Monday, September 28, 2015

New Designs For The Fall, Comfortable, Elegant and Beautifully Unique

After a long hot summer, the promise of a beautiful Fall is around the corner here in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  It's my favorite time of year for nature's colors and to celebrate this I have designed a variety of drop ear cuffs made from Sterling Silver and beautiful leaves made by an American Artisan complemented with a touch of glamor with sparkling beads from Swarovski, the Czech Republic and Japan.  Altogether, a splendid jewelry accessory for the change of season.

The designs are protected from tarnishing and any skin sensitivity with a protective coating, although the Sterling Silver is Nickel-Free.

These designs will be available at local events, or, contact me for details on pricing if you will not make it to one of my events in the near future.

For notification about future new designs, upcoming local events and special promotions available only to my newsletter subscribers, complete the Subscription Form.  You will at most receive one email per month and I never share your information.





The bottom right image shows the back of one of the leaves which shows a darker design, just like a real maple leaf may look.

To read my recent newsletter, click here, which includes a listing of my events covering the next three months and leading up to Christmas 2015.

I love working with colors and new ideas.  Feel free to contact me at  with your design requests.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Upcoming Events in July 2015 and beyond

I generally post upcoming events just a few weeks in advance to keep the website current and frequently changing.

For July, I'm excited to post the following events:

Whole Foods Market logo

Sunday, July 26th I shall be in the North Wales, PA Whole Foods Market with my setup of designs located somewhere in the store.  You'll have an opportunity to browse many more designs than are on my website and to try them on for yourself.

Apart from the outstanding quality of natural and especially organic food, Whole Foods Market is a great place to buy a coffee or lunch.

I hope to revisit with some of the nice people I met at the Ambler Craft Fair I participated in this past May.

Read more details and the exact location on my website.

Monday, July 27 - Saturday, August 1, I shall be participating at the Goshen Country Fair.  This runs every day starting at 6:00 pm until late and runs all day on Saturday.

It's a great family event with a fairground, and delicious freshly made donuts!

Look for me under one of the large vendor tents.  Read more on my Upcoming Events website page.

Visit my Upcoming Events page frequently for monthly updates, or contact me directly at to invite me to an event in your area or to enquire about my upcoming calendar.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Why Ear Cuffs?

When I am selling at local events, I am often asked to explain what an ear cuff is.  Many here in the Northeast of the USA have never before seen ear cuffs.  If there is an awareness it's associated with those 'Hollywood types' and movies such as The Hunger Games.  Some people confuse the design of ear vines/pins with ear cuffs.  The difference is that cuffs don't require any ear holes and the others do.

But who wears Ear Cuffs?
Here is my experience of who my ear cuff customers are.  Perhaps you'll determine if they're something you may consider for yourself or as a gift.

Little Girls:  I often say that they're for anyone with ears, and that's actually not far from the truth! Starting with little girls, I recommend they be old enough to understand just how a Princess would behave if she were wearing her royal jewels.  I take some very small designs to local events and Moms or Dads will buy a pair of ear cuffs (most of my designs are sold in pairs) for their little girl who is not quite ready for piercings or wants something to feel special and look like Mom. I keep the price very reasonable as they're made from polished copper and little sparkly crystals.

Young Ladies:  If they're attending a prom or a graduation and want something a little edgy to wear, earcuffs are the answer.  They'll set off their beautiful updo's and youthful necklines.  With the option of on-the-ear designs or drop/dangling designs, often incorporating beautiful Swarovski crystals, they'll look beautiful and won't be distracted during the evening by irritation, discomfort or even pain.

For the Bride:  Whether a young lady has pierced ears or not, she may want a design just a little
Glamorous Ear Cuffs with Swarovski and Sterling Silver
Click here for ear cuff details
different for her most special day.  If she doesn't have pierced ears, ear cuffs are a perfect and comfortable solution.  She won't be thinking about any discomfort like she may be if wearing clip-ons.  I have designed ear cuffs for brides, bridesmaids and even for the MOB, also known as the Mother of the Bride. (Bet I had you wondering for a mili-second there!)

Click here for ear cuff details
The Perfect Ear Accessory:  Some ladies with pierced ears like to wear hoops.  My small ear cuffs accessorize their hoop or stud earrings by sitting above their ear lobes.

Ear Lobe Issues:  There are some ladies for whom ear cuffs are the perfect solution because at some point they had one or multiple piercings and the hole(s) have stretched and perhaps even completely split.  Ear Cuffs will cover these conditions.  

