Tuesday, December 28, 2010

SALE SALE SALE

I am happy to announce my very first on-line Boxing week sale!! 

I actually hadn't planned on having a sale... but as I was starting to organize and get ready for January and new production... I thought.. hey..why not have a sale.. and make some room!

So here it is...All ready to wear jewelry has been marked down for one week only, some items are as low as $15!
  
Sale is on from December 28 - January 5th and is for on line sales only on our new shopping cart equipped website at:


Shipping is only $5.00 or free on orders over $200! 



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holiday Holla

So the great thing about my old life (salaried bliss) was the ability to shop on lunch hour, have vacation days during the holidays, and the ability to leave work at work...

Here I find myself smack dab in the middle of my busiest Holiday season ever, and I wonder..What have I got myself into?  I can't remember the last time I slept more than 8 hours, watched an entire episode of glee without the phone ringing or emails buzzing.  A night off, let a lone a day off I can't actually remember... Christmas shopping? Eek!  So a warning to family and friends... it's beginning to look a lot like an Aly Dahl collection Christmas... Or bought from a craft fair that I am selling at... So what did I in all my wisdom and glory do? I decide to start a new website... WHAT WAS I THINKING?? First of all, I had no idea that when you transfer your domain name it takes so freaking long.. second of all.. I have decided to re-invent the Aly Dahl website to be a proper shopping cart based shop.  So basically.. I am trying to re-learn the wheel during mayheimdom. Things (being the new website) may end up on hold should I actually have the mental break down I feel myself heading towards... bear with me.. I do intend this site to be much more user friendly.. but lets be honest it'll be a miracle if it's up before January.

I heard a quote recently and I wish I could remember who said it, but it went something like "My mother always told me that the only people who are boring are those who are bored".   
I can confidently say I am currently not boring. 

This Saturday I have a show being hosted by Babyvibe in Port Moody called the Holiday Family Fair,  I am really looking forward to it.  There are 30 awesome local businesses involved.  If you come check it out make sure to stop by and say hi!  Here are the details:   December 4th 11am-4-pm at The Inlet Theatre/Galleria at the Port Moody Civic Centre (City Hall), 100 Newport Dr., Port Moody. The Galleria is a nice, bright open venue that is centrally located with plenty of free parking. It is easily accessible for local residents who can arrive by foot, car, or transit.

I am also excited to announce another fantastic opportunity and location I can be found mid December.. but can't say anything yet.. but as soon as I can I will let you all know!

So.. really the point of this blog.. and to make my long babble longer... if you are looking for my website at www.alydahl.com you won't find me there for a few more days,  instead I ask that you visit www.silverfingerprints.ca  (which is the website I have had all along, I have just been forwarding Aly Dahl to silver fingerprints until I was ready to develop Aly Dahl..)

PS if you have fingerprint jewellery you are wanting done for Christmas please get the order and impressions in asap as time is starting to get away.

Thanks!

Aly

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Todays the Day we're going to make things happen..

Ok so the day has finally arrived.. The Big Open House, First Birthday celebration.   This is WAY more stressful than first expected.  First of all, I have no idea how many people will show up.  I put it out on facebook to everyone I know, including those as far away as Norway.. hoping maybe they know someone who knows someone how may be interested in coming.   2 days ago with this gut wrenching feeling that 6 people would come and the whole thing would be a bust I came up with a new plan.. to invite the neighbourhood... So I made 1200 fliers with this thought that all the townhouse complexes near where I live have mail boxes like we do.. get out a 1000 fliers in a couple hours.. easy peasy..

So my Dear husband went out to deliver these "great idea" fliers and quickly learned we are the only complex with mailboxes you can shove stuff into.... My sweet sweet free labour hand delivered to each home near 600 fliers.  Thank you Darren!   (I now have 600 strips of purple paper for sale..anyone?.. only 50% is used)

I have been making posters, and signs to put up and crossing my fingers at this point that I have 8 people come :)

So how do I figure how much food to order based on a dream number?  I have NO idea.. So I ordered a few platters, and a large birthday cake, I will make some punch.. Bowl.. right I need a punch bowl... Anyone?

Balloons... ordered and paid for... Must remember to pick up...especially since I put look for balloons on the invite...

Decorations.. Ahh yes.. that is the next step.. off to decorate and hopefully will transform the dungeon into a shopping fiesta!!!  That will look magical, and inviting... Something people will just be drawn to...Finger Crossed..

So should you live in the lower mainland, Please Please please come help me eat cake...  and celebrate!

Yes I have stooped to begging.

6-9pm  Wednesday, November 10th, 2010
9101 Forest Grove Drive
Community Room
Cash & Cheques preferred.

Lots of Love on the glorious day that my business.. my baby.. TurnsONE!!!

And to all of you who helped this past year happen.. thank you from the bottom of my heart.  It has taken a lot of people, a lot of support and a lot of kind words to get me here.  THANK YOU.

Aly

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Are you a Fan?

Facebook Fan's of Aly Dahl Designs Jewelry got an early Christmas present today....

Are you a fan?

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Aly-Dahl-Designs

Become a fan before November 5th and check the wall posts for the current promotion!

This business started with fingerprint jewelry and that's what I am celebrating today..

So join us on facebook and get a reward! 

