Seeing how much you loved my enameled dainty triangle rings, I thought of offering a more precious version including little diamonds. I first included small regular white diamonds and you know me, I’m all about colors so I was quickly drawn to color diamonds known as « fancy color diamonds ».
But what are fancy color diamonds exactly?
According to Rene Just Hauy, 1817 « Gemstones are the flowers of the mineral world, and the fancy coloured diamond is the orchid. »
Chemically speaking (haha for once my engineer degree will serve my jewelry!), a colored diamond has the same carbon crystal lattice as a pure transparent/white diamond but with impurities. Depending on its color hue and intensity, a diamond’s color can either detract from or enhance its value. For example, most white diamonds are discounted in price when more yellow hue is detectable, while intense pink or blue diamonds (such as the Hope Diamond) can be dramatically more valuable. Indeed Only one in every 10,000 diamonds possesses natural color and is referred to as a fancy color diamond.
What makes a blue diamond?
I was particularly drawn to blue diamonds for their intense vibrant color. The impurity in the diamond crystal lattice causing the blue color is boron. This creates a blue ‘color center’, which absorbs all visible light except for blue. The blue color is reflected back and gives the diamond its color. The more boron in the diamond, the more saturated the blue color. Mined blue diamonds are quite rare and can sell between $200,000 and $500,000 for a one carat.
Buying a diamond.
Diamond buying is a very touchy subject. The best way to ensure that a diamond is not from an area of conflict is to purchase a cultured diamond. Cultured diamonds are of extremely high quality, and while they are not as valuable as natural diamonds, they are equally attractive and have the same chemical composition. A lab-grown diamond should not be confused with cubic zirconia or other types of “fake” diamond; it is a real diamond, but one that happens to be completely cruelty-free. It is mostly made by using the high pressure and high temperature process recreating conditions found deep inside the earth, in which diamonds naturally grow under. If you want a nature grown diamond, you can use a retailer who sources diamonds from nations like Canada or Australia exclusively, or one who abides by the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, a system which is designed to eradicate the blood diamond from the global gem trade. This system has though recently been criticized in its efficiency as you can read here.
I went for a 1.5mm lab-grown blue diamond, I will show you how I used it in the next post, stay tuned!
Ok I know what you think « the french girl got it all wrong with Thanksgiving timing this year » but it’s even more special out of the planified occasion no?
Earlier this year I thought I would send out a newsletter to my subscribers thanking them for their support in 2012 but then I realized how often I received emails like that from brands I bought from and how impersonal it felt. What I wanted to thank them for was more than just buying a piece of jewelry from me, it was also and mostly for 7 good reasons.
Enthusiasm. When I have a new idea I get all excited about it and can’t wait to make it come true into a tangible piece of jewelry but then when comes the time to show it out I get all nervous and doubtful. Hearing all these compliments at shows, seeing those smiles and sparkle in the eyes while trying on my new stuff is really my best reward.
Follow up. I love receiving emails like « my wife loved the necklace I got her from your shop for Christmas » or seeing pictures on Instagram of customers commenting « showing off my new double chevron ring by @virginiemillefiori » or reading on Facebook « my boyfriend ordered me the triangle earrings as a late birthday gift, I love them so much. Thank you! »
Recommendation. Word of mouth is the secret of successful brands, no doubt about it. This is why I’m so thankful when thanks to an Instagram post from Kristine I met Mayumi who came at my booth in Nolita to see my bracelet-rings; or when Brooke showed her new ring to her sister who then ordered online a matching set in silver.
Trust & Honor. I felt very specially honored when I received orders from men who wanted to propose to their girlfriend with one of my rings. Some wanted a fun unconventional pixel ring while others came with a very moving story and specific idea in mind that we’ve been working on together. I will write a post about one of them soon.
Feedback & Honesty. Jewelry making is often a learning curve process, that’s just how it is. In the beginning I was using 18 gauge sterling silver wire to make my double chevron ring because I wanted them dainty and delicate. After she received her ring, a customer wrote me « I love this ring so much I just wish it would not come out of shape so easily ». As soon as I read it I made her a new ring using this time 16 gauge wire that I hammered to harden it. I guess she was happy with the new one because she wrote « this ring is the very best purchase I have made thus far!! Thank you! I will be back! ».
Ideas. Two years ago when I started doing my own enamel I was using my set of ready made bright colors as such. Once, I was contacted by a girl who wanted to have a pastel pink version of my pinwheel bracelet. It seems so obvious it sounds stupid but I was shocked how beautiful the contrast between the opaque pastel color and the bright golden pinwheel came out. It inspired me to create my range of mint on gold pieces that have since then become my best sellers.
Motivation. If one had told me when I first started out that I would receive emails from customers asking me when is my new collection due I wouldn’t have believed it but now I do get these excited emails asking for more. I can’t tell how grateful I am to receive that and how it motivates me to come up with more challenging pieces.
THANK YOU, you know WHY! ;)
I know it’s February 2013 already and I don’t dare looking at the date of my last post but you know what? Since Nemo – the snow storm – hit New York last Friday, the city covered by a white coat brings me back 2 month ago in the Holiday mood! At the time I was exhibiting at One of a Kind show in Chicago presenting for the first time my little winter friend that had been ready for almost a year now, let me introduce to you Rudolf the reindeer!
