Be beautiful, with Avon

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Ever since I was a kid, I have had more than just a passing interest in Makeup. When I was about 11, a cousin of mine, gifted me a big black box of eyeshadows, blushes and brushes and I remember it making me a crowd favourite. I soon learnt to work with them by trial and error (too bad, no youtube those days) became the makeup artist for small plays, functions and competitions. At college I found the weather too sticky and humid and environment too stressed to care about makeup and so I stopped wearing it but took it up again when I started to work.  
Sayuri, as most of my early readers would remember, was never meant to be a jewelry brand. I had initially meant it to be a clothing brand with an addition of beauty products and accessories. I wanted to make soaps, perfumes and lots of other pots and paints but somehow never got around to doing it. Through your love and support, Sayuri got established as a jewelry brand but it always left me feeling that something for missing.


Recently, I invited some good folks from Avon,a leading global beauty company, that  operates through direct selling to conduct a Grooming and makeup workshop at my college and was reminded of this unfulfilled desire of mine to include Beauty products in Sayuri's range. Thus was born this idea to coordinate with Avon, by becoming an "Avon Lady" as a trial run for the beauty section before attempting to create my own signature products. There are plenty of offers for festive gifts this month. Here are some of the October highlights

Founded by a door-to-door salesman David McConnell  as "The California Perfume Company" Avon, for 125 years,  has stood for beauty, innovation, optimism and has spoken against domestic violence, animal cruelty and for breast cancer awareness. It is the only beauty company to offer a 100 percent money back guarantee on return of the unused packed product. Apart from Makeup which comes under Color, Avon also boasts of personal care and skin care products, accessories and jewelry

Find Avon's October beauty Catalog here. To order, Contact me, or your neighborhood "Avon Lady".

Be beautiful, with Avon
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Paprika II: Fabric

Texture, framework, structure, drape, colour, pattern, hand, feel - these are some of the words that we use to describe fabrics. But in this world of transmutation, where everything isn't as it seems, where ideas and products are effectively fused with one another, why alone should fabrics be defined by these fixed terms?
As a fashion designer, fabrics are a part of my life. But however much I like them, I have been able to successfully translate them into jewelry. I have sneaked in, bits and pieces of fibres, yarns and fabric over the years, but never them a full collection on them.
People who know me personally, know that I have been wanting to write a design book for a while now. So at times whenever I am free, I sit and think of new concepts for it. One such idea was to convert fabric into jewelry by a method of preservation. Thus was born the idea to hand paint existing textiles and use them in resin jewelry.
Presenting Paprika II, a mixed media collection, which by following the spicy ideals of its predecessor the paper paprika collection, showcases Fabrics in a never-seen-before way.
I want to show you three designs in this post, the first of them is Iris. Come, and prepared to be enchanted for these are designed to please your soul!!

Multilayered square pendant with various patterns like houndstooth, painterly stripes and floral doily. It is an asymmetrical necklace with sea glass beads, crystals, faux pearls and the square pendant hangs from the necklace in a double spiral bail. The piece has a subtle sparkle that I couldnt capture in these photographs.The Crystal earrings are included. Available
for sale
mixed media resin necklace

Green Teardrop 
Green and blue striped poly-cotton Saree fabric set in a teardrop pendant with ball chain and rhinestone chain border. The Crystal earrings are included. Available for sale
fabric resin necklace

Mint Flower
The pendant is a painted mint background with silver floral doily. Some of you might not consider plastic doilies as fabric, but they belong right there in the textile family  as non- wovens in the home furnishing category. Special Thanks to Michelle of Mich L in LA for sending them to me a year or so back. The Crystal earrings are included. Sold
doily resin necklace

I hope you found it interesting. Will post the rest soon.
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Basic supplies storefront

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 It is that time of the year, when people start (or restart) making jewelry with a vengeance; for they want to wear and/or gift beautiful pieces of handmade jewelry to their near and dear ones.  So it also becomes the time of the year when people contact me, their friendly neighborhood gypsy to ask for suggestions on where and how to find quality jewelry making supplies and findings that would help them create jewelry with flourish. 
As I hardly keep my sources a secret, I thought I'll share with you today a simple yet well put together supplies store front from Firemountaingems*. Click on the links to buy essential supplies for your kit like eyepins, earwires, crimps, clasp, wire, tools and cord. Just add beads and ofcourse your creativity and watch beautiful designs materialise in front of you. 
Need help in making jewelry? Maybe these free tutorials would help you. Go get shopping and create you holiday jewelry early on now. 
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads 40th Anniversary Sale

