Thursday, August 28, 2008

CRH Update

CRH Updates!
Well it has been an insane week trying to get everything packed up and ready to move into our new home. We are so excited and a little exhausted! Because my studio is in boxes right now we will not be shipping anything out until Tuesday (Monday is a Holiday--no mail). But to celebrate our New Home we are giving away a FREE chain with every item you purchase this weekend (sale ends Tuesday Sept. 2nd). Make sure to include the following note: "BLOG READER--please include a FREE chain with each pendant I purchased."
We also wanted to celebrate CRH in the press! We were recently interviewed by the Greenville News about Caughtredhanded and the article was posted in yesterday's paper!!! Whoo hoooo!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Nightmare Before Christmas. . .

The Nightmare Before Christmas. . .
Last night I has a nightmare about Christmas and it was terrifying! It was around 3am which is normally when I do my best thinking:) I was going through a list in my head of things I needed to order and how I was going to gradually start increasing my supplies in light of Christmas. . .
That one little word--Christmas--sent me spinning. I immediately daydreamed myself into last year and the insanity that happened my first Christmas on etsy. I thought I would share a little peek into my head. . .
It twas the season of Christmas and all through the house
all the people were stirring the resin and glue.
90 pendants a day sealing, gluing, painting, sending
the good little elves kept on plugging away.
Working full time as a teacher by day,
chemical burns up her arms fighting the itch away.
Tins were a flowing red, white and green
while daydreams of New Years danced in our heads.
Stuck in bubble wrap our fingers all gluey
Racing to the postman just by 5:30
It was so busy, so crazy, so nuts
so unprepared was this little Christmas elf . . .
Not this year--she awoke with a scream!
No, not this year, our fingers will be clean
This year we'll be ready with tins all aglow
This year no beating down the postman's door.
This year--I'll be screaming, Happy Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!
Phew--catastrophe averted. I was in no way prepared last year for what happened during Christmas season but I am EXCITED for this year. This is my full time job now and I LOVE it. I can't wait for Christmas--this year I'll be ready:)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Artist Series: Ziggy+Bean

Artist Series: Ziggy+Bean!

Ziggy+Bean is one of the original sellers on and our first Featured Artist! I had the opportunity to get to know her a little better through her interview and am excited to share such a talented artist with you all! You can visit her shop at:

1. Tell me about yourself!

My name is Amy Jazwinski, and I am a 28 year old happily married mother of one beautiful little girl. I work full time in corporate america, but am building my business so that some day soon I can stay home with my baby girl (and future children). I graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in marketing. Marketing, and specifically branding, are two things I take very seriously with my business, and I think you'll see that reflected in my product line. I have an innate desire to create. I never knew I had this desire until I graduated college and went in search of a hobby that would fill the time that was now freed of studying and homework. I first started dabbling a bit in ceramics, and realized that wasn't my calling. Then my Mother-in-law got me a bead kit one year for my birthday, and boy did I take off! I started designing my own jewelry and went crazy buying supplies and trying new things. I also tried my hand at paper crafting, and I still love to make pretty things with pretty papers. I feel like my real calling though has come since my daughter was born. In search of cute hair clips to accessorize every outfit with, I started making my own hair clips. Well, I couldn't get enough (and still can't!) and I created my current line of products- Ziggy+Bean.

2. Tell me about your craft and anything that is new and in the "works"!

Ziggy+Bean is a line of "seriously cute handmade accessories." Mostly it's hair clips, but I have so many ideas in my head for new products that I feel that I'll never have enough time to get to them all. Coming soon in my shop over the weekend will be my new felt flower hair clips. I also have a fantastic idea for a hair clip holder that I can't wait to get started on. I love making accessories for children because it's just so much fun! When I was little I absolutely adored playing dress up, and dressing up my dolls and Barbies. Now I have a real live baby doll, and I'm having just as much fun dressing her up!

3. What is your favorite part of owning your own business?

Owning my own business has always been a dream of mine. I've been searching for so many years for the right business for me, and am SO glad that I've finally found what feels right. I love that one day, because of my business, I will be able to be a part of my children's lives on a daily basis, and not ship them off to day care on a daily basis. Each day I leave my daughter at the babysitter, I'm more motivated to turn this dream into a reality. I also want my children to be able to look to me as an inspiration that proves that you can acheive your dreams. I don't have huge lofty goals of millions of dollars, or building a company that's traded on the stock market- just something that will allow me to be the person I've always wanted to be, and to be the mother that I know I can be.

4. What is your least favorite part of being a business owner?

My least favorite part is approaching retailers to carry my goods! I love my creations, I have faith in my product, and am generally a good sales person. However, whenever I approach a new boutique I get really nervous because a rejection of my craft feels like a rejection of me. It shouldn't be that way, but anyone who puts their heart and passion into their craft will understand this.

