Wednesday, December 31, 2008

holiday rewind - part three

December 26th brought yet another family gathering - this time with Larry's side of the family, many of whom have migrated from NJ to Colorado.

We met Krissy's husband, Rob, for the first time. They were married on Maui only a month before Kate and Brian were married last year, and the timing just wasn't right for us to travel then. Here they are with our LA daughter, Marnie, in the middle:

We also met Caroline, Rob and Krista's daughter, who is the same age as our grandson. (Yes, it's confusing. Brother and sister Rob and Krissy married Krista and Rob). Here's a shot of the 3 younger cousins, including Trinity, Caroline's older sister:

There's a famous family picture of first cousins Marnie and Rob sitting in a chair together, ages 4 and 5. Here they are again, 33 years later:

And here are their kids, wiggling into the same pose amidst lots of laughter:

Later in the week, we even were able to fit in some grown-up time by going to the movies and to see "Jersey Boys" in downtown Denver. It was a jam-packed week of holiday and family time and we loved every second of it. We flew back yesterday, only slightly delayed going through Cleveland, and were happy to crawl into our own bed last night. This morning we woke to 12" of new-fallen snow. I unpacked and Larry plowed the driveway. It's good to be home, safe and sound. But it was even better to be with our family for the holidays. We wish everyone a very Happy New Year and all the best for 2009!

holiday rewind - part two

Christmas morning dawned bright and early, but Nana and Poppy tried to sleep in as long as they could!

Once we all were up, the morning's activities began with much laughter and screams of joy from a certain three year old. He was amazed to see that Santa and his reindeer had enjoyed their snack and that there were lots of presents under the tree:

We opened stockings first, all of which were bulging with goodies. Even Bella and Murphy had their own stockings (note new paint try-out patches on the wall):

Breakfast followed, a yummy egg/sausage casserole made by Kate, and then it was time to open presents. Not surprisingly, 90% of the presents were for a certain three year old. Some really heavy ones had even been shipped out to LA for his LA Christmas with his father.

Then it was time to get ready for Christmas dinner with Kate's in-laws, who all live nearby. She made a wonderful dinner, roast beef, ham and all the trimmings. (We were still feasting on leftovers several days later). The table was lovely and Kate and Brian were able to use many of their wedding presents:

It was great to visit with Brian's family again, and to meet his cutie nephew, Derek, and his grandfather, John. Here's a shot of Brian's mom, Madelaine, with her grandson and ours:

holiday rewind - part one

It's been some time since the last post...but with good reason!

We had the marathon run up to Christmas at the store, interrupted on Friday, Dec. 19th with a big, dangerous snowstorm. Then it was back to work for a few days before packing up and heading off to Denver for Christmas. Suzanne held the fort at the store on Tuesday while Larry and I had an unplanned visit to Texas. Our flight to Newark arrived late, it took over 20 minutes to retrieve our gate-checked carry-on bag and we had to take a bus to the other concourse for our flight to Denver, but we got there before the plane had left. Unfortunately, they had closed the flight and had given away our seats.

Off to the service counter, where we were told there was no way we were going to Denver that night, but we could get on a standby list for Houston, with a confirmed flight from Houston to Denver on the 24th. The girl at the desk told us we had "a better chance of winning the lottery" than making the flight....but she was wrong! We got on and had even better seats than we had reserved for the Denver flight. Arrived in Houston without a hitch and went to the airport Marriott to sleep in a bed rather than on the airport floor.

We had an uneventful flight to Denver on Christmas Eve, arriving 24+ hours after we had left home. Not a good beginning to our trip...but we were there! Our LA daughter and her son had arrived on time the previous day and our Denver daughter and her husband were there to greet us. Finally, we were all together.

The house was beautifully decorated and the tree was up:

There was even a Colorado reindeer in residence, who looked suspiciously like Bella, the queen of the house:

Stockings were hung by the chimney with care, with hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there. We even provided Santa with cookies and milk, along with some carrots for the reindeer (Bella-deer excluded):

Then it was time for bed, not only for a 3 year old, but also for his exhausted grandparents!

