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A Look Back at 2018

Greetings and happy 2019! I rang in the new year with my Thomas Ring and Sam Necklace! I thought on the one year anniversary of launching my blog I’d take a look back at 2018.

NYE18

2018 was exciting for me as I started my jewelry blog and jewelry line! I’d be lying if I said it was all rainbows and roses though! It was fun, stressful, frustrating, exciting, etc., etc., etc. I really never thought I would be a business owner for one and starting a jewelry line seemed like a far off dream. So when I think of it that way I say DAMN you go girl! I still have a lot of growing and learning to do but don’t we all? If you’re interested in becoming either a better person or a bigger bad ass you better believe it!

Some highlights from 2018 include getting my first pieces, getting my last pieces and getting the other pieces in between! Revealing pieces along the way was fun and seeing everyone’s reactions. Launching my blog was fun as it became an outlet to just talk about jewelry even if no one was reading it! Starting my e-commerce site was a huge goal for me as it was so daunting to just think about before I finally did it! I also took part in the live stream version of the Jewelry Independent Summit. It was really cool to listen to super successful people in all parts of the business talk about their experiences. I’m looking forward to the next one in February! Selling a few pieces for Christmas gifts was awesome, too! I loved getting to play Santa.

Some low lights from 2018 were frustration over waiting for stones, the USPS destroying one of my pieces and the utter freaking out over this feeling that I had to create something new for the holidays. Happily I walked away from that notion and didn’t feel like I’d missed out on something. And the ring that the USPS destroyed was fixed by my partner in crime jeweler and the blessing is that I freakin’ love it and try to wear it as often as possible. All things to learn from!

Goal DiggerI’m not sure what my 2019 goals are yet. During that holiday feeling of having to make new designs I told myself walk away and regroup in January. I really want to hustle but I also have to maintain my sanity. So I have realized that I don’t have to rush it all. Learn. Experience. Learn more. Enjoy the ride. I have ideas and plans that aren’t formulated so onward and upward!

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Oh. My. God. Becky! Look at her…JEWELS!

I recently had the opportunity to meet one of my jewelry favs. I wanted to attend the Anna Beck trunk show at Nordstrom at Tyson’s Corner last year but didn’t want to make the drive to be honest. When I saw the event posted again for 2018 on their social media I thought I would go this year. Back in November during a day of shopping which I of course turned into an impromptu happy hour I asked my BFF if she would go with me. She instantly said yes. Perfect, I thought, I’ll have a navigator. I’m much better as the driver. A few weeks later she ended up having to decline to attend a family friend’s celebration of life.

In the meantime, the wildfires were running rampant through California and quite a few jewelers were offering sales in support of people who lost everything, abandoned or displaced animals and the fire fighters battling the fires day after day. Anna Beck posted one day on IG that 100% of their sales that day were going to support some of the charities helping out. I text my husband and said I’m buying my Christmas gift because they are supporting this cause. I picked something out, entered me credit card and was excited to support and get something by a brand that I love. Win.WIN!

At this point I figured I wouldn’t go to the trunk show. I didn’t have a navigator and had just bought something. I had been planning a purchase at the trunk show from my husband for Christmas but since I made the purchase to support the fires I didn’t think I’d make a second one. And don’t even get me started on how early I’d have to get up to get there when it started at 10 am so I could ensure I’d get a decent parking spot since it is after all just before Christmas. Read as I am NOT a morning person. Like ever. Like really never ever.

After talking to my husband about it more I realized I would be really disappointed if I didn’t go. Miss meeting the designer and owner of Anna Beck because of a little drive by myself on the beltway (I’d almost rather stick a fork in my eye) or because of having to get up early on a Saturday (I’d almost rather stick a for in my eye). So all week I told myself I was going. I printed directions, painted my nails, picked out my jewelry and what I’d wear. Of course nails and jewels were most important! And of course I had to include some GOLD by Green pieces (moonstone and amethyst ring below).

The next morning I got up, got ready and hit the road. Of course I almost left the directions on the counter. And yes I’m not so old that I didn’t also plan to use my phone for directions, too, but typically the GPS lady and I don’t get along, so me by myself, I needed a printed set of directions. Which I never even looked at…..

I set off in the rain (ugh the RAIN) with my big coffee and a bottle of water. For at least 30 minutes I still questioned driving over there. My back instantly told me I had made the wrong decision and it just kept reminding me. I put on Christmas carols and drank my coffee. My BFF called me at some point and we talked for quite a while. It helped to pass the time. I still hadn’t made it to the Bay Bridge yet.

