Tag Archive: beach


20130818-170328.jpg

FROM THE BRIDGE TO THE BEACH

I am just wrapping up a crazy busy weekend that began with a very fun work event at Campbell’s Field where I watched the Camden Riversharks, a local minor leaguer baseball team. One of my favorite things about the ballpark is its stunning views of the Ben Franklin Bridge and the Philadelphia skyline. Very early the next morning, I had to head east about 60 miles for a beach craft show in my former hometown of Ventnor.

20130818-170858.jpg

JUST A LAID BACK BEACH TOWN

Ventnor is simply a laid back little town that lies between Atlantic City and Margate on Absecon Island. It has a boardwalk, which, unlike its northern neighbor, has no casinos or other businesses, making it ideal for walking, running, or cycling. All of the pizza places deliver right to the beach. And, unlike the resort towns of Ocean City and Wildwood, there are no weekly renters. Just the beach and the community…very quiet and so lovely! For close to eight years, I called Ventnor home, and I miss it quite terribly in the summertime. I was very pleased when the opportunity arose to participate as a vendor in the towns’s annual Ocean Breeze Arts and Craft Show.

20130818-171932.jpg

BOHO ECO CHIC

This show was my second official craft show. (I participated in one last month that was a great learning experience, but rather slow with the foot traffic.) It was also the second opportunity I had to work with my friend, Alison, who owns Back Alley Chic, and creates amazing tote bags, aprons, and pillows from recycled coffee sacks. My rustic leather and recycled glass jewelry is a perfect complement to her earthy and eco friendly bags. While I am by no means an expert on craft shows, one piece of advice I feel confident in giving is to find a buddy and rent a double space like we did. We had a large area to create an inviting space where customers could feel comfortable browsing. By co-mingling our items, we also kept our displays very interesting.

20130818-172934.jpg

WORKING OUT THE DETAILS

For my displays, I chose natural wood finishes to complement, rather than complete with my jewelry. Since I use glass beads that have a matte seaglass quality, I was afraid stark black or white displays would not have as positive an effect as it does on more traditionally styled jewelry. I used my extensive seashell collection to accent the display. I also decided to display prints that tell the story of both types of recycled glass beads I use. I got many questions and comments on the recycled glass from Indonesia and Africa, enough that it was a definite selling point. Many customers also took photos of the prints or asked if I had copies for them so they could share the stories of the glass bracelets they purchased. Something to consider for the next show…

20130818-173857.jpg

INDONESIAN RECYCLED GLASS BEADS

Recycled glass beads from Bali, Indonesia are made from molten fritters of colored glass, creating a soft beach glass effect. I source my beads from a small Indonesian-owned company that believes in sustaining green principles and supports the ecosystem by using discarded items such as bottles, jars, and windows as crude materials. Each bead is individually handmade using centuries old techniques passed down generation by generation. This crude process does not use chemicals —a green process of bead production. It also helps to keep the beaches of one of my favorite places in the world clean!

20130818-174008.jpg

AFRICAN RECYCLED GLASS BEADS

These amazing beads are made by the Krobo People of Ghana, Africa. They are made by pressing glass into a fine powder and heating it until the particles fuse together. The glass is then poured in clay molds and the stem of a cassava leaf is used to make the bead hole. The beads are then baked in an oven, causing the glass to melt together and the stem to burn. This technique has been used in Africa for centuries. These beads are also Fair Trade Certified. The end result is an amazing piece of eco-chic jewelry!

20130818-174342.jpg

All in all the show was a successful outing. The day was perfect: not too hot with a glorious breeze coming off the ocean! The crowd was great, I far exceeded my sales expectations and I handed out many, many business cards. It is definitely a show I plan to line up for next summer. It also gave me a chance to meet up with two of my dearest friends, Sue and Ingrid, who were so gracious and modeled some of Alison’s amazing creations.

20130818-174753.jpg

Ingrid shopping for some unique burlap throw pillows.

