Merry and Bright

Shiny, faceted, sparkly, bright - like holiday lights, the newest sulu-design pieces are ready to shine. The ones above will be available at Bonnet this Thursday. As part of first Thursday in the Pearl festivities, I'll be having a trunk show there from 5:30 'til 8 or 9 or so... just in time for the holidays. Hope to see you there.


As If I Didn't Have Packing to Tend To

I decided I needed to post about what's been swimming around my head, all because of requests for these:

Above are versions of the necklace I showed you in this post. I've gotten a few requests for them to be listed for sale on-line, but can't do so without a bit of an explanation - if only for my own sake. You can feel free to skip the explanation that will follow below. Because although I'll try to keep it short, keeping it short has never been my strong suit. If all you want to do is order one of the necklaces above and say poo to the explanation, here's what you need to know:

There are three necklaces available - one black and two citrus. They're each made of a string of seven chunky, matte resin cubes that hang in the center of silver-tone chain which closes with a lobster clasp. Each necklace is 30 inches long - the same length as the one I'm wearing in that photo. They're $38 each with free shipping worldwide. If you're interested in purchasing one, leave your e-mail address for me in the comment section of this post, along with the color that you're interested in. Please check the comments (if there are any) above yours if you leave one to see what's been claimed. I'll e-mail you a Paypal invoice which can be paid for by credit card and send your order out on November 27th (or, following that date, immediately after you place the order).

So... on to the stuff that's been swimming around in my head. This is the part most of you will want to skip. For years, I've struggled with the issue of pricing my jewelry. It's been hard for me to find a balance between the prices I charge on etsy, the prices I charge at markets and trunk shows, and the prices that the retail shops charge for my designs. You'd think the jewelry should be priced the same no matter where it's being sold. At least I'd think so. But it's not that easy.

The earrings I post in my etsy shop are usually priced between $15 and $18. Necklaces (when they actually make their way into the shop) are usually $25. This is noticeably less than the usual $28 - $32 price tag for earrings and $38 - $42 price tag for necklaces that you'll find in retail shops. Here's why. First, I've gotten into the habit of only listing older designs in my etsy shop. The pieces I post there are usually a season old (may I suggest that you think of them not as "old" but as aged, like a fine wine?). They may be designs that have been on consignment at a retail shop that never sold so I've retrieved them. They may be pieces in a style that I over-produced and therefore have a few remaining after a few months of having them in retail shops have passed. Whatever the reason, these pieces have lingered for a bit, so I essentially mark them down when I post them in my etsy shop.

There are things to consider about the nature of my on-line shop, too, that play a role in my etsy pricing. I don't accept returns or exchanges for my etsy shop sales. Certainly, if a customer is truly disappointed with a pair of earrings or a necklace that he/she orders from my etsy shop, I'll do what I can to make the customer happy. But it's not as easy as walking into a boutique and swapping one pair of earrings for another. The opportunity to exchange something if it doesn't work out (especially when gift-giving) is just one of several benefits to boutique shopping that I can't offer in my on-line shop - there's also the ability to choose from a rather wide variety of current designs, the chance to get the help/opinion of a shop gal, and the ability to touch and try on pieces before making a decision. The point is that while shopping on-line is convenient, I think there are lots of pluses to buying jewelry in a boutique setting that make the experience a little more valuable than purchasing on-line. These pluses are also a factor in the discrepancy between my retail and on-line prices.

The thing is, I've recently become interested in posting my current designs in my etsy shop, and I've gotten several requests from customers to do so. But I'm worried that without some explanation, my etsy shop customers will be turned off by the prices I need to charge for these super current pieces. I can't in good conscience list pieces in my etsy shop at a lower price than comparable pieces that are currently available at boutiques. I would never want to undercut the store owners who have been so good to me and to my sulu-design line. And honestly, these current styles have been selling well enought that I don't think there will be any leftovers to list in my etsy shop in a few months. I'd like to be able to offer them now to those of you who are interested in purchasing them but who don't live near a boutique that carries my line. So I'm going try offering new designs on-line at their retail prices. We'll see how this goes. If it goes smoothly, you may see current designs in the sulu-design etsy shop in the future at full retail price. No matter how it goes, you'll definitely continue to see older pieces at the on-line prices that you're used to.

