Tuesday, March 07, 2006 

jill • i

Oh, how I adore the designs of jill • i. This stunner features a wrapped floral design of mandarine garnet, citrine, and tourmaline.

It's a pity gold is at record highs right now. I think it's become too cost-prohibitive for designers to use gold or gold-filled materials. While I LOVE silver, gold just looks better on me. *This* piece on me would be gorgeous (hint, hint to those who still want to get me a bday present...).

Designer: jill • i, Price: Unknown

Monday, March 06, 2006 

amy tavern

I find that I say this about every designer I like, but here goes: I had a hard time selecting just one piece from this collection. I chose this necklace because it's modern and feminine -- almost dainty, really -- and simple but not ordinary. Great craftsmanship and a keen eye for detail make Amy's jewelry stand out.

Designer: Amy Tavern Price: $82.00

Thursday, March 02, 2006 

I have lust in my heart for KILNenamel

I don't think a piece of jewelry has ever made me squeal. That changed upon finding KILNenamel's offerings. The colors, shapes, and materials of their wares are so perfectly balanced and flawlessly executed. If only everything in my life could be this beautiful. This bit o' lovely is the disc necklace from their jewelry line.

Designer: KILNenmael Price:$52.00

Wednesday, March 01, 2006 

No small thing...

Modern pieces can look the same from designer to designer. Small Things breaks out of the pack with their hip and sexy necklaces. They're fun, modern, and elegant. It was difficult selecting just one piece to display here. I choose the large horizontal necklace with the pod motif because, well, it rocks.

Designer: Small Things Price: $95.00

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 

On to the goods - Men's Jewelry

Now that my moment of snark of over, let's go back to reviewing jewelry goodness.

Today I bring you something for the guys. Jewelry for men is hard to do well. It can either look femme or garish. Tracy Matthews gets it right. Her designs are simple, masculine, and hip. This ring is a fave from her men's line. I love the Maltese cross and that she used wood.

Designer: Tracy Matthews Design Price: $130.00

(P.S. I'm LOVING all you designers who are finding new ways to make hip wood jewelry.)

Monday, February 27, 2006 

A note on reviewing websites

Dear Jewelry Designer:

While I am absolutely delighted to check out your beautiful jewelry creations, I am loathe to wade through your crap of a website to do it. Harsh? Yes. But I'm doing you a huge favor by pointing out why people are bailing on your site and not purchasing your lovely designs.

A good design is essential for e-commerce. I'm not saying you need to invest in a high-price designer or have a degree in graphic/web design. I'm saying there are plenty of free web design sites (and templates) available online and I urge you to use these references to build a better, more user-friendly site.

So, why does your site suck so much? Choose one:

• The navigation is horrible. It took me 4 clicks to find your product images.
• Music. GET RID OF ALL MUSIC ON YOUR BUSINESS SITE. Nothing cheeses me off more than being subjected to loud, crappy music. If I have to scramble to find the "off" button or if there is no "off" button for the music, I leave the site no matter how cool your product may be.
• Flash Overload. I dig Flash and other animations -- IF they have a purpose. Do you have a spinning logo? A little movie playing on the side? Do you have a splash page that opens up a new window when clicked? Garbage. Get rid of them. If the Flash serves as your navigation interface or your gallery, make sure they work correctly.
• Too much information. I love learning about who the designer is, what makes her tick, how she got started... However, that stuff belongs in a "blog" or "about me" section, not on the front page. Also, be vary careful about what personal information you share on your business site. Knowing about the fight you had with your boyfriend's mother is a huge turn-off. I, Buyer of Jewelry, do not care about your personal drama when I'm shopping on your site.
• Cluttered site. Please organize your site in some manner. Categories are your friend and will help people find the items they want to buy from you.
• Fake light bursts on jewelry images. You know when you take a picture and light reflects off a shiny surface? Some you are putting fake light reflections on your items. Ugh!
• Distracting background images. Your site should showcase your designs, not distract from them. If all else fails, use a solid color background (white is better than black).
• Broken links. Fix them.
• "Sold" items mixed with the currently available pieces. I understand that you want to showcase your past works. Great! I love to see them. I ask that you move them to their own category as to not get my hopes up. (It's a little nit-picky, I know.)
• Slooooow loading sites. I have broadband. If it takes more than a minute (ok, 30 seconds) to load your pages, it's too damned big. Make sure your images are properly sized and that all of your scripts are working properly.
• Confusing shopping cart, no return policy, no privacy policy, no way to contact you with questions ... all equal bad customer service. Please make my shopping experience as painless and simple as possible. I work hard for my money. Don't make me work harder to spend it.

What makes me sad is that you have lovely products that I want to buy. If you spend just a little time cleaning up your site and getting rid of the "fluff", you'd gain me (and likely many others) as customers.

Your pal,

Thursday, February 23, 2006 

Subtle & Stunning

Selecting only 1 piece to showcase from Rebecka Boyd was a challenge! I just adore her designs and color choices. I chose the Greta necklace because it's stunning in its simplicity. The subtle color palette enhances the design instead of over-powering it.

Available at Rebecka Boyd Jewelry Design. Price: $78.00

[For friends and family looking for that perfect gift for my upcoming birthday... HINT, HINT. See also the Amy Powers entry.]


Charming Charms

Amy Peters is one of my favourite jewelry artists. I've been coveting her designs for a couple of years now and drop in to her site to get my fix quite often.

Amy is a master of charm design, as seen here. The "follow your heart" design really speaks to me these days and I happily share it with you.

Availabe via Amy Peters Studio. Prices begin at $40.00.



Amazing how time just flies on by, isn't it? Many apologies for neglecting to update the blog. I have a ton of new discoveries to share and will begin posting soon.