As I approach my 400th article (400?!), I can’t help but ask you what you’d like to learn, read about, or honestly just look at for eye candy. As a blogger, I’ve learned a lot these past 4+ years. Meeting and interviewing talented designers, commenting on trends, sharing cool stores while traveling, and more. And in other ways, I still feel like a total newbie.
What constantly surprises me is what’s popular with you, my readers. Sometimes I can spend countless hours researching and writing a post that I think will go viral, and it flops with only 100 page views. At other times, something I write just at the spur of the moment can garner multiple thousands of views. I have yet to figure out what makes certain posts successful, but I’m eager to investigate. What makes you want to read a post?? What rocks your boat??
Just for your reading pleasure (and in case you’ve missed something along the way), these have been my top 10 posts ever.
With these posts as inspiration, what’s your biggest jewelry desire? I greatly appreciate any comments on this article about what you want to see and read. Please leave them in the comment section below. Or if you want to contact me directly, you can do so at [email protected] I know you are a creative, inquisitive, and stylish group, and I want to hear from you!
I’d also like to let you know that I won’t be posting any articles for a couple weeks. I’ve got friends visiting from abroad, and then I’m off to the big jewelry shows in Las Vegas. I will return with lots of new ideas (including the ones you suggest below), so get ready. Of course, you can always keep up with me on Instagram and Facebook in the meantime.
Though spring in San Francisco currently seems to be colder than our winter, my eye is still being caught by the ever-popular insect motif in jewelry. As I was walking up Sutter Street the other day, this little Victorian beauty buzzed my name from the front window of Lang Antique & Estate Jewelry.
While so beautiful, this intricate piece is certainly an investment for most people. It got me thinking about how this pin would be on the catwalk at Fashion Week. But how to translate this to the street? Or as often dubbed, “Runway to Realway.” I took a look around and compiled a collection of ideas. Here they are, in no particular order.
I love weeding through my clients’ jewelry boxes. It’s amazing what one can uncover when you get to the far corners, pulling out items that likely haven’t been seen in years. When you start making a little pile of singular earrings that are missing their mate, perhaps a wedding ring from a former marriage, or something that is just SO not your style anymore, things can stack up fast. This is exactly what I did with a client a few months ago, and here’s the handful we ended up with.
Knowing we had some great diamonds and gold in hand, we headed to Rebecca Overmann’s studio in San Francisco for a design session. The possibilities were endless, and Rebecca took to her notebook to start sketching out some ideas.
The first decision we needed to make was what to do with the large, round solitaire diamond. My client spends countless hours a week out on the tennis court, so we thought a bezel-set pendant on a simple chain would be ideal. It wouldn’t get in the way of her backhand, yet it would certainly add a little glitz to her tennis whites. Boy did it turn out beautifully!
Not only is it elegant on its own, but it layers so easily with other necklaces.
My client has also really gotten into stacking rings, so a couple new ones were definitely in order. Here’s a great shot of the first one off the bench.
The second one she made is a bubble design, shown paired with the ring above, on her middle finger. So fun!
Finally, my client was in need of a pair of diamond studs that would also be great for her athletic lifestyle. Rebecca did not disappoint.
So now, instead of old, unused items gathering dust in her jewelry box, my client has a new necklace, two beautiful rings, and a pair of earrings that she will wear all the time. Thanks for everything, Rebecca!
I think it was the sinuous, exotic shapes and deeply colored stones that first drew me to Anahita’s booth at the Couture show. Perusing her collection, it’s no surprise that the first bracelet I tried on was this this horn cuff, with an ebony wood dome, accented with 18K gold, diamonds and moonstones. It was right up my luxe bohemian alley, and she explained that it was inspired by her travels to Bali and Cambodia.
I was so pleased to meet Anahita (Ana) Stein and see her line in Las Vegas. Her Persian heritage and background in architecture are perfectly melded in her sculptural, fluid designs. Take, for example, her “Wave” bangles, which stack together in an organic pattern.
Tear drops are a common theme in her jewelry, and she told me she’s inspired by the tears that Persian soldiers shed with their wives before going off to war. This pair of earrings has drops of both beryl and Mandarin garnet, alonside blue sapphire, tsavorite and yellow beryl in 18K yellow gold.
This “Sultan” ring has tears of ruby briolettes with diamonds and a fabulous grey moonstone, all set in white gold.
The brushed finish on the gold really makes these labradorite cabochons pop, don’t you think?
I’m sure you’re now seeing the exotic allure of this line, and the curves continue with this cuff, featuring cognac diamonds and prehnite cabochons. I just adore the yellow-green glow of the prehnite.