Friday, December 19, 2008

two inches an hour

This time the weather guys got it right - major, heavy snowfall coming down at 2 inches an hour. We opened on time this morning, actually 15 minutes early as we had an expected customer come a few minutes before the opening bell, but made the executive decision to close around noon. By the time we put everything back into the safe and swept off the car, another 2 inches had fallen. Then it was a do-or-die drive home on country roads. Fortunately, the "do" part worked and the "die" part will be another day. But it was waaaay scary and I am glad to be safely home. Next up - a big cup of steaming hot chocolate, maybe two. And hey - it isn't even winter yet!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

leap of faith

This is only our second holiday season and last year was its own special case -- we were new and lots of people were still checking us out. This year we're dealing with an extraordinary financial climate, one which is not being kind to retailers. We really don't know how to evaluate our holiday business so far, except to say that it hasn't been awful and we're still making new friends and seeing repeat customers.

But what we're hearing on the street is not good. One established retail shop owner has been to the emergency room with chest pain, but feels so stressed by the downward trend in sales that he doesn't want to have any cardiac workup done til after the holidays. No news is good news, or rather, no news means not having to deal with the news.

Another longtime women's wear retailer has seen a significant drop in her local sales. She's still doing ok with sales at another location and on her website, but she hasn't seen such poor holiday sales at her downtown location in a long, long time.

We knew getting into this business was going to take a lot of preparation and sustained hard work. What we didn't know was that our leap of faith was going to have to be an Olympic-sized long jump.

Friday, December 12, 2008

a balancing act

We love these level necklaces from Judi Patson of Vancouver, BC. Made of acrylic and sterling silver, they come in a variety of colors - one must be just right for you! Watch that bubble float back and forth. How is your balancing act? Are you on the level?

Talk about conversation-provoking joolz!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

a potpourri of pins

For your viewing pleasure, a potpourri of pins:

18K and sterling silver pin/pendant with Chinese writing stone and garnet, by Michele LeVett, Durham, North Carolina

Textured sterling silver stickpin by Reiko Ishiyama, New York City

Sterling silver and 18K bi-metal Rectangles pin with iolite, yellow aquamarine, specolite and garnet, by Ashka Dymel, Brooklyn, New York

Sunday, December 7, 2008


There's been a whiteout on 2 fronts.

We're currently having snow showers coupled with 40mph wind gusts. Our gorgeous lake view is "now you see it, now you don't." Our house is on the downslope of a hill and when the snow is really flying, we feel like we live in the clouds.

The other whiteout is the change I've made to the blog layout. The pale grey background is gone and has been replaced with white. Easier to read and much more like the interior design of the shop: white walls, black trim and lots of red accents. Hope you like it.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

our newest artist - taysha palmer

Taysha Palmer walked in the other day and asked if I'd like to see her handcrafted jewelry. Originally from Niagara-on-the-Lake (one of my all time favorite spots), Taysha had moved to Canandaigua after her recent marriage and was looking for galleries to carry her jewelry. She told me she is also a painter and a writer but especially loves making jewelry.

I asked to see a selection of her work and chose some earrings to have at JOOLZ. Taysha's jewelry is understated, has great lines but makes a statement at the same time. She uses inexpensive metals and unusual stones, making for a very affordable but unique product. I love the simplicity and clean lines of her earrings, seen below:

Friday, December 5, 2008

goodies from craig hagstrom

I'm the first to admit that I know nothing about photography but I really want to be able to show you the kinds of joolz we have available, especially as the holiday season approaches. There's LOTS of new inventory in the store, so I got the camera out today, set it to macro and went to work.