I turned up the Christmas carols, continued to drink my coffee and sang out loud. As I drove on the rain got so much worse. I white knuckled it onto the beltway, cursed (quite) a few people along the way, ‘Tis the Season after all, and continued on. About this time I started questioning how much longer. I’m like a man when I drive. I don’t want to stop until I am there and I want to make good time! But wow did I need a bathroom! And then boom – traffic! On a Saturday! In the pouring rain! COME ON!!!! I could still see red noting congestion on my phone along my travel path and I’m pretty sure I did three things at this point. I started praying for a bathroom and started shaking it off along with Taylor Swift (temporary station change from carols). Then I actually started to consider having to pull over on the side of the road – actual pit stop or not! Finally! My exit! I had a conversation with God at this point and begged that there would be a bathroom as soon as I exited. I must be on Santa’s nice list this year because as soon as I pulled off there was a gas station! Under normal circumstances I would never stop at a gas station and I try to avoid public bathrooms at all cost. I grabbed my wallet, jumped out of the car (locked it thank goodness) said out loud, “I will buy something if I have to!” Then I saw the sign for the bathroom pointing to the side of the building. PRAISE BE TO GOD! And it was empty and not bad for a Shell station. I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier to find a public bathroom. But I digress, ironically, Tyson’s Corner was literally, around the corner. I never would have made it though….

I made the turn in and saw Norstrom’s immediately on my left. Yes! Next I saw a parking garage practically attached to it. Even better! I pulled in knowing red lights meant the spots were taken and green meant spots were open down the long lines of spots. I found a spot close to the entrance and headed in.

I walked to the signage stating what was on what floor and saw I only had to go up one Anna Beck set upfloor. I took the escalator and started to get excited. At the top I saw the jewelry section. I looked around and started perusing the area looking for the Anna Beck team. I walked around the entire section and thought – where?!!?! I started back near the escalator and realized they were right at the top near where I’d gotten off. GEEEEZ Mary….open your eyes! I kinda stalked the set up and checked out everyone behind the counter.

Par for the course I got a little star struck when I saw designer and owner of Anna Beck, Becky. She came out from behind the counter and I approached her and said, “Hi, I wanted to introduce myself I’m kind of a super fan.” Did I just say super fan. Oh GAWD Mary get yourself together! I have never been successful at talking to people who are either famous or that I don’t know but admire. Open mouth. Insert foot. THAT is what I’m good at.

Becky talked to me like we were friends. She asked where I was from and I told her Mary and BeckyDelaware and in particular Rehoboth Beach. She asked me how long it took me to get there. “About two and half hours,” I replied. ” You drove over two hours to come today?” I was like, “Ummmm yeah!” She was even familiar with Rehoboth because South Moon Under carries her collection. We also talked about Gypsy Teal in Bethany Beach as they also carry her pieces. I was so impressed that she knew both stores! I tried not to stare at her perfectly stacked and layered jewels. In my head I was thinking oh my God her jewelry is perfection just look at it! I wanted it all. We continued to talk and I told her how I loved her business model that gives back. I didn’t want to take up too much of her time as I know she was there to sell her jewelry and talk to customers. I said how nice it was to meet her and told her it was now time for me to shop!

I poked around, tried on rings – of course I tried on rings! I looked at the beautiful earrings, some of the necklaces and kept going back and forth along the counter to ensure I didn’t miss anything. I settled on a cuff bracelet that is part of her classic collection. An adorbs Nordstom’s sales associate checked me out. A co-worker of hers came over to talk to her and she looked at me and said, “I love your stacks, you’ve got a good eye. Want a part time job selling jewelry? It’s not a bad gig a lot of customers do it for the discount!” In my head I yelled brilliant! I pointed out that my ring and pendant were mine as I had started my own collection recently! I still had to tell Becky I was an aspiring designer. That was 50% of the point of going!

I thanked the girls for their help and headed on. Becky was busy helping others so I walked out into the mall. Good Lord it has been a long time since I have been in a mall. During the holidays. Sooooo many people. And even at a high end mall, sooooo many random outfits. Do people look at themselves when they leave the house?! I’m not going to lie I go to the grocery store or to walk the boardwalk without checking the mirror but I was kinda surprised by some of what I saw. I bought a few things (cursing the sales tax!) and got my lunch, an Auntie Anne’s pretzel with cheese reminiscing about working at the one on Rehoboth Avenue when I was a teenager. I loved that job! I walked back to Nordy’s and slowly approached Becky again. I apologized for interrupting and told her I just wanted to say thanks and it was really nice to meet her. She said, “Oh my gosh you’re still here!” Then she gave me a big hug. I was so happy I kept both feet on the floor and not in mouth this time. She told me about another trunk show in February in the area and said I should come. I told her I would if it wasn’t during our annual trip to Puerto Vallarta.

