Our Very First Email Newsletter    Monday, December 30, 2013

ideology's very first email newsletter was released just last week! This is something I've been meaning on getting going for a while, and I'm happy I finally got it sent out to our list of subscribers. I was also very pleased with the number of people who took the time to open the newsletter and check it out!

Here's a peak of our first email newsletter:

I'm hoping to send these out regularly, and I'm even planning another newsletter to be sent out to our subscribers tomorrow! To sign up for our email newsletter to get special announcements, news, deals, giveaways and more, click this link. We're looking forward to connecting with all of you as our business keeps on growing!

$25 Gift Certificate Winner Announcement    Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thank you to everyone who entered our giveaway for a $25 gift certificate to our shop! We were very excited to receive over 900 entries for our second giveaway for our site! The winner of our giveaway is:

Courtney Gibson

Congratulations, Courtney! We will contact you shortly with the details.

Since our giveaway was so successful for being just the second one on our website and since it's the season of giving, we've also decided to randomly select two more winners to each receive a $10 gift certificate to our shop! The bonus winners are:

Elaine R and Brianna Wagnon

Congratulations, Elaine and Brianna! We will contact you shortly with the details.

Please stay tuned to all our updates on our blog, check out our events, sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date on our latest news, and check out our shop to see all our latest offerings!

5 Reasons Why You Should Buy Handmade for the Holidays    Monday, November 18, 2013

Although it may seem easier to head to a department store or shop on a big name website this holiday season, supporting handmade businesses has a much bigger impact than giving your money to huge retailers in exchange for mass-produced goods. If you're in doubt, check out these 5 amazing reasons why you should buy handmade for the holidays:

1. You're helping someone support their family. By purchasing handmade, you're helping an artisan support her or his or their family. You're helping them pay their bills, purchase food and have a home to live in. You're helping give them the opportunity to do what they love to take care of themselves and their family. Handmade products support the individuals who make them instead of huge corporations.

2. Handmade goods are unique. With handmade items, there are often only a certain amount available, and some are even one-of-a-kind! Buying handmade means you most likely won't have to worry that someone you know will have the same product, and you probably won't have to worry about gifting the same item as someone else!

3. You can get custom items. Most handmade artisans offer customization to their products and are open to creating designs just as you would like them to be. This cannot be said for the vast majority of goods you would find in a department store or big name retailer. There are plenty of artisans out there who would be more than happy to create a custom piece to your specifications.

4. You can avoid crowded stores. When buying handmade, you won't have to worry about waiting in line or trying to maneuver through crowds or hurry to try get an item before its sold out as most handmade products are sold in small, independent shops, at craft shows and online. So, relieve yourself from some stress and check out these alternatives to shopping at packed stores during the holidays.

5. You can support your local community! There are likely many artisans in your area that create a variety of goods. Be on the lookout for craft shows and business cards throughout your area to find out any artisans that might be local to you. You may also be able to find some boutiques nearby that specialize in selling locally handmade goods. By choosing handmade for the holidays, you are helping to support your local community instead of huge corporations.

These are just a few of the many reasons why you should buy handmade for the holidays! If you have any other suggestions on why people should buy handmade, please let us know in the comments!

Creating a Positive Mental Attitude    Friday, November 15, 2013

It may seem easier to focus on the negative at times, especially when life seems to keep throwing hurdles your way. However, having a positive mental attitude is one of the best and easiest ways to live more constructively and happily. Use this guide to begin creating a positive mental attitude that will stay with you for the long term or use these tips as a refresher to keep you thinking positively when things seem to be bringing you down.

Focus on the Good Things

Although there might be things in our lives that we have trouble seeing anything but negative in, remember that there is good in almost everything. It might help to look at the bigger picture or look closer at the details of a situation to see just how it can bring good into your life. Looking for the good in every situation teaches you to stay positive no matter what life sends your way.

Use Positive Affirmations

Affirmations are positive statements that can help you perceive yourself in a more positive light. For example, you might say something like "I am compassionate," or "I accept and love myself." By using positive affirmations, you are reminding yourself of all the good that you are. It's a great idea to use affirmations daily to bring more positivity into your life each day. You can say positive affirmations aloud to yourself or even write them down in a place you will see them each day. The more you feed your mind positivity, the more positivity you will bring into your life!

