New Necklaces

I just added two necklaces to my jewelry collection – click here to shop necklaces.

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Art Perspective: Shelby Apparel

I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Shelby Lynch of Shelby Apparel a few years ago while working on a long-term project together. We both love to crochet – the beautiful thing about crocheting is that no two artist’s styles are alike! I love her fresh take on apparel and design.

C Dyann: How did you decide to become a designer, and what influenced you to use crochet as your medium?
Shelby: I became a fashion designer due to my love for fashion and growing up in the fashion world of modeling. I chose crochet as my medium because I find it so fascinating the things you can make with yarn, It’s so unique and personal.
C Dyann: What is involved in your creative process, do you have a ritual like listening to music or a time of day you work best?

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Shelby: My creative process comes from looking at different outfits and seeing how I can do it in crochet with an added twist. It’s crazy but my ritual is watching my favorite tv show beauty and the beast lol. I work best in the morning after a great cup of coffee.
C Dyann: Who are some of your favorite designers?
Shelby: Ummm a couple of designers that I like are Doub Hanshaw designer of the clothing line free people and Robyn Chachula designer of Blueprint Crochet.

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C Dyann: Are you a model or have you ever modeled?
Shelby: I am a former model which I did for 31 years. I still enjoy doing it from time to time.
C Dyann: You make crochet look so easy, but for some aspiring crocheters it can be a challenge. What do you recommend to would-be crocheters to up their game?
Shelby: Thank you! What I can say to my fellow crocheters is to keep practicing and don’t be afraid to play around with different stitches.
C Dyann: How long have you been in business and what do you find most challenging as a business owner?
Shelby: I’ve been in business for 11 years and I can honestly say that the most challenging thing about being a business owner is not getting the next idea out fast enough.

Visit Shelby Apparel at Shelbyapparel.net. New customers receive 10% off purchase.

Press Release C Dyann Designs

For Release April 8, 2015

Jewelry & Accessories

C Dyann Designs Joining Shopify with Handmade Jewelry & Accessories
Los Angeles Based Brand Expanding Online Presence

Los Angeles, CA— Jewelry & Accessories — C Dyann Designs announces immediate availability of her handmade Jewelry & Accessories, providing existing and potential customers an additional shopping experience for the brand’s one-of-a-kind creations.
“I’m so pleased that we moved operations to Los Angeles. It’s the perfect place for fashion and innovation,” said Chandra Chatmon nee Adams, Owner and Designer at C Dyann Designs.

Many customers have enjoyed handmade jewelry, hats, scarves and purses purchased both offline and online from C Dyann Designs. Chatmon uses a variety of metals, gemstones, crystals, fibers and fabric to design her offerings. She is an author and an artist whose creativity continues to evolve and expand.
“I’ve made the leap from novelist to jewelry and accessories designer,” said Chatmon. “The future looks bright and bringing beautiful things to life with my own two hands is at the heart of what motivates me every single day.”

Founded in 2012, C Dyann Designs is a California-based business.. The company offers a wide range of products designed to make everyone feel beautiful and unique.
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For more information, press only:
Charles Chatmon
213-458-6254
chatwrites@yahoo.com
For more information on C Dyann Designs:
http://cdyanndesigns.com

Art Perspective: Amy Cousin Jewelry

Absolutely love this artist and person – instant connection.

C Dyann: How did you get started with Amy Cousin Jewelry?

Amy Cousin: After the birth of our third child, I gifted myself a jewelry making class and tried my hand at wirework, pearl knotting, and bead stringing. The wire got me! I just loved the way you have to connect with it, respect it and work with it.
Around that same time, we opened our book and gift shop. I put the jewelry I made on display, and they sold pretty well. Then people started requesting custom pieces designed with gemstone energy connections in mind, which is an aspect of jewelry design that has always been important to me. So my jewelry really started out as a sideline item in our first shop in Minneapolis, MN. When we moved to South Carolina in 1999, we took the shop with us. A customer showed my jewelry to the owner of a boutique in Charlotte, NC, and she asked me if I would be interested in selling my jewelry there. That was a thrill! I wanted to keep my jewelry associated with our shop, so I named my line Sirius7 Jewelry: Sirius, because the name of our shop was Sirius Mind and Body ; and 7 for the number of members of my family and because I had a tendency to wrap my wires in series of sevens. I shopped my jewelry around and was able to place my work in 10 boutiques, galleries and spas in seven states (there’s that seven again!). I continued to make gemstone energy-based jewelry for our shop but didn’t focus on that element as much for the other venues.
In February 2012, we closed the physical shop and moved back to Minnesota. I also separated my jewelry line from the shop, rebranding it as Amy Cousin Jewelry.

