I have posted many pictures of different pieces of jewelry over the past couple of months on my FB page and, although beautiful and unique, much of it is from Japan. They have some pretty amazing and creative pieces, that are quite expensive, in Japan. What about the USA? The Disneystore.com has some great pieces as do the Disney Parks but what about something a little less obvious and still quite affordable?
I was thrilled to come across a small business that creates Disney inspired pieces that are within my budget. Not only are these pieces affordable but they are hand made, in the USA, and they will even do custom pieces! These pieces are not obviously Disney, which is one thing I love about them, and can be worn with Disney Bounding outfits without screaming Disney. A non-Disney fan could also love these pieces. They are beautiful and smart and I have been featuring many of these pieces within my weekly Disney Bounding articles. This week, I decided to do an interview with the woman who created it all, Rachel. She is the owner and artist at Beautiful Baubles. Let’s take a look at what inspired her to get in to the jewelry making business and how she comes up with each piece.
1. How did you get in to jewelry making?
I had a daughter in 2012 and I wanted a Mommy/family necklace with our birthstones on it but I couldn’t find one I liked that I could afford so I decided to make my own. I made one for all of the mothers in my life and I did something different for each piece. That was the start of my Heritage Collection which is what I used to open my shop on Etsy. One night I had a dream about making a realistic looking Ursula necklace and then I came up with the idea of making Disney themed jewelry for Adults and people that didn’t want to wear actual character images but still wanted something to show their love. Ever since then I’ve been on a roll.
2. How do you find your inspiration for each piece?
Honestly, it changes with each piece. Sometimes I will see a colored crystal or charm and want to make something with it. Often what I do is sit down and watch a specific movie and draw out sketches and take notes while I watch it. I will pause it about a million times and really pay attention to costumes, sets, and background images and patterns. (My husband won’t watch a movie with me unless my sketchbook and pen are nowhere to be seen, lol, but my daughter doesn’t mind) After the movie is over I go back over my notes and sketches and think about each individual character and what could represent them best- for example- The Tinkerbell Luxe Earrings vs The Tiana Luxe Earrings- for Tink I wanted something to mimic the shape of her wings but knew it needed to go back to nature so I chose the flower and the surrounding crystals To show the pixie dust that floats around her when she is flying. For Tiana I chose the Azalea flower in gold because it is such an iconic southern flower. Then I used the chalcedony and citrine in shapes that are seen in the petals of her bayou wedding dress.
3. What is your fave piece and why?
I actually have a few- I am partial to the Ursula necklace because it is what started it all for me, and the Acorn and Thimble necklace because I’ve loved Peter Pan since I was a little girl, but I think my favorites overall have to be the ones I’ve made based off a specific image from the movies. The first one I did was for a close friend who wanted me to make a necklace based on Ariel in the scene saying “he loves me, he loves me not.” I also did a pair of earrings for a customer to wear to the opening night of Maleficent- she wanted me to use the iconic image of Maleficent as a dragon surrounded by green flames from Sleeping Beauty. The one that I love the most has to be the Jiminy Cricket Umbrella PINdant necklace. It took me FOREVER to figure out how to get it right. A few false starts, lots of frustration, and failed attempts went into making that necklace but when it was finally finished and looked the way I wanted it to, I was so proud of it. It is also the necklace that made me want to make jewelry from the trading pins in the parks.
4. How long does it take to make a piece on average?
Some pieces take 15min others can take up to 3 days to set up. On average though, I would say most of the pieces take about 30minutes if I have all of the individual pieces ready to be put together.
5. Did you go to school for this or is it a hobby?
While I didn’t go to school for this specifically, I did go for artistic ventures. I have a bachelors in Art History and one in Classics emphasizing in ancient art and archaeology. With the degrees I have, I had to take a lot of hands on art classes like drawing and sculpture, as well as iconography, storytelling through art and movies, and classes on representing specific ideas in art. I also took classes for baking and candy making independently. I have had a lot of experience working with my hands making small details create meaningful beauty.
6. Do you ever take requests for pieces?
Of course! Those are the best ones for me! I love being challenged to make something new and making someone else’s dream jewelry become a tangible reality. The more frustrated I get the better, because it means I am doing my job right by pushing the boundaries of my abilities. I especially love making wedding party and bridal pieces for Disney brides. It is an amazing honor to be included in something so intimate and personal.
7. Tell us about the Elsa earrings in the wedding article.
I all of a sudden got 15 orders for the earrings within 20minutes and I couldn’t figure out why. Luckily Etsy let’s sellers see where their viewers are coming from so I found the article on Buzzfeed. I started jumping up and down screaming and crying I was so excited. My daughter looked at me like I had finally lost what was left of my mind but quickly joined in on the jumping and screaming. She thought it was a game. My earrings were number 10 in an article of 33 things to add a Disney touch to your wedding day.
8. Tell as about Rachel…
I am a big goofy kid at heart who refuses to grow up. I am married with one daughter and a crazy rat terrier named Odysseus. I have always loved all things Disney so my husband and I went to Disney world on our honeymoon, where I got pregnant with our Disney miracle baby. Wishing on Snow White’s wishing well really does work people! I have always been a creative person who made art, baked, and all kinds of crafts but cannot sew to save my life.
9. What would like to see happen to Beautiful Baubles in the future?
I really want to start getting into retail stores. The good thing about my jewelry is that you don’t have to be a Disney fan to like it or want to wear it, but if you are you will enjoy it that much more. I would absolutely LOVE to work for Disney or have an official relationship with them. That is the ultimate dream come true for me.
10. What would you like people to know about Beautiful Baubles if you had the chance to tell them?
I love making each and every piece and I hope that comes through to whoever wears it. I put a lot of research and effort into making the pieces unique and not anything someone else is making, but I also try to keep the pieces affordable so anyone can have one. I am constantly designing new items (like this week I will be releasing two new Fairy Tale Luxe earrings- Lilo and Nala and I am starting to work on designs for more villains as well as the princes and heroes) so check the store often. I love hearing from customers and I absolutely LOVE seeing pictures of people wearing my pieces. It almost makes me feel like a small piece of me is getting to travel the world even when I am just sitting at home.
I hope that this interview inspires you to go and check out the Beautiful Baubles Etsy store. I just placed an order last week and I cannot wait for my goodies to get here! Rachel is also running a Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend special! If you go to the Beautiful Baubles etsy store and enter the code DISFASHION25 from November 28th- December 1st you will get 25% off your order!! That’s what I call an amazing Black Friday sale!! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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