This week for SBS I am featuring Charitable Creations Jewelry by Shelly. How could I ever pass up a charitable company, and one that makes jewelry? The pieces are hand stamped and amazing!
1. How did you get started in jewelry?
I started making and selling jewelry in 2009. I had always wanted to have my own business where I could work from home and have more time with my children. One day I came across a blog post featuring hand stamped jewelry and I thought "I can do that". I did a lot of research, purchased some tools and supplies and just dove in. I haven't looked back since.
2. Do you have to create your own molds to do the stamping?
I do cast some items like my 4 and 6 sided bars and some of my charms. I also melt down my sterling silver scraps and cast them into ingots that I roll into silver sheets. I use these sheets to cut out the shapes I use for stamping.
3. What materials and tools do you use?
I use sterling silver, brass and copper in my designs. I use all sorts of tools to create the items in my shop. The tools I use on a daily basis are my disc cutter, jewelry press and pancake dies (used to make my hearts, angel wings. guitar picks, etc) and of course my alphabet and design stamps. I also use a tumbler and my JoolTool for sanding and polishing. A lot of steps and tools go into making each item. I try not to purchase ready made shapes because I want each piece to be as unique as possible. Most of my shapes were hand drawn by me and then sent to a gentleman who turns them into pancake dies so I can use them to cut the shape from the metal.
4. What charities are you involved with?
LOTS! I have 40 charities right now that I donate to and I am always adding more. Customers and the charities themselves will contact me to add their charity to my list. I have a list on my website so people can see who I donate to and if they like, they can click the charity to go to the site and make their own donation. I have what I call a Charity of the Month, that I donate a $1 from every item sold during that month, to that specific charity.
5. How do you promote your designs?
I do blog giveaways and try to stay active with my Facebook page and other forums, but mostly its word of mouth and referrals from my customers.
6. What has been your biggest accomplishment?
Besides my children....I think my biggest accomplishment is being able to give back. I have always been a helper and it is very satisfying to be able to give to charities and know that others in need are receiving help or that organizations are getting funds they need to conduct research for a cure. I'm very grateful for my customers because without them the donations wouldn't be possible.
7. What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is promotion. I spend so much time in my shop creating items to fill orders, that it does not leave time to really work on advertising.
8. Where all do you sell your designs?
I have a shop on Etsy, charitablecreations.etsy.com and an online shop, charitablecreationsjewelry.com.
9. Where do you see your shop in 5 years?
I hope that in 5 years I will be able to open a brick and mortar shop here in New England and move it out of my home. My children will be in college by then, so it will be a good time in my life to do that
10. What do you love most about your work?
I love the personal nature of my work. Most of my items are created to commemorate a special moment in someones life and I love hearing the stories from my customers and it feels good knowing that something I've made is going to be treasured by someone for years to come. Its very humbling.