 Finish with Flourish - This and that

Tools, wire and cord supplies 

Incidentally FMG is having its great $1 sale now, where numerous products are available under three buckets - $1, $2 and $3. Yes, a packet of quality findings for a dollar. I have bought a quite a lot of them over the year s and never been dissatisfies with them.  Also If you want to know about the various products that FMG stocks and how to use them, Request a FREE Catalog 
*As an affiliate of FMG, I get a teensy commission when you buy from these links :) 
I hope you found it interesting
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Wire jewelry classes

 Recently when I visited the craftsy website, I realised that I have been living under a rock for a while. Though I am a craftsy affiliate*, I hadnt noticed that they have now added so many new and exciting jewelry making classes. I felt like a kid in a candy store and immediately wanted to share them with you. Plus, Craftsy is having a major sale now - almost 50% off on most classes, making it an excellent time to try out new techniques..Yipee!!
Once class that I fell completely in love with is Big & Bold Wire Jewelry taught by Sharilyn Miller. I love wearing and making large bold statement jewelry but I cant always seem to anneal or work with heavy gauge wire. It either becomes too soft or there is hardly any texture showing. 

Big and Bold Wire Jewelry

In this 7 part (lesson) video, Sharilyn shows us the technique behind annealing to make the wire strips more pliable before twisting and how to add texture. We can also learn how to make a rosette necklace from heavy-gauge jump rings, make a spiral wire clasp and Bold necklace pendants. For those wanting to take up their skills a notch,  she teaches how to fuse fine silver wire to make finger rings, pendants and earrings. For an advanced technique, she also demonstrates fusing shapes inside other shapes and making fused chains. This seems like one of those classes I definitely want to try out.  After discount this class is priced at $29.99

When people think of wire jewelry, they somehow think of simple, minimalist pieces or very ornate coiled and woven designs. But what a lot of people are unaware of is that wire can be used to create very pretty, delicate, feminine jewelry
Filigree jewelry #craftsy

Filigree Jewelry with a twist is one such class by Melody MacDuffee where you can learn how to make filigree frames, floral branching out designs. After teaching how to bezel a cabochon, Melody, demonstrates a gorgeous beaded bezel pendant with a filigree overlay towards the end of the class that is drool worthy. Over 1000+ students have registered for this class so far, showing how popular this class is. You can take a look at some students work here. After discount this class is priced at $14.99

If you have never tried Wire jewelry before and feel intimidated by these intermediate to advance level classes, dont worry, help is available in the form of a free resource from Craftsy

 This PDF handbook on beautiful wire jewelry offers not just a helpful overview of tools and wire types, but  also 27 pages of wirework tutorials and tips from experts to help you in getting started.
Not yet on Craftsy? Join in pronto as you are missing out on a lot. Click on any of the images in this post to sign up


 *This post contains affiliate links through which I might earn a normal commission on purchase but I personally love, use and recommend craftsy.

I hope you found it interesting
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Gaye Holud Jewellery

The first and the only Haldi ceremony that I have attended till date was in 2009 when I had visited Haldia, West Bengal, for my Bengali Friend's wedding. It started with prayers by the priest and her maternal uncle after which women applied turmeric on my friend. In the end we all played with turmeric water having fun and toasting to her upcoming wedding.
Recently I was contacted by a client from England asking me to make flower jewelry for a muslim "Gaye Holud" ceremony. I knew that a Gaye Holud was similar to haldi but was surprised to know that Muslims follow it too. In my research, later, I found that Gaye Holud is a Bengali custom— celebrated by both Hindus and Muslims from both India as well as Bangladesh.  It is a pre-wedding ritual when the groom's family visits the bride and presents her with her sweets, wedding clothes and jewelry and sometimes two fishes that are dressed up like a couple.  Traditionally people put up a stage or some background fabric decorations if done at home but these days you can find folks going for elaborate dos and themed/color coded parties filed with musical performances, dance and merry making. My friend's Haldi (we didnt even call it Gaye Holud then) in contrast was a very simple affair with close friends and family, ofcourse followed by a lot of food. However it is conducted, events such as this, in my opinion, help connect the families of the bride and groom together, as in India, you dont marry a person, you marry a family!