C Dyann: If you had to name one person whose style you admire, who would it be and why?

Amy Cousin: Just one? Oooh, that’s so difficult – there are so many talented jewelry artists out there that I admire. One of my first influences in wirework was Dana Kellin. I admire her not so much for her style, but for her (company’s) wire workmanship. Beyond that first jewelry making class, I was pretty much a self-taught jewelry artist with a lot of trial and error! Her work reminded me that striving for quality in your wire work is just as important as being able to create intricate/fancy designs. I constantly seek to improve my skills and expand my knowledge of techniques. Having said that, I also appreciate that sometimes marks on the wire are signs of handcrafted work, and I have been known to leave them.

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C Dyann: Who is Amy Cousin and what makes her excited about getting up every day?

Amy Cousin: Ha! Amy is a many-hatted, multi-hyphenated being: In a continuously revolving order, I am a jewelry artist creating eco-friendly & intentional treasures; a writer; a blender of amazing fragrance oils; a wife; a homeschooling mom; a former-insect-eater-turned-vegan; an app enthusiast (some would say app-obsessed) ; an aspiring DIY-er who calls both Minneapolis and New Orleans home. Books, coffee, and spicy dark chocolate put a smile on my face.

Every day is an opportunity to learn something new, to put it into practice and to share it with our children. That makes every day exciting and joyous. I’m not saying I wake up each day singing to the birds and twirling through the house as I plant a good-morning kiss on each family member’s forehead – that is so not me.

C Dyann: What do you like about social media?

Amy Cousin: In general, I think social media is pretty awesome. I’m always exploring ways to do more (especially for my business) through it. I love having the ability to meet or reconnect with interesting people, wonderful customers and talented artist around the world. You and I met through About.Me and I am so happy that we did! I’ve reconnected with friends from nursery school (I kid you not) and extended family. Many of the elders in my family are social media savvy, which is cool. About 17 years ago I spoke to an author of an insect recipe cookbook, and then we lost touch – turns out we’ve been just 1 degree of separation for a few years through a facebook jewelry artists group. So now we have more interests to share.

From a business standpoint, social media has been gold. Our shop was in a college town, and before social media platforms got hot, I had to work very hard to maintain contact with our student customers as they graduated and moved on. By the time we closed the shop, I had put several social media platforms in place and have been able to stay in touch with almost all of my brick & mortar customers, as well as reach new customers. Right now, Instagram is my favorite platform. I use it to share what I’m doing with my jewelry from start to finish. It’s affirming to see how many people are interested in the process of designing and creating my work. And of course my website is the most important platform for purchasing my jewelry.

C Dyann: How would you define your jewelry style?

Amy Cousin: The description that I frequently use is :
I have a blast creating handcrafted, intentional jewelry from threads of reclaimed precious metal wire, ethically sourced gemstones, and up-cycled treasures.
It’s quite the truth – I absolutely adore making jewelry! The whole process from designing to picking the beads, wire and elements is an incredible dance. The word that keeps coming to me when I think about my jewelry is treasure. I make each piece as if it is going to be an heirloom, a treasure passed from wearer to wearer, collecting a history from the moment is was made to the moment the current wearer receives it. Each piece of my jewelry has a story, that begins with the metals and the gemstones I use. For a while I tucked the intentional part of my jewelry away, but that was a big mistake. The gemstones have an energy and lore that attracts people to them (you don’t have to be into that sort of thing to appreciate their lore). The metals carry the (positive) karma of being reclaimed rather than continuing to scar the earth to get at them. I often incorporate upcycled elements like an orphaned earring or vintage beads, especially when in custom pieces.

C Dyann: What do you consider your favorite accessory?

Amy Cousin: Earrings are my favorite to wear and to create. I like to make myself a pair based on my latest favorite gemstones as well as whatever energies I want to connect with. Right now I’m wearing diaspore (a color-changing gem), amethyst and moldavite (some say it’s a meteor, and others say it’s the product of the impact of a meteor). My most cherished piece is a bottle pendant that was a push gift from the birth of our first child. I wear it on a chain that I made from more of my favorite gemstones, and a few that the kids chose for me. I carry my favorite fragrance oil in it.

