Sunday, August 30, 2009

Custom Family Birthstone Necklace For Brides

I have been wanting to do a custom birthstone necklace similar to the Romance Necklace, so I was very excited to receive a custom order that's even better than that.A customer wanted to design a family birthstone necklace for her best friend. We worked together on this design until she was happy with it.Along the circle frame are 15 birthstones of the bride and grooms family and best friends, and suspended in the center are the bride and groom's birthstones.Next to the handcarfted hook closure are two decorative birthstones that symbolize the month when the lovebirds met.

I felt in love with this necklace as soon as I finished it.custom wire wrapped family birthstone necklace with genuine gemstones

Another version of this design(without the center stones) is now listed in my Etsy shop under the title "We Are Family"--

custom family gemstone birthstone necklace

This is Just a House...

Or can it be more than a house?

It was a beautiful day today. I went to this house to meet with Deborah,the lady who rented it just a few weeks ago.She will be turning this house into an arts/crafts/antique shop in October. Deborah found me through Etsy a few days ago and asked if I would be interested in renting a booth from her new shop in Summerville, South Carolina. After a few emails, I decided to meet with her to check out this potential first retail shop for Mu-Yin Jewelry.

Since I moved to Charleston,South Carolina, I have been receiving emails from local customers asking if I have a shop in the area. I have been saying no for over a year, and now it looks like I may be able to say yes from now on. Although this seems like a casual thing for seasoned crafters, it's truly a big step for me because I started my business online and have kept it exclusively online until today.I have never done any craft shows or consignments, and the only few wholesales I have done were all processed online.My Etsy success has hindered me from getting out of my shell to meet with real retailers.

But my meeting with Deborah went pretty well, so I think I'll take the plunge for the first time. :) A lot of things are going through my mind right now, mostly concerning detailed business arrangements and the potential risks involved. I'm very nervous, and also a little excited. Running a small business involves so many things I never thought I would've had to deal with, but it's an adventure everyday, and I look forward to it.

Hopefully, I will be able to give you all an update on my first retail shop in a few weeks.Oh, did I mention I may also start to give jewelry making lessons here? :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Family Birthstone Necklace in solid 14K gold

I have been planning for this for a while, but I'm finally actually doing it now..I will be placing an order on 14K solid gold wire and chain in September to get them ready for the holiday.A few designs in my shop are already available in solid 14K gold, so I'm just going to expand the selection to my popular family birthstone necklaces.If you are interested in pre-ordering them before they are posted, I will be offering my facebook fans, twitter followers,blog readers,and mailing list subscribers 20% discount, so please keep an eye on my updates containing the coupon code!

Can't wait? -- contact me directly!

mollie xo

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Around the World in 777 days

Today I got my free world map from AAA(I go nuts for maps.That's why I get AAA membership... :D ) and was finally able to do something I've always wanted to do -- figuring out where I have shipped to since I started selling on Etsy, approximately 777 days ago. I had great joy circling the countries I have shipped my jewelry to, and was pretty impressed by my achievement!

Wow! In 777 days, Mu-Yin Jewelry has traveled around the world.Check out this list...

United Kingdom
South Korea

Among all of the above countries, I have shipped the most often to the US(of course!) Canada, Australia and the UK.

I can't help but imagine what my customers in different countries are like -- what they wear, what they eat, what their streets look like..I also wonder how long it takes for my jewelry to arrive its destination.I wish I could visit these countries in person!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Weekend Deal!

TGIF! Enjoy my weekend deal through 8/23 :)

mollie xo

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pray for Taiwan -- Typhoon Morakot

Some of you may have read about the typhoon that struck Taiwan on August 8th (Typhoon Morakot). This was the most serious typhoon in the past 50 years. I was not home to witness the flood, but watching the videos about Morakot alone is heartbreaking enough for me. I remember as a child I used to get excited when a serious typhoon hit and we didn't have to go to school. As an adult I see things differently. Being a small business owner myself, it really saddens me to see farmers losing their crops to the flood brought by Morakot. Tens of thousands of pigs and chickens died. Costs of food, especially vegetables, increased dramatically (just to give you an idea -- as of today, prices of cucumbers are up by 600%).
And we haven't even mentioned about those who lost their homes or even lives.

If you would like to help Taiwanese people rebuild our country, you can donate your money to one of our largest charity organizations Tzu Chi Foundation. We appreciate your generosity.
If you cannot make any donation but would like to help, you can also pray for Taiwan...

Friday, August 7, 2009

3000 sales!

I took a day off from work and bought a bottle of champagne to celebrate my 3000th sale on Etsy today :)
It's been over two years, and every small sale still feels like a magic. Thank you again, to my family, friends and my wonderful customers!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Test Website Finally Up!

Remember my last post about my website? Since then I have been working on that one web page everyday, and by last night I decided I could try to publish it.

My original plan was to do some basic editing and have Yuli fix the details and load it to my web hosting, but after I surprised myself by setting up a basic test webpage (two weeks ago i didn't even know what a html editor was and not to mention using one), I thought maybe I could try to load the files by myself too. So I started another online chat with Hostgator's tech support and ask them to help me load the files. It seriously was very scary for a newbie like me, but I kept telling myself, "it's ok, if something goes wrong, I can always start over.This is just a test site."

And I did it! It's live! The current url is because,uh, it's a test website, but every link I added worked.This is really a HUGE accomplishment for me, considering one month ago I still didn't know what a "server" or "website hosting company" or "cpanel" or FTP" was.
I want to say a special thank you to my friends Julia and Joyce for helping me with the website along the way (they are my new buddies and we joked that I should change my name to Jolly so we would be 3J's ). Julia answered tons of my questions when I first started working on the site, and Joyce wrote a javascript function for me last night.When you click the little number icons next to the picture, you get a new picture ...

I like how this function makes the home page look like a gallery.I know this is a jewelry website, but my jewelry seems to look prettier framed :D

I'm so proud of myself and very glad I gave it a try.It really took me quite a while to get this far, but every time I accomplish one tiny step it gives me courage to learn more. Also, once I figured out the answers, I don't have those tons of questions in my head bothering me anymore.
I can't help but mentioning Laurie Jo, a tech support at HostGator. When I first signed up with them in July, I was so totally clueless, confused and really panicking, so I contacted their online support wanting go cancel my plan. Laurie was the rep who entered the chat session, and she was extremely patient and encouraging. Before her, I had talked to about 10 different online chat reps, who only made me more convinced "there's no way I can do this without a graphic designer", but somehow Laurie calmed me down and made me believe I could do this myself. Without her encouragement I wouldn't even have tried.When I recall this, it's just amazing how much we tell ourselves "I can't do this" and how a little encouragement can go a long way.

So,next step -- a shopping cart for my website! :D

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