I got back in my car and headed home. I immediately heard my husband asking what she had to say about me starting my jewelry line. UGH I hadn’t told her. She was there to work and she was so kind in taking the time to talk to me and take a photo! I thought about what it would be like to some day have someone be that excited to meet me! The closest I have gotten to that was when I went shopping (ironically) at Gypsy Teal’s pre-holiday sale and one of the girls who checked me out said, “oh you’re the ring girl!” I literally almost fainted when I realized that she knew who I was from IG.

Becky was so gracious and I was so happy I braved the dreaded beltway, in the rain, almost having to make an unauthorized pit stop along the way! When you meet people you admire it’s really great when they are genuinely that same person you pegged them to be.

On the drive home I started thinking about writing this and the part of me who can’t take anything seriously started hearing a little Sir Mix A Lot in my head. Oh. My. God. Becky! Look at her jewels! Then a little Ice Cube….I really do have to say….it was a good day.

And even when it’s raining, don’t forget to always stay GOLDEN!
Mary Green #goldbygreen

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Don’t Worry. Be Grateful.

I want to control everything. And that, we know boys and girls, is just not possible. Or reasonable. I have become a worrier. It’s so annoying.

Yet, I have a lot to be thankful and grateful for. Like most people. And like most people I can easily forget that. First, I have checked the family archives multiple times. I am never going to be an heiress or socialite. Believe me. I’ve done the research. Facing reality, I am grateful to have a job in the small beach town in which I grew up that is less than 10 minutes from my house, offers good benefits, consists of a good team and is something I can believe in doing every day. I’ve never worked for another organization this long. Granted that is because we have moved for my husband’s job a few times. I am thankful to have a good job that I enjoy at Beebe.

I am thankful for my family, my blood relatives and the crazy family that I married into that I consider my blood relatives. They are my people and I love spending time with them. I can’t imagine having more fun than with anyone else than my husband. Although I must admit, my mom is pretty darn fun. And my dad enjoys a good dirty martini as much as I do. I have learned throughout the years that I thought I was my mother’s daughter because of my love of all carbs and in particular French fries, but it has become apparent, I am my father’s daughter. And therefore, I must say, watch out world! Okay watch out Puerto Vallarta!

I currently have three cats. And I have had more that I have lost. I have loved each of them as mush as they have unconditionally loved me. There isn’t anything like the love an animal can give you and believe you me, I love walking in the door to see the little nugget come to greet me. Maybe it’s because she knows I feed her and that’s okay – I will take it!

As someone who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia last year, I can throw myself a really good pity party, but I can also say I’m thankful. I have had chronic back pain since I was a teenager. I have struggled with it. I was lucky enough that the first major pain I had at my summer job my dad happened to be at the restaurant having lunch and could take me to the ER. A few years later when it happened again, my dear friend was able to take me. Both times my mom was around to give me mom love – which is the best – for the three days I was confined to laying on the floor – doctor’s orders. When I was in a car accident years later before moving home from California, a co-worker was able to come and get me and take me home since my car was totaled. I have since learned this is likely what led to my chronic pain and fibro diagnosis. This has helped the crazy inside of me that has to have a reason for everything and know the WHY for every little thing. I have always been surrounded by an inner circle of good people even though I continue to struggle with being open about being diagnosed with fibro (as I call it because I don’t feel the need to say the entire word over and over….) and talking about it. How can it be real if it’s something you can’t see? The pain is real, believe you me. There are a few people I always talk to about my pain and they just listen. That is what I need, someone to listen so I don’t feel so isolated. I even have an IG friend in Australia that I send questions to who also has the same diagnosis! (See social media isn’t all THAT bad!) It can be very hard, and you feel like you are a burden on everyone. These few people make it okay. And for them I am SUPER grateful.

beachGrowing up in a beach town, I have learned that I can’t live anywhere else. I went from Delaware to San Francisco to Huntington Beach and back. I realized this summer that for my body, the beach is my happy place. One day on the beach in July I felt the best I had physically felt in a few months. I felt so good that it became apparent all of a sudden and felt like it hit me like a ton of bricks. Well, maybe like a ton of feathers because for the first time there was nothing weighing down my muscles! There is something about the every part of the beach. The warmth of the sand on your feet, the smell of the salt water and the suntan lotion, the feel of the water as it washes away all the stuff and the sound of the seagulls – yes even the seagulls. I’ve tried to start going down to just walk on the beach for even just 10 to 15 minutes this late fall when it’s cold. Just being there is so calming. It’s a natural stress reliever.