You can visit and shop with Amy Cousin at Amy Cousin Jewelry, or if you would like to know more about Amy visit her on about.me

Art Perspective: Tonya Duckett of Sparkle Allure

Last but not least from my 2013 archives.

C Dyann: Tell us about yourself and Sparkle Allure.

Sparkle Allure: My name is Tonya Duckett and I am a Registered Nurse from Los Angeles, CA that loves bling, sparkle and anything over the top. If it can be blinged out, I will try and do it. I see rhinestones everywhere on everything. Sparkles Allure is my company that customizes cell phone cases, make-up brushes, shoes, and clothes with rhinestones or glitter. I love for everything I have to sparkle on it, once I saw a cell phone case that had small objects glued on it, I was very intrigued and said ‘I want that’. I started seeing other cases that where embellished and said to myself, I can do that. The cases looked so personal and something no one else had. So I researched how to construct the cases and realized I have been doing this to other things all along…it was a natural progression. Friends and strangers started asking for cases, for me to make them custom shoes and computer covers and my company was born. Everything is made to order and one of a kind but a few select projects can reproduced upon request.

C Dyann: Since I’ve known you, you have loved sparkly things – rhinestones, sequins, glitter. Were you born that way or did you just see some glitter in the store and decided that everything should shine?

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Sparkle Allure: When I was young in the late 70’s and early 80’s, I would love watching old black and white movies. Old Hollywood was so glamorous to me as a child, I wanted to wear feather boas, sequined costumes and formal gowns all the time. If it had ruffles, or some kind of embellishment I wanted to wear it. My mother used to sew and make clothes, and she would take me to the fabric store with her…there I would see sparkles, rhinestones, and all kinds of textured fabric and I loved everything that sparkled. I guess you can say that’s when I really fell in love with sparkly things or fabric embellishments. As I got older I just would always find myself wanting things to sparkle or glitter, my shoes, my clothes, my purse, furniture, I could see bling in everything.

C Dyann: You have a great eye for color and style – were you formally trained or did you just pick it up naturally?

Sparkle Allure: I am self-taught, I don’t have any formal training. I watched my mother as a child when she would sew and I would beg her to show me how to construct clothes. I took basic sewing classes in school to learn how to make basic things on a sewing machine but nothing beyond that. If I wanted a certain outfit or wanted a particular look, I learned how it was made and I did it myself. I would read craft books and spend time in the crafts stores trying to learn about products. I spent a lot of time taking clothes apart and putting them back together. When I had children I wanted my daughters to do baby pageants so I could dress them in ruffles and rhinestones. I wasn’t able to do it but the desire never left me. I would dress them in the frilliest most ruffled dresses I could find and applied rhinestones with a glue gun to everything. I had rhinestones on books, shoes, furniture, jars – anything I could get them to stick too.

C Dyann: I know you are just getting started with Sparkle Allure. Where do you plan to take your enterprise?

Sparkle Allure: With God’s grace I see my company ultimately making clothes and crafts not just cell phone covers. Possibly doing costumes or making custom clothing pieces. I love transforming shoes and making them look totally different and unique. I love to sew and I still find myself looking at clothes and wanting to make them.

C Dyann: Our country has seen some difficult economic times, and a lot of people are turning to what they love to do as a way of making ends meet. Do you have any advice for anyone who might be looking for way to launch their brand or start a business?

Sparkle Allure: I am still so new to this business world. The best advice I would have for someone starting is, do your homework. Read, read and then read some more. Doing something you love doing make it easy and less like work. If you love what you are doing, you will have a passion for it and find yourself wanting to do it all the time. Know your product; know your market and who you want to sell to. With the new era of social media, learn how to use this to your advantage and market yourself and your product. It takes time and patience to grow; you just have keep working at it and have faith that God will bless you and your hard work.

C Dyann: Where can potential customers contact you?

Sparkle Allure: My email address is Sparkleallure@gmail.com, and I’m planning to have a website in place in the near future.

C Dyann: I just want to thank you for your time! Definitely enjoyed speaking with you and I know that you will be a great success.