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Daring in 2014

Posted on January 19, 2014 by Natasha Wozniak | 0 Comments

I posted this image on Facebook, and a few people wondered if I was making a ring out of cheese....

 

Uh, no. No cheese rings here, even though I am from Wisconsin.

This is a wax carving for a custom ring for me, that will represent my word of 2014, DARING. With my strong conviction that custom jewelry can be a talisman for what a woman or man wants to become in their life, I need to live by those words and make myself a talisman too. 

Why DARING, though? A few people were surprised, because they thought of me as very daring already. Yes, I do train a martial art, and I am willing to go to nearly any country in the world, so from the outside it seems quite daring. However, there is a lot that I have inside that I may be hesitant to share. I have a whole folder of articles and blog posts in my hard drive that I have written and never posted. So, this year, I will wear this ring, and remind myself that the time for holding back is over.

After all, I have some big goals for my business. Creating a community around the idea of jewelry as a tool for empowerment, creating a space where I can welcome my clients and connect one-on-one, and living my mission as a warrior of beauty in the world. The last part, about being a warrior of beauty, is why I choose the ring below as an inspiration for my talisman of daring:

 

This is a ring from Mughal India, from the 16th century, called an archer's ring. The archer's ring was worn on the thumb to protect it as the string was released. However, this particular ring with elaborate ornamentation was likely never used in that manner. These enameled and bejeweled rings were created to be admired for beauty and craftsmanship. I have been drawn to this ring shape for years and years, and finally decided that there was a purpose to creating a ring with this warrior connotation. 

What does being a warrior mean to me? Well, nothing to do with fighting, but everything to do with being completely committed and not willing to give up on something that is held dear. It also requires the willingness to step out in front. Not an easy task at all. Sometimes raising the white flag of surrender seems like the comfortable path.

As I commit to being this warrior of beauty, I wonder, what do you want to commit to? What jewelry would you wear to remind you of this important mission? Hit reply, I would love to hear what comes to mind. Or, if you feel the call to have this jewelry piece made for you, you can head over here and fill out the custom design form.

Speaking of custom design, I made a few pieces in  November and December that I would love to share:

 

A ring for a couple that has been together for a long time, and decided to mark the commitment through a non-traditional ring of silver and blue sapphire. We used the Wrought Curl Ring as an inspiration for this customized design.

 

This bracelet was a gift from mother to daughter, as the daughter completed her nursing degree. I used diamonds and gold that already belonged to mom and we used the daughter's organic style wedding jewelry as an inspiration.

 

Even though this couple was already married, an engagement ring was never exchanged. I don't think she was expecting this half-carat diamond ring to be under the tree!

Shopping for Christmas? Here are my updates.

Posted on December 06, 2013 by Natasha Wozniak | 0 Comments

First of all, thanks for stopping by! I know every retailer on earth is currently trying to get in front of you to sell you something for the holidays, so I truly appreciate that you are considering a piece of jewelry from my studio.



Ordering custom jewelry for Christmas. 

Time is clicking away if you were dreaming of a custom designed piece of jewelry for Christmas. Whether you want to buy it as a gift, or you want to buy it as a gift for yourself (which I totally support, I am going to make something for myself), it is best if I hear from you soon.

Here is what you need to do:

Head over to my custom design page and fill out the custom design form

What will happen next? I will get in touch and we will talk more about what you are seeking to have made. 

  • If the design is decided quickly and gems can easily be obtained, I will let you know that I will have your custom order delivered in time for holiday giving.
  • If you are not ready to commit to the design, don't know the ring size, etc, I can source a gem for you, put it in a simple setting, and let you and the recipient decide together on a final design after the holidays.
  • If time is tight or any other factor keeps us from being able to finish the piece before Christmas, I will send you a painted rendering of the piece for you to present as a gift, and we will complete the process after the holidays.( as shown below)

 

Ordering Ready to Wear Jewelry for Christmas

 

I love to be able to say yes to every order and get it out the door fast. However, I have a limited-production studio. In order to make sure that your wish to have the gift in time matches my ability to get it there quickly, I have created Couture on Demand and Gift Guide sections to my website.

 

Everything in these sections is in stock for immediate shipment, and as soon as a piece sells out, it will be removed from the section. Easy for both of us. The last to order anything in either of these sections for pre-Christmas delivery is December 21st in the United States and December 15th outside of the US.

Any questions? Feel free to use the Contact Us tab on the right to send a note.

Posted in Jewelry Gifts

Rescuing a ring and creating a magic amulet

Posted on August 21, 2013 by Natasha Wozniak | 0 Comments


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Jewelry Journeys- Mongolia

Posted on July 21, 2013 by Natasha Wozniak | 0 Comments

 

The wind was blowing gently, but this time from the Gobi, not with the winter chill of Siberia. With the horses content and busy with their grass-ripping and chewing, Naratsetseg breathed in relief at the signs of summer warmth. Even being a woman born in and of the steppes, she had found that winter particularly hard to bear, with the constant concern over the animals. 