5. What is the story behind your brand?

When my daughter was first born, her favorite position to be in was curled up on our chest in the fetal position- just like a little bean pod! My husband and I started calling her "Bean" and the name stuck. Her favorite stuffed animal is a zebra that my hubby named "Ziggy". When I was branding my new product line I knew I wanted the name to relate to my daughter, but still be catchy and cute. Hence, Ziggy+Bean was born, and it still brings a smile to my face when I think of it.

6. What is one thing you want your customers to know about you/your business?

I take a lot of pride in what I do. I use only the finest materials (real wool felt, genuine swarovski crystals, etc) and I put a lot of care into each and every item I make. Customer service is incredibly important to me as well- I want every customer to be excited about their purchase even though it's just a hair clip! And of course I want everyone to remember the name Ziggy+Bean because some day we'll be a national company, and you can say - "I remember when..." :-)

7. Tell me one time you have been "caught RED handed" in your lifetime:)

When I was about 8 years old I went shopping with my Mom and BEGGED to have a package Lip Smackers lip glosses that I saw in Kmart. She said told me I couldn't have it (as I had about a million of these things already). So I was all pouty and bummed out about it until I went into the jewelry section and say that someone had opened a pack of three- stole two of them, and left the grape Lip Smackers behind (apparently they were too good for the grape one). I was so excited and convinced myself with my 8 year old wisdom and logic, that taking the Lip Smackers wasn't really stealing since someone had already opened the package and they couldn't sell it like that anyway. So I stuck my new little treasure in my pocket and waited until I got in the car to take a peak at my new treasure. Well apparently, I wasn't as wise and slick as I thought, and my Mom caught me. She recognized the dang lip balm and turned a funny shade of mad!!! She marched me right back into the store and made me give the lip gloss to the check out lady and apologize for what I had done. I was eternally mortified and quickly learned my lesson that just because something was alreadu open didn't make it fair game for stealing. To this day, I get a chuckle every time I see a Grape Lip Smackers.
Secret Sale!

Ziggy+Bean is offering a Secret Sale to all of our blog readers--15% off your entire purchase.!During checkout just include the following coupon code in the "message to seller" box: CRH Blog reader! Please discount my purchase 15%!

**Make sure NOT to make your payment. Amy will send you an updated invoice with the discount included.

As Always--Happy Shopping!

Artist Series: Unbelievable Talent!

Yesterday we announced the weekly discussion of selling techniques and today we have another surprise! Starting tomorrow we will be bringing you talent from all over the world--some from etsy and some not.
We want to spotlight some amazing artists of all different mediums and venues and let them share a little piece of their world with you. We will be interviewing each featured artist so that you can get to know them, their history, and even a little bit of CRH humor tacked in the mix.
Some sellers will even be offering secret sales for you--CRH blog readers! We hope to launch our first featured artist this week.
If you have a suggestion for an artist that you would like to have interviewed or that deserves the spotlight--please don't hesitate to include their name and link in the comments.
As Always--Happy Shopping!
(Photo Credit: Laffy4k at Flickr)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Little Sharing. . .

Sharing. . .do you remember the first time you had to share your icecream or maybe even a little attention with a new brother or sister? Pure agony in the beginning huh?!
As an artist, sharing has taken on a whole new world for me. I love being able to share my experiences as well as learn from others. It is one of the greatest joys I have had in starting caughtREDhanded.
I am going to start a series to share some of my experiences (good and not so much) here every week and I would love for you all to add to the conversation with experiences that you have had as well. I will be starting this series next week on wholesaling--if you have anything specific you would like me to address or share please do not hesitate to ask:)
I would like to share one thing with you all this evening. Since I have started making jewelry I have bought most of my supplies from one fantastic store here in Greenville SC. They have been FANTASTIC and are just a pleasure to work with. If I needed something that they did not have--they got it for me. All together I could not have asked for a better supporter. They have recently started their own website which I am thrilled to share with you all. It is still in the works and does not nearly show the amount of unique products they have available but definitely a site to bookmark.
Like Always--Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Phew. . .What a Week!

Have you ever had one of those weeks where NOTHING seems to go right? Well that is the kind of week I seem to be having. No matter what it is--if I touch it this week it is going to break!
I could go down a list of horrible and ridiculous things that have happened to me so far this week but I figure--what's the use of dwelling on the negative right? Instead--I wanted to take a minute and dwell on the positive;)
Every morning I get to wake up and spend my day doing what I love and loving what I do. I have a fantastic husband who loves me and is so good to me. God has given me a wonderful family, my health, friends and a brand new home to live in--see this week is looking better already!
Sometimes I forget to take a little time out of the busyness and remember the little things that make life so precious. Today--I think I am going to take a minute to just take in the world around me.
Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Autumn is HERE!

Autumn Preview: Waist Candy

Well, we have been working hard on choosing the perfect patterns and pieces for our Autumn collection and thought you might enjoy a little preview.

Purple is this season's "in" color so we thought we would kick off our Autumn collection with some varying shades. The MOD style buckle to the left is one of my favorite designs in our new collection. I love the mini rainbow colored trees on the contrasting white background--just fantastic!
We have designed this collection to last until the beginning of winter and then we will discontinue the patterns and present the winter line.

