Sunday, November 14, 2010

Meet Craft Riot Vendor: Gem Junkie

Kelly Owens Pratlett
Facebook Fan Page!/pages/GemJunkie/340693226989


Give a brief product description.

Gemstones and Jewelry Supplies online, handmade earrings and necklaces in person
What is unique about your product? I try to choose really fun, bright, colors and whimsical shapes for my supply shop so that the selection is different than what the average jewelry supply shop carries. What makes my handmade jewelry unique is the price point. All my earrings sell for $5/pair. I do this because I think it's really important for women to have fun, funky, unique accessories that don't cost a small fortune. I love variety and I like my customers to be able to afford variety as well.

How did you get started? 

My sister saw a necklace that she loved in an Anthropologie catalog. It was over $100. She couldn't afford it and she thought she might be able to make something similar. So, she did some research online, ordered some supplies and a month later she taught me how to make jewelry. The rest is history.

Where do you get your inspiration? 

I am inspired by everything: nature, gemstones, bead stores, other artisans, my family, magazines. There is style everywhere and you can use what you see and morph into something totally your own.
 About a year ago, my husband allowed me to take over the second half of our office. So, I hung one of those old accordion-shaped drying racks on the wall. Then, I hung hundreds of strands of beads, in rainbow order, onto the rack. I call it my "inspiration wall". Any time I get stuck and need an idea, I just stare up at all the gems and beads hanging there and something calls my name. It's instant jewelry-making gratification!

Describe your workspace/workroom. 

My workspace is one of our spare bedrooms. It has a vintage couch, a teal-blue accent wall, two desks (one for making jewelry and the other for packing orders) and more shelves than you can shake a stick at.

What has been your favorite winter holiday gift to make or receive?

There's not one single thing I recall having made as a gift that stands out in my mind. However, there is something I do every year that always makes a great gift. It's kind of a story. Every year, before Christmas, I listen to my mom and sister talk about the things they want or wish they could make, jewelry-wise, that is. And I usually keep a little list going. Then, come December, I choose from the ideas they've been "wishing" for and teach myself how to make one of those jewelry items for each of them. Sometimes it's the same for both of them and sometimes each gift is totally different. I figure I know it's something they'll enjoy because they commented that they wanted it and it's extra-special because it was handmade by a family member! 

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