Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Years!

Ok- I think I'm officially addicted to

Admitting you have a problem is the first step right??

I've loved Etsy ever since I discovered it 3 years ago but I forgot how freak'n addictive it can be! I can't stop looking through peoples treasury lists and all their favorites! I especially love to look through the favorites of people who's work I admire. It's like they curated a special collection just for me!

You can check out my own Favs Page Here!

I have to say it's intimidating and inspiring! I keep beating myself up thinking, "Why didn't think of that first!" to just being completely blown away by the sheer awesome skill involved with some of these pieces! (Oh, and I've discovered that I have a real obsession with geometric shapes and neon colors. Seriously! I'm hoping it's just a phase and not a permanent part of my creative programming.) At the same time, I look at other people's work and I feel so lucky to be alive in a world were people can express themselves so freely and we have this awesome platform were we can be heard and appreciated for our efforts!

It's a little anti-climactic though when you work like crazy for weeks and runrunrun and then, when you're all finished... nothing happens! Well, not nothing- I have made one sale so far! From what I've read online, it can take several months for sales to really pick up when you're a new shop, but it's soooo hard to stay motivated and enthusiastic when no one is buying your work! I've been lurking on my Etsy page, checking my stats every few hours, trying to see if there's a pattern to people's searches or viewing habits. I think my most exciting moments, other than my first purchase, are when a complete stranger 'likes' one of my pieces! I find it so thrilling that someone I don't even know would make the effort to tell me they like my work!

It's also very strange adjusting from working 7 days a week to having your weekends free. I still have two jobs mind you, but my online shop is very different from working in a formal 9-5 environment. It's so tempting to just lay around doing nothing, but I have to keep motivated and remember that working for myself is just a valid a job as working for someone else. I have the same responsibilities and I need to hold myself accountable to them!

I think part of the slow response to my shop is that the holidays are upon us and most people have finished their shopping and are ready to relax with their families, and part of it is that no one really knows who I am or what I do!  I need to really step up my marketing and get myself KNOWN if I'm going to be successful at this! And I FULLY intend to make Defiant Designs a smash!

Which brings me to my New Year's Goals & Resolutions!

  • Create a marketing package that I can distribute to friends, families, blogs, magazines, etc.
  • Create a marketing schedule for the year!
  • Create MORE!! I need way more product on my site and now that the hard part is done (getting launched), I can focus on the fun part of creating!
  • Get featured in an article of some kind: blog, magazine, etc.
  • Sell 3 items a week!
  • Sell to a boutique.
  • Push myself creatively!!! One of the biggest things I admire about my fellow Etsians is how fearless they are & passionate in their creative pursuits! It's my goal to show my passion & to push my creative limits! I.E.- Let my freak flag fly and just go for it!
And on that note, I will leave you with some pics of the recent holiday festivities in NYC!

Just a pretty night shot I took walking about Manhattan!
Everyone was on their way home from the SantaCon Parade!
The Wish Wall at the Times Square Visitor's Center!
You write your wish on a piece of confetti and all the wishes get dropped from the Ball on New Years!!
(Mine is there on the far left! haha!)

SantaCon in Times Square!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

That's A Wrap!


I have FINALLY posted everything on my shop and I am up and running! Sort of. More like, lumbering along really. But I'm there! I am seen and heard!

My shop name is
I also have a Friends & Family Discount code: FRIMFRAM, which will last until 1-12-12.
And, if you've been keeping up with my previous posts, you already know I'm offering a free gift with every purchase made in December!

What you may not know is that I'm also offering FREE Gift Wrapping!
Because I'm just awesome.

