Dressing Up Your Summer Basics July 15, 2015 10:42
Summer is a time to take a step back, relax, and enjoy the simpler things in life. It's warm, and we seek adventures out in the bright sunshine. Because of this, Summer often calls for dressing more for comfort and functionality than style.
It's a fine line between comfortable and unkempt, though. Often I find myself dressed, yet needing a little something extra to look pulled together. The good news is that accessories can effortlessly dress up those summer outfits when occasion calls for it, without losing that freedom of movement we are all craving. A little splash of shiny metal adds some sparkle to any outfit, and gives the appearance that at least a little thought was put into your appearance.
Try adding some dainty pieces mixed together for a more boho look, or a large statement piece to draw the eye to something more elaborate on a simple outfit. The great thing about many of our pieces at Applepear is their versatility. Our more dainty pieces can be left on as you switch outfits from day to day, or can simply be mixed and matched so there is little thought required. Even our more elaborate pieces still maintain a classic appeal so you don't have to worry about whether it distracts from whatever else you have on.
Shown above, clockwise from top left:
Lacebark Hoop Earrings, Yellowwood Long Necklace, Lacebark Bracelet, Sweetgum Bracelet in Mint Green, Tuliptree Bangles both Mint Green and Labradorite.
Happy 4th of July! July 1, 2015 12:28
America The Beautiful
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine!
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
- Katharine Lee Bates
"Meet The Creative" Interview on A Not So Model Life June 24, 2015 16:18
I met Priscilla a couple of months ago the old fashioned way - online. Ok, maybe not so old fashioned. Her company, Applepear Jewelry, was growing quickly and she needed to grow her team along with it. Since then I have worked with Priscilla on a number of projects, and I have had an opportunity to get to know her a bit in the process.
Priscilla juggles a career in engineering, a thriving creative business, and a family. Her entrepreneurship, dedication, management skills, and creativity are so inspiring. Oddly enough I also know a couple amazing photographers who transitioned from working as engineers. So, what is the deal with you engineers being so creative?? I couldn't wait to ask Priscilla some questions and dig into the winding career path she's on!
What is your education and work background?
I majored in Chemical Engineering at Cornell University. I've worked in finance, scheduling, manufacturing, and now project management.
What made you decide on engineering?
I went into engineering because it was something I was good at, and I loved math.
Was there ever a time while you were at school that you felt maybe you weren't on the right path?
College was really hard for me. I didn't get great grades, but I really imagined myself working on a manufacturing floor. By senior year I was burnt out on engineering, took a fashion design course, and was actually on the path to being a buyer at Macy's (though that didn't pan out)!
What have you learned throughout your engineering career that is serving you now in your jewelry business?
My engineering background has such a positive impact on all aspects of my life. It's taught me how to problem solve and analyze situations. Working in the engineering world has given me a lot of discipline in organization, timelines, attention to detail, and professionalism. I'm extremely good at budgeting and analyzing numbers, which is a huge part of business - even a creative business.
When did you start making jewelry, and how did you get interested in it? At what point did it strike you that it could become a business venture?
I've made jewelry since I was a little girl. I sold lanyard necklaces out of my Lisa Frank art box at grade school! I started making jewelry again about ten years ago. I bought some sterling silver and Swarovski crystals to make earrings for myself. With the extra materials I made another pair of earrings and sold them on Ebay to someone in Hawaii. The thought of someone wearing my creation in Hawaii got me giddy, and that feeling was addicting. I started taking the business seriously about two years ago when my husband encouraged me to.
What effect does your family have on your endeavors?
I'm really lucky that my husband is so supportive supportive of my business. He takes the girls on daddy outings sometimes so I can get work done. On the weekends I usually only work when the girls are napping/sleeping. Making sure I have quality time with both my kids and husband definitely makes me limit how much time I spend working, which is a good thing! When running a business you never run out of things to do, so sometimes you just have to cut yourself off and say, "that's good for now."
Is work/life balance something that's really attainable?
To me, family is number one. Work is inserted. However, in my mind, my business isn't just work. It is fun, my passion, and a part of who I am.
What inspires you?
Everything inspires me! If I had a choice, I would just be crafting and creating all day every day. I see an empty bottle and I want to decorate it. I see a piece of paper and I want to make a card. I see a flower and I want to paint it.
How would you describe your personal style?
Casual, comfortable, and usually simple.
What are your favorite books?
My all time favorite books are Brave New World, and Joy Luck Club.
Do you have a personal motto, or mantra?
I've been trying to go by "I am capable. I can do this. It will get done." Easier said than done!
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Just one thing? I'd probably change a lot! But the top one would be "not getting so easily frustrated." With all the things I want to do, I feel like I'm thinking and moving at warp speed all the time. Hitting road bumps just really throws me off!
I love that you have very intelligently organically grown your company from a small hobby into a larger business flourishing online and in boutiques. Can you describe how your thought process has had to evolve with the scope of the company?