I am a self-proclaimed music junkie. I love most music. It takes me to my happy place. My husband is always kind enough to sit in the car in the driveway with me and listen to that one last song before heading in for the night. Sometimes he will even sing with me but never as loud as me. There’s nothing like a good dance party and it’s not only good for my soul but almost nothing soothes my body like dancing around my living room (or Sam’s) to old music or honestly, good old smooth jazz. Don’t get it? Doesn’t matter. It’s all about the music. I realized when we recently saw the Gypsy Kings at the Freeman Stage (my favorite venue for live music!!) that when people where my jewelry I want them to get the same feeling that I do when I listen to live music. There is just nothing that compares to that feeling!

This time last year I started on my jewelry journey and if you told me that I’d have a website with items for sale, would have had my first launch party and would be thinking strategically about my next steps…I’m not going to lie I probably would have told you I didn’t believe you. I have thrown out my wildest dreams and maybe those haven’t exactly come true yet, but I also know I need to hustle a little (okay A LOT) harder. One big lesson I’ve learned though is that I need to come up with a plan that works for me and continue to educate myself. Then, I think things will begin to fall into place more for me and my dreams.

For now, I’ll just continue to rock out to whatever comes on the radio and throw out my hopes and dreams to the universe because I know she’s listening. And I bet she’s got a lot of the same music on her playlist that I do.

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Sometimes You Just Have to Walk Away

Well, once again it’s been a while and I have been lacking in my blog posting! We did take a little vacation but still no excuse. I’m feeling either underwhelmed (personal favorite word with a funny story behind it) or maybe I’m feeling the exact opposite. Completely. Over. Whelmed. It’s interesting to think I started on this journey almost a year ago and I’ve held my first small launch and sold quite a few pieces! But back to today….the holiday season is coming and I feel the pressure to get pieces made for people to purchase as gifts! I feel as if this is an opportunity I should capitalize on. On the other hand, I have a tendency to sometimes fly by the seat of my pants which actually makes the OCD planner in me crazy. As a Pisces, I am walking contradiction. I recently learned from my fellow fish, Tara Lausch, that we crave freedom and stability. We are wild but responsible, spontaneous but a planner – word for word from a post on her @soulfishtribe Instagram. I titled my first collection, First Flight because I felt exactly that way – like I was just flying by the seat of my pants! But it was fun and sometimes you just have to trust the journey. Yet, I can hear my husband Frank in my head, “You need a plan.”

So, on this journey I am really surprised at what I’ve created. I am a self proclaimed ring whore. Okay that really isn’t nice so let’s say ring addict. I figured I would want to make lots of rings and maybe I will but I haven’t yet. I have learned that rings are harder to sell because they are size specific. Who knew!?! Not me!

I am finding more and more that I am loving necklaces and pendants. When I say that I mean designing them although I did buy a new necklace in Beaune, France on our recent vacation. Okay and a ring. Kind of a matching set. I also find it really interesting that to date I have sold all but one necklace that I had made! And I’m also surprised that I only sold one matching necklace and earrings set. The one pendant I decided to keep because I love it SO MUCH is probably the one piece that I have gotten the most compliments on. My husband says everything has a price tag, but in this case I beg to differ. I made three pendants and I donated one to the Meals on Wheels Celebrity Beach Brunch and I was super excited to hear that it almost went for the full retail value!

I guess then it will come as no surprise that I have three custom one of a kind necklaces in the works. (But I’m not sharing any previews YET!!) Sitting here today though my head is spinning. I have had so many ideas that I just can’t commit to for one reason or another. Oh wait, did I just hear Frank again?

For instance, I just went from this…..
fluorite layouts
To this…..
fluorite loose

Do I have to make sets? Do I have to make earrings and necklaces? Rings to match? What about the price point? Does it make sense? Is it reasonable? Is it enough or will people think it’s too much?! Ugh the struggle is REAL. Sometimes you just have to walk away….