Artist Craig Hagstrom of Sequim, Washington has sent us lots of new pieces. Craig is a master goldsmith who has been in the business over 30 years. His pieces are 14K gold and he chooses really vibrant stones. Here's just a sampling:

The 14K yellow gold Mobilia pendant has a 3 ct amethyst and a .07 ct diamond. The matching earrings have 3 ct total weight amethysts and .04 ct total weight diamonds. The Mobilia collection features a hinge mechanism in each piece, allowing the jeweled part to move freely.

These 14K yellow gold Galaxy earrings have 4 ct total weight green tourmaline cabochons, pink tourmalines and .08 ct total weight diamonds.

This ribbon stickwork pin is also a pendant. It is made of both white and yellow 14K gold, and includes a garnet, a tsavorite and a .06 ct diamond. We also have the matching ribbon stickwork earrings.

Just a small sampling of Craig's work now in stock. Other pieces include colored diamonds, aquamarine, peridot, topaz, blue zircon, plus lots more amethyst and tourmaline pieces and several rings. Craig's become a favorite of our customers and you'll see why when you see his work in person.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

our sign saga

One of the myriad of decisions I had to make when getting ready to open my business was about signage.

What kind of signs would I need? Who would I get to make my signs? Did my plans meet all the city's rather strict guidelines? Would we have good visibility on the street?

I decided I wanted a sign flat on the building - a sign of our JOOLZ logo, which is black with white lettering would stand out against the yellow brick building. My request met the city's requirements as to size and materials. But the Planning Board refused my request and asked me to have a hanging sign, as they felt that would be more esthetically pleasing. I felt visibility would be less but had no choice other than to agree.

Brent Gillette of Bristol Signs and Neon came recommended by a store owner whose sign I admired. Brent worked with me to create both a sign for the outside of the building (now needing to be finished on both sides) and a sign for inside the store. Both signs were ready to be hung around our opening in May, 2007.

In December, 2007 our outside sign blew down in high winds. No one was injured, but that was only a matter of luck. Rather than repair and reinstall the hanging sign, I gathered my courage and went back to the Planning Board, asking again for a sign to be flat against the building. Customers had told me it was very hard to see the hanging sign and hard to find me. And, of course, I wanted to avoid any kind of potential injuries to pedestrians.

The Planning Board agreed to my request almost without discussion - and Brent worked to repair the damaged sign and convert it to a one-sided sign that would hang flush on the building. He also constructed an A-frame sign to sit out on the sidewalk.

Now we are much more clearly visible from the street and there is little chance anyone will be injured by a falling sign. And Brent is so proud of his work on our signs (and rightly so) that he has featured many shots of his JOOLZ work on his new website. Be sure to take a look...and be impressed.

Monday, December 1, 2008

holiday hours are posted

We've just posted our holiday hours, adding to our regular Tuesday through Saturday schedule.

We'll be open extra days on
Sunday, December 21 from 11am - 3pm and
Monday, December 22 from 10am - 5pm

Last chance to buy Christmas joolz will be on Tuesday, December 23 from 10am - 5pm.

Then it's vacation time, and we will be CLOSED on Christmas Eve, reopening on Tuesday, January 6, 2009.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

our thanksgiving feast

Our Thanksgiving gathering at Tom and Peggy's house was full of family, laughter, beautifully set tables, delicious food and the telling of several "famous" family stories. To look at the pictures, you'd think the men in the family did all the work, but we women know that wasn't the case. They were just the best photo subjects!

Tom whipping up his famous potatoes

Allison's boyfriend, Keith, creating one of several yummy vegetable dishes

The resulting feast

Cousin Jay, stylishly dressed for KP duty

Aren't those guys something?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

turkey day is almost here

We're off to Tom and Peggy's house for Thanksgiving in a couple of days and my cooking assignment is pretty easy - cranberry/orange relish and rolls. Thank you Danny Wegman!

But one woman who really puts on a Thanksgiving feast is The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. Our daughter, Katie, told me about Ree's website, and the woman really is a wonder. She writes, she cooks, she takes gorgeous photos and she puts it all together in a fun and very readable package. She shares tidbits about her family, husband Marlboro Man and her 4 kids. Everything she packs into just one day would exhaust most women, but she makes it sound and look easy. Here are some of her Thanksgiving food photos - you can almost smell the food cooking. Go ahead and drool. And Happy Turkey Day!