I always knew I eventually wanted to have my jewelry in major stores and all over the world, but I didn't really know how I was going to do it. I took some classes, got some advice from a friend, and started making a plan. Mapping out long term goals and daily goals in calendars helped a lot. It made the tasks feel more doable.
Starting a new venture does require a lot of learning as you go. Looking back on the process of starting Applepear, what would you have prioritized differently if you knew what you know now?
Starting my business came with some costly mistakes. The costliest was hiring a web designer, which went terribly. I ended up scrapping that whole website and going with Squarespace, which was cheap and easy. I also went through a period where I was just buying up lots of pretty raw materials, without any plans on what I was going to do with them. In general though, I started small and set bigger and bigger goals. It was a good strategy for me since I had a limited amount of time to work on my business - with my young family and other full time job.
What is your design process like?
My design process goes in spurts. I'll often start with a color, stone, or shape for inspiration. The collection will morph as I make pieces. Not all the pieces make it into the collection!
How would you describe your brand? Do you believe it's an extension of you personally, or is it a design concept?
I like to think of my brand as quality, beautiful, and caring. I think my personality definitely extends into my brand. I personally love making people special, so that is what I hope my jewelry does.
Happy Father's Day June 17, 2015 17:43
Celebrate Your Graduate May 15, 2015 17:37
It's that time of year! Grad season! Celebrating one of life's great achievements, graduating from High School or College, is something families across America look forward to for years. There are few prouder moments for a parent than to see their child walk across that stage, moving towards their dreams. Finding gifts to mark such an accomplishment can be a little daunting! Knowing this all too well, we at Applepear have decided to compile some of our favorite gift ideas for you. We hope it will spur your imagination!
Congratulations to all of you hard working graduates and supportive loved ones!
1. Q&A a Day, Five Year Journal
This is such a fun idea for being able to keep track of this exciting time in life! For each date you answer the question on the page, and as the years pass you are able to review old answers as you write new ones. Very cool!
2. Marble and Gold Laptop Case
Your graduate will be super stylish with this gorgeous Marble and Gold laptop case by Janet Gwen Designs. It's sort of the modern-day equivalent to buying them a new briefcase, we think!
3. Applepear Tuliptree Bangle
There is something quite special about receiving jewelry for graduation. It's something that's both timeless and can be worn as a constant reminder that hard work pays off. We love our Tuliptree Bangle for just such an occasion - sturdy and versatile it's a piece that can be worn again and again.
4. FujiFilm Instax Share Smartphone Printer
Help your loved one document the next phase of their life with this super fun instant film printer. The images come out looking just like polaroids! Connects easily with a free app on their smartphone device.
5. Bkr - Reusable Glass Water Bottle
This is a gift that will be used again and again (there's a theme here, we like quality!). This Bkr bottle is without a doubt the most stylish water bottle we've ever seen - worthy of carrying everywhere you go! We love that the container itself is glass, not plastic! Available in a multitude of colors.
Unique LA! May 6, 2015 17:24
If you are a Los Angeles resident you won't want to miss the Unique LA Spring Market this weekend! We've heard amazing things about it and are so excited to be a part!
Unique LA boasts 350 curated vendors whose goods are all American made. They'll also be featuring free drinks and snacks, free roses for mom's on Mother's Day, a photo booth, and a DIY station! Can we say FUN? Hope to see you there! Be sure to visit Applepear at booth T69, conveniently located between the bar and lounge!
Mother's Day Giveaway April 29, 2015 17:22
To celebrate Mother's Day Applepear is spreading the love! We've teamed up with 11 other jewelry designers on Instagram to give away 12 different prizes to 12 different winners!
Applepear is excited to give away as our prize a $30 store credit! Log onto Instagram and follow these instructions to complete the circle of designers for your chance to win!
Happy Mother's day to all of you amazing women!
1. Follow @applepearjewelry
2. Like our giveaway Instagram post (it looks like the picture above).
3. Tap on the photo to to reveal the next jewelry designer participant. Click on that designer's name to go to their profile. Follow them, like their post, and repeat!
4. Want an extra entry? Tag a friend in the post comments! Every tag is another entry!
Please remember you must follow everyone in the loop to qualify. All entries must be submitted by 4/30 by 11:59pm Eastern. US and CAN residents only. The winners will be announced on 5/1. Good luck!
Introducing the Hanger Necklace April 22, 2015 17:09
It was another one of those times that meeting a customer in person inspired a piece. I was doing a show at the California Market Center in downtown Los Angeles, when a customer asked if I could make a tiny hanger on a necklace. When I made it, it was so adorable, I just had to keep it in the permanent collection.
It is just perfect for people who love clothes, people who love to organize (that's me!), stylists, buyers, fashionistas, and all around stylish people.
Aside from being cute, this necklace is out to do good in the world! 10% of the profits of the sales of this necklace will go to Dress For Success.