Speaking of price points….I am trying to learn to not make up people’s minds for them and my customer may not always be who I think it is. That is probably the hardest part for me. It’s really hard to put a price on pieces because you are basically putting a price tag on yourself! It’s scary and intimidating and I wonder what people think. Just because I have my own personal price range when buying jewelry doesn’t mean my ideal customer’s is the same. So, I also hear Heidi Lowe telling me, “You aren’t your customer so you have to think beyond that!” #goodadvice

Once again thanks for reading and for your support! And don’t forget. Christmas is coming! Check out my jewels currently for sale here.

Stay GREEN!
Mary #goldbygreen

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Check Out All Angles

I’ve admitted before that I stare at my rings during throughout the day. I would probably stare the rest of my jewelry if I could easily see it without a mirror. Most people probably only really check out their jewelry when making a purchase or when it’s new. My question for you today is do you check out the back of your jewelry? I take off my rings a lot throughout the day as I wash my hands a lot! Often when I put them back on I check them out.

I think everyone should do this not only to make sure everything looks okay but to see the beauty of your pieces from different angles. First, yes make sure things are right. I looked down at my engagement ring about 10 years ago and saw a prong had cracked off. After I recovered from my heart attack and realized that my diamond was fine I moved on to getting it fixed. Side note, because we had insurance on it we had it reset by a professional jeweler in a brand new setting at no cost. Get your good jewelry insured! That’s for another post though….

Stones that are faceted are beautiful from all angles. Typically, the point of the stone is heidi ringset facing down and I think this part is just as beautiful as the top of the stone which can be faceted, have a table (flat surface) or if it’s smooth it’s considered a cabochon.

I love this setting that Heidi Lowe did for me. I designed the look but she set the stone so you could see the bottom of it. A really cool hidden detail.

Also, check out the setting underneath and all around. Nowadays, many jewelers hide something special in the setting like a tiny birthstone inside the band of an engagement ring to represent the husband
or one for each of the couple. bandOld jewelry may have a special inscription for that someone special or the jeweler. My husband had my initials and 5-year anniversary date added to this band. The setting is really where the magic happens. While stones are beautiful the setting is their little home! Many stones are set in a way to let in more light from the different angles of the piece. Light amplifies most stones. Look at the craftsmanship. And maybe it’s not perfect and that’s okay!

 

I like to check out the back of this pendant that is actually one my designs! The back of the stone is so pretty.

back of pendant

Finally, check out the detail on the sides of this Jane Taylor Rosebud ring. Not only is amethyst is my birthstone but my mom called me Rosebud when I was little so it makes me love it even more!

rosebud2rosebud

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Inspiration

I have been way overdue in writing a post so here goes. As the last of  my first pieces are being finalized I start to think what now? When do you start making plans for what’s next? How much is too much? You haven’t even launched the first collection yet! I have never denied that I am flying by the seat of my pants here. It’s really ironic, too. Having held the title of Director of Events at a nonprofit in southern California and Event Coordinator with two nonprofits here locally,  I am typically really organized. I love a list that I can cross things off of that includes specific times as to what will happen when and who is involved…the caterer will be on site at 4 pm, food and bar will be set up by 4:45, guests arrive at 5, speaker will being at 7, event ends at 8 and event breakdown will begin at 8:15 and all rentals will be picked up at 9 pm. Check, check, check! THIS type of organization makes me UBER HAPPY! That is all matter of fact work. Jewelry is creative so I’m way out of my element on that part of it. While there is creativity in event planning, it’s on another level from this at least for me. For a true artist, it’s probably in their blood.

So I start thinking what will the next pieces look like? I see people posts photos on IG of what inspires them. I don’t get a lot of that personally, at least not yet. For me, ideas just literally pop into my head. They may ebb and flow before they are finalized but that is how it works in this brain. The disc necklace definitely had some thought around the ocean although you probably can’t tell from looking at it and I think that was more the original idea in my head which was not the final product.

My porch is by far my favorite room in the house. I was sitting out here one day and realized the color scheme out here mirrors a lot of what I’ve done in the first collection. I look around and see purples and greens – different shades and I love them all. We decorated this porch five years ago so it’s kinda cool to see these colors now coming through in what I’m doing. And while the two on the chairs at the table were gifts, I also never knew I had a thing for pillows…..