Friday, October 22, 2010

FIRST BIRTHDAY WHAT?

So it has officially been 1 year since I started this adventure called Aly Dahl Designs. 

What does that mean you ask?  Well yes it's true I have been making and playing with jewellery for most of my life.  Addicted to fashion at a young age, in fact I still have a lady crush on Jeanne Beker from Fashion Television.  I can remember being a young girl in Courtenay, watching one of our 3 channels and seeing Jeanne for the first time.. MAGICAL.  So poised, she knew ALL the designers, to me Jeanne was/is the "package".  I have always dreamed to be interviewed by Jeanne, or at the least meet her.  Sheer perfection.

She taught me SO much about fashion and I really credit her with my passion for fashion and why I have chosen this route in my life.

So here I am turning one. Although I have been doing this for years, it is really my dream coming true that is turning ONE!!!  This makes me so incredibly happy,  you see my dream has always been to own my own business, to be creative and to be in fashion.  The fact that I took my dream and have turned it into my reality still stuns me every morning I wake up and get to be me. 

So here it is, my first Birthday event.  Please come, please forward to friends, please send to events happening blogs, media, whoever you know who can help me make this a huge success.. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, thank you for helping me make my dream not only come true, but successful!


IT’S OUR BIRTHDAY!
Aly Dahl Designs has turned ONE!
Can you believe it has been an entire year since I have dedicated myself to growing and launching Aly Dahl Designs?
So much has happened in the past year!
-          I have expanded my line from fingerprints to four full collections
-          You can now find my lines at retailers in BC
-           I recently launched a home sales department
-          I have been named one of BC’s top new designers to watch by Portabello West
-          I have had numerous write ups in magazines all over the province
-          And to top it all off... I now have a manufacturer helping me with my designs so I can continue to grow and expand!  

Come meet the designer and shop the full collection at the Aly Dahl Designs Open House on 
Wednesday, November 10th from 6:00pm-9:00pm.
Everything will be on sale!

You can find the event in the community room of Rossmoor townhouses, located at 9101 Forest Grove Drive in Burnaby; (look for the balloons) light refreshments will be served.
Make sure to enter the draw for a $75.00 gift certificate just for showing up!


To view the invitation on Facebook click: Aly Dahl Designs Birthday Invite

Monday, October 18, 2010

Totally Turquoise

I like to only have pieces in my collection that I love.  With that comes the heart-break when something sells.. the same comes when it's ready to part with.  I have had a piece of jewellery that I sometimes take out at a show with hesitation and fear that it may in fact one day sell.  Today I take the first step in parting with it. 

So here it goes, here is my favourite necklace:

The reason I love it is because of it's imperfections.  The amount of turquoise, and the handmade feel of it.  It is a very organic piece.  Each piece of turquoise is different in colour, some with many lines, some with very few.   It to me is beauty. 
Some would dis-regard some of the turquoise as "not good enough" or "too many imperfections".. but to me, it is why I love it.  The character of each piece is like people, we are all the same, but different.  Our unique lines and depth is what makes us special.

This piece is priced at $475 and is not yet on my site.. as that will take a few more days of talking myself into selling it :)

Aly

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Collection


Very Excited!!!

My first Official Collection is starting to take form.  I am not hand-making these items personally, however they are still handmade and they are an Aly Dahl Design.


I always new in the back of my mind that I would not be hand making each piece for ever, it just is not possible or profitable.  My time is better spent designing, researching and making connections with people.  It's like hiring an accountant, yes I can do it, but is that really the best way to spend my time?

This is not to say I am no longer making jewellery, I will continue to do both, after all it is my passion. The fingerprint jewelry will always be made by me and I will continue to create one of a kinds that will be available for sale on my website and at shows.

I have uploaded some pictures to my facebook fan page,  please join my page if you have not already.  To see the pictures please click on:  Aly Dahl Designs Facebook Fan Page


I only have one of each of these pieces, if you are interested in any of these pieces please contact me at:
aly@silverfingerprints.ca

The photo's are not website quality yet so they are not on www.alydahl.com yet.


Cheers!

Aly :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What a High

I am just home from my first photo-shoot for my Aly Dahl Impressions line.  The display boards, and packaging are soon to be completed and they LOOK AMAZING!!!

Here are some quick pic's taken with my cell phone from the afternoon:



The shoot from my point of view before it started was nerve racking, and that fear of "Is it good enough"... until I saw the first picture.  It was amazing, my model Naomi who is one of the worlds most naturally beautiful women was fantastic.  She took direction like a pro and her perfect skin was the ultimate back-drop for my impressions line.
The photographer Amanda Skuse was terrific to work with, she has a great eye for detail and the lighting was luxurious.
Cory from Exhibit A Design Group directed the shoot,  the shoot is for our upcoming promotional material and display boards. He did such a great job, knowing exactly what he wanted and needed and as an out-sider watching, I was very impressed at the ability he had to know precisely what needed to happen.

I can not accurately describe in words the excitement I have inside of me to see the final product... The least I can say is VERY EXCITED :)

Thanks to Naomi, Cory and Amanda for a wonderful afternoon.

Smoooch... Aly

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New Collection Slowly getting on line

I have had a line of more affordable items that seems to have taken me WAY to long to post..It's like I never have enough time to wear each hat of running my own business...  