Reduce Your Stress

Stress is often a huge cause of negative thinking, especially when your life is highly stressful overall. These cause stress to seem normal to you, making it easier to allow negative thoughts in because of it. So, it's best to reduce stress in your life as much as possible by finding how to avoid and relief stressful situations in your life. This will give your mind more power to focus on all of the incredible things in your life.

Believe in Yourself

It's easy to feel down about yourself, but having that type of negative thinking in your life will only lead to more negative energy. So, make sure that you believe in yourself. After all, look at all you've already achieved in your life. Make sure that you make decisions you are proud of and are happy with your life. Simply believing in yourself will lead you to having a greater positive mental attitude overall!

These are just a few of the wonderful ways to create a positive mental attitude! There are so many more ways to bring positivity in your life. If you'd like to see another blog post on creating a positive mental attitude or have any of your own ideas on how people can bring more positivity into their lives, please feel free to let us know in the comments!


Our Giveaway Has Reached 500 Entries!    Thursday, November 14, 2013

We're happy to announce that our giveaway to win a $25 gift certificate to our online shop has reached 500 entries in just 4 days! Check out our giveaway to get as many entries as you can, and remember, you can get some entries every day until the giveaway ends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Since our giveaway seems to be having a pretty good response so far, we're considering giving out more than one gift certificate if we get enough entries. The more entries we get, the more likely we'll have more prizes, so please share the giveaway with anyone you can! :)

A Customer's Unique Story    Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yesterday, I received a message in my inbox from a customer who recently purchased one of my Penny Lane necklaces, which you can see here. Once in a while I get notes from customers thanking me for their orders and complimenting the jewelry, but I think this might have been the first time I had the pleasure of hearing the backstory of why this necklace was a perfect choice... Now, not to keep you waiting, here is the message I received:

This isn't a question, I just thought you might like to know the significance of my buying this Beatles necklace.

Recently I discovered that my aunt Penny had a love child she gave up for adoption during the sixties. She is 7 years younger than I. After talking a lot on FB, we've discovered that we both share a mania for all things Beatles. She told me that when she was a little girl she considered giving herself the nickname Penny. This was before she even knew she was adopted, let alone that that was the name of her birth mother!

Anyway, while hunting on Etsy for the perfect Christmas gift for her, I came across your Penny Lane necklace and knew it was meant to be!

I was so amazed at how thoughtful this message was and was thrilled my handmade jewelry business could provide such a lovely gift. It's so interesting how such unique situations happen sometimes. :)

On that note, has a surprise note (of any variety) ever brightened your day?


Interview with Tracy Matthews of very pretty things    Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Check out our interview with Tracy Matthews, the designer of the beautiful handmade jewelry line very pretty things!

Tell me a bit about yourself and your creations:

My name is Tracy Matthews, and I am a glass artisan who fuses glass into wearable art pieces also known as jewelry. I am lucky enough to be able to take my passion and make it into my full-time job. My passion is combining different textured and colored glass and creating a whole new piece with depth and charm.

What inspires you to create?

I love the process of taking raw materials and creating something brand new and functional. Colors also inspire me. Color can evoke so many different emotions, and I like to play with that concept.

Describe your creative process:

My creative process is really all about playing. I love to take different glass and play with the colors and the way the light reflects off the glass. By layering the glass, I can create so many different effects. Once I decide on what glass I am going to select, I cut, shape and then fire them in my kiln at 1500°F until they are one piece of molten joy!

What are some of your favorite creations?

I did a series for a show recently that was of a Mardi Gras theme. I so enjoyed creating the whole new line just for a show. I got to be as creative as I wanted, and I created huge bold pieces. It was based on peacock feathers. It was fun and crazy... and I loved it!

How do you want your craft and business to evolve?

My dream is to get a bigger studio space so that I can get a bigger kiln and do larger pieces of work.

What or who influences you as an artisan?

I am in a shared artist space. I share it with about 15 other artists. I am constantly being inspired by my fellow artists. They are so kind, supportive and inspiring. By my experiences, I actually started up a little artist group where we meet once a month and encourage each other to succeed.