Allergies:  Some ladies have a problem wearing any pierced earrings because of allergic reactions.  Ear Cuffs for many overcome this problem.  I apply a protective coating which prevents skin sensitivity and prevents the silver, copper or brass from tarnishing.  (The gold filled doesn't need this but it can be applied if desired.)

Click here for design details
Elegance for Senior Ladies:  My brand logo is, "Beautiful Ear Jewelry For Young Ladies Of All Ages." I have often sold designs to senior ladies, some with stretched ear lobes from time and gravity, resulting in long and possibly wider ear lobes.  My designs range from very slender to quite wide, and so a wide, stretched ear lobe will appear smaller when wearing a pair of ear cuffs.

The Future of Ear Cuffs

I do believe that at this time and for the next year or two the ear cuff trend will peak.  We will see more celebrities wearing them and they will be worn by more and more ladies in the general population.

For the longterm, I believe ear cuffs will develop a greater presence in every day jewelry, like the tattoo industry if you like.  At one time it was only military men and convicts who wore tattoos.  Now they are worn by just about anyone.  There are national and international gatherings of tattoo artists and the industry has overall become more hygienic and more socially acceptable, to the point that I believe tattoo art will become a standard part of the 21st century's self expression.

Ear Cuffs will go the same way as there will always be extremes, but we will continue to see more and more ladies from main stream America wearing ear cuffs as a standard alternative to pierced and clip-on earrings.

Purchase a pair of Elegant EarCuffs by Fiona(TM) EarCuffs and be one of the trend setters in your neighborhood.

You can view a Slideshow of some of my designs on my Home Page at

If you live in SE Pennsylvania, Delaware or New Jersey, consider coming to see me at a local craft fair.  Together we can have fun trying on some ear cuff designs to see how they work for you.  Read details about upcoming events here.

Feel free to contact me at for questions about ear cuffs, custom work and when my future Elegant EarCuffs by Fiona events are.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Elegant EarCuffs by Fiona and Etsy

I was recently interviewed by my packaging supplier, Nashville Wraps.  It was a Q&A on having an Etsy store and highlighted my ear cuffs and packaging.  My previous blog posting back in September 2014 talked about my packaging and the decision process in great detail.

You can read their edited interview in their blog here.  Below I am adding the interview in its entirety.

1. Tell us how you got started in the jewelry business and do you make everything yourself?

Dramatic Drop Ear Cuffs featuring Copper and Crystals
I have always been creative and love working with my hands. I do oil painting as well and hope to one day sell my paintings online.

I design and make all my ear jewelry myself. I started making ear cuffs in particular when I had my hair cut very short and for the first time in many years my ears were totally exposed. I felt they needed to be embellished, but I pierced my ears twice with allergic reactions and found clip-ons very uncomfortable. I knew of ear cuffs, but wanted a more traditional style of ear design, so I incorporated the function of an ear cuff with more traditional looking ear jewelry designs. After successful local events, I decided to create an online presence and built my own website, and a shop on Etsy (more below).

I continue to take jewelry classes to increase my skills and incorporate into my jewelry designs.

2. What sets your products apart from everyone else?

polished Copper and Silver Ear Cuffs
My designs are an alternative to traditional ear jewelry with no ear piercings necessary, and they are very comfortable to wear. I use a variety of quality beads, including Swarovski, semi-precious stones, Venetian glass, Sterling Silver, Gold-Filled and polished Brass and Copper, providing a range of colors, designs and prices, and I'm proud to say they are made by an Artisan in the USA, (Phoenixville, PA).

3. Do you only market your products through Etsy? Are you strictly online?

Currently I offer my items for sale in my Etsy shop, I also have a website, where you can view a slideshow of some of my designs and connect to my Etsy store. I plan to include a shop later this year in my website.  Locally, in SouthEast Pennsylvania and the Tri-State area, I participate in juried craft fairs.

4. Tell us about hosting a show.  Is it similar to Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Tupperware?

An Elegant EarCuffs by Fiona home show is a lot of fun. My presentation is only about 5 minutes long and then the guests try on the ear cuffs for themselves. There's an "aha moment" when they see for themselves how pretty and complimentary the ear jewelry looks on them. The host receives free and discounted jewelry based on her guest sales (see for details). She can also invite family and friends from anywhere in the USA to participate in her show by shopping in my Etsy store and sending me a note that she's part of the show. An online show is also an option for hosting. Custom designs for the host and guests can be discussed at the show, a great idea for anyone wanting a coordinating necklace and/or bracelet with their ear cuffs.