PS Here's a closeup of that turkey with the Taylor thermometer showing:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

another first - calling the cops

What a week - first big snowfall, first time having to call the cops.

Today was the fifth time the same teenage boy has come into the store. Since his first visit this summer, when he claimed he was looking for a certain kind of jewelry, until today, when he walked in carrying an 18" icicle, he has always been aggressive, rude and very full of himself.

One time he walked in and then fell on the floor. A couple of weeks ago he came in saying he needed to use the phone for an emergency. Each time he has had other kids with him, but never the same kids. Today it was a girl who also had an icicle.

I asked them to take the icicles out of the store, as they were dripping all over the floor and the cases. He went outside, raised it up and then smashed it on the carpeting in the entranceway, screaming at me the whole time. Then, amazingly, he came back in the store.

I had had it. I reached for the phone and he said, "who are you calling, the cops?" Once he realized that, yes, I was calling the cops, he and the girl ran out of the store. I was full of adrenalin and shaking like a leaf.

A patrolman and a sergeant came to the store and took a report. I kept shaking long after they had left. There's something a little off with that kid and I sure hope he doesn't come back again, just to get even.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

holiday open house this weekend

Downtown Canandaigua will host its annual Holiday Open House this weekend. Scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, there will be decorations galore, free wagon rides down Main Street, a holiday drink/recipe contest, a chance to enter a drawing for a $1000 shopping spree, free stocking stuffers and an elf on Main Street distributing "Canandaigua Dollars," to be used as free money at participating shops and restaurants.

We'll be serving warm Apple Cider Wassail, both with and without the added kick of light rum and we'll have copies of the recipe available, so do stop in for some holiday cheer.

PS Did I use the word "free" often enough? There really is a lot going on that doesn't cost a cent!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

first snow

Winter weather has arrived.

We've had snowflakes in the air and a dusting on the ground already this season, but today we had our first significant lake effect snowfall. The cold air passing over the warmer Great Lakes (both Erie and Ontario) can lead to some interesting winter days: whiteout conditions one minute, bright blue skies and sunshine the next.

Today I had a meeting scheduled in Rochester, 35 miles away over mainly country roads. After 10 minutes of driving I turned around and went home. I couldn't see in front of me and the road surface was waaaay slippery. I like looking at the scenery from inside the house, rather than from down in a ditch.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

stunning and sparkling new arrivals

New pieces have arrived from Gretchen Gray, who is actually two women who design jewelry together. Robin and Mia have been long-time friends who are now business partners. They travel together to find great stones, which are then put together under their direction in their studio.

The words glam - sparkle - statement - unique - unusual and breathtaking all come to mind when you see their work. We've just received several Gretchen Gray necklaces in time for the holidays: silver keshi pearls, citrine paired with green baroque pearls and whiskey quartz, an asymmetrical combo of coin pearls, sunstone and aquamarine among them. Their signature sterling silver GG clasp is a design wonder and is featured on each necklace.

Here's a photo of their triple-strand necklace of peridot, freshwater pearls, aquamarine and iolite. It's even more stunning in person.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

windex to the rescue

We had a customer try on a ring today - right size, she thought...but definitely the wrong fit. After she struggled a bit and had a teensy look of panic on her face, I brought out the Windex bottle (what jewelry store isn't well-equipped with glass cleaner?) and gave her finger a couple of squirts. The ring came off with ease and she was smiling again.

That Windex - hasn't failed me yet.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

happy birthday to Q

All my family out if Francie starts to sing! It kinda sounds like a sick, howling cat. But today is our grandson, Quinten's, third here goes:

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Q,
Happy Birthday to you!

Now that wasn't too bad, was it?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

it's mine and i love it!