I have just added this collection which was named by a dear friend ages ago and have been waiting for the right collection to use it on....


Here it is... Drum Roll Please.....


All Dahl'ed Up 


Check it out.. Unfortunatley I have not had a chance to add the shopping buttons to this collection yet.. to be honest, I am just happy I finally got these posted! 


Here it is:


www.Alydahl.com/shopalldahledup


If you are interested in any of these pieces email me at order@silverfingerprints.ca

Monday, October 4, 2010

Copper Dreams

I love nothing more than a great season change.. Fall is no exception.. with the first leaf that falls out come my boots and sweaters, crisp jeans and my warm jewellery.
Until I started designing and making jewellery as my full time job I never realized how much I change my jewellery with the seasons.  In the summer I wear a lot of bright beads, turquoise, shiny silver, shells.... but in the fall I tend to be drawn to warmer jewellery, darker stones, and now darker metals as well.  Recently I have been working on new pieces for trade and home shows and without being conscious of it I have been creating with the same intent.  As it turns out, with the fall also came out my silver darkener and rich patina's to give silver and copper warm layers and smooth richness.

In an effort to make some more affordable pieces for some shows I had booked I have created a lot of new earrings ranging from feathers to Eiffel towers.  There is a big range and because of using more affordable base metals I have been able to keep the earring prices ranging from $8-$30.

With that also came some more cherished pieces,  the ones that when I make them I think.. if they don't sell... I will keep them.  This may come as a shock but I have issues letting go or selling a lot of my pieces as I make each one with a dream for it...corny I know, but it's true. 
During one of my "playing sessions"  I found a love for copper..  Here are a few of the more intricate pieces I have recently completed:
"Woman" $130, Copper and silver on copper chain

"Bond" $150, Copper on Copper, with copper chain
I should mention that these pieces were inspired by the incredibly talented Gustav Klimt.  His work not only inspires me, but moves me.  There is a tendernous in each piece that brings my heart joy.  His work (not original) hangs in my room, which is where the inspiration came.

If you are interested in either of these pieces or finding out more about any of my new lines let me know.   As I am a one woman show photographing and posting each new piece is a challenge.  - One I do plan on taking on....it's on the list of things to do.... :)

Have a great day,

Aly

Friday, October 1, 2010

Have I found my niche?

One of the things that gives me incredible anxiety is selling my creations at trade shows or craft fairs.  Although most people are positive there are the few that walk by and make comments about price or "what will they think of next"... I find that part incredibly hard.  People walking by, making a quick judgement never get to hear the story, understand what is put into each piece I create.  I can't and don't want to compete with China (meaning the ability to create inexpensive mass amounts of jewellery) or Hobbyists, this is my lively hood, how I feed my kids.  I believe that everything happens for a reason, sometimes it takes a while to find out why but .. I think I have kind of stumbled upon a way that I love to sell my jewellery, have fun, fits my lifestyle of being Mom, and I don't find it stressful at all...


Last week I was invited to do a private show in my cousin's home on a Friday evening.  It was not the first time I had done a show like this, but it has been almost a year since I had done one.   It was an amazing experience, she had no more than 10 women there, some wine and appies and I set up all my goods (and I have a ton at the moment, most are not on my website).   The best part is I got an audience that I felt comfortable with as they were all women and they were there knowing I was going to be there so the pressure, and the anxious sweats never happened.  The first 3 sentences my voice shook and then as I began to talk about myself and my jewellery, why I do it, the amazing accomplishments I have achieved this year with my jewellery...low and behold I became comfortable.. Actually very comfortable.  I was able to sell my things in a way that showcased them and myself in a way that I have never been able to before.
I sold some beautiful pieces, met some incredible women, had some gut wrenching laughs and at the end of the night I didn't feel like I had been working.  It was FUN!  AND... They asked me to come back again in November so they can Christmas shop,  and one of the guests even booked a party for October!  I came home on a high of all highs, talked my husbands ears off and the next morning.. I started to ask...
I asked those I have on BBM as it is easiest for me.. to host a party.  And to my surprise, many said yes without blinking an eye.  I posted on facebook and got a few more bookings...It was just that easy! I just had to ask, I am constantly surprised at the amount of people who want me to succeed. It is so heart warming..THANK YOU to all of you.

Home sales have always been in the back of my mind as an avenue to sell.  It has always been my mission to hire women that need to earn money but need to work around their children's schedules, other jobs, language barriers, I want to give possibilities to those who don't always have them.   One of the reason's I left working for the Financial Mega Giant was they were no longer willing to work with me to have adjusted hours that allowed me to drop my kids and pick them up according to daycare hours.  I never want one of my employees to ever feel like their job comes first. Family must always come first.  I will never say "you must pick work over family" guaranteed.

That being said, I am currently putting together a sales team, no start up cost to the individual, it will be a commission home sales team, all pieces will be taken on consignment (only pay when item is sold). If you are interested in joining my team please email me at: aly@silverfingerprints.ca
For the time being I am focused on Metro Vancouver, but hope to expand in the near future, if you are not in metro Vancouver and are interested email me anyway and we can discuss ways to set you up.