I want to point out that the color on the walls is called Shaken Not Stirred. It was a no brainer decision! I added glitter to the paint after seeing it where a friend worked. When the sun hits the walls they sparkle! I also realize that the little jar on the glass table is from my friend’s wedding, the friend who just bought my first piece. 💚

Stay gold and green and apparently purple!
#goldbygreen

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The Specht Family Jewels Part 1

My mom has two sisters, one older and one younger. A few months ago they were together in Florida and I thought it would be fun to sort of interview them together to see where their jewelry inspiration came from when they were growing since we all spent time together when I was growing up. The oldest sister, Aunt Janice even made and sold her own jewelry so it was fun to play in her studio when I’d visit during the summer. Clearly, this jewelry thing is in my blood.

Each of the sisters was given a small diamond ring when they turned 16. The younger sister, Aunt Marianne aka Aunt Merk (don’t ask me where it came from because all I can remember is that my Pap called her Muzzy) was here recently and mentioned that to me. I said yes! My mom gave me hers when I turned 16! It’s a small rose gold ring with three tiny diamonds and my guess is they are old mine cut but I’m not sure. As much as I play one in my tool shed, I am no diamond expert!

sisters

Aunt Merk, Aunt Janice, Aunt Suzy (my mom)

I started thinking about being around them during summers and holidays and what jewelry did I remember? Mainly I remember a three stone diamond ring my Aunt Janice had made that I think was her wedding ring when she married her second husband when I was in about 5th grade. I still remember the wedding in the back yard of her house in Pittsburgh!

Aunt Merk was the only one to respond to my interview questions so far so I’m sharing in this post. I’ll nail down the other two at some point….

  1. What was your 1st piece of jewelry?
    If you count the piece I dug out of Scotty Douthett’s sand box when I was still young enough to be playing in sand boxes then it is a little gold filigree ring with a purple AM 3 ringscenter stone and smaller clear stones around it. I still have it and wear it on a gold necklace.  If you count the first “real” piece purchased at a jewelry store then it would be my 16th birthday diamond ring. For each of our 16th birthdays Mother gave the sisters a ring purchased at Hazel Aupke’s Antique Jewelry Shop located in downtown Pittsburgh around the corner from the Joseph Horne Company department store. Your mother’s engagement ring came from Hazel’s as did mine. We both picked them out and bought them independent from our intended. But back to the 16th birthday ring, mine was gold with a small round center diamond and a diamond chip at angles on either side.  It now keeps company with the sandbox ring on the gold necklace along with a signet ring that was the bridesmaid’s gift from Aunt Janice’s first wedding.
  2. What is your favorite gemstone and why?
    That’s easy…diamonds…a girl’s best friend and my birthstone.
  3. Tell me about a piece a relative wore when you were growing up – why is it memorable?
    That would have to be Mother’s sapphire and diamond cocktail ring.  It came from Italy and she didn’t wear it very often which may have been part of its mystique.  It was originally set in platinum and the sapphire was set low surrounded by multiple rings of diamonds.  At some point she had it reset in white gold, raising the setting of the sapphire to better highlight it and circling it with only two rings of diamonds.  I AM sapphire ringhave to admit that I liked the original setting.  From the leftover diamonds along with some other pieces, Mother had the diamond pendant made that you wore for your wedding.  I think the idea was to have a third piece for the three sisters. There was Mother’s diamond ring which went to your mother. I got the sapphire ring and Aunt Janice got the pendant. Now how that came to be is a story.  I can remember sitting around the kitchen table at dinner talking about who was going to get what when people died. I was still pretty young but not so young that I didn’t notice sparkly jewelry and that I liked it. Of course I started in my sandbox days so I was experienced early on.  Anyway, the logic went that your mother and I should get the rings because we had prettier hands and Janice had short stubby Specht fingers. Looking back, that is just plain mean, but then this is the family that labeled the sisters Creative…Janice, Beautiful…your mother, and Smart…me. When you have braces and glasses and your big sister is beautiful and both sisters are really equally as smart, smart is the booby prize, like having stubby fingers. I digress, your mother wanted the big diamond, I wanted the sapphire and that is what happened.  Janice got the pendant. I guess her neck and décolletage were acceptable. Talk about family baggage!
  4. What is your current favorite piece and why?
    My current favorite piece, always subject to change, is a really fun necklace I got at AM necklaceFAB (Fabulous Arts Boutique) this year. I knew I wanted a funky necklace and had a couple options but this one really spoke to me because of its fashion theme and I love fashion. It is about the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. It is a charm necklace and there are multiple charms with pictures of him including a naughty nude and on the other sides are pictures of fashion models, also Paris themed charms and pretty beads and sparkles. It culminates in a vintage Yves Saint Laurent perfume bottle. Very cool.

