Friday, February 17, 2012

A family affair

One of the wonderful things about my job is I am in contact with many lovely people & stories. Sometimes I never exchange more than a few emails, and sometimes it is strictly a business transaction and every now & then I get to hear stories.  Momentarily being brought into a family, knowing the story behind what I am creating and the special meaning the jewelry will have.

This past Christmas one order sticks out as one of those great moments in my job.  It was a phone order from a Grandma on the prairies who was getting her only grandson's fingerprint made into jewelry as his gift to his Aunt, his Mom and his Poppa.   I had an instant connection with the woman on the other end, it was like I had known her for years.  We came up with a gift for each person on her grandson's list and went to work. 
I love making each piece of jewelry I am commissioned for, but for some reason knowing the meaning behind these pieces brought a warmth to me as I made them.  Most of the time I will receive a lovely email from my customers after they receive their jewelry and every so often I get a phone call.    This particular order, I received a phone call.  Now I have to be totally honest, when you are an artist and you get a call you get nervous, did they like it.. was it what the expected.. all of your insecurities come up before you answer the call. 

I was moved to tears when I answered,  it was one of the best calls of my career.  I listened intently as she re-in acted the Christmas exchange and how each person who received a fingerprint pendant or key chain teared up.  And then she made me laugh, when she spoke of how she forgot to order one for herself and everyone teased her when they asked to see hers.

She may not know this, but I was in the Costco washroom with my son at the time of the call.  I am sure people thought I was crazy, laughing, crying, barely speaking.  That call made my day, no.. scratch that.. my week.  Now, when I am feeling insecure will look at the photo of the jewelry I made for her and smile.

Thank you to all the incredible clients I have, thank you for the tears, the smiles, the laughs and the fun, and especially for letting me into your lives for but a moment.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

BFF's come in all shapes & sizes

Most of my custom work is done with human finger or toe prints, however recently I have been gaining recognition and clientele looking to have their pets immortalized. 

Today I am highlighting 3 pieces I have done recently that I adore.

I often get the privilege of entering someones life for a moment, and get to share in their story.  Late last year I was contacted by a lovely woman in Australia who was going through the heartache of a terminally ill pet, something I could connect with and made me love this project even more.
This is Milay's paw print, I was saddened to hear of Milay's passing just after the print was taken. I am so glad I was able to capture her print in something her biggest fan could wear close to her heart forever.  

Christmas is often a hard time to find the perfect gift for the person with everything.  I was approached to make a quite a few unique items, here is one that I really love that was made for a gentleman.

This is a large golf ball marker with the owners dog's nose print on it.  I love how it turned out.  Here is the adorable Manny's very Manly nose 

The great thing about animal prints is the amount of detail you can pick out in the final product. Look close & you can see the fur & whisker lines on the nose.

This next piece was custom created for my cousin's girlfriend. Between them they have 3 beautiful dogs.  Wanting to get something that represented each of the dogs we created this necklace:

 As weight can become an issue for a wearable piece, we decided to do the nose print of the puppy & take the fingerprint of the larger dogs (yes dogs have fingerprints).  It is amazing how different the prints were between the two breeds of dog.  I am really happy how this turned out.  Talk about sentimental, totally unique & beloved.

I have been given a challenge to come up with something on a horse that I can print & that can be worn... So far everything looks huge.. Any idea's?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wow.. Way to Blog Aly

As it turns out the past year has been crazy good & busy.  Here I am in January, doing my annual business plan, when I decide to check out the last time I posted a blog.. Umm .. topic was Fathers Day. So it's been a while.

The summer was hard, after Fathers Day I suffered from extreme tendinitis and was actually worried about the future of my business.  What if it was something that would last forever? Would I be able to work?  The truth is, I am my business.  I am the artist, the sales department, the purchasing department, customer relations, book-keeper, marketing manager.. But without the ability to create with my hands I am none of those things.  To say the least, I was worried.

Luckily,  the summer is by far my quietest months for creating.  I typically work on my pret-a-porter line, or as we pronounce it in the west "ready to wear" line. Instead I took 2.5 months rest, and just around the same time as the fall orders rush started coming in, my hand and arm was feeling better.

So back to the grind I went.  Things had piled up on my break, not to mention the book keeping side of my brain had been on holiday since Jan 1st of 2011..  I found myself behind in everything. 

I finally made the big decision of hiring a book keeper.  I have to say hands down my smartest business move to date.  He is wonderful.  All I have to do is keep everything in a file & he magically tells me how much more I have to make to break even.  Heaven I say, Heaven.

Christmas was my best season to date, I was busier than ever and never happier.  I suppose having the threat of not being able to do what you love makes you love it even more.

I have been working on same great new fingerprint jewelry designs, as well as re-creating drawings from my kids into wearable silver art.  If you're interested contact me.  I hope to have them listed on soon. 

Hopefully I will remember to post again before June... if not.. Have a great Valentines, Mothers Day, Easter, Fathers Day...

Cheers,  Aly