5. Tell someone new to Etsy who has a handmade product the Ins and Outs of using Etsy along with the pros and cons.

Etsy is an online shopping mall for crafters and suppliers to crafters. The creativity of the artists and the variety of items that are built, painted, sculpted, resold (vintage), knitted, sewn, etc. is so amazing. People from across the world build their own shop inventory and for those who commit time and effort, a full time profession may be possible. The structure of the shop is very easy to use and the listing costs are extremely reasonable @ 20 cents per item for 4 months at a time. You pay 3.5% commission when an item sells. Etsy has a very positive, and for the most part, very responsive staff. The Etsy forums are also very beneficial for support and information.

The key to Etsy success is having good key words that potential customers will search for, posting new items frequently, and my biggest challenge, having great photography, and an appealing and accurate description for each item.

The downside is that it is not your platform. If Etsy chooses to change the way the shop is to operate or the operating policies, you are held hostage to whatever they impose. For instance, Etsy has changed the way you can advertise your items 3 times in 2014. It's now called 'Promoted Listings,' which is a pay-per-click program, and can get very costly if you don't monitor your listings. It's easy to say, "Well, if you don't like it, leave!" But when you've spent years building up your listings which may well be in the hundreds, the effort to move to another platform may be prohibitive. I have read several articles advising not to keep all your eggs in one basket, as they say, and that is why one of my goals for 2015 is to also have a shopping cart on my existing website.

Etsy is so big now that it is becoming more difficult to be found unless you have something truly unique. Good keyword selection and good title definition is key here.

Since Etsy opened up to shops with multiple employees, the line between 'handmade' and mass produced is becoming fuzzy and preventing copycats and items that are not handmade is developing into an ever increasing challenge for Etsy to overcome.

6. How did you hear about Nashville Wraps and how do you use our products? How do you like the custom printed ribbon?

I wanted my packaging to be 'Made in America' and of recycled materials where possible. An online search identified Nashville Wraps as one of the candidates. After making inquiries it was apparent that Nashville Wraps led with excellent product selection, competitive pricing and customer support to help me design my packaging requirements so that the jewelry would arrive anywhere in the world safely and also displayed beautifully.  Susan Wright in the Printing Department very patiently helped me pick out labels, boxes and custom made ribbon.  The Nashville Wraps Graphics Department helped me with my logo design which had to be tweaked.

I love the chocolate brown boxes I selected which are made from 100% recycled card.  The ribbon espcially adds a touch of class to all my shipments and is also made in the USA.

I am a stickler for detail, which is an asset in the jewelry making business, but I could not have achieved the end result without the excellent customer service provided by Nashville Wraps. I am not a huge customer, but through the process I felt like I was their Number One Customer.

7. Do you use social media also to promote your business?

Yes, I am on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest. Simply search for 'ElegantEarCuffs.'

8. Any tips for new entrepreneurs like yourself in starting a business.

Be honest with yourself about what you know and what you don't know. I have a sales and marketing or They are associated with the Small Business Administration. I have met several times with mentors who have had successful careers and want to give back. Talking over my successes and challenges adds newfound direction and enthusiasm to my business going forward. The service is free. They offer free webinars and local training sessions in such topics as social media, Microsoft, and other relevant topics. SCORE offers great networking opportunities as well.
Ear Cuff Rings
background and this has come in helpful, but I knew that sometimes in a small and particularly a single person business, it's hard to be objective. I have used the services of a group called SCORE,

9. What do you love most about what you do?

I love being creative and giving ladies the opportunity to wear ear jewelry, some for the first time! It's especially heartwarming to make custom pieces for special occasions.

that Nashville Wraps led with excellent product selection, competitive pricing and customer support to help me design my packaging requirements so that the jewelry would arrive anywhere in the world safely and also displayed beautifully. The options were so extensive that after a while I found myself overwhelmed. Susan Wright in the Printing Department very patiently helped me pick out labels, boxes and custom made ribbon. The Nashville Wraps Graphics Department helped me with my logo design which had to be tweaked. I love the chocolate brown boxes which are made from 100% recycled card and the lining in the boxes. The ribbon especially adds a touch of class to all my shipments.

On a personal note, having the flexibility to set my own schedule and able to incorporate family commitments, especially my son's sporting activities, is worth it's weight in gold.

Visit my Etsy store to view my selection of Ear Cuffs for all occasions.