This was actually really fun to put together and reminisce over. And yes their rationale over who should get what when my grandmother passed away makes total sense. I keep asking my mom for that diamond ring. The answer is always, a very firm, NO. Wearing the diamond pendant for my wedding was really a last minute decision! I am pretty sure I wore my Aunt Janice’s diamond earrings, too. Hard to believe I was NOT prepared with wedding jewelry! My dad was in Viet Nam when he asked his mother to send my mom money so she could buy her own engagement ring. Talk about getting exactly what you want!

I hope you enjoyed this little walk down memory lane with the Specht Family Jewels – hahaha! Where does your jewelry inspo come from?

Stay golden, like the sand in a sandbox!
Mary Green #goldbygreen

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It’s Summer and I’m Feeling Lazy

So, it’s summer. And living at the beach, most of you know, means lots to do although I have to be honest I’m not doing it. Right now I am living for beach weekends and that is it. I don’t do much on “school nights” so I really have no excuse for not writing a blog post in a month! That is just bad for business! While I am marching ahead with the jewelry line I can’t think of something to write about. The line is really exciting so maybe my excuse can be I’ve been putting my focus there 😉 Although I have said before I have moments of real excitement and moments of pure panic. But hey I think that means I’m on the right path!

Picking out stones, drawing designs, working with my jeweler….waking in the middle of the night and not being able to sleep leading to my creative mind spinning out of control! Spinning in a really good way yet I just learned this week if I don’t write down blog ideas that come to me at 4 am then I may not remember them! Hence these completely scatter brained sentences I’m spitting out at the computer. I had two or three blog post ideas, two earring designs and two necklace designs come to me at some God awful hour this week. I was able to remember the jewelry luckily! Then I slowed down and thought let’s get through the pieces you have in the mix before thinking about making more!

Okay let’s talk about beach weekends. This is my new found zen zone. I have alwaysbeach loved beach days and we don’t have to drive very far to enjoy it and I am so thankful for that! Lately, I have found it’s my peaceful and happy place for REALZ. For someone who loves the beach and also loves jewelry I consider what I wear to the beach very carefully. Obviously, I don’t wear anything that isn’t real. And I only wear rings because necklaces or bracelets hanging or sticking to my sweaty self – EW. Salt water, sand, suntan lotion: all really bad for jewelry in general but really bad for jewelry that is plated which I wear a lot of. I’m pretty good at mixing real and plated and I bet a lot of people have no idea. However, my wedding bands are real so I typically wear some mix of them. And of course I enjoy looking at diamonds sparkle in the sun!

disc necklace

disc necklace2disc necklaces

In the meantime I’m trying to understand the process of casting a piece. Casting a mold means it can be used over and over to make the same piece multiple times like the three stone rings you have seen or the disc necklace coming soon. I’m also trying to understand the process of gold plating. I learned recently that gold plating over silver is called vermiel. Of course I have heard of vermiel but never realized it was plating over sterling silver. That is what I’m doing with my pieces since I can’t quite afford to make real gold pieces. YET PEOPLE! YET! GOALS! For now I really need to keep learning. I still have so much to learn!

Well, that’s it for now. I know not very exciting this time around but know things are moving forward and I appreciate you reading! More to come!

As always, stay green and enjoy the golden sunsets!
Mary Green #goldbygreen

 

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GOLD by Green: Catch a 2nd Glimpse!

I’m excited at the response that my first sneak peek into GOLD by Green has received! Thank you all xo. We get a little more done each day! This fist collection will have some multiples (multiple pieces of same design) but also have some one of a kind pieces because I found a stone I loved and wanted to make something out of like the moss agate pendant I shared last week. I paired it with two green amethysts. Green amethyst’s real name is prasiolite. Amethyst is heated to create this lovely green gem. My birthstone is amethyst and my last name is green. It’s a total no brainer if you ask me!

As I started talking with my business coach, Heidi Lowe, about the first piece I wanted to make, she kept saying you have to figure out your aesthetic. This also gave me moments of panic. There are so many awesome designers in the world who make beautiful pieces of jewelry. WHY is someone going to want to buy something I made? How will I differentiate myself? I know what I like but how does that translate into making pieces that appeal to others? I mean, your friends and family can only be your customers for so long right? LOL! (Note subtle hint.)

