Saturday, March 20, 2010

A big decision

Well folks, it's been six months since opening my shop in Sydney Road. What a great time this has been! Feedback about the shop is consistently positive - from fitout to stock I make and choose and even the way it smells (gorgeous, thanks to the wonderful Aromae essential oils I stock).

But since Christmas, things have been getting tighter and tighter. It seems the so-called financial crisis is just hitting retail, and this is compounded by rising interest rates. People are tightening their belts and it's all hitting quite hard.

To add insult to injury, the extended clearway times (3pm-7pm on my side of the street, courtesy of the out of touch Victorian State Government), means strips like Sydney Road are ghostly quiet for the latter part of the day.

Furthermore, our loveable Moreland Council, in their (lack of) great wisdom, is talking of installing parking metres along Sydney Road. As if the hard working business people in the strip aren't hurting enough! Council is making so much out of fines post-3pm one would think they'd put a bit back into business and community development. Hmmm ... Moreland Council? I don't think so. Their short sightedness and greed is beyond belief.

Enough of my ranting ...

So, having been given the opportunity by my landlords to leave the premises with their best wishes and blessings, I've decided to close the shopfront and move my business online. This will be happening towards the end of April/start of May.

I'm feeling very positive about the decision. I'll have more time and space to design and create fabulous ranges of jewellery, do some more courses in silversmithing and expand my silver (and gold) designs as well, which is what I'm totally excited about. I will most likely be seeking out selected stockists in the not too distant future as well.

So my moving on sale has begun and the process for change is underway.

Stay posted.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sultry and sophisticated matte onyx (and a bride's pendant)

As promised in my last post, here are some photos of my gorgeous matte onyx jewellery. It's difficult to photograph how stunning this stone is - it simply glows in a way polished stones can't. I think the top photo captures its sophisticated shine the best.

Graduated matte black onyx & sterling silver collar-length necklace The beads are 14mm, 12mm and end in 8mm size at the clasp.

It's hard to take a photo that does this necklace justice. It's a combination of 12mm and 8mm beads with a mixture of sterling silver beads. The chain links are hand made (by me) from square sterling silver wire.

Three pairs of matte black onyx & sterling silver earrings.

One of the earring pairs featured above.

I've also added these two photos of a pendant I made late last year from 9 karat gold and a beautiful freshwater drop pearl. The pendant was bought by a bride-to-be, and her wedding is today. I love knowing my work is being worn by brides, they are so beautiful and deserve elegant, timeless jewellery.

9 Karat gold and freshwater pearl pendant.
Worn by beautiful bride Sarah today (19 March 2010).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bella Moon rocks on

Well hello dear readers. It has been a while since allowing myself the time to sit and post to you. As you know, my shop, Bella Moon, opened at the beginning of October last year and there's been a huge learning curve - actually more like a straight line northward - to go through.

While it's not rocket science, it's certainly taken some time to get the hang of being responsible for just about absolutely everything - from books to admin to marketing to ... well you name it, it's there. Of course my darling husband has been a rock of support and love (not to mention handyman extraordinaire!), which has helped me go from whoa to wooo hooo!

Before Christmas I was busy making, making making ... I had some lovely blue Peruvian blue Amazonite; lovely new pearls; soothing smoky quartz; bright pink agate; and a few other bits and pieces.

Large round Amazonite collar-length necklace.

Colour was my focus, which was achieved beautifully by the Amazonite, contrasted with matt quartz crystal, as well as the agate.

Matt quartz crystal & Amazonite bracelet.

The jewellery sold amazingly well - some customers had trekked across town because they'd heard of this new jewellery shop in Brunswick and others wouldn't buy anything unless I'd made it. I was rather chuffed, I must admit. But the down side was that my creative drive took a dive post-Christmas. I was simply exhausted after keeping up with the whole shebang and just had to break from the making process. Temporarily of course.

That hasn't been too terrible, as in the interim, I sourced some bold Ottoman-style jewellery for a bit of variety on the shelves, alongside fabulous Mexican silver (especially rings) and hand made jewellery by Tony Willie, a local metalsmith. I've also started expanding the range - umbrellas and exquisite Italian kimono-style robes, belts and other bits and pieces.

I made this bracelet with toggle before Christmas

Just in the last few weeks I've started to get back into the groove and am designing and making more jewellery again.

Camilla's special custom made palm tree. I was rather pleased with this.
So was Camilla - she's requested that I never make another, so hers remains completely unique.

My most recent pieces are constructed from stunning matt black onyx and sterling silver - something I haven't photographed properly yet, but will definitely do so as soon as the entire range is done. These beads are amazing ... by far my favourite to work with to date. I also have some wonderful onyx drops, which are soon to be made into earrings. Sexy and sophisticated. That's what this stuff is.

Do pop by my shop to say hi sometime.

Until next time, take care and be wonderful.