Gaye Holud Jewellery haath phool   
Coming back to set in question, my client wanted a red and white set to match with her Red and white theme and after a lot of discussion we added some gold to it for a royal look.  Red, like I discussed in one of my earlier posts, is considered a very auspicious color and hence is very popular choice for wedding jewelry. But I do hope that, soon, I would get an opportunity to work with other colors. 

Gaye Holud Jewellery
Gaye Holud Jewellery

This set in red, white and gold comprises of a short, choker necklace, a long necklace, a pair of earrings, double strand bracelet style Haath Phool and a grand 3 line matha patti.

Remember the seematham real flower set where I talked about making a grand matha patti for the first time? Well, the experience really helped me with this set as this one was even more complicated.  The design in consideration have 2 focals and in total 9 strands of beads, three each coming out in three different directions. It took a lot of trial and error to figure out how to do it. If the beads stayed on the forehead the flowers would droop down and when the flowers stayed put the beads were weird. I made it 4 times before it turned out decent looking as you can see in the picture below. I just hope, with fingers crossed, that it looks good on the Bride or all this effort would have been for naught.
matha patti Gaye Holud Jewellery

To order a custom made flower jewellery set please mail me at jewelsofsauri(at)gmail(dot)com Read FAQ Here for more details on the design and ordering process. See more posts on Haldi, mehendi and pithi jewellery here.

I hope you found it interesting

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Casino Royale Necklace DIY

Whether you are a student, a teacher or work in an administrative role in a educational institution, Teachers day,  is a wonderful occasion. A day when you are loved, cherished and told how lucky they are to have you. This year as Teacher's day (in India) fell on a Saturday, we had two celebrations, at the college where I work. One unofficially on Friday with comment boards, cakes, photographs and games and one officially on Monday where each department was given a theme and we had to dress up for a cultural performance. My department's theme was Casino Royale.

I was really excited and so were my students. I brought out my long blue dress, that I designed and got stitched many years back but never wore beyond the confines of my house and some elegant stone jewelry to go with it. I student of mine, felt that I should have curls in the hair and bright red lips to go with my blue dress, so I decided to humour her and try it. I even stayed up late to watch the movie, on Saturday :D.  However on Sunday, the necklace I was supposed to wear broke and thus I had to make a new one.
As my look was supposedly based on Eva Green as Vesper Lynd, I had this idea to make a necklace similar to the Algerian love knot necklace, she wore on screen. Since time was less, I searched for alternates to the casted love knot focal and came across a toggle clasp from my stash. A brainwave hit me and thus was born my Casino Royale necklace. Here is how I made it in 3 simple steps

Casino Royale Necklace DIY

1. Link chain in silver tone - 17"
2. Link chain in gold tone - 17"
3. Round medallion clasp
4. Rhinestone chain silver tone - 5"
5.Rhinestone chain gold tone - 3"
6. Jumprings - 3
7. Clasp - s hook
8. Liquid fusion glue
9. Nose Pliers and scissors

1. Join both chains using jump rings at both the ends. Add a S hook on one side
2. Cut silver Rhinestone chain in half. Glue the pieces to the medallion clasp followed by the gold rhinestone chain in the center. Let it dry for 20-30 minutes
3. Connect the chains to the back of the clasp using 2 jump rings to complete your necklace

This particular clasp is from Firemountaingems, but isnt in stock now so I have provided an alternative toggle as a link in the material list, but really any round clasp or finding could be used. I paired my necklace with a chunky Rhinestone bangle and rhinestone earrings that I had made before for cut out and keep, Check out the DIY here

So how did I look? Fabulous as usual :D I was able to take these shots once I was back at home, so the curls have come off but the lipstick still stayed despite it getting on to my teeth and my water bottle all the time (thats how scary the bright color was). Still I was happy that I was able to sport curls in my hair for more than 3 hours.

*All photographs were taken and collaged on my Asus zenfone

What do you think of my look? It was really fun to dress up and even more enjoyable as I had designed most of what I wore. Do tell me in the comments, if you like using available findings to create new designs, like I used a clasp to create a pendant and if you have used any unexpected findings in your work before.
 I hope you found it interesting

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Six reasons we are not making money selling jewelry

How many of you (jewelry makers & sellers) have had great success selling jewelry this year?
I do understand that success is very subjective term - so lets say success means good profits. From what I have been hearing in jewelry circles, friends, forums - both locally and internationally and going through my own accounts I can safely say that currently not many sellers are making great profits; some people are just breaking even, some havent sold anything this summer.