What brings people to seek out your creations, and what makes your work unique?

My jewelry is like candy... You have to come over and touch them and fondle them. one of my mandates is keeping my jewelry affordable to everyone. I believe everyone should be able to afford pretty things.

What choices have you made that helped your business the most?

Quitting my job was the biggest and riskiest thing I have ever done, but it has freed up my mind and my time to keep on creating.

What advice would you give to other artisans?

If you love it, do it! Enjoy the process. It's not getting there that counts but the journey.

Where can your creations be found?

You can find my jewelry on Etsy: www.etsy.com/ca/shop/veryprettything

​Or, if you're in Vancouver you can also find my work in a few local galleries.

For more information, you can check me out at my website: www.very-pretty-things.com


Win a $25 Gift Certificate to ideologyjewelry.com!    Monday, November 11, 2013

We are happy to announce a brand new giveaway to win a $25 gift certificate to ideology's shop! There are plenty of ways to get entries, so try to rack up as many as you can for your chance to win! You can enter our giveaway here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Choosing a Men's Wedding Band    Sunday, November 10, 2013

When it comes the time for a man to choose his wedding band, it's natural for him to feel a bit overwhelmed, as there are plenty of designs and metals available to choose from, and as this is a band he will be wearing for many years to come. This guide should help make the process a little easier as you start to look for the perfect wedding band for you.

Choosing a Wedding Band That Fits Your Personality

When choosing a men's wedding band, the first thing you want to think about is your personality. Are you bold and adventurous, calm and reserved or artsy and innovative? The more you think about your personality, the more easily you will have the idea about how you want the wedding band to look. If you're looking for a band that makes a bold statement, you may want to choose a black band or one with a diamond. If your more of a traditional kind of guy, you might fare better with a more traditional style band. Or, if you're a creative type, a band with a unique design or made from an innovative material.

Choosing a Wedding Band That Fits Your Lifestyle

Just as important as it is to find a men's wedding band that matches your personality well, it is equally important to choose a wedding band that fits your lifestyle. For example, if you have a job that involves hard labor or working with your hands, it's important that you choose a wedding ring that can withstand the pressure. If you have one of these careers, or regularly enjoy activities that might be rough on your ring, you may want to choose a wedding band from a material such as incredibly strong and scratch-resistant tungsten carbide.

Choosing the Perfect Wedding Band For You

Now that you have an idea of what you're looking for, it's time to begin your search to find the perfect men's wedding ring for you! Check out Rising Time, an impressive men's jewelry company that offers wedding bands made from high quality materials and offering an impressive range of designs. Finding the perfect men's wedding band for you should be a breeze, so you can be proud to wear your wedding band for many years to come.

Holiday Craft Fair and Holiday Shopping Extravaganza Experience    Saturday, November 9, 2013

ideology had tables at two craft shows today! My Aunt Chris and cousin Amanda managed the table at the Holiday Craft Fair at the Suburban North Family YMCA in Catasauqua and my boyfriend Corey managed the table at the Holiday Shopping Extravaganza at Clearview Elementary School in Bethlehem. I was very happy for all the help, as this is the first time ideology was scheduled for two craft shows in the same day!

Here are some photos from the Holiday Shopping Extravaganza:

ideology's table at the event.

Some of ideology's handmade necklaces and earrings for sale. (Photo taken by Corey Arner.)

Creating a sign for ideology's table. (Photo taken by Corey Arner.)

The raffle prizes that were donated from the vendors and others, including a set of 4 pairs handmade earrings by ideolody.

Some of the vendors at the event.

And here are some photos from the Holiday Craft Fair:

My cousin Amanda at ideology's table. (Photo taken by Christine Call.)

Some of ideology's handmade earrings. (Photo taken by Christine Call.)

Some of ideology's handmade necklaces. (Photo taken by Christine Call.)

Some of ideology's handmade flower earrings. (Photo taken by Christine Call.)

Thank you very much to everyone who helped and visited the craft shows today! We have many more craft shows and events coming up. To stay up to date on everything ideology has going on, please visit our events page and join our mailing list. :)

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