"Dress for Success is a global not-for profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life."
Something Custom for Mother's Day! April 15, 2015 17:06
Are you a mom? Do you have a mom? Treat your favorite mom to something unique for Mother's Day! Here are some ideas on how to make a piece of jewelry just for you (or her):
1. Add an initial - It can be mom's initial, her kids' initials, or even her grandkids' initials
2. Choose a metal - Almost all my pieces can be done in rose gold, gold, or silver
3. Choose a stone - Does mom have a favorite stone or a favorite color? Maybe mom wants her kids' or grandkids' birthstones.
4. Make it a set - It can be earrings and a bracelet, a bracelet and a necklace, a ring and earrings...whatever mom wears!
Want to create something custom, but there are just so many options? I know it can be overwhelming, which is why I'm here! Just fill out a custom order form, and I will work with you step by step to make your perfect gift a reality!
Why I Love Custom Orders April 9, 2015 17:04
I love making people's jewelry dreams (or may times just a vague idea) into a glittering reality.
I once had a bride tell me she liked my Duet Necklace, but wanted something dangling in the back because she had a backless wedding dress. I did a little sketch, and included some pictures of the materials. She wanted to confer with her maid of honor and mom before making the final decision. I guess they had unanimously loved it because a couple of days later, the maid of honor contacted me to purchase the necklace for her friend as a birthday present!
I have a regular customer who often gives me very open ended requests for her custom orders because she's already familiar with my work, and I'm familiar with her taste. She requested some "rectangle earrings with all turquoise beads." I knew by turquoise, she meant some mint green Swarovski crystals I've used before. It was so fun to take her fairly undefined requirements and turn them into a tangible, wearable work of art!
There are few things more exiting to me than hear someone squeal in delight the first time they put something on that I have designed and created. It's why I keep doing this!
Spring Has Sprung April 1, 2015 17:01
Easter is just a few days away, the sun is shining, and my cherry tree has its first blossoms. It's officially spring (as of March 20) and I can't wait to show off my white pants, florals, and pastels accessories.
My choice for white pants are skinny capri jeans. I think some white wide legged trousers would also be really cute. Floral sundresses are always gorgeous, but I seldom wear dresses. Like I said in my previous blog post, I live in t-shirts, so a floral tee is my choice to rock the print. Don't forget that wide brimmed hat for sun protection =)
And now the accessories, my favorite part of course! Nature inspired earrings, like my Basswood Studs go with any spring outfit. A springy mint green necklace and bracelet add a fresh and feminine touch.
My Favorite Outfit March 19, 2015 16:58
I want to be stylish AND comfortable (sometimes that just seems impossible!) I like flats and stretchy clothing, especially since I'm crawling and chasing after 2 toddlers! My uniform of choice is t-shirt and jeans, especially in my favorite color, mint green! I'm a huge fan of skinny jeans with a bit of stretch. My favorite brand these days is J Brand. I'm also in love with my Sam Edelman calf hair sneakers. They feel like sneakers, but look a bit more polished. My jewelry has to be just as stylish and comfortable.
My Sweetgum chandelier earrings dangle, but are practically weightless. My Sweetgum ring is fun with its danglies and twisted rose gold texture, but still out of the way!
Twisted Wire March 12, 2015 16:41
I love the look of twisted wire. It's can give beautiful texture while keeping a delicate look. Making the twisted wire is actually fun. I use a simple hand drill with a little wall hook inserted and a pair of pliers. I had to get a little creative to hold the wire and turn the drill at the same time. Check out my little video to see how I made some twisted rose gold wire.
Introducing Breastfeeding Awareness Necklaces March 3, 2015 16:37
I was a little nervous today to unveil this necklace that I’ve been working on for the last 6 months. The project is dear to my heart.
In September of 2014, I discovered the International Breastfeeding Symbol. From www.breastfeedingsymbol.org : "It can be used by ordinary people to express their support for breastfeeding and to help get the word out that it is normal. It can be used by shopkeepers, restaurant owners, and other brick-and-mortar businesses to let customers know that breastfeeding is welcome inside. Where available, it can be used to indicate the presence of a nursing room."
I loved breastfeeding my two daughters. The first month with the first daughter was REALLY rocky. There was a lot of crying (both her and me). I wouldn’t have made it through that tough time without my husband, some awesome lactation consultants, and some supportive groups.
Discovering the symbol gave me the idea to create an elegant and delicate necklace with the symbol on it. People could show their support by wearing the necklace, and I could give back to the breastfeeding community with a donation from each necklace sold. This began the 6 month journey of designing and producing this necklace. First, I had a metal stamp custom made. Next, I had to source teeny tiny round pearls. Very round pearls are actually hard to find in the size I wanted, which was 3mm. I asked my long time lactation consultant which organization I should donate the proceeds to. The International Lactation Consultant Association (www.ILCA.org) is a worldwide organization that would use the donation toward general promotion of breastfeeding.
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