It's been a crazy weekend - summer weather Friday and Saturday, Art Walk in downtown Canandaigua, Christkindl Market (100 craft vendors) at the Granger Homestead and the Fine Craft Show at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester.

The weather turned today, so I made the executive decision to keep the shop closed and drove up to Rochester to check out the Fine Craft Show.

One of the first people I saw there was Charlotte Herrera, whose idea it was several years ago to hold a juried show of fine crafts as a new MAG fundraiser. Char and I have become good friends and she was a wonderful source for me when I first thought about opening a jewelry gallery. And then I became a source for her, when I introduced her to Kerry Bogert, one of our first and most favorite artists at JOOLZ.

Kerry makes lampwork glass beads and incorporates them into unusual and exciting pieces of jewelry, often using sterling silver wire and other embellishments. She's done trunk shows at JOOLZ and has brought her torch with her, demonstrating for our customers her technique for making beads.

And this year, for the very first time, Kerry is one of the 40 artists participating in the MAG Fine Craft Show. I just had to make time to go visit her there. Not only is Kerry exhibiting her work, but she is also doing a demonstration of bead making today...and she was featured in this morning's Democrat and Chronicle. Here's a shot of her in her booth at the show:

Kerry's sister, Bonnie, was helping her out during the show, but disappeared when the camera came out!

Of course I couldn't walk away empty-handed, and was thrilled to snag a piece I had seen earlier on Kerry's blog, her "Strength in Numbers" necklace:

And it's not part of our JOOLZ inventory - it's mine and I love it!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

liz brown trunk show

Artist Liz Brown spent the day at JOOLZ today, bringing with her a wonderful selection of earthy, organic necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Liz is not about bling, but has found her niche working with stones that attract her with muted colors and tactile smoothness. She loves turquoise, red bamboo coral, moss agate and aventurine, along with many others. She also searches out well-made and unusual sterling and pewter findings, beads and clasps, incorporating them into her finished pieces. The combinations are just striking...and we have selected a few of our favorites to keep at JOOLZ. We hope you'll come see them, along with her fun, retro bottle cap earrings.

Thank you, Liz, for being with us today. We loved it - and hope you had fun, too.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

ho ho ho?

We are located in the Finger Lakes area of New York and our weather can be spectacularly gorgeous or spectacularly terrible -- sometimes both in a 24 hour period. We've already had snow in the air and on the ground. We've had a couple of hard freezes and the leaves are mostly off the trees.

For the last few days, however, we've been having summer weather - blue skies, temps in the lower 70's and a need to turn on the air conditioning at the store (black ceiling, lots of lights -- it gets HOT fast).

But the kicker is that we need to be decorated for the holidays -- the semi-annual Art Walk starts tomorrow afternoon and goes through the weekend. So the trees are up and lit, the red glass ornaments are shining throughout the store and Joolie, our inanimate shop dog, is wearing her holiday bow. However, I just could not start playing the holiday music yet - Michael Buble crooning on the iPod was as close as I could get. Am I nuts, or did the kids trick or treat less than a week ago?

Monday, November 3, 2008

holiday art walk and trunk show this weekend

Canandaigua's Holiday Art Walk is this weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We'll be flying the new Arts flag, as will many of the other participants. Additionally, the Granger Homestead's Christkindl Market is also scheduled for all three days this weekend - big tent on the lawn, craft and food vendors, musicians, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Lots to do, and a shuttle bus running the loop between downtown and the Homestead, so no parking worries.

JOOLZ will have a special guest on Saturday from 11am - 4pm. Artist Liz Brown, from East Rochester, will be bringing a trunk show of her work and will be with us to answer any questions from interested customers. Liz found JOOLZ through word of mouth and approached me about having her work at the shop. When I saw it, I knew immediately that it would fit in nicely and would appeal to a large cross-section of our customers.