If you are interested in hosting an Aly Dahl party please email me aly@silverfingerprints.ca to book a date.
I am seriously loving the home sales.. and would LOVE to do one for you.  I hope one day I can look back at this blog as the beginning of something huge.
have a great weekend!!
Aly

Monday, September 27, 2010

I keep good company!

I know I already posted the link to this fantastic interview that I did.... apparently I wasn't the only one who thought it was great.  The post made the front (home) page of www.modernmom.com
Next to Brooke Burke and Denise Richards' blogs you can find the featured mom blogger and right not it is Wendy's blog on me :)  Yahhhh!!!!!!!

Thanks again Wendy for doing the interview with me!

I am sure the post will soon be replaced with another featured mom blog so check it out quick!

Have a great week,

Aly

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Made it on Modern Mom!

Check out this awesome post by the very talented and creative Wendy Irene on Modern Mom.   Wendy is a very talented writer and has a great blog that I have emailed to me every weekday morning.  I look forward to reading her blog,  it always brings a smile to my face.  She seems to always be in sinc with what is going on in my life,  sometimes I read a blog and think.. wow, that sure came at the right time.. 
Wendy's web page is:  www.givelovecreatehappiness.com sign up to have the blog emailed to you to ensure you never miss a post.  

I am doing my first home show of the fall season, very excited for it as I have a ton of stock that I have been busy making over the summer.  I did a show at Douglas College on Wednesday that was a HUGE success and was incredible for my confidence.  Selling your own stuff is seriously overwhelming and can be very daunting at times, this was the first show I left feeling like a winner... now for tonight!!! Very excited!!! If you live on Vancouver Island or Metro Vancouver area send me an email at: aly@silverfingerprints.ca if you are interested in hosting an at home party for me to peddle my wares.  I do offer the host of the party discounted and free product as a thank you!


Have a great weekend everyone!!!


Aly

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lovely Post by a Lovely Person

Today is simple,  today I brag.  Looking at yourself and your accomplishments are often kinder and more eloquent when said by others.   I am honoured and touched that the amazingly talented writer and creative force that is Alicia Gray blogged about me and by business. 

Please take a moment to check out her blog, and if you enjoy smiling when reading click on her "follow me" button or become a fan on facebook so you never miss a post.  Her writings draw you in and keep you glued.. (Not just the one about me, which I must say is fantastic but I haven't read a post that didn't make me laugh out loud or have tears streaming down my face)

Check it out: 

Alicia and I have been friends for years,  she was there for me, listened to me as I made the decision to leave my old life behind and move forward.  Reading her memories of my transition time took me back to a place that was raw and hard... I am so glad that she could recall it for me in a humorous truth.  I adore the post, I hope you take the time to read it..  And let me gloat on how awesome I am in someone else's eyes. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cheap Silver Cleaner using everyday household items

Recently being at the PNE and looking around the Marketplace, (which is a must on my PNE list of things to do and see each summer - I call it the "didn't know I needed it until I was told" building.)  In recent years I have purchased a $700 vitamix blender (which shockingly haven't regretted once), a $100 massager (that broke with in the first year), eyebrow make up set that was to change my non-existent brows into magnificence in 10 second a day (problem being you have to do it), Shea butter from Africa (an annual must..love it).
This year the jewellery cleaner caught my eye.. it is apparently fantastic on gold and silver.. and I almost bought it for something crazy like $20. And then I remembered.. that I clean my silver jewellery with table salt and aluminum foil.   I don't own a lot of gold so I have never tried it on gold.. I wouldn't recommend it. So here is my tip for the day that costs just cents:


For jewellery I use a pasta bowl or casserole dish, for silverware and tea sets I use the kitchen sink.


Line the bottom of the dish or sink with aluminum foil and add a generous amount of table salt (at least a couple tablespoons), fill with warm water (actually I have no idea if temperature matters but that's what I use) and set silver into bowl/sink.  Leave for a minimum of 2 -3  minutes and then rinse with water. Depending on amount of tarnish you can re-soak. I have left heavily tarnished items overnight. 

The science behind it:
When salt, aluminum foil and water are combined they create a chemical reaction known as ion exchange. During this process, the tarnish on the silver is transferred to the foil. In fact, if your silver is tarnished enough, you'll actually see brown tarnish on the aluminum foil.

Have a great day!


Aly

Monday, August 16, 2010

BabyVibe.. Are you vibing?

I am so excited my first ad with Babyvibe came out this morning!

What is Babyvibe?....
Babyvibe is your trusted voice for new and expecting parents in Canada, delivering pint-sized news, product reviews, tips and family friend event listing. 

I signed up to get the newsletter a few months back and have loved the great product reviews, what to do and parenting tips.  I have found many local businesses like mine that are a Mom Run and worth supporting. 


I am proud that I am now a babyvibing advertiser and hope that the ad brings in some revenue so I can continue to advertise with them!


To check out my ad click here: Babyvibe


Scroll down to the bottom and a surprise discount you will find for Aly Dahl Designs.... 

Check it out and sign up for the e-newsletter and take advantages of the great discounts to cool shops and products just because you subscribe!


Have a great Monday!


Aly

Friday, August 13, 2010

Common Sense and Reading came in Handy yet again!