Made in New York City with recycled gold and conflict-free stones, Anahita’s “wearable architecture” is a beauty to behold. Click here for a list of retailers near you.
This is a question I am often asked, and one that I’ve thought about a lot lately. I’ve been doing some MAJOR purging the past month or so, in both my closet and my jewelry box. I’ve become increasingly clear on my personal style, and I realized that so much of what I own isn’t resonating with that style. I keep asking myself, “Would I buy this today?” More often than not, the answer is, “No.” So out it goes. I’m striving to have an extremely edited wardrobe, with way fewer pieces that are the best quality I can afford, and things that I absolutely love. I relish having so much space between hangers in my closet, and empty areas in my jewelry box.
While I’ve traditionally used a brick and mortar consignment store for my clothes, bags, and shoes, I haven’t really known what to do with my jewelry, aside from giving it to friends and family. It’s not like I’m getting rid of super fine pieces from Cartier or Bulgari (since I don’t own anything like that!). I’m talking more fashion jewelry, from J. Crew to Tiffany & Co. (Side note: I have sold a couple pieces on Craig’s List, but I don’t like all the work it takes and having to set up a time/place to meet the buyer.) I want to share how I’m going about selling my purged items. First up, I took each piece I wanted to sell, put it in an individual baggie, with a sticky note with the designer and purchase price.
You may wonder how I knew the purchase price of each item. Believe it or not, I’m so OCD, that I actually have spreadsheets of everything I own, with their original purchase price. I update this twice a year. I also keep all the receipts in a binder, in separate sections for each category. (i.e. kitchen items, linens, jewelry, art, etc.) If you aren’t as nuts as I am, you can easily find out what items sell for with little online search.
So now that that (very long) project was done, where to take them? For the majority of the items, I’m utilizing an online resale site called Threadflip. This Bay Area-based company, which was referred to me by a fellow image consultant, has been a breeze to deal with. Once they received all my items, they went through them, photographed them, and added a detailed description, including a rating of the condition of each item. Then, they are all placed in my virtual “closet,” which I named Amy SF Stylist. Click here to take a peek inside! (And of course, feel free to shop if something is calling your name!)
It’s such a clever melding of social media and consignment, as I get “followers” who like what they see, and then people can also “like” individual items. (Boy, there are certainly a lot of people who’ve “liked” my Mulberry leather bracelet!) When an item sells, or “flips”, I can see where it’s going and track progress. When the sale is complete, money is automatically put into my Threadflip account, which I can then transfer to my own bank. How cool is that? The commission rate depends on the selling price of the item. The more expensive the item, the higher percentage you receive, up to 80% of the selling price for items selling for over $75. I’m only about 10 days into this process, and at this time, I’ve flipped 15 pieces. I assume that the more followers and traffic I get, then the more quickly I’ll sell things. I really enjoy checking in each day to see what’s happening in my “closet.”
Now for my designer jewelry (that with a brand name, such as David Yurman and Tiffany & Co.), I’m giving The Real Real a spin. I don’t have much jewelry in this category, so I just had a few pieces to give them. This site also does a fabulous job photographing the items and writing a description. Here’s an example of one of my Yurman bracelets I sold.
I must say, that my items are selling very quickly on this site. They pay out once a month, via either a check or direct deposit. I gave them my jewelry at the end April, and they were having a special commission rate for jewelry that month (lucky me!), so I’m getting 70% of the sale, instead of the normal 60%. Both of these rates are definitely higher than I’ve gotten in the past from consignment stores.
With both of these sites, if items don’t sell, you can request them back or have them donated. In addition, if there are items submitted that don’t fit their qualifications, you can get them back as well.
While I was purging, I also came across a small handful of old sterling earrings from the 80’s. I decided to head to a local family-owned store, Numis International in Millbrae, and just sell them for their weight in silver.
They were so friendly and efficient. Though my earrings were hollow (therefore they didn’t weigh a whole heck of a lot), I still got about $8.50 in cash, which means a free lunch for Amy! I definitely got a good vibe at this store, and if I have gold, silver or coins to sell in the future, I’ll definitely go back.
So that’s where I am with my current jewelry-selling experiment. So far, I think I’ve earned about $1,100, so that’s not all bad for just over a week! Hopefully sales will continue. Have you had any luck selling your fashion jewelry? Any tips or sites to share? If so, please let me know in the comment section below.
Now…off to take a peek into my relatively empty jewelry box. Fewer things, but things that I actually wear and that bring me joy. Yay!