A second grade teacher by day, Liz is a passionate jewelry maker when not at school. She loves organic stones, earthy colors, interesting silver and pewter adornments and combines them all with a distinctive style. And it turns out that she is almost "family" -- I learned after she was part of the JOOLZ mix that her grandfather was my childhood pediatrician and that of my children.

Canandaigua's going to be bustling this weekend - hope to see you then.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

pearls, pearls and more pearls

If you read our October newsletter, you know that Judi McCormick of Manchester, VT is an artist whose work is new at JOOLZ. Discovered by my sister-in-law, Peggy, during a trip to Vermont, Judi is a former clothing designer who now uses her eye for color and design to create delicious handcrafted jewelry.

Judi loves pearls - any shape, any color, any size. She has sent us necklaces featuring big, fat, white freshwater pearls, rose-colored keshi pearls, chocolate (unfortunately, not the edible kind) pearls and a 51" necklace of silver freshwater pearls that can be worn doubled or tripled.

She also works with vibrant gemstones, most rough cut, and often combines them with pearls. The combinations are stunning. These are just a few samples of what we have. Come in to see the whole collection - it will take your breath away.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

this is the place!

A woman came in to browse this morning. She said she had been in before and only had a few minutes to look around. She tried on some earrings and then took a phone call on her cell phone: her husband was waiting out in the car for her.

She tried on a few more earrings and then said, "I really have to go - he's waiting for me."

About 3 minutes later she returned, this time accompanied by her husband. She tried on a few pairs of earrings for him and said, "If you ever want to buy jewelry for me, this is the place!"

I think they'll both be back.

Friday, October 31, 2008

october newsletter is up

Check out our October 2008 newsletter and subscribe through the website, if you wish.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

JOOLZ in the news

Today's Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester's daily newspaper, features a Business Section article about the state of local retail shops and expectations for holiday sales. Debbie Alexander, a D&C business reporter, called this past week to get my read on the national economic situation and how we were relating to it locally. Upon reading the article, I was glad to see that my take was exactly like that of her business school expert: small, local retailers are doing OK, have a niche and will hold their own, focusing on superior customer service and unique products.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

trick or treat

Soggy, rainy, ugly weather does not lend itself to a parade of happy kids trick or treating through downtown. The 400 kids that were expected turned out to be about 25, along with drenched parents and lots of umbrellas. But Suzanne, my assistant at the shop, was decked out in her witch outfit, ready to hand out candy to any and all trick or treaters. And the kids were adorable, despite the fact that most had costumes hidden beneath raincoats and in some cases, large garbage bags. We'll hope for better weather next year and will do our best to eat the leftover candy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

going green

Artists find their inspiration in a myriad of ways and it's always fascinating to me to see how different artistic visions create such different styles of jewelry.

A couple of the artists at JOOLZ have "gone green" to such an extent that they find and re-use everyday objects to create really striking, conversation-provoking joolz.

Sue Rosengard of Chicago has recently added a line called "Flying Paper." Taking paper objects and preserving them with a protective coating, Sue makes fun, lightweight and unique earrings that are definitely one of a kind. New to JOOLZ are her paper map and sheet music earrings - perfect gifts for anyone who loves to travel or appreciates music.

Artist Amy Pfaffman of California has taken recycled object jewelry to the outer limits. Her entire line is made of everyday objects she finds and repurposes into joolz that send a message: "I dare to be different." We have Amy-designed necklaces and bracelets made from guitar picks, rulers and colored pencils. People will stop you on the street and ask about your joolz. Just be prepared to explain that you're "going green."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

omg, there's snow in the air!

First snowflakes in the air this afternoon...and I am NOT ready for winter. Just bought tons of candy for the 400+ kids who will march down Main Street on Saturday at noon, decked out in their Halloween costumes and gathering up mountains of candy from all the merchants. Also got a couple of "emergency" backup bags of chocolate candy to be held in reserve. I'll just have to eat the candy myself if we run out of kids...such are the wiles of a confirmed chocoholic!