20130818-174852.jpg

Sue modeling the adorable burlap bag she purchased for her daughter.

Please check out Alison’s Etsy shop for more of her fabulous one-of-kind items:

Back Alley Chic

Thanks for stopping by! Until next time…peace, love and flip flops!
~Erin

20130303-172613.jpg

I am planning on participating at two craft shows at Cold Springs Village in Cape May this summer. I am very excited – and a little nervous! – since this is my first “real” craft show outing. I participated in a house party this past holiday season, where 5 of us from my South Jersey Etsians Team set up tables at our Team Captain’s house for a fun grassroots craft fair. It was a great experience and a perfect trial run to see how my display works. The photo above shows the setup I used to display my Betty Bracelets – beachy macrame pieces accented with recycled glass beads.

WHAT WORKED

I really like the light wood T-bar displays – the color complements, rather than overpowers, the brown leather, and the natural texture of the wood works well with the rustic style of the jewelry. I basically placed a bracelet display in front of the taller necklace display for some interesting height contrast. I think the contrast worked well also. I also love the look of the casually strewn seashells to complete the beach theme.

WHAT CAN BE IMPROVED?

While the display is visually appealing, it was not as welcoming as I would have liked it to be. I packed so many bracelets in the display that most potential customers were afraid to remove any to try on for fear of a bracelet avalanche. Also, all of the prices were listed on tiny tags on each bracelet. Many potential customers prefer to shop at their own pace and often do not like to ask for assistance until they are ready to purchase. Even though I did list all of the prices, they were not as easy to read because of the tightly packed issue.

The simplest solution was to purchase more T-bars. I now have four (2 necklace and 2 bracelet) so I can display fewer pieces on each. I also found some other great display ideas that welcome the client and encourage trying on my jewelry.

20130303-180840.jpg

This half moon display allows me to showcase 2-3 unbuttoned bracelets, which will definitely encourage potential customers to try them on. I also like that the natural wood matches my other displays. I purchased it from the Etsy shop Notable Notions for $8.00 with $4.95 shipping. Here is a link to their website:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/NotableNotions

20130303-183827.jpg

I just love these two latest editions to my setup! The mini chalkboards are such a fun way to list prices – plus I don’t have to bother with all of those tiny tags! I want to keep it simple with these Cape May shows and price my bracelets with only 3-4 options, based on the size of the beads. With these signs and the extra T-bars, I can segregate the bracelets by price, making a very easy and enjoyable shopping experience. Four of these chalkboard signs are available from the Etsy shop, Braydens Grace, for $18.00 with $4.00 shipping. For an extra $5.50, you may also want to order the wipe-off chalk pen – less messy than regular chalk!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/BradensGrace

I am introducing a line of children’s bracelets – Lil’ Betty’s – at both my Etsy shop and the craft show. I was originally going to put them in a basket, so little hands can have fun sorting through all of the pretty colors, but I found this gorgeous squamosal clam shell and thought it fit the bill perfectly. It is about 8 inches wide by six inches deep and is quite heavy, so it will not topple over in wind. Check out the ruffled detail on the underside:

20130303-185604.jpg

I purchased this beauty from the Etsy shop Seashells by Seashore. The price tag seemed a bit hefty at $20.00 with $10.95 shipping, but was actually quite comparable for this size seashell.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/seashellsbyseashore

SERENDIPITY BLU IS IN THE PINK!

20130303-190127.jpg

I have gorgeous 2 inch square business cards that I absolutely love, but they are small and I was concerned they would get lost amongst everything else on my display table. I was going to order my regular design in a larger 3 inch square, but then I found these hot pink merchandise bags I purchased as a closeout a few years ago. I thought it would be fun to match the larger cards to the bags for the summer shows rather than stick with my signature aqua blue. I chose this design, which is actually a variation on a promotional magnet I recently designed. I especially love the vintage typewriter print on the back of the card! I purchased these from my usual vendor, Uprinting, and I was just as pleased as I always am with their quality and service.