Below are some pics because I didn't have room to post them on my shop... :(

My desk in it's usual chaos!
Large box with lace pattern spray-painted and stenciled by ME! The color is Ocean Blue. The Gold & Cream marbled paper in the center is also hand-made (though not by me). The triangle sequins are actually metal! How cool is that?!
This is the part where I fell in love with iron-on transfer paper... sigh!
The only thing missing here is the velvet bag that the jewelry comes in. You can see that in the first picture in this post- it's a gorgeous Wine color. And you can see the muslin bag that the Free Hand-warmers come in above.
Small & Large glossy White boxes with Ocean Blue lace print, spray-painted on. Jewelry is attached to White card-stock, also spray-painted with the same lace print. Hand-written note, written in Metallic-Gold, can be put on the back of the card-stock or on the front. Jewelry is then placed in Wine velvet bag. Defiant Designs tag is created with iron-on transfer paper on muslin fabric.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Expect The Unexpected...

That's pretty much my thought process for the last 3 weeks.
So much is happening I barely have time to think! I've got so much going on in my head, I have to double check that my shoes match!

I gave myself a week and a half to buy my supplies, make my jewelry, photograph it and get everything online by the beginning of December. Yep- definitely ambitious. It's taken me twice as long to do everything as I'd originally planned! On top of that, I've had to reassess my resources (ahem! moneysituation). I had ordered some supplies from an online vendor only to find that some of the pieces were not what I was expecting. So I returned the goods, but I've been unable to find replacements locally, so I've temporarily put that collection on hold. Turns out it was for the best since everything has cost about twice as much as I had originally planned anyways! It took me two days of slogging around the same 3 NYC block radius in the rain to find all my materials, but so help me I did it! Following that, I was holed up in my apt for about 4 days trying to make my doodles and sketches into a full-fledged reality! Not just a reality, but a quality product that people would admire and be proud to wear. It has been a scary ride that's re-defined my standard of 'heart-racing'. Nothing says fear like jumping out of that nest and trying to fly! But if there's one thing I've learned this year it's not how many times you fall down that matters, but how you pick yourself up and keep going. So, after every pitfall, mistake, and disappointment, I dust myself off and go forward, onward, and up! Below are some of my rough drafts, trials, and errors...

I was experimenting with wire wrapping for the Anomaly Collection. Don't these stones remind you of the Milky Way?! My inspiration for this collection was science, math and the constellations of the night sky. It satisfies my inner nerd! haha!

Draft 1- A set  of earrings for the Anomaly Collection. I didn't want to use the stones above in every piece , especially since they would be pretty heavy as earrings, so I tried to mimic the shape of the stones in the shape of the earrings and the color by using an ombre thread. However, the thread color didn't quite match up to the color of the fabric in the bracelet and this just ended up looking way too chunky anyways.

Draft 2- I decided to use this solid thread instead because it matches the bracelet better, but I wish I could figure out a way to make the thread stay in that shape! Maybe some spray starch or something? I love how simple and organic the thread looks! And those tiny loops going all around the edge of the earring are crocheted wire I did myself! Took forever!
Draft 3- Still trying to make this thread work, I like this pattern best for the weaving of the thread... and a sneak-peak of the bracelet in the upper right corner!
Silk Georgette through Brass tube. Love these colors!
1st Draft- Machinist Collection. My inspiration for this collections was, well... Machines! And all their intricate little moving parts!
I was playing with the shape of this necklace for my Mechanist Collection and ended up liking this the best! I think it has really interesting depth and movement going on. The center pieces are held in place by tension and gravity. I'm using a mixture of Copper, Brass, and Raw metal strung together with a beautiful Moss Green Silk Georgette and a wire wrapped Pink & Black dyed Agate stone for weight. I also added a pearl & seed bead woven charm to the front of the center stone. A few people have commented that I'm crazy for leaving my fabric edges raw on this piece, but I love how it contrasts with the clean lines of the tubes and I think it adds an old-world feel to it. As if it were an antique from generations long past.... (sigh- that's the romantic in me coming out- haha) But what do YOU think?
My workstation at the beginning of the week. 
My work station at the end of the week!

This is a project I have put on hold for the moment until I can find some stronger wire, but I ended up  making about 5 of these arm-band frames and even drafted up a pattern to try to solve the construction issues! It took me a whole day! I want this piece to have a very simple and clean shape and it's very important to me to make the wire structure look perfect! Unfortunately, I think I have the wrong materials for this right now. Must figure this out!!