At the show, Rudolf had the honor to be featured in the Fashion Accessory selection curated by the stylists from OOAK. Look at him below so proud in his box! At my booth, Rudolf was not alone in the forest. He was surrounded by some of his cousins, either in their silver or golden coats as you can see.
Rudolf has now gained his independence from his old day job with Father Christmas and is henceforth free to hang out in the forest as he wants but just for you he thought he could do the gift giving job one more time: for his last performance he brings you my first creation incorporating a real 1.5mm diamond in a very dainty and cute triangle ring, check it out! A celebration following another Valentine’s Day is coming so… :)
I just started doing craft fairs and markets last summer in New York and I’ve been trying a lot of them since then. I had this discussion with my customers last Saturday: is it better to broaden my presence in constantly changing markets or is it better to remain at the same one, accepting that some days might be slow, but at least creating a fixed rendez-vous where people know they can find me? We agreed on the second option. I will thus be rather a frequent vendor at Super!market in Nolita.
Last Saturday at Super!market, I was pleased to see familiar faces and to meet new friendly ones… Here are some pictures of friendly faces… or hands!
Thanks a lot for your friendship and your loyalty, you’re the reason why I enjoy making jewelry.
See you Saturday at Super!market
same time: 11am – 7pm,
same place: 268 Mulberry st.
It’s been a while huh? Well my resolution for 2012 is to be more constant here and it’s a bit late but I’d like to start my first post of the year by the traditional best wishes but my way…
I’ve been quite busy lately and didn’t even take time to post on my craftshows… I will feedback later about Fort Greene and Williamsburg Flea I did recently. Better late than never: save your night today for Brooklyn Night Bazaar at Dekalb market. What to expect? Over 70 independent merchant and food vendors, beer garden featuring local breweries, art installations, live music and dj sets…
Here are my next two shows:
the first one is this coming Saturday September 3rd, hope you guys will stay in NY for Labor Day weekend! I will participate in my first Hester Street Fair, here are the info to come:
Route: by subway take the F train to East Broadway or the FJMZ train to Delancey.
The second one is going to be… LE-GEN-(wait for it)-DARY!! Join us on the yacht with French Culture Nights for a fashion cruise night on September 14th.
Take a bite of the Big Apple as the sun sets on a three-hour cruise on board the triple-decker yacht the Harbor Lights. Capture a close view of the Statue of Liberty at night, the Brooklyn Bridge and more jewels of the Manhattan skyline. During the evening, mannequins will walk around the boat wearing my jewelry and dresses of Yodit Tibebu. Enjoy the woman centered photographies by Charlotte Jardat-Katz and music by DJ MBFM (My Best French Music).
Apero (Happy Hour from 7pm to 8 pm) is sponsored by Ricard. For those who wish to have dinner on board, the French caterer “Le Bec Fin” will serve some of its specialty dishes for $10 if you pre-register, $15 at the door
Where: New York Skyports Marina located at the East River and 23rd street in Manhattan. Take the 6 train to 23rd Street and walk a couple of blocks East to 23rd Street & FDR Drive
When: Wednesday, September 14, 2011. Arrive on time for check-in with your ID between 6.30pm and 7.45pm. Boat leaves at 8 PM. Cruise ends at 11 PM.
Price: The ticket entrance is $20 if purchased online before September 5 with CODE: « MILLEFIORI ».
After that, $30 until September 14 – 4pm, $40 at the door.
Be there and spread the word :)
It was last Saturday at Fort Greene flea market. I had a wonderful day showing my stuff for the first time in the US, only great comments, nice visitors and the sun was shining, what to expect more? For those of you who missed it (don’t worry there will be new upcoming shows), here are some pictures of my little booth. Admire the self-paint-wooden-boards! ;)
Big time: it’s gonna be my very first craft show in New York tomorrow! So excited, quite stressed by the weather forecast but happy! I’m just finishing to paint my display boards, hope you will like it! So the location of the Brooklyn Flea at Fort Greene is 176 Lafayette Ave. (btw. Clermont + Vanderbilt Ave.) Want a map? Here you go. Time of your visit: between 10am and 5pm this Saturday August 20th.
Here after is a picture I took from http://www.glenwoodnyc.com and I promise I will come back with my own pictures and feedback.
So come and spread the word!!
The sweetness of the slightly acid lollipop, the bright colors of the balloons rising in the sky, the afternoons in the garden spent to make up stories, the cold of this chocolate ice cream on the teeth, this dizzy feeling after hours on the swing… These childhood memories will never die.
Tim Walker, one of my favorites photographers, knows particularly well how to keep this extraordinary sense of imagination and staging only a grown up creative child could have. I try not to include all his photographs because it’s impossible to choose. To see more of his amazing work, here is his official website.
This context illustrates my jump rope necklace as a wink to childhood and as a drop of carefreeness in our busy lives. The necklace is available in silver or gold plated version in a wide range of enamel colors. Feel free to email me for any custom made request.
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