20130303-191109.jpg

I glued seashells onto wooden clothes pins to act as anchors for my cards so they will not blow away in the ocean breeze. I plan to put 3-4 small bunches of cards around the table to encourage more customers to help themselves.

I am hoping these enhancements to my setup will encourage more serious browsing and potential sales. Keep you posted!

Thanks for stopping by!

Shanti,
Erin

20130203-185845.jpg

I love shopping at boutiques. Not only do they typically have more unique items than larger chain stores, they also take such care in packaging your purchases. Etsy is basically a huge online collection of individually owned boutiques and, in my many Etsy purchases, I have found some very creative packaging ideas. I just recently received a necklace I acquired through one of my regular BNR’s. The artisan recycled a full color ad from a magazine (it was a higher end publication with thicker pages) and folded it into a fancy pouch, tied with raffia. Another purchase yielded a lovely handmade pillow box. More fragile items have come in jewelry boxes of all sizes and colors. When I first started selling on Etsy, I wrapped my jewelry in turquoise organza pouches and packaged them in glossy sea green boxes with a blue mermaid seal. It was a beautiful look, but really did not match the rustic quality of my jewelry…

20130203-191629.jpg

This is one of my newest Betty’s, Brandon Bay. It is named for one of the most popular surf spots on the Emerald Island. The vibrant green recycled glass beads and antique brass rose toggle make it a perfect accent for any Irish beach bum (like me!), introduced with St. Patty’s Day in mind. If you would like to view details and more photos of this bracelet, please fee free to click on this link:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/122519004/macrame-leather-bracelet-irish-green

A great deal of care was taken in the execution of this bracelet. Matching the right toggle and leather to the beads to give it both an Irish and a surfer feel; researching and finding the perfect name; and taking just the right photos to capture its true beauty. Not taking care in the packaging of this item is really quite comparable to skipping dessert after a delicious meal. While it is not necessary, it is an appreciated finishing touch.

20130203-193016.jpg

After I completed my branding exercises, I determined my image is beach-rustic. An appropriate packaging theme for this image would utilize natural colors and textures. I wrap each item in these unbleached cotton muslin bags – I like that these bags can be re-used – very eco-friendly! I decided to continue to use traditional jewelry boxes since most of my jewelry is made with chunky glass beads and I want to be certain it arrives safely at its destination, but now I have chosen a kraft finish (made of recycled materials!) to better complement my theme. I also tie a fun bow around the box with hemp cord for a finishing touch. I then ship it in a padded kraft mailer (also made with recycled materials).

20130203-194148.jpg

In my previous post, Building a Brand, I discussed some of my marketing material. These three items are included with each and every purchase. Of course, I always include my business card (these square ones are from Uprinting). I also tie one of these Dolphin Bead Designs kraft jewelry tags around each bracelet with hemp cord for a personalized and professional accent. I also always say “thank you” to my customers with a coupon card for a 10% discount on their next purchase. These free (only pay $5 for shipping!) mini cards from Moo printing are such a great deal, I am including the link again:

http://us.moo.com/partner/etsy-minicard-trial?utm_source=etsy&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=minitrial

20130203-195206.jpg

I love when I receive an Etsy package with some free goodies in it! Most suppliers will often send a few loose beads as a way of saying thanks. I was looking for a unique freebie to say thank you to my customers who make a sizable purchase ($50 or more). This magnet evolved from several ideas. When I recently attended a marketing mixer with some of my fellow Etsians, one artisan suggested I turn my business card into a magnet since she felt it was such an attractive photo. I then started to toy around with the idea of a magnet as a free gift – it is wonderful advertising for my shop. In my branding post, I made a graphic to illustrate the words that describe me with an image of one of my bracelets in the background:

20130203-200350.jpg

I really liked the vibe of this graphic, but I was not sure that I wanted to use an image of my jewelry. I decided to be a little more abstract and feature an image of the beach since I market to beach lovers. I chose a photo I had taken at my former home, Ventnor City, NJ, during sunrise. I always loved the soft colors of this image:

20130203-201002.jpg

I ran this photo through my Image Chef iPad app to crop it to a square and to add the fun text. I finished with my FOTOLR HD iPad app to add my website address and a little distressing around the edges. I ordered one magnet from Zazzle to test the design, and, I am thrilled to report, it came out beautifully! I also received a discount code with my order for 10% off my next order. So here is the math: I plan to order 24 magnets for $2.17 each after my discount. Zazzle also offers free shipping on orders of $50 or more, so my cost per item will not increase. I think this is a great price for a free gift that really doubles as advertisement.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope I have offered some inspiration in designing your packaging for your craft. I would love to hear about any creative ideas anyone else has through the comments section.

Shanti,
Erin

shopping for spring

20130113-142604.jpg

I am definitely a warm weather gal, and it most evident when one investigates my January shopping trends. Most of my friends are rooting through the clearance racks for rock bottom prices on sweaters, coats, and boots. I, on the other hand, am perusing the new arrivals on the websites of my favorite brands. My style is beach casual and I tend to own a few high quality pieces rather than several discount items. I firmly believe that, if you are wearing more than flip flops, you are overdressed. I also love color, and this year I am swooning over coral and aqua blue!

20130113-143525.jpg

DHARA DRESS

I love, love, love this Dhara Dress in Tide Blue by Athleta! The hue is reminiscent of tropical waters, the fit is quite flattering (it is available in petite…yay!), and it packs well – very important for a gypsy like me! You can view the full listing here:

http://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=89745&vid=1&pid=406746&mlink=46831,5927263,SDDhara1_1&clink=5927263

PANIOLO FLIP FLOPS

Olu Kai is a Hawaiian-based company. Olu is Hawaiian for comfort, and Kai, ocean. I bought my first pair of their Paniolo flip flops in Tobacco (a rich deep brown) last year, and they made it through three vacations and two music festivals comfortably and fashionably. The quality is high, so do not be overwhelmed by the $85 price tag – you’ll be strolling down the beach in them for years to come. For this spring, I’d like to buy the lighter Dune that is pictured here. More details are available here:

http://www.olukai.com/Product_AllWomens_Paniolo_20129-2020.aspx

20130113-145213.jpg

A perfect accent to the beautiful aqua blue dress is my Polu Kai (Hawaiian for Blue Water) Pendant. It is genuine seaglass wrapped in silver wire and accented with opalescent Swarovski crystals. It is completed with a soft tan sueded cord with a handmade silver clasp. For more photos and ordering information, please view this link to my Etsy shop:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/105551320/polu-kai-aqua-blue-sea-glass-pendant

20130113-145947.jpg

This Hanalei Bay Bracelet, also from my Etsy shop, is another beautiful accessory for your spring ocean tones. It is named for a popular surf spot on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. It is crafted with delicate pale bottle green (think vintage Coke bottle) recycled glass beads, woven with soft distressed light brown leather. The Aloha look is finished with a lovely white-washed copper hibiscus toggle. Additional photos and information is available here:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/105552958/hanalei-bay-pale-bottle-green-hibiscus?ref=v1_other_2

20130113-151134.jpg

TILLY TOP

I just adore the vibrant coral pink color and easy fit of this Lucky Brand Tilly Top! It is a soft tone-on-tone paisley pattern with a versatile 3/4 length – perfect for early spring or summer evenings! I would pair it with skinny denim capris. More information can be viewed here:

http://www.luckybrand.com/Paisley-Tilly-Top/LBW02413,default,pd.html?navid=search

