Monday, June 28, 2010

Some advice on naming your Etsy shop

If you've ever wondered why I named my Etsy shop Dalkullan Jewelry, here's the story (If you're wondering what that has to do with the title of this post, have patience, gentle reader, all will be revealed shortly):

Dalkullan means "a girl from Dalarne" which is a province in Sweden. My Aunt was born in Dalarne and moved to the United States, where she opened a Swedish import shop, which she named Dalkullan. To honor her memory, I chose Dalkullan for my shop name. The photo above shows two Dalkullans wearing the tradition clothing of the region.

As a marketing strategy, my Aunt had a great plan, since she was selling principally to other Swedish speakers in the Andersonville section of Chicago. As a marketing strategy for online retailing, I probably should have chosen another name for my shop. But hindsight is always twenty/twenty, as the old saying goes. If you're trying to pick a name for your new shop on Etsy, you'd be better off picking a shop name that is easy to remember, and says something about your product.

If I could re-name my shop, I'd pick "Heather Braun Studios" because I would like to build product recognition and brand my jewelry under my own name. I'd like to make it easier for my customers to find my shop, and with the thousands and thousands of jewelry shops on Etsy, picking an easy to remember name is important. Outside of Swedish speakers, I suspect "Dalkullan" isn't all that memorable.

Just something to consider, if you're thinking about opening an online shop on any venue, not just Etsy. And it's also a good idea to use the same name for all your online venues, such as Twitter, Facebook, etc., because that helps people to identify with your product and find your shop more easily.

Thanks for dropping by! :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bead & Button Show Class

A couple weeks ago, I attended the annual Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee. Very exciting place to be, if you are at all interested in jewelry. I don't do much beading anymore, I've been making jewelry through fabrication techniques, but it's amazing to walk around the colossal show floor and see all the gorgeous things for sale.

What does fabrication mean, you might be asking. Fabricating jewelry involves the traditional jeweler's tools of saw, torch, files, etc., all the fun stuff that gets your hands dirty. Nothing like using a torch and heating metal and seeing that magic moment when the solder flows like a skinny silver thread.

Which brings me back to the B & B Show -- I took 2 classes there in goldsmithing. Not that we worked in gold, we used silver, but when you make an object that's smaller than the human fist it's called goldsmithing, and when it's larger it's silversmithing, regardless of what metal you're using.

The first class I took was taught by Leslie Frumin, and it covered making silver leaves. Here's a picture of the leaf I made:
It's made out of sterling. We started with a photo of a leaf, transfered the design onto metal, and began sawing away. After a whole lot of hammering, bending and soldering, voila! a lovely oak leaf emerged. A quick dunk in a patinating solution, and the amazing color you see above emerged. The addition of some fresh water pearls, and the project was completed. It was a fun class, Leslie is a sweet lady with a great sense of humor. And I walked away with a lovely new pendant. What's not to like? :)

Hope everything is going great for you, and thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sapphire Trilogy Ring

I've been working on a new ring design for the past few days. It's a sterling band, with three tube settings I crafted from sterling, and then set with 3 colored sapphires. The sapphires are all genuine, and so sparkly and pretty.

I've recently bought a new camera, the Nikon D3000, and it's a sweet piece of hardware. My photography looks so much better. It's a digital SLR, the first I've ever used, my old camera was a trusty point and shoot, which met a tragic end when it leapt to its death off the desk during a download.

The ring is a sleek, minimalist design, that showcases the dainty little sapphires. They're 2 mm in diameter, and as you can see, they're one each in pink, yellow, and white. I'm going to do some more work with sapphires -- they're a really hard and strong gem, which takes some of the pressure -- for me, not the stone, :) -- out of stone setting.

Hope you're having a great week, and thanks so much for dropping by.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Gift For My Daughter

My lovely daughter Angela graduated from the teaching program at San Diego State University last month, and received her teaching certificate in bi-lingual education. To commemorate this very happy occasion, I decided to make her a one of a kind ring.

It's the most elaborate ring I've made yet, and is completely hand fabricated. I started with some silver wire and tubing, and 3 royal amethyst stones, each 2mm in diameter.

It required many soldering operations, creating the dainty leaves, and melting silver to form the tiny spheres. After I'd put the ring together, there was the matter of cutting the dinky little seats in the tubing and setting the amethysts. Thank goodness for magnifying visors!

It's so gratifying to put a design on paper, and then to actualize it in metal and gems. I'm very thankful to have a skill that I can use to make a unique and lasting gift for my loved ones. A special ring for my beautiful and brainy daughter!