Last October I met a young man who was a "website genius".. I met with him at Lougheed mall in Burnaby for coffee,  I knew the questions to ask according to what I learned at my business classes at college, but really I knew nothing about building a website.


He reminded me of my younger brother Luke (who I have a  soft spot for) and I hired him instantly. He didn't want payment up front he said when we got working on things more seriously I could pay half up front and half when it was done.   I spent MONTHS and months getting stuff together for him, making items to photograph, photographing.. searching the web for sites I liked.   


When I first decided to sell on line I was searching names and bought website names I thought were good.  The first one I bought was www.silverfingerprints.ca it was through a dotcom company who does back end servers and had templates and things. One of the things I did do was put up a site I made as a "holding site".  So I started to build my site while my "Web Genius" was building my "real" site. 

Along the way I named my business Aly Dahl Designs and bought www.alydahl.com and www.alydahl.ca,  I called my web guy a few times and he said he could help me.. but then he started to not return my emails or my calls.  So I figured out how to forward those addresses to the silverfingerprints one.  Getting smarter. 
I started to tweak my site and started getting compliments on it.. smarter again..  Figured out how to re-size photo's, make tab's, meta tags...Wow, starting to get cocky..


For the past 4 months since firing my "Web Genius" as he was too busy to remember I was alive.. and he did nothing in 6 months... I had been looking for someone to do a shopping cart on my site.  Life being like it is I haven't found anyone.


So today I decided.. how hard could it be? I am proud to say I am now pretty flippin smart.. Although it has taken 12 hours, two of my collections now have "Add to Cart" buttons so people can buy stuff directly from my site!!! No more email!!! (Although I had linked it up to each piece and I thought I was pretty smart)...


So you can now officially actually Shop "Shop Fingerprint Impressions" and my iCANDY line!!!! Check it out!!!


Well that's my big accomplishment for today, It was a biggy!  Hopefully next week all my lines will have "Add to Cart" button and I will get back to making and posting new pieces!!! 


Have a great weekend,


Aly
AKA.. an Almost  "Web Genius"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

On the Road again.. Peddling my wares

I am getting ready to hit the road.  Doing a sales trip of sorts. I have had a fantastic boutique/salon in Victoria approach me about carrying some of my jewellery.  Brandi Wein For Hair
Brandi did my hair for what was probably close to 10 years when I lived on the island (and when ever I can get back), she is an award winning hair dresser with the most beautiful boutique at Shoal Point. 
If you ever get the opportunity to get your hair done by her, you are in for a treat! AMAZING!

When I saw Brandi last weekend she loved my new 'Turq'ish Delight line and asked me to make a few pieces to display in her shop.  I have been busy working and making (my hands feel twice my age today) and am really happy with some new creations that I will be leaving in her shop next week.

I am also bringing some of my fingerprint jewelry line to display and sell in shops up and down the island.  I make anything you can think of out of silver that includes you and your loved ones fingerprints.    It is the perfect cherished keepsake.  My favourite of the moment is the military style dog tag on silver ball chain.   I am almost always seen wearing my two kids prints on a plain chain, it goes with everything, and they love to feel them as much as I do. 

So I am island bound, items to sell in tow and supplies to make in totes.. I am off.  If you have a boutique or shop and would like to try my stuff out, email me at aly@silverfingerprints.ca 
and I will make sure to stop by and peddle my wares!

All the best!

Aly

Brandi Wein For Hair is located at: #15 - 21 Dallas Road,  Victoria BC

Monday, July 26, 2010

A delicate balance

Here I am in the middle of summer, working from home with a stay at home dad, and 2 pre-school kids which technically makes us a stay at home family I think. 
I have to be honest.. It makes for an incredibly difficult work environment.. Seeing them get ready to go to the pool, hearing the laughter of them frolicking in the sun, oh how I yearn to be with them.  I work in the morning, and in the evening except for busy days, then it's just a sh*t show...  but I have stopped on the weekends (except to sell, I'll do that night or day..).  A few months ago I found my life was being taken over by my business and I was no longer enjoying my life. 
Then I read an incredible book Women, Food, and God  by Geneen Roth.  I read the book and connected instantly.  It has helped with my relationship with food, but it spoke to me on a much grander scale.  I had the opportunity to step back and look at my life.  I realised that I not only used food to avoid feelings, but I worked to avoid feelings.  There was a line that said something along the lines of "you weren't put on this earth to lose the same 10,20, 50 lbs over and over".
My life's purpose is not to avoid my life with work.  I enjoy and love my job, which is why it is so easy to get lost in it.  I have the most wonderful life, I just have to stop and take it in. 
Since affording myself the "OK" to take a break in the afternoon and play with my kids, go swimming with my family, hold my husbands hand and go for a walk to appreciate all things around me,  I have found that I am happier, and have a deeper passion for making my business a success. 
If I am OK with enjoying life,  and my life consists of my job which affords me the time to be with my kids and husband.. I am going to work as hard as I can to keep this.  I just need to remember to take time to enjoy what I am working so hard to provide for.   I want this business to be successful and thriving and something my children can take over should they choose. 
My daughter and I on a whim going to visit family on the island

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Orchid

I have been "working" on my Orchid for months now.  I use the term "working on" loosely as I put 2 weeks work into it back in what I think was April, and on my final firing... It cracked and my heart sank.  I knew I could fix it and go on with creating my masterpiece.. But, it broke my heart. I put hours upon hours into making it and in one wrong move it was ruined.  The money..the time.. would I ever finish it?