If you made it this far, bless you. Any input is appreciated, but not expected. Okay... Must. Go. Pack.

Stuff and Junk

Blue corn pancakes at Byways will always rock my breakfast world.

Sandwiches at Meat Cheese Bread are so darn good, even if the guy at the counter has big-time hipster attitude.

We got a new rug that is making our place feel nice and cozy just in time. It's cold!

Two of my jewelry-making friends have great things going on now that you should know about. Jen and her designs are in a pop-up shop in downtown Portland through the end of the year. Jen made me one of my favorite pairs of earrings ever. And Betsy just had a grand opening of her shop in which you can find some really gorgeous new geometric pieces that I'm loving.

Happy Thanksgiving, my U.S. friends. I'll be in Cleveland all week - see you when I get back.


Dipping HIS Toes Back In

Barry's gotten back into action with his camera. He's been updating his photo blog. And he was kind enough to take a photo of my new necklace style I've been wearing a ton these days:

Truth be told, about eighty, maybe more like ninety percent of the designs I make never get photographed and posted here on my blog. Most designs go directly to the shops here in Portland, in New York, and in Sweden that carry sulu-design. Just this week, I made big drop-offs at Union Rose, Moxie, Bonnet, and Tumbleweed. You can find my most recent pieces there... pieces similar to the necklace in Cathy's blog post (scroll down once you click over) that flew out the door at Little Winter. This is just a little background information for a blog post I'll write soon. Remember I said I have a lot swimming around in my head?


Dipping My Toes Back In

Gosh, it took me a long time to get myself together after the Little Winter market. Little Winter was truly wonderful beyond anything that I could have hoped for. Abby and Chelsea really knocked it out of the park with all of their planning. Thanks to all of you who came out for it - it was so good to meet so many of you in person. The market was a bit overwhelming in the best way possible, and I needed some time to get back on track afterward. I've got lots of things swimming around in my head to write about, but they'll have to wait. First things first. A sulu-design shop update for those of you who are getting a jump on holiday shopping:

All of the above designs are now in the shop - click on the photos above to take you to direct listings. And please note: I ship all orders within 24 hours, but in four days Barry and I are headed to Cleveland to spend Thanksgiving with my family. Any orders placed between November 22th and 26th will be mailed on the 27th. I can't wait to meet my new nephew Luca, to see my wonderful big brother (happy 40th, Peter!) and his wife, to see my sister, her husband and their kids (happy birthday to you, too, Mari), and of course, my sweet parents (got a big anniversary coming up, huh?). Back tomorrow.


It's On... Again!

I'm psyched for day two of Little Winter. Yesterday was absolutely wonderful. There are so many great vendors with beautiful products at the market, and such good friends and nice customers stopped by that I was pretty much beaming all day. The sun is out, the sky is blue... it's going to be another fabulous day at Little Winter.


I'm A Dork; My Coworkers Rock

For weeks now, I've been really excited for the Little Winter market this weekend - for the get-together Friday evening and for two (hopefully) great days at the Cleaners at the Ace Hotel on Saturday and Sunday. I've been excited to check out the other vendors' goods, to see Abby for the first time since she moved to Austin from Portland, to see lots of friends, and to meet new people. But truth be told, the excitement has been overshadowed by nervousness and intimidation this week. As I look at the list of vendors who will be at the sale, I'm feeling out of my league. I'm particularly worried about my table presentation. I've only done a handful of trunk shows and craft fairs, so I don't have go-to display pieces or a usual plan for setting things up. I've been putting off preparing my display for a while now, but with one week until the market, it was finally time to bite the bullet. I set a modest budget for myself and hit Goodwill. Simple wooden boxes + a neutral color-scheme + a few pine cones tossed in will hopefully add up to a simple, pretty table that will my jewelry well.

In unrelated news, I just wanted to share that my boss and coworkers rock. Last week, they surprised me with awesome birthday gifts that they made, which really warmed my heart. From the beautiful screen-printed napkins below to hand knit wrist warmers, from a jar of homemade pickles to an adorable skirt, I received gifts from them that were really sweet and special to me. Thanks, ladies.