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How Do I Find Artisans for The Southern Jewel?

How Do I Find Artisans for The Southern Jewel?

This is a question I get asked a lot and I love answering it! The artisans that I choose for The Southern Jewel are found many different ways. One of the best ways I find artisan jewelry is by travelling to craft shows myself and hunting down the best of the best. I enjoy attending craft shows because you get to see the type of people who are purchasing products and shopping the show. Often times, artisans have traveled all over the place to show off their wares and they enjoy telling their stories to everyone! When you get to meet each artisan face to face and get to know them, that's what I love the most! I love craft shows because its the easiest place to find unique jewelry and gifts all in 1 spot! 

I also find my artisans through word of mouth. Usually, its a friend who recommended me to contact a particular artisan and its always exciting to talk with a friend who has seen their products firsthand and trusts their quality and craftmanship. Its one of the best ways I have been able to find unique products, through the eyes of my friends! Shout out to my friend Erica Price for introducing me to Tory Legg Designs (image shown above) out of Knoxville, TN- check out my Instagram and Facebook for images!

Another way that I find artisans for The Southern Jewel is by traveling to different places throughout the South. I am always hunting and looking for new jewelry and gifts that are uniquely handmade! Sometimes you can stumble upon the most unique items just by going into that museum gift shop or restaurant gift store that looks unsuspecting. My husband and I love traveling throughout the state of Tennessee and North Carolina and I always seem to find a treasure along the way that one day might turn into a piece in my product assortment. I've been told that I have a good design eye and can pick out the most unique and hard to find items!

If you are an artisan and would love to be shown on my website, please leave a comment below and a way to contact you! I am always interested in looking for new vendors and types of products! 

Thanks for visiting! 

xoxo, 

Meredith

 

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Quick Trip to Asheville

Quick Trip to Asheville

Since we've moved to the East Tennessee area in 2015, my husband and I have traveled around the region and enjoyed seeing all the beautiful natural landscapes. Its pretty incredible when you can get up in the morning and see such an incredible mountain range right outside your window! 

Appalachian Mountains

One of the greatest benefits to where we live is the easy access to one of the most up and coming cities in the United States- Asheville, NC. Not only is Asheville known for the largest home in America, The Biltmore Estate, but also for its unique culture. Asheville is filled with incredible restaurants, delicious breweries, unique shopping and a vibrant arts and music scene. I am lucky enough to live so close to a haven of talented artists, its wonderful! 

The real story begins when I decided to make a trek into the city to check out an indie artist pop up shop that was taking place at a local wedding venue for a few days. As I have been adding to the assortment for The Southern Jewel, I run across events here and there that I am dying to attend because I know I will find very unique items. Boy, was I right about this Pop Up Shop! 

Making My Way Through the Pop Up Shop

As I walked through the Pop Up Shop, I was WOW'd by the unique crafts that were expertly merchandised all over the room. There was a large variety of jewelry, packaged desserts, floral arrangements, wooden crafts, pottery and even vintage clothing. I looped the shop twice as I was looking for very unique items, items that are hard to find and/or unique in their design. I recognized one of our artisans, Julia Claire Clay! She had displayed some of her pottery designs in the shop, which I LOVE and will need to add a few pieces from her collection to the shop. 

Items That Caught My Eye

Of all the wonderful items I found at the shop, there were a few that caught my eye! The first one is shown below, its a DIY Embroidery Hoop! Have you ever wanted to learn how to sew on a embroidery hoop? For me, I love simple, step-by-step crafts that I can do at home. We all know those Pinterest projects can go dreadfully wrong, but how wonderful is it that they packaged their own little kit together to make it easy for us all?!

DIY Embroidery Hoop

The next item I snagged were these gorgeous genuine leather feather earrings. I had never seen anything like these and they came in all different colors! My first thought was that they'd be perfect for summer! Comment below and let me know what you think!

Genuine Leather Feather Earrings

The last item I grabbed were these beautifully crafted turquoise and gold earrings. Modern sleek gold jewelry is such a huge trend right now and who doesn't love turquoise?! I loved everything about these earrings, the design, the modern look and her collection is expansive. 

Gold Wrapped Turquoise Studs

Tell Me What You Think! 

