When looking for Christmas gifts for my critique group, I wanted something unique and eye catching…hmmm, something like Bling. Ta Da, one-of-a-kind bracelets featuring charms for their writing genres from ReMaryd Originals. Why not expand that to charm bracelets unique to my By Moonlight series? How about book thongs that continue that theme? Poor Mary, spending all her spare time accessorizing my trip to NYC and creating my gorgeous giveaways.
To thank her for her generous gift of time and talent, and to give one lucky commenter a chance to own a ReMarydOriginal, I’ve invited Mary to share her craft with us…and surprise, her creative endeavor parallels mine with writing in many areas.
Q) How did the idea for ReMaryd get started and what’s your dream goal for it?
A) How much time do you have? The idea for this particular “chapter” in my life of jewelry making and arts & crafts began a couple of years ago when I was being asked by friends, family and co-workers to repair broken jewelry. At first, it was just a test of skills, having to take apart something that another jewelry artist had put together and then put it back together in a similar fashion. The Remarydoriginals idea came together when I realized that my imagination could help me take a broken or outdated piece and make it into a completely different jewelry design! My dreams for Remarydoriginals are endless, but would settle now to have a spot to display and sell my jewelry. Unfortunately, I have a problem making enough inventory since I do have a “day” job, a husband, a step-son and four kitty-cats. But, when I have a moment and some inspiration, I find myself making and re-making jewelry for the Remarydoriginal collection.
Q) How does your creative process work? With an idea for the finished piece or is it a work in progress exploration journey?
A) Rarely do I start a project with a finished product in mind. I usually start out and then realize half way through the process that the piece is not headed in the direction I had hoped or it’s not taking the right shape or I just plain hate the way it looks. I do a lot of trial and error. Sometimes, that makes me feel like I am spinning my wheels and moving backwards in the creative process. So, I just walk away. An hour or a day later, I return with fresh eyes and begin again.
Q) How do you reach potential buyers? Any creative promotional tips to share?
A) There are so many crafters and jewelers out there that it seems overwhelming to think about trying to reach a specific audience, but that is half the fun. I want to create a very specialized niche with recycling, repurposing and re-designing. This limits the people that may be interested in what I do, but when I do get someone that is interested, they are hooked. I have started a blog and this helps if I am passing out business cards. I typically tell people when I hand them a business card, “hey, if you want to read more about what I am doing and what I have done in the past and my creative process, please go to my blog and check it out. As far as having a creative promotional tip, use every opportunity you can to get the word out about what you are doing, but don’t expect that stardom will happen overnight. It has taken a long time to discover what I really enjoy creating, let alone the time to get a following of people who actually know what I do and who I am. Never pass up an opportunity to talk about yourself or your art!Q) What tools do you have to have behind the talent? Was it expensive to get started?
A) I have a hard time with the idea that I have talent for what I do. I just follow trends, color ideas for seasons and use all of the famous jewelry artists’ tricks and tips to try to make my creations look good enough to wear. As far as hard-and-fast tools of the trade, I started out with a rusty pair of metal sheers and a pair of needle nose pliers that my father gave me. I was trying to make wire loops and bends, and trying to make my wire hooks and earrings look smooth like the ones that I was looking at in all of the jewelry magazines. It takes time, and serious patience to make a go of it. My desire to create was my driving force and the only tool you really need. When I started making jewelry, I didn’t have much and was just experimenting with the basics. The most expensive part of jewelry making is the beads and components. Decisions, such as whether or not you use base metals or sterling and gold for your earrings, will make the cost go either up or down. That is the beauty behind what I do with Remarydoriginals. I use many recycled elements and that helps cut my costs considerably when it comes to the actual beads and embellishments. I do tend to buy new earring hooks and clasps because that just makes sense when it comes to appealing to a buyer.Q) What do you find is the hardest part of the business?
A) Finding time to complete projects and keep an inventory fresh for possible sales. I love to network and market, but find it hard to find the time in my day to actually create the product. I wish I had more time for what I love to do and then maybe my creative process wouldn’t seem so hectic.Q) Ever think of branching out into creating specialty items for romance author giveaways?
A) I have certainly enjoyed making the “charming” bracelets that Nancy has given away as prizes and gifts to promote the release of her books. Charms are one of my favorite things, because it is a special way of wearing your life on your wrist or even around your neck. They are conversation starters and Nancy is smart for using this as a giveaway since it just continues to promote her books and get her name and ideas out into the world. What better way to do it then by jewelry.Q) Where do you get your ideas?
A) Everywhere! I love to look at fashion magazines. I can sit and slowly turn the pages of a Style magazine for hours. I also get inspiration from what I see in stores, on-line and most importantly what the real women that I know and love are wearing. I love to look at the shops on Etsy.com. The artisans are from around the world and really come up with some eclectic ideas and designs.Q) Where can we see more of your work?
A) Nancy has a lot of Remarydoriginal pieces in her jewelry wardrobe, but I am hoping to put enough of an inventory together to have a small jewelry show at my house late in the fall. I have closed down my Etsy.com shop until further notice, but I am on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and most importantly, my blog. I regularly post pictures of current projects. You can find me on Facebook under Mary Gideon, Twitter at Remarydoriginal. I post pictures on Flickr as Remarydoriginals and you can read my blog at http://remarydoriginals.blogspot.com
Thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed, Nancy!
Who else has some hidden creative talent just dying to get out?
Now the good part…something free! One commenter will be chosen at random to receive a ReMaryd Original By Moonlight bracelet! It’s as simple as leaving a response. A winner will be selected and posted on next Friday’s blog. To whet your appetite for the prize, make sure you check out Mary’s blog for a taste of what you might win.