Autumn Preview: Silver Spoons
Cori created her designs in a variety of colors that compliment each season. We will be adding 9 new pendant color schemes that are perfect for Autumn. To the right we have featured the 3 pendants from our Bhindi collection. We will also be introducing 3 pendants from our Animal collection as well as 3 for our Floral collection.
All in all, everything should be available for purchase in our shop by Monday and of course we wanted to give our blog readers a chance to view them first!
To celebrate Autumn, we will be giving away a free sterling plated chain with each autumn pendant purchase. During checkout please include the following not in the message to seller box:
" BLOG READER--please include a free sterling plated chain with my new Autumn Silver Spoon pendant."
As always--Happy Shopping!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Welcome to Lollishops!

Welcome to Lollishops!
I am so excited to tell you all that I have been accepted to a new and up-and-coming online shopping venue that allows me to be the girly-girl that I am!
When I first started on etsy, I had a very romantic vintage style that has morphed by the desires and clientele here on etsy into modern-chic. I really have developed a taste for modern and have enjoyed creating our new summer line that is completely modern! But I noticed that I seemed to have 2 styles in my shop and have been looking for a place to sell and cater to a more girl crowd and I think I have found exactly what I am looking for!
Sadie Lou is developing a fantastic site that is juried (meaning you have to apply and be accepted to participate) and it centers around 3 essential styles:
  • Elegant Whimsy--Definition: Of high grade or quality- the sumptuous elegance of whimsical imaginations. Playful, light hearted, amusing or childlike in it's beauty. Artists who claim speciality in this category will appeal to those who like a bright and cheerful color palate; a love for candy-coated sweetness.

  • Romantic Inspirations--Definition: Marked by expressions of love or affection; timeless. A particular influence of ephemera; of days gone by--a wistful approach to design that inspires a sense of "beauty with age". Artists who claim speciality in this category will appeal to your emotions through their use of antiques, vintage elements and a Victorian color palate.

  • Fanciful Creations--Definition: A tendency to indulge the senses in fancy; frivolity. The very example of froufrou and fuss! Delicate, velvety, rich or indulgent in it's design. Artists who claim speciality in this category will appeal to those who enjoy the luster of imagination and the feeling of being lost in another time or place; an emphasis on a soft, feminine color palate.
I applied for the Elegant Whimsy category because of my LOVE for color and am so excited to tell you I have been accepted! Stay tuned and I will keep you updated on developments and launch dates. In case you would like to follow the development yourself--here are the links!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Customer Appreciation . .

Say hi to Azure! I recently got an email from one of my beloved Canadian customers about her birdie going missing. She was so sad when she emailed me and ordered Mr. Blue Bird as a memorial to her favorite bird that was now just a warm memory. I was so moved by her story I sent her a little gift with her purchase hoping to cheer her up.
About a week later I got another email thanking me and letting me know that Azure was found scared but safe by a kind stranger in the next CITY! Yeah for Azure!
The whole experience got me thinking of the foundational goals here at CRH. I love creating jewelry, designing, and bringing people joy by creating, original, affordable, and unique items. But one of the greatest pleasures of being an artist is the relationships that I have been privileged to cultivate and watch mature into friendships. I have met some truly amazing people and have really enjoyed getting to know you all. I truly am blessed by my customers that have turned into acquaintances, compadres and friends. I love hearing stories and sharing experiences with you all--it motivates my work and keeps it all in perspective. This idea is the motivation behind my "Gold" club. So--thank you to all my CRH customers, pets, and loved ones--I hope you know that you are appreciated!
Update. . .
I have some new Autumn color scheme pendants debuting this week and you know I will have to be including a giveaway as well as a secret sale! Stay tuned. . .

Friday, August 8, 2008

The "WOW" Factor!

Tips and a Few Updates:

The other day I received a note from one of our customers about our new packaging. She LOVED the pendants but the packaging is what put her over the edge and made her write to me.

I spent a long time deciding how and sifting through prices of packaging materials before I settled on what I thought would be the perfect way to present our products and our brand. The driving force in that search centered around the idea of a gift. I wanted each and every customer that comes through our shop to feel special (whether their purchase is for themselves or someone else)--to feel like they were getting the perfect "gift". As my husband would say "You want the WOW factor" and that was exactly what I wanted!

After weeks of searching and trying out different packaging I think we finally found what we were looking for--the perfect gift for you or someone you love!

CRH Update:

I have not written in a week or so after the whole disappointing "house" deal but I have some fabulous news--we got our house!!! I am so excited and we close at the end of the month! God was so good to us and we found a lender who would work with our situation.

We are still working on our line of rings so stay tuned!

Secret Sale:

This weekend I would like to highlight our XL collection. With the purchase of any XL pendant you may choose a classic square pendant FREE. Just include the following note:

"Blog Reader--please include the ________________ classic square pendant for free!"

As always--Happy shopping!