The best thing about this Pop Up Shop was that everything was either handmade or handcrafted and most artisans were from Asheville! How delightful!! I would love to hear your thoughts on what you like or don't like about the items I picked up at the show! I am always looking for new artists and unique items to add to the site and these beauties could be next. If you are a jewelry or home decor artist, I would love to hear from you! Comment below or shoot me an email

I hope you enjoyed my quick trip to Asheville and got to experience a little bit of my journey with me. Have a wonderful week! 

xoxo,

Meredith

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New Product Alert-- Julia Claire Clay Jewelry

Last December, I went on a hunt for new products for the website! I stumbled upon a Craft Fair called The Big Crafty out of Asheville, NC as I scoured the Internet. It's one of the largest Craft Fairs in the Southeast and I couldn't have been more excited to be able to attend! At the show, I met some wonderful artisans who were there from all over the United States and they had come to Asheville, NC just to share their handmade goods with holiday shoppers. 

As I ventured through the halls of the show, one artisan in particular struck me the most- Julia Claire Clay. I LOVED her booth! Julia hand throws clay into different types of pottery such as cups, bowls and even jewelry!! I loved her unique designs because of the attention to detail that was featured in all of her work. Her Mountain Collection features landscapes that you can see as you venture through the Blue Ridge Mountains on a clear day. She uses geometric shapes to craft her Mountain scenes, and those same shapes can be seen integrated into her jewelry collection as well! Here are some pieces that we will be featuring on our site! 

Black and White Geo Triangle Stud

Aztec Studs

Geometric Triangle Dangles

This collection will be live to shop on February 25th! To learn more about Julia Claire Clay, stay connected with us through our Free E-Newsletter, where we keep all of our followers up to date on what's going on at The Southern Jewel. 

Join our E-Newsletter here

xoxo,

Meredith

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Something Beautiful Spring Market

Something Beautiful Spring Market

I'm excited to announce that The Southern Jewel will be attending its first Craft Fair Market on March 5th, from 1-5pm at the Bristol Train Station in Bristol, VA. This event is FREE and we will be one of many amazing vendors that will be showing off their products and services. We will be offering special promotions and giveaways that are offered ONLY at the show! You will be able to find us outside of the Train Station in a covered area. 

Click on this link to learn more about the event here.

I'm very grateful for this opportunity to share our artisans wonderful work with shoppers who are looking for unique, Southern made, one-of-a-kind items. Buying handmade is more than just the exchanging of a dollar for an item, its taking pride and interest in supporting an artisans gifts and talents. Not everyone can paint, draw, knit, or sew. We all have special talents and when you support someone who is putting their blood, sweat and tears into every piece they make, there is something to be said about that. Sure, you could probably spend a few dollars on a home decor piece from TJ Maxx or Marshalls, but how often do you get to the learn the story behind the person who actually made that item? Never! 

Take some time this year and think about how you shop and where you can spend your dollars that will affect local businesses working hard to share their talents with you. Here at The Southern Jewel, we love sharing the stories of our hardworking artisans and being able to give you the opportunity to own a piece of their craft. 

If you haven't already, join our E-newsletter and we will send you information about our upcoming events, promotions and new product launches! We will even send you a 10% off promo code if you are a new customer! 

xoxo, 

Meredith

 

 

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Becoming a Blogger

Learning Blog Post

Yesterday, I decided to take a short 1-hour course on how to write for my blog. Ever since I started my website, I haven't been very confident about writing for my blog. I don't want to share just product information or vendor information for The Southern Jewel...I want to share more about who I am and why I'm doing what I'm doing. I want to share fun information that maybe you'll find useful or interesting. I want to share my thoughts whether or not you care to read about it! I want to use this platform in a better way. 

I want blogging for me to become a part of who I thought I never was....and that is a writer. I want to become fluid with it. I want to love putting my thoughts down and sharing them with people and not just keeping them to myself. 

So for today, I am going to do better and try to blog more frequently and be honest with myself. Maybe you can test the waters with me! I'm going to not make it feel like a chore, but rather something that is enjoyable and fun.

Comment below and tell me about your blog journey. Maybe one day I will look back on this post and say to myself, "what was I afraid of?!"

Until my next post...:)

xoxo, 

Meredith

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