 “This calls to question, reasons, why we aren't making as much MONEY as we would like to make ”

This article in a funny, slightly sarcastic style attempts to take a hard look at the factors affecting jewelry sales and why we are not making as much money as we would like to make and if possible, how to rectify it. Read on!

Six reasons we aren't making money selling jewelry   and how to change it

Six reasons we aren't making money selling jewelry 
and how to change it

#1: Economy - Ya ya money is tight, but economy today isnt very different from how it was 6 months back or 1 year back. Maybe, people spend more in the festive season rather than in the summer months, but does that mean that designers should scrap their summer lines and work only towards the festive season? No, we find other ways to make it work. We could run courses and teach people. We study the seasons and understand what they are are looking for in that period - Most people are vacationing in summer and are looking to buy Souvenirs, can you perhaps capture that market?

#2: Competition - too many cooks!!
Haven't we all heard of the term, too many cooks, spoil the broth. It works well for the jewelry scene too. I remember a time when there were hardly 1-2 people in a city (in India) making good Designer costume jewelry. But now you can find one in every street. Also with the advent of Social media marketing using Facebook and instagram, Coat-Tailing happens all the time, where designers simply copy one another as soon as a style becomes a trend, thereby sending the Fashion cycle (that kept us sane all these years) for a toss. Teaching jewelry making which used to be a lucrative business a couple of years back is also on the decline due to too many folks teaching without really having any mastery over the craft. So what to do? Refer Point Three - Innovate!!

how to make innovative jewelry

#3 Lack of Innovation
3.1: Wrong products
Fashion is cyclical, meaning that what goes out of fashion today comes back once again. But that doesn't mean that you keep selling the same product till it comes back in trend. Learn to read and understand forecasts and Keep up with the trends. Learn to separate personal likes and dislikes from your vision for the brand. If you design only based on what you like, you'll be the only person wearing them. Understand what your clientele wants and design based on their requirements in your style. Make sure that your products are upto the mark and that the customers get a wee bit more than what they pay for. There is simply no excuse for having a bad or undesirable product.
3.2: Same old, Same old!
Yes, its good to have a unique selling proposition (USP) for your brand but it doesnt mean that you sell the same products, designs and concepts over and over again.People buy fashion products not based on needs, but wants, so boring old last season's products drives them away. the way to create interest in your products is to constantly Innovate, make something new, original, that people cannot find elsewhere. They will come to you and buy from you. Do remember that new and unique doesn't mean strange or weird, it still has to be desirable to your audience
how to price your jewelry

#4: Not Pricing it right
By Pricing a piece low, you can bring in a sale but it will hurt your chances in the long term. It is very difficult to reset your prices particularly when dealing with regular customers who will compare what you charged 'last year' or  'two years back' for that gorgeous piece they bough to what you charge now for a simpler design. You cannot antagonise them by arguing about branding, design, competition or inflation as they are the backbone of your business. However you must raise your prices slowly, yet steadily to make a profit. Therein lies your challenge.

#5  Wrong target market
Have you paused to consider who is your target market? Does it comprises of young stay at home moms in the age group of 25-35 or does it cater to teenagers? Is a corporate go-getter your ideal client or are you looking for potential brides to buy your jewelry? Everyone loves to design for the 18-24 segment as they are the most experimental in nature, but can they spend as much as 30 yr olds who have strong careers with good salaries? If you are stuck in this rut of not knowing who your clientele is, think again.Who said 50+ women don't experiment? I can proudly say that a majority of my clients belong to the 40-65 age group. These are strong, gorgeous women who know what they want and don't need permission or approval to look the way they want to. So pause for a moment and think, Who is your client?
how to sell your jewelry

#6 Last but not the least -You are not selling them! Duh!!
If you only create products and store them away safely in your cupboards, you simply will not make money. I am guilty of making this mistake as selling is not my forte. But to make money we need to sell and sell hard. Let friends and family know that you sell your designs. Keep your social media pages updated. I often get mails from readers of this blog on how to sell  jewelry and where and how do I sell. There is no secret recipe my friends, I sell wherever possible, whenever possible. I have sold at trunk shows, jewelry parties, during festivals and family gatherings, at work, online, fairs and exhibitions. Sometimes I sell as lot and at other times I don't. One simple trick I follow on social media is to write "For sale" as a caption on every piece that I have for sale. It removes ambiguity around the availability of the product and helps me sell more.

These are some of the reasons I can think of, why we are not making enough money selling jewelry. Can you think of any more reasons? If so share them in the comments, along with your solutions to them.
 I hope you find it interesting

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