Friday, October 17, 2008

rochester choice awards 2008

Each year the Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester's daily newspaper, gathers votes for the Rochester Choice Awards. Strictly subjective and a total popularity contest (no questions from the judges or bathing suit competition - phew!!), the award winners are published in the paper after votes have been submitted online and through ballots available around town.

One of our customers said she had entered JOOLZ as a write-in candidate in the jewelry store category and encouraged me to get the word out. Thank goodness for e-mail...I sent out dozens to friends and customers, asking them to vote for their favorites and asking them to consider voting for JOOLZ. Now I see that JOOLZ is included in the category listing, so write-ins are no longer necessary and a click will do.

This is a great way to get visibility for the store, painless and really cheap (free) for the voters, and the end result could be that many more people in the Rochester area will learn about the best store in the area for extraordinary handcrafted jewelry! And if you click HERE you can vote too. Thanks!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

beautiful design, beautiful fabrication

Always on the lookout for fantastic new finds, I have been doing a little pre-holiday shopping, getting ready for the season.

No mail on Monday, but our UPS guy, Jay, was on the job. He delivered a much-anticipated package from Shirley Price of Villa Park, California. Shirley and I met in April at the ACRE show in Las Vegas and I just loved her work. I knew it would be a special addition for the holiday shopping season and purposely waited several months to bring it in at the right time.

You see, I have a teensy little problem with the waiting game - I just can't wait to display something if it's in the store. If I put it away in the safe, it stays there only about 24 hours before I have to tag it and put it out. I want to see it in the mix and I want to see our customers' reactions to the new work. So sometimes I make myself wait to order so that once it comes, I can put it right out.

We have 4 new neck pieces from Shirley, all perfectly stunning. Working with extraordinary cabochons, highly polished but very organic, Shirley sets the stones in sterling and fine silver, and adds her signature single pearl to each piece. Hinged pieces of silver form the collars so that the neck pieces lie perfectly and are extremely comfortable. Each piece makes a statement, bold yet somehow understated at the same time. Beautiful design, beautiful fabrication. Come see for yourself.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

fashion show fabulocity

One of my all time favorite stores for classic but updated clothing is Jane Morgan's Little House in Aurora, NY. Located in a charming little village on the shores of Cayuga Lake, JMLH is a shopper's paradise. The owner, Randi Zabriskie, has an eye for style like no other. She knows what's in, what's out, what's coming and what to avoid. She throws out little fashion tips such as "showing your wrists makes your hips look smaller!!"

For several years Randi has taken her clothing on the road, producing fabulous fashion shows at a few different venues. Today the show was at a women's club in Rochester and Randi wanted to accessorize a few of her outfits with joolz from JOOLZ. I drove over to Aurora on Sunday with a selection of joolz and let her take her pick - sterling silver ribbon earrings by Reiko Ishiyama, a white cotton ball neck collar by Abra Gorby and a peach-colored keshi pearl and sunstone necklace by Gretchen Gray. It was such fun to watch Randi match the joolz to the outfits - like the pairing of a good wine with a gourmet meal. She really knows her inventory and her models - both were a perfect match for the chosen joolz and the show was a resounding success. Thanks for the collaboration, Randi. I hope we can do it again sometime.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

welcome to JOOLZ, tahmi!

In April, my daughter Kate and I attended the ACRE (American Craft Retailers Expo) show in Las Vegas. We saw several artists whose work is already at JOOLZ and discovered others whom we thought would fit in nicely. One of those was Tahmi DeSchepper of Fairfield, Iowa.

Tahmi (pronounced Tammy) handcrafts silver and other metals into links forming bracelets, earrings and necklaces. Her work is classic but updated, just like a lot of our customers. She's also designed a great clasp that goes on easily and stays closed while wearing the jewelry. No need to call for help while getting dressed and no worries about losing the joolz when you're out and about.

We learned that JOOLZ is the 100th gallery to carry Tahmi's work - quite an honor to be included in that group. Welcome to JOOLZ, Tahmi!