Doing large intricate pieces are a passion, but rarely do I ever recover the cost of raw material, and the man hours it take to make them are purely for enjoyment..

The Pendant is a direct casting of a flower I have in my home. This is the sister flower from the same plant I casted from.

Today I started working on the pendant/broach again.  It feels good..and scary... So far I have used the Silver Orchid as a paper weight, and a prop for photography... Here it is before I started working on it again.. (In all it's prop glory)

Granted it is a bit hard to see the detail when it's draped in rubies... But there could be worse things to be draped in I suppose! 
So back to the passion project I go, perhaps one day soon I will blog with an update and a picture of the final product. 

The ruby earrings are available on line at:  Aly Dahl Designs

Friday, July 9, 2010

I repeat...Let it go Aly...

I feed off people's energy, I have always been in-tune with what's going on around me.  That is both a blessing and a curse.  If you are upset with me, or something is off in your life, if you are angry or sad, I feel it. I sometimes make myself ignore it, but it comes at an expense, I seem to take on people's emotions and problems and it makes it very difficult for me to function at my best. Even if I ignore it, I take it home and ponder your emotions while I toss and turn trying to sleep.  My friends call me sensitive, I say Empathetic..To a fault.

I find this my biggest down fall in creating the Aly Dahl empire...  I have a very difficult time differentiating myself from my business,  I take all comments to heart. I have been so lucky to have so many people write praising letters, emails, and voice mails after receiving their items,  but it's that 1 email or comment when someone says "it's too expensive" or "what will they thing of next" as though what I am doing is equivalent somehow to nutella swirled with peanut butter sold in the same jar.  It takes all my might to not explain that it is actually a very good price and all the reasons it is a good deal, I mean come on, I make it by hand, I buy top quality product...It's made in Canada... I use more expensive raw material that is in the end better for the earth because I care... But alas, I bite my tongue and know that they are simply not my customer. However,  I do re-think that one comment over and over and over again... and then as though the universe knows when I need a moral boost I receive an order from a wonderful customer.  They get it, they are looking for quality, being made in Canada matters, supporting the arts is important... They are my customer.  And they are by far the best customers to have.

After a few really unpleasant experiences with people trying to knock me down, be-little me, and that gross gut feeling when you feel your being taken for a ride.. I am slowly learning to be more assertive and to follow my gut.

After returning from Las Vegas I realized that my taxes were due in 1 week, I quickly started looking up accountants and found one that had a decent website and went in.  This man made me so uncomfortable, made me feel like I was the dumbest person to walk the earth and without his help I would fail as a person.  BTW my biggest pet peeve is scare tactic selling.. And as soon as he started down that path I felt like I was going to puke.  I tried to take my documents back and be nice saying things like "I think I better go home and sort through some stuff and come back".. To which he grabbed my stuff and said "No, we'll contact you if we need anything, come back in a week".   So I left.  Got in the elevator and called my husband,  Darren can be very wise sometimes. Perhaps it is because he has lived with me for almost 9 years.... He said the greatest thing ever to me
"Aly, if you don't go back up there and get your property you will spend the next week agonizing over this creep.. or you take 5 minutes of uncomfortableness and go back up there and it will be over, now go and get your taxes back."  That sunk in deep.. And so I did.  I got my stuff back, the creep yelled at me as I walked as fast as I could getting out of the office, my documents in hand.  I proceeded to get in the elevator, called an old friend Doug who is now officially the worlds best accountant friend to have.   Thanks Doug!  I got off the phone and started crying tears of joy.. and my taxes were filed on time.

Following my gut may not feel good in the moment.. but as soon as that moment passes, the next one is AWESOME... That feeling of  "I did it, I stood up for myself and I noticed". 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Being Sick and Being your own boss is not an advantage

After spending most of my adult life employed by a large company with fantastic benefits I got used to certain "perks"... such as sick days which entailed spending the day in bed watching cheezy soap opera's and wandering in and out of consciousness. 
I have had a wicked cold for the past 3 weeks, and instead of taking a day off, I worked through it.. I mean it was only a cold and how strenuous can taking pictures, doing book keeping, posting, updating, proof reading, developing packaging be? I mean I do 90% of that from my living room.
On Sunday morning I could barely get out of bed. This after 3 weeks of sore throats, coughing, sneezing, ear aches.. What the heck? Are you not supposed to get better with time? Monday was a little worse but I continued to work and by Tuesday I was sure I was dying.  By this time I am now sputtering like a lawn sprinkler with every cough and Darren demands I see the Doctor. 
So here I am working from bed with a bad case of bronchitis.
Work is busy this week which is fantastic, the new line is selling fast and of course my reports were due today.. And well when what you eat is determines what you make... taking a day off seems a bit nuts.
However I was successful in getting my reports in on time, updated my bookkeeping, paid some bills, photographed new pieces and updated my website most from the comfort of bed. 
Here is are links to the new pieces and the new line 'Turq'ish delight:
iCANDY 
Silver Originals
'Turq'ish Delight
Fingerprints

All I can say is.. I am so glad Darren is home right now so I have been able to be cuddle mom only, which I have to say is a slice of heaven..
Being my own boss may have a lot of perks, and I have never been happier, but I do miss the benefits of corporate world.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Best of Vancouver

I am so excited!!! A friend emailed me the other day and let me know she voted for me in the Georgia Straight Best of Vancouver.  That is a huge thing for me, the fact that while filling out 200 responses in the voting questionnaire I came top of mind when entering the jewellery/accessories box.


