It's been a few weeks, well actually a couple of months since my last post. The holidays have come and gone and we are finally getting back into the swing of things over here in the studio. November and December are the busiest months of the year for us. It's amazing to me how much jewelry we were able to make this season. It was our most successful year yet, our 11th holiday season since opening up in 2006. Even though we know the holiday rush is coming it's so hard to plan for. Most of what sells is made to order and custom, so there isn't really a way to stock up. And since the rest of the year Paul and I can handle production ourselves, we don't have anyone trained that would be able to pop in and help out. So we just work, we work all day, everyday. We get it done. We shipped out over 600 orders just in December. Each one handmade by us one at a time. Yup, those were some LONG days :) I can't complain though! As stressful and overwhelming as it is, I love every minute of it.
We sold a lot of our stamped name rings in December. Here is a pic of one day's orders getting stamped and getting ready to be formed:
and a few hours later....
Another custom piece we sold a lot of was our birthstone necklaces. Here is a pic of one day's orders coming out of the polisher:
All laid out and ready for chains...
From about November 20th until December 20th we would work between 15-17 hours per day, 7 days a week.
There were even some broken hammers! That's when you know you're working hard.
It wasn't easy but we were grateful to be so busy this year. I took this photo after our last insanely busy day after our final package was boxed up on December 21st. We aren't total neat freaks or anything, but this was really chaos in the studio lol.
We owe everyone such a huge thank you. For everyone who gave or received a gift from us this holiday season I hope it was absolutely perfect!!!
After that last package was boxed up and shipped out, we put our shop on vacation and took a few much needed days off. That's when we went out and got our Christmas tree, did all of our last minute shopping and thoroughly enjoyed our holiday with family and friends. We didn't really see anyone for 6 weeks so it was nice to get back to normal! Of course once we got back from our days off, we had a pile of orders to catch up on and we were a bit backed up heading into January. Once we were all caught up I couldn't wait to get back to our "new stuff" days. Those are designated days where we don't work on any orders, we just make what we want. We get creative and only make new designs, usually we set Wednesdays aside for that. This week was our first Wednesday back at it and it was awesome. I had so many ideas and made some really cool stuff.
This gorgeous tourmalated quartz is the first thing that caught my eye to make into a pendant. I made a heavy silver teardrop frame for it and created a bezel setting. So hard to see in the photos but there are such amazing inclusions in this stone. The black "lines" are actually tourmaline crystals forming in the quartz. This even has some cool red spots in the stone. I love it!
Here are some other of the new designs from this week in progress. I normally take a lot more in progress pics but I was just so in the zone after taking so many weeks away from "new stuff day" that I just got kind of absorbed in what I was doing.
It's cold here in Connecticut, there isn't currently snow on the ground but here are pics from a walk we took outside in the snow we had a couple weeks ago:
We opted to do the photoshoot inside this week rather than freeze outside lol. I don't think we will venture out again until spring for outside pics. Here's me having some coffee in between pics today. Paul took pictures of me wearing all of the new stuff we made this week. Have to give a shout out to Jewel Pottery for making me my new favorite mug. Check the shop out on Etsy, she has the best stuff!!
So that's what we've been up to! From keeping up with holiday orders to finally getting back to creating new pieces, doing the photoshoot and getting them up online, we are finally back into the swing of things. I hope you enjoyed your holidays and have recharged from them as we have. I'm truly overcome with emotion when I look back on the year, we are lucky to have been so busy. I couldn't have dreamed up a better life, even when it gets stressful and chaotic, I get to work right across from my husband and together I know we can do anything. Our 10th year in business has come and gone and I still can't wait to get to work every day.