Even in the deepest winter, as the snow piled against the ger and jammed the door shut, she went to her imagination, and created within her a vision of summer. Her ring reminded her, as she saw the clear blue of the turquoise from Isfahan brightly catching her eye. The special gem that came via the Uzbek trader with the penetrating stare, appearing one day seemingly out of nowhere. His odd presence signaled to her that what he carried was of significance, and without words, she selected the turquoise from his satchel.

The Turquoise Dot Ring

Neha, my Jewelry and a special gala

Posted on June 24, 2013 by Natasha Wozniak | 0 Comments

A while back I had the chance to meet the beautiful Neha Uberoi, former professional tennis player, and role model for Indian youth in sports and achieving excellence.

We had a great time talking when she came to interview me at my studio, and she wore some of my jewelry to the America India Foundation event. She shared these beautiful pictures on her blog along with the interview. Click over to read the story. The black and gold sari is a perfect match for my jewelry.

How to Ship Jewelry

Posted on May 23, 2013 by Natasha Wozniak | 0 Comments

Tips for Mailing Jewelry

I know I look happy going to the post office in this picture, but later today, I have to go to file a claim for a lost package. It is a totally replaceable piece, so not a huge deal, but that is because I insured it!

Here are my top suggestions for mailing jewelry. I know this is a little bit dry and not that exciting, but I want to make sure you that you don't lose any of your jewelry needlessly.

*Insure it! I have mailed thousands of packages with jewelry, and very few are lost, but when one goes missing, I am always happy to have insured it.

If you don't know how much it is worth, ask for help determining replacement value before sending.

For USPS packages, the insurance limit for Express Mail and Priority Mail is $5000, within the US. For packages up to $25,000, there is Registered Mail. That is a very, very safe option, but look up the details of how the box needs to be prepared before going to the post office.

Having some photos or notes about the content will help you in the rare event of having to make an insurance claim.

*Choose the right service I generally choose USPS Priority Mail Small Flat Rate boxes for shipping. The post office provides the box, the insurance covers up to $5000, and it gets there fast. 

UPS can be much more pricey, but they offer excellent tracking as your box goes through their system.

Fedex specifically excludes jewelry and precious metals from their insurance, even if you pay extra for it. Unless you have a separate insurance policy for the jewelry, AVOID FEDEX!

*Use a rigid box. As I mentioned, I really like the small Priority Boxes. You can use a padded envelope, but with a box inside to protect the jewelry when it goes through the sorting equipment. 

I do not recommend using a paper envelope, either to hold the jewelry loose or to hold a box with jewelry. Either of these can easily puncture a paper envelope, even the rigid Express Mail envelope, allowing the contents to slip out.

*Never write "jewelry" or jewelry-related words on the package. This can call unwanted attention to the contents of the package and increases the risk of loss.

Ok, you made it through! If you are ever unsure of what to do when sending your jewelry, please don't hesitate to ask, I am happy to help

An Incredible Evening

Posted on April 09, 2013 by Natasha Wozniak | 0 Comments

 

On Monday night, I had one of the most exciting and memorable nights since I began my business in 2001. I was part of a very special program, 10,000 Small Businesses, sponsored by Goldman Sachs and the Tory Burch Foundation. We were the first all-female, startup class to go through the 10K Small Business program.

Among the people there to honor us was senior adviser to the president ,Valerie Jarrett, and hearing her describe me as a entrepreneurial leader and world-changer was truly remarkable. At that moment, I wished that I had worn waterproof mascara!

There were classes on everything from leadership, financial statements and operations. We also had business advisers who helped us through the process of creating a plan for growth. Over the four months of the program, I filled in so many gaps in my business knowledge. Coming from an art background, most of my business education has been self-education, and of course I skipped over the parts that were not fun or exciting to me.

Now that I have graduated, I can say that 2013 is going to be a big year. I can't wait to share the journey with you!

Pictured from left to right are: Kristin Leu, of Leu Design, me, Tory Burch, Sylvia Fredericks of Bazillion Bags, Bren Bauer of Fortunata Living, Sandra Nieto of Sandra Baquero, Nneka Moseley of Nneka Saran Handbags, and Terri McCullough of the Tory Burch Foundation.


Above is a screen shot from the Morning Joe segment about the program that aired the next day. This is a still photo of me onstage receiving my diploma from Mika Brzezinski, Tory Burch, Valerie Jarrett, Arianna Huffington and Gray Cohn of Goldman Sachs. You can see the whole segment here

There is also a blog post by Tory Burch in the Huffington Post, which can be found here. Can you spot me in the group picture?

Posted in 000 small businesses, 10, 10K small businesses, Arianna Huffington, Mika Brzezinski, Morning Joe, tory burch foundation, Valerie Jarrett

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