Monday, November 21, 2011

Lizzy B Vintage

I'm so excited to have Gina of Lizzy B Vintage back at the SoNo Park Fest this year! You'll adore her one-of-a-kind jewelry. I have a typewriter necklace and love wearing it. She was recently featured on Martha Stewart's Dreamers into Doers. Here's a sample of her interview. 

When did you start your business and what inspired you to do this? How did you turn your dream into a business plan?
I started my first business of handmade greeting cards and wedding invitations in 2003. I turned to making jewelry from vintage finds in 2005. We were avid flea-market hunters; I saw a vintage typewriter and said, "What would Martha make from this?" I bought my first antique typewriter and made a bracelet, and everything changed from that day forward.

What do you love most about being your own boss? What are the drawbacks?
My husband will laugh: I like to be in control! I get a vision and I love seeing it through from idea to design to a piece that someone will wear on her neck or wrist. I design for that little black dress or a casual white T-shirt. I love being able to take my kids to school, go to my son's afternoon tennis matches, have lunch with my daughter -- it's perfect. The drawback is being in control of everything -- scouring flea markets, answering emails, setting up shows, packaging orders, and then finding time to create, cook, and clean!

How did you learn and acquire the skills you use to make your business successful? How do you continue to grow and learn?
I have taken a few jewelry classes and while I may not make the intended piece, I always walk away with one new bit of knowledge, whether it is a specific technique or new source of materials. I also ask my mother and brother about cleaning or manipulating vintage materials. While scouring flea markets, older vendors are always willing to share their stories and history about different pieces. The stories are one of the keys to my success. When I can tell my customer where a specific piece came from, it usually helps them to love their choice even more.

What is your favorite product/service that you offer?
My favorite pieces are those I make from other people's vintage heirlooms. I am currently working with a friend's grandfather's WWI dog tags, a sterling bracelet given to her mother in 1915, and two bracelets that her father gave her mother. I'm honored to be trusted with these items and learn their history. When I present the finished necklace or bracelet to my clients, we often both end up in tears.

For the rest of Gina's interview click here.

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