How did I end up with this much embroidery thread?!
All in all, very little has gone how I expected. But they say that's pretty normal when you're starting a new business! You have to expect the unexpected! (NOT my forte) And I have to say, I've had quite a few 'happy accidents' along the way! Sometimes the solution to a problem has turned out even better than my original plan!

Stay tuned for the finished pieces and some pics from my live model shoot in Central Park!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mood Fabric Mecca

And a hunting we will go!

I made a trip to the infamous Mood Fabrics store featured on Project Runway!
The store is located on the 3rd floor, although it takes up multiple levels, and is reached by elevator run by a real elevator operator!

They had TONS of ribbons and buttons and trimmings! (Although M&J Trimming is really the true mecca of froufrou, but that will be for another post.)

You may be wondering why I would be here for supplies and not a bead store, but my jewelry and accessories are multi-media based and since my design history is in fashion, I plan to incorporate a lot of fabric into my jewelry.

And I happen to be shopping for the perfect, cozy, Wintry fabric to use for my free hand-warmers! I'm giving away a free set of rice, hand-warmers with every purchase made during the month of December! For those of you who don't know what rice hand-warmers are, they are little fabric pillows filled with rice (or any dry grain) that you can heat in your microwave for a few minutes to enjoy a good 30 minutes of warmth & yummy heat. You can slip them into your pockets, gloves, your boots or even under your blankets to get your bed warm before you settle in for the night! A little way to commemorate my Grand Opening and a nice, little gift from me to you for the holidays! I hope you like them!

For this project I chose a soft navy & grey plaid, wool fabric with a slight menswear vibe to it that I'll embroider with my signature burnt orange thread for a nice pop of color! Perfect for that cold Winter dash to the subway!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Red Tape Goodness!


I have received my Certificate of Authority to Collect Sales Tax! I wanted to share it with all of you, but I realized that it contains confidential info so I have to settle for shooting the 'Important Info for Business Owners' pamphlet that came with it... laaaaame.

So of course I had to bling it up a bit!

Much better, right?!!

Annnnd, on to the creative bit! I said that I would keep everyone in the loop on my design process, so here we go!

These are all my accessory ideas I've been hoarding up all year, minus a few that are only Summer appropriate... about 8 collections, 3-5 pieces each. That row on the far left are the extra special goodies that will probably cost me an arm & a leg to make.

It was promptly whittled down to this...

5 collections, 3 pieces each. (Please pardon my embarrassing sketching skillzzz..)

And it may end up getting cut down to only 2-3 collections, due to budgeting issues. Not to worry though! Whatever I can't do right away, I'll add in later after I get a little more funding. (So excited!!)

And for the finale...... my first business purchase!!
I have named it Gizmo, but it's actually a brass gauge for measuring those pesky internet purchases that use only millimeters. (Sorry, no action shots yet..)

Next step is to break out my rusty Illustrator skills and get to rocking my logo!  Can we say procrastination??Then I can actually get my Facebook page set up and make friendssss! Yay!

Stay tuned for more exciting developments!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Before I Die...

Yay! On the day I registered my business name at the County Clerk's Office (can anyone say racing heart'!?) in Brooklyn, I also opened my shiny new business checking account! And across from my new bank I saw this chalkboard sign that everyone was writing on and I thought it was so appropriate for that moment since I was achieving one of my own dreams that very day!! So, of course, I had to whip out my phone and take a quick pic!

It really made me think about all the things I want to achieve or experiance or see happen before I die. Does anyone have a bucket-list of their own?! If so, what do you have to do to make that list happen?

Mine would include things like:

Seeing Defiant Designs featured in a magazine
Travel the World (sigh)
Run a Marathon
Eat lots of chocolate!! (oh wait- I already do that)
Spend more time with friends & family

hmm pretty short actually... Of course that's not including things like living on my own private island and baking beautiful cakes every day. Dare to dream...