Which then took me to the next obvious thing to do.. vote for myself.. and then forward to the 275 people on my facebook friend list... and now.. here I am "Blegging" Blog begging..

It was never even a possibility that I would be considered or have the ability to be voted for... but alas.. here I am now, begging any and all readers to please go to:
http://www.straight.com/bov 
 And vote for me!  You do not need to fill out all 200 questions, just the ones you have an opinion about.

If you find it in your heart to vote for me, I would be forever in debted.   One of the other questions was for best Vancouver Blog and I put my vote to
http://www.givelovecreatehappiness.com/blog.html

If you haven't read it, Wendy is a great writer, is always positive and has great recipes and fun stories,  you can sign up to have an email sent to you daily.  It is how I start every morning. 

Another great and hilarious blog to read is
www.aggraygate.blogspot.com
Unfortunately the writer is no longer from Vancouver otherwise.. it would have defiantly been a hard choice. 

I added a vote to the last page to "did we miss a category"  I added editor.. I have the worlds BEST editor, she is meticulous, friendly and offers awesome suggestions.  I have hired in the past and will only ever use her going forward:  
http://www.zeneditorial.com/
 If you need someone to edit your website, book, pamphlets... she is #1 in my books :)



That is my shameless self promotion and promotion of what I find worth while reads. 
Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

From Run Way to Sex in the City: A STORY OF VALIDATION

RETAIL THERAPY: Harper's Bazaar fashion editor says bold accessories please!

We were lucky enough to be invited to a red carpet event recently that Avril Graham, executive fashion and beauty editor, Harper’s Bazaar hosted.  It was a fabulous event, Avril was great to listen to with her whimsical British accent and passion for fashion.   She gave a great update on what is being shown on the runways for fall/winter 2010 and what is being seen on the street right now.  She spoke to the economy and what people are buying and not buying.  The best thing she said was people are buying simple pieces of clothing and dressing up with great accessories.  Big, bold, bright pieces of jewellery are all the rage. With a great piece of jewellery you can wear a dress you have had in your closet and make it look brand new again.

Big, chunky, bright accessories are no longer being reserved for evening wear. The trend is to wear great jewellery anytime of the day.  Our iCANDY collection would be fantastic with a simple pair of jeans or shorts and plain tank top, wear some great gladiator sandals and you have a perfect outfit that will take you all day and into the evening. 

I recently watched Sex in the City 2 and was so excited looking at the accessories.. especially when I kept recognizing pieces similar to my current line.  I felt this amazing warm fuzziness come over me and excitement I can't even begin to express,  like somehow I had made it. It was so great to see all the beautiful druzzies and large stones, it was a validation I didn't know I needed until I got it in the most unusual of places. I went to the movie to see what the characters were up to and left feeling like I had somehow made it.  

A big Thank You Carrie for making me see in bright lights, on a big screen that I am on the right path, and what I am doing, what I am thinking is good.. That I might just be great at what I do. 

And a big Thank You to Avril Graham, hearing you speak to me in colour, and texture left me inspired and yearning to come home and continue creating. 

Now, if Harper's Bazaar would show my line in the magazine, and Carrie was to wear my jewellery in the next sex in the City Movie..my life would be a perfect dream!  
The thought of opening my favourite magazine and seeing my designs looking back at me would be the cherry on top of my already blessed life. Just got goose bumps thinking about it.  Now time to get back to work, thanks for reading :)
 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Website Update and New line of fancy jewels

I have just come back from Las Vegas where I was able to get my hands on some amazing stones.
I have named my newest collection of original jewellery iCANDY.  It is made up of some beautifully coloured druzzie stones, silver, re-worked tiles, silks, rubies, gemstones.. it is tasty! I will be adding pieces on a regular basis as I get items completed and photographed.
I have also added an area where I will add my silver jewelry as it becomes ready to be sold.
I have updated my website to include the new pieces as well as included a few new areas.  Check it out at: www.alydahl.com

Here is a taste of the delicious new pieces:






Friday, May 14, 2010

Glee and Art

I have become obsessed with the TV show Glee.  The one liners, the music, the over the top acting and scripts make it a weekly must.  My facebook status updates now see to have more show one liners than my momentary thoughts and beliefs. 

The show this week made me stop and think of my high school experience, and of my children's soon to be school experience.  I was so fortunate to go to a school (Vic High) that had numerous arts programs and opportunities for students.  We didn't have a glee but we did have band, drama, photography, and art clubs.  I kind of wish there had been a glee club... I wonder if I would have tried out...I'd like to think yes, however 17 year old Aly Dahl was much "cooler" than the 33 year old Alyson Johnson.