I have always loved pear cut stones. I look in my jewelry box and I have pear cut rings, necklace pendants, bracelets, earrings, everything. If you read my post about how I chose my engagement ring, which you should if you haven’t as it will explain a lot about me (HA!), you know it all started with Jessica Simpson. I have read that for those shopping for engagement rings this cut, along with marquise cuts, are good for those looking to elongate the finger. I already have long, thin fingers. We call them Landon fingers – my dad’s side of the family all has them. Keep your nails short and they look even longer! (And your diamonds look bigger!) But still I am always drawn to that cut. I can’t explain it.

Here is where my aesthetic started to reveal itself to me. GREEN. PEARS. It’s ironic right because pears are green? (Can you hear ba dum bump in the background?!) This first line will have either one or both included in each piece: stones that are green or stones that are pear cut. The moss agate piece is one that has both.


My jeweler has told me I have a good eye for color. I’d like to think so! Pearing colors is just as fun as pearing stones. And no those are not typos! That being said here is another small glimpse into GOLD by Green. You can again see how BASIC my drawing skills are – HA! Never the less, I hope you enjoy!

Enjoy this day and stay PEAR GREEN!
Mary Green #goldbygreen

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GOLD by Green: Your First Sneak Peek!

I started on this journey back in the late fall with a totally different plan. I was ready to start an online jewelry store. I made it very clear to my business coach that NO, I did NOT want to design my own jewelry. So we talked about the things I needed to do to get it going. We made lists, I defined my customer, I started noting lines I wanted to carry. I started checking some of the boxes. The one thing that kept giving me moments of panic was the need for a website. I knew enough from my 9-5 job to know that I didn’t know enough to create an e-commerce site. DEAR LORD!!! The thought of keeping inventory online, confirmation and shipping emails for purchases and printing shipping labels made my head spin. I talked with a web designer one evening about creating my site. We discussed me starting my blog site (thanks for reading by the way!) and then when I was ready, he could upgrade it to an e-commerce site. But there was a big shift that evening in my thinking. Within maybe an hour, my whole desire for this journey changed. I wanted to design my own pieces.

For some reason I started to think this was an easier route to take. Not that I was looking for the easy way out, but I thought I could dip my toes in the pool instead of diving right into the deep end by starting off with something smaller and more manageable for me. (Note the water example by the Pisces.) I was channeling Meg Ryan in the movie, The Women, which I LOVE. She plays Mary (so it’s often like they’re talking to me in that movie) and after her successful solo fashion show she admits to her best friend played by Annette Bening who brings a Nordstrom rep to see the show, she’d just like a small line carried in a few boutiques. Sorry, got a little side tracked there….

So literally, in the middle of the night with only the TV for light, I drew out about 10 – 15 pieces in my notebook. I even wrote out the guest list for the launch party. I LOVE to throw a good party! Yeah, yeah I know, cart, horse….whatever!

There was one hurdle I was going to have figure out if I went this route. I don’t make jewelry. Small problem. Well, maybe a little bigger than small. I kind of didn’t even know where to start. So, I reached out to a designer that I follow on Instagram and asked if I could just run some things by her that were swirling around my brain. She said SURE! Here is an example of just throwing it out there to the universe. We don’t even know each other except for IG and I think we have traded more messages about cats than jewelry – go figure! Thanks to Marie Pierre I was able to get over this hurdle. I told her I needed a freelance jeweler. Do they even exist? She gave me a name and I went out on a limb and sent him an email. I got a response the next day. It was unnerving but exciting! I’ll keep him under wraps for now. In the meantime, do check out Marie-Pierre’s work – it’s AWESOME! She makes all of her own pieces and they are gorg!

The next thing I know I just started buying stones for my pieces. It was super fun and I could be totally addicted to it! I was looking for certain stones in certain sizes which I was mostly successful at finding.


But then I just started seeing stones I liked. So I just started buying those, too! I figured once I got those, I’d figure out the design for it. And that was almost more fun! I’m kind of learning how to draw out designs. I put emphasis on kind of. I’m also learning that the devil is in the details! I’m definitely one of those people who starts to leave out half of an email because I think the end reader has heard the conversation I have already had in my head with said end reader. Moving forward I will begin to include more details in my drawings.

It’s really exciting to see something that you have created in some way, shape or form come to life. Here is a little sneak peek at what I’m working on.

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MossAgateGreenAmethystPendant2
It’s scary to throw your creations out there so
I hope you like it! Clearly, there will also be “silver by green” for my silver girls – lol! I am excited to show you the rest though soon. I applied for my business license yesterday! Onward and upward!

And as always, stay golden and stay GREEN!
Mary Green #goldbygreen