be posting a piece of jewelry on Facebook that you can enter to win!  The giveaway will be open to U.S. residents only, and all you will have to do to enter is comment and share the giveaway post!  The winner will be announced on the Friday (of the same week) I will provide my email address and once I hear from you, your item will be packaged up and shipped out ASAP!

I'm also hoping that I will be healthy enough this year to do at least one live craft show where I can bring my jewelry to a new audience!

Maybe the most exciting thing for me is that I got a new camera and a photo light tent/box to use for my photography!  I honestly think it will make a HUGE difference in the quality of my photos so that I can capture the true beauty in every piece.  Not that I know how to use them yet...but I'm looking forward to the adventure that lies ahead :)

Be sure to check in on Facebook this Monday Jan. 5th (tomorrow) for my first giveaway of the year!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Getting Ready For My First Holiday Season On Etsy!

Welcome!

I have been busy preparing for my first holiday season on Etsy the past little while... ordering LOTS of shipping supplies, photographing, editing and listing some more pieces...yes MORE pieces... 

I'm excited to share my long awaited Black Chain Necklaces collection!!!  There are 5 pieces to this collection.  They are beautifully delicate on their own, and perfect for layering together!
 
Black Chain Hand Stamped Initial Necklace 16" length

Black Chain Stamped Bar Necklace 18" length
Black Chain Crystal Bar Necklace 20" length
Black Chain Single Freshwater Pearl Necklace 24" length
Black Chain Gemstone with Tassel Necklace 32" length
Black Chain Layering Necklaces
 What do you think? I have been waiting SO long to make these beauties I am just so excited!!!  Each style of necklace is listed separately if you prefer just a single delicate necklace, but the layering combinations that are possible are just breathtaking to me!  I currently have about 10 of each available: the Crystal Bar, Freshwater Pearl and Gemstone Tassel necklaces are all different colors and stones.  I wanted to make more...but I ran out of chain!!!

Pop on over to my Etsy shop (click on the "Etsy" button in the right hand margin) and you can find them in their very own section "Black Chain Necklaces" and let me know what you think!

So I saved the best news for last....

Starting this Thursday November 20th will be my big HOLIDAY SALE!!!  No coupon code needed, everything will be marked down 20% off!  Sale will run until Monday December 1st (yes that means through Black Friday and Cyber Monday for all my U.S. readers)

I will be posting about the Holiday Sale to Instagram and on my Facebook page...if you happen to be on one of those venues I would so appreciate you sharing and helping me get the word out there!  I have over 600 items now listed and would be so happy, beyond words happy if I could find new homes for my pieces.

Think about gifts for family, friends, co-workers and anyone in your life who deserves a little something special for Christmas.  I have price points to fit all budgets and with the 20% off sale it would be a perfect time to stock up on gifts, even for birthdays coming up!

Of course I won't stop making and creating, but may hold off listing more pieces until some of what I have are off to their new owners :)

I'm so excited and looking forward to the next few weeks, I hope you find something as unique as you are! Or...as cool as the person you're shopping for!   :)