Watching and reading the news about budget cuts and our government shortages makes me so scared for my kids. It seems every year a program gets cut,  and at what expense?
For my children I want all the opportunities that I had, so they can figure out what they love to do before they become the decision makers of the world.

Canadians are a pretty creative bunch,  there are not many of us (compared to other countries) but we seem to make a pretty big impact on the film, music, art and the fashion worlds. Where did we learn to be so creative?  Is it the cold/rainy winters being in-doors that leads us to finding a creative outlet from sheer boredom?  Is it something we are taught? Perhaps it was from growing up in an education system that encouraged creative thinking, and doing.

I pray for my kids that I can afford to send them to private school as I think we may soon be in for a very big education disaster. When did it become ok to stop teaching our children "how to" in many different ways, reading, writing, arithmetic, science, social studies, physical education, dance, music, art, photography, the list goes on and on...  When did we start treating children like a financial burden and more like cattle than what they truly are... the hope for the future. They are the ones after all who will be responsible to budgetary cuts to our old folks homes :) 
What is the message that is actually being sent to the citizens of tomorrow?  I know there is only so much money, and I know that times are tough, but I am worried that the wrong programs are being cut at a huge expense.  I know very little about the inner workings of the government, and after sitting on a strata council I have no interest what so ever to be in politics, but I do wonder.. how can it seem so simple to so many "regular" people yet be getting missed by the "brains" that run our country?

When I look back at my life, my love of design and working with my hands came in high school.  I had a great art teacher, Robin Stefanick who taught me to have confidence in my work.  And after years of working jobs I thought I should do,  I am now doing what I love to do.   I work in the creative world.  My job designing and making jewellery is of the creative work.   It make me wonder "would I be doing what I am doing today if I had not had the opportunities I had in high school?".

So all that being said.. I am so happy that shows like Glee are on TV and are good shows.  I believe we live in a media world and no matter when we left high school, we live in a high school society that follows the popular kids.  Perhaps with Glee, there is some hope for programs of creativity to exist in our schools because they are popular.  The more the kids are exposed to the more they will want to do, the more they want to do, the more they will learn.. and the smarter, stronger, healthier they are... the better off the world will be.

I am in the works to be teaching a jewellery making class at the local arts centre and although it will be adults I teach, I think the message is the same no matter the age.
"Your work is beautiful because you made it, someone, somewhere, will love it, if you do".  
We as people are able to do so many things and anything is possible if you make it possible. You just have to want to.


That is my rant for today.  If you are looking to order a Silver fingerprint Dog Tag for Fathers Day I am about to post a new option on my website : www.Alydahl.com for a smooth finished two print tag that is beautiful.  I just got in some amazing sterling silver ball chains to accompany the dog tags from Italy that are stunning.
Maybe if I get my act together I will do a blog on the dog tags in the next day or two... knowing me.. probably 3 :)    Have a great weekend,  and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Greatest compliment

Today I received the nicest compliment.  I was doing some research for my graphic designer.  I love working with people who not only get what I do but also always leave me feeling inspired.  If you need any graphic work I would highly recommend Cory at Exhibit A Design Group.

While I was doing some on line research, I found a lovely comment left by someone on a mom's blog.  I have no idea who left it, but it was so nice! So thank you whom ever left it!    The comment said they loved my work and wanted to order more pieces from me.    It is so funny how at times the little things we do can makes such a big impact on someone else!  I thank the person who left that comment,  it made a huge impact on me.  I truly appreciate it. 

I am always so curious of how people find out about me,  I have a received a lot of orders from Alberta the past few weeks.  I wonder if I am getting word of mouth referrals, perhaps another blogger mentioned my work, maybe it was simply a google search.  What ever it is,  I love it!  I love creating jewelry with meaning. True keepsakes.

I had a grandmother who ordered the granny charm bracelet send me an email a couple weeks ago,  saying how much she loves her bracelet and that she thinks it is the best keepsake she owns.  She wears it everyday.  She ordered a charm bracelet with all her grand kids fingerprints and her children are now ordering their prints to add to the bracelet for Mothers day.  It will look fantastic! That email made me fall even more in love with what I do.

Have I mentioned that I LOVE what I do?  18 months ago when I left corporate world was the last day I worked a day. Since then I have put so many hours focused on something that pays the bills, but I love it so much and it has never felt like a day of work.  
My father told me that if you do something you love, you will never work another day in your life again.    My Dad is a pretty special guy,  he also does something he loves.  He is a financial advisor in Victoria, BC,  and although markets have been tough the past few years he maintains a fabulous attitude and I think he is one of the smartest people I have ever met.   I have really great parents.


Here are few pictures of some items I have recently done:

 This is a family of fingerprint keepsake charms on a charm bracelet.  The necklace is of a dogs nose.

Here is a close up of the charm bracelet.  2 adult prints and 2 child prints on a hammered oval bracelet. 








"Charlie" This is a nose print pendant keepsake on a Figaro chain.









This is the current retail packaging for impression kits
(Cory at Exhibit A is helping re-brand and do up the new packaging)







Single fingerprint impression kit for retailers.  Looking to carry Aly Dahl Designs?
email: info@silverfingerprints.ca
To set up an account! Had to put that in there.. you never know who will read your blog.







Hope you have a wonderful day, remember the small things that make you smile make it all worth while.