AUSTIN ZIP POUCH

While I am utilitarian when it comes to shoes, I am quite the handbag junkie! Fossil is my favorite brand, and I possess a very impressive collection! This Saddle Austin Zip Pouch will most certainly be the latest addition! The small size (only 7×5) makes it perfect to slip into a larger tote bag or to carry your essentials on a night out. Details are listed here:

http://www.fossil.com/en_US/shop/women/categories/handbag_collections/austin_handbags/austin_zip_pouch-sl3933p.html?parent_category_rn=331133&departmentCategoryId=331097&pn=c&cm_vc=339084&imagePath=SL3933216

20130113-163458.jpg

The soft coral pink of the recycled glass and the light distressed leather of my Kaihalulu Betty Bracelet perfectly complement the shades of the top and bag. Kaihalulu is a red sand beach in a secluded cove on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Details on this chunky surfer girl bracelet can be seen here:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/119571944/kaihalulu-coral-pink-hibiscus-recycled

Thanks for stopping by…I hope you have enjoyed my fashion selections. Be sure to check back for more warm weather finds!

Shanti,
Erin

surf’s up, santa!

20121121-223311.jpg

Santa is on his way! He has his longboard ready and is planning to hit all of the major surf spots near the North Pole as he begins his epic ride. Here is sure to surf Sola Beach in Norway:

20121121-223619.jpg

https://www.etsy.com/listing/113943648/sola-beach-limited-winter-edition-blue

He will also be stopping at Toro Beach in Sweden:

20121121-223801.jpg

https://www.etsy.com/listing/113942720/toro-beach-limited-holiday-edition-green?ref=v1_other_2

He’ll also be heading out to Ollie’s Point on Iceland:

20121121-224000.jpg

https://www.etsy.com/listing/114609831/ollies-point-limited-edition-frosty-aqua

And his final stop will be White Point in Nova Scotia:

20121121-224155.jpg

https://www.etsy.com/listing/113944252/white-point-limited-winter-edition-icy

In honor of Santa’s annual ride, I am offering 10% off your entire purchase this holiday season at my Etsy Store, Serendipity Blu. Simply use coupon SURFSANTA10 at checkout:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/serendipityblu?ref=si_shop#

20121121-224651.jpg

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and a Holiday Season filled with peace, love, and joy!

~Erin

Betty is slang for a female surfer. The Betty Bracelets are my updated version of the great surfer-style bracelets I would adorn during my youth at the Jersey Shore. The design begins with super soft distressed leather woven in a classic macrame pattern. Recycled glass beads add a colorful yet rustic accent and a beach-inspired button anchors the design. These are fun, chunky bracelets and they are perfect for layering.

Each Betty Bracelet is named for a famous surfing spot. The hibiscus bracelet, Bonzai Pipeline, is the fabled break on Oahu’s North Shore. The mermaid bracelet, Cloudbreak, is a popular surf spot in Fiji:

20121104-155900.jpg

20121104-155916.jpg

Recycled glass beads from Indonesia are made from molten fritters of colored glass, creating a soft beach glass effect. I source my beads from a small Indonesian-owned company that believes in sustaining green principles and supports the ecosystem by using discarded items such as bottles, jars, and windows as crude materials. Each bead is individually handmade using centuries old techniques passed down generation by generation. The end result is an amazing piece of eco-chic jewelry!

20121104-160301.jpg

REcologie, an amazing green boutique in Larchmont, NY, carries my Betty Bracelets and well as my Mermaid Tears Seaglass Pendants:

20121104-160913.jpg

The entire Betty Bracelet Collection can be viewed (and purchased!) here:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/serendipityblu?section_id=11479392

Shanti,
Erin

I am a free spirit, a gypsy, an artisan, a jewelry junkie, a music lover, a beach bum, and an intrepid traveler. This blog is to celebrate the bohemian lifestyle and to accessorize it with original designs from my Etsy shop, Serendipity Blu.

Here is a sampling of some of my boho beach chic pieces:

20121104-154252.jpg

20121104-154323.jpg

20121104-154339.jpg

Be sure to visit my Etsy shop to see my entire line:

www.serendipityblu.etsy.com

Shanti,
Erin

%d bloggers like this: