Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 Will Be The Year!!!

2009 was great, really. I grew enormously as an artist, and my understanding of business has grown exponentially. Ok, maybe not exponentially, but I do understand more than I did!

As great as 2009 was, 2010 is going to be even better! I will have some fun and fabulous "collections" and I will promote them ferociously! I am working on several of these collections currently, and hope to have a photo shoot in the next month! For the first time, ideas are actually coming together into multiple pieces...very exciting, as I have spent a lot of time evolving my style and focus since beginning my company in 2007. I feel more than ever that I actually "know what I'm doing".

My main goal for 2010 is to further develop the branding of my business, as well as obtain press coverage to get my name out there, all while having fun and continuing the learning process, which never stops!

I hope all of you realize your goals in least some of them. Never stop trying! And never stop dreaming!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


The Urban Bazaar is this weekend!!
I will be there sharing a booth with MayBug Bows!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Jewelry Tag Branding

As anyone who is trying to build a business knows, branding is a crucial part of marketing. For quite a while I have realized that when someone purchased one of my items, chances are, two months later they will not remember who made the necklace or where it came from. I finally came up with a solution after seeing what a fellow seller on etsy was doing.

After running out of ink on my inkjet printer and not wanting to pay the money for new cartridges, I decided to hand-typeset a logo tag on shrink plastic. Not perfect, but it really adds something to my pieces, and at least now people will remember where their purchase came from. I wish I had done this sooner! I was able to fit about 48 tags on one 8x10 sheet of shrink plastic. The cost of one sheet is around 60 cents. So each tag costs me just over 1 cent!

Don't get me wrong, I would love to have tiny metal tags with a professionally embossed logo like this, but for now, my charming little hand made plastic tags will have to do.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

M&M Pendants!

One of my favorite new items in my etsy shop! Real m&ms encased in resin with real candy sprinkles! You can choose any of the usual m&m colors and either the tiny round rainbow sprinkles or the oblong rainbow "jimmies". SO sweet! Each pendant measures about one and one-eighth inches in diameter. Yummy!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gift Gallery 2009

Yesterday I participated in the 2009 Gift Gallery, held at Cure of Ars church and school in Leawood, Kansas. It was a great show - the best I've ever had, actually! Here are some shots of my booth:My good friend Lauri Meyers also had a booth with her mom that was super cute!And here's a shot of Angie with JunieC's setting up her darling booth.

I think I had more success at this show than in past shows because of my booth set up. In the past I have had just one small table, but I have learned to utilize more space and spread things out so buyers can see. Overall, it was a great experience! I really, REALLY appreciate my mom helping me with this show, although I didn't get a photo of her - she's the BEST!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Press Kit - Finally!

I have been working on my "new" press kit slash look book since early this year and finally have it up. Feel free to take a look by clicking on the link in the upper right of this page.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Custom Swarovski Necklace

I just finished this custom Swarovski necklace that will be worn to a wedding by the mother of the bride. It's a simple design, but is so stunning! I used a large teardrop crystal AB pendant flanked on each side by smaller teardrops. The remaining beads are rounded bicones, which are much more comfortable against the skin than the non-rounded version. I hope the customer loves this as much as I do!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Seeing Stars!

When I went to buy resin last week, I found a star shape mold and had to get it! I have been wanting to do stars for a while and there was only one mold left, so I took that as a sign :) I also found some spiritual quote decals that I used to make some new pendants and I love how they are turning out!

Here are some of the new designs I worked on over the weekend:

Resin Star RingResin Star PendantResin Pendants with religious/spiritual text.And, my favorite of the bunch, a trio of black resin stars with silver holographic glitter, each accented with a single Swarovski crystal.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Lesson In Wholesale

I haven't had much of an opportunity to do wholesale orders, so when I was recently approached regarding one, I was pretty excited. The pieces in question, though, sell for $16-$20 in my shop. How much did the person want to pay? $2 per piece. Hmmm. My first thought was "no way!" Then I started looking at how slow my shop has been and how nice it would be to have cash flow.

The potential buyer mentioned needing restocking every two weeks because her shop was busy. Hmmm flow...that would be nice. Then I started trying to figure out how I could create these pendants for $2 while still making some money for my time. Finally, I figured out a way to do them faster, using a faster-setting resin so I could pour the layers more quickly. I quickly (well, over a week's time) churned out 60 of these pieces and had them ready to ship. All was paid for upfront (which I would always recommend, at least until a rapport is established with the buyer). I sent photos of the pieces and once approved, they were on their way, first class, delivery confirmation, insurance. My first miscalculation? Shipping was a total of $10. I had charged $5.

The pieces arrived safely. However, the buyer did not like the quality. "I cannot sell these in my shop...they look too handmade". Talking to my mother about it on the phone, she said "why didn't you send a couple of samples to her before you did all that work?". A big "DUH" sounded out in my head. Why didn't I do that? Another thing I would HIGHLY recommend.

So, of course the buyer wants a refund. We agree on a partial refund. I am covered for the materials and maybe a tiny bit for my time. Now I will have 60 resin pendants to get rid don't be surprised if you see them pop up in my shop. Some of them I will take down to Crown Center to Gifted Hands where I have a display.

All in all, this could have been a super bad experience, but it has been a really good learning experience for me. After going through all the hard work, I realized that I have to be really careful, no matter how tempting the idea of "cash flow" might be. I hadn't taken into account the hours of labor involved in trimming and sanding the pieces, not to mention drilling them and inserting jump rings so they would be ready to place on a chain. All of the little things you forget to add in all add up to hours of extra time. So if you are reading this, DON'T forget to count every step involved in creating your product when figuring out a reasonable wholesale price.

The silver lining in this is that there were other pendants that this particular buyer DOES like and has purchased. So it may be a long-term, cash flow positive opportunity after all. Even though it didn't completely work out, I'm really glad I gave it a shot! I improved my skill a bit at my craft and learned what REALLY goes into what I create so I will be better prepared next time.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


When I began designing jewelry a couple of years ago, I never really thought about where I wanted it to go, who I wanted to market to, what my ultimate goals were. I'm still trying to figure this whole thing out, but am starting to realize some things.

First, I've realized that I want to be a brand. I want people to see my product and know that it is a "Deanna Burasco". How to go about that is a long and arduous journey. With so many designers out there, I think it can be daunting to establish yourself apart from everyone else. Also, I've seen how designers are constantly copied, and that to remain on the forefront, a designer has to re-invent themselves constantly to stay ahead of the copycats.

Second, I've realized that I have wasted a lot of time creating pieces and have not spent enough time marketing. I would try to make new pieces weekly or even daily, hoping each new design would spark a sale. This led to a mish mash of products (I think) with a lack of consistency and direction. One of my new goals is to create fewer pieces, then focus on marketing them, eventually gaining a solid fan base and establishing some solid wholesale accounts.

Third and last, I am working on creating "collections", which ties into what I just mentioned. Not only do I want to create fewer pieces, I want to have lines of pieces that coordinate and compliment one another. Whittling down all of the designs that I'm excited about is the hard part. My mind seems to not understand the concept :). When I look at the mainstream successful designers, most, if not all, have collections. They carry these collections for a time, then retire them and introduce new collections. It allows them to have a more cohesive grouping of products, which is easier to market and sell, in my opinion.

So, that's where I am...

On a side note, I am excited to be involved in the next Impact Fashion workshop. It's a day-long event for fashion designers, make-up artists, photographers and stylists to explore ideas and build portfolios. I'm the only participating jewelry designer, so this will be a great opportunity to get some model shots of my "collections", which I will figure out soon....I hope!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nature's Spring Jewelry

Spring is my favorite time of year in Kansas City (fall is a close second). It arrives after what always seems like an endless winter (for me anyway). As soon as my tulip bulbs break the ground in February I count down the days until spring. It seems like this time of year is the only time in Kansas City when you can go outside and enjoy the weather and not get eaten alive by mosquitoes. Another couple of weeks and that won't be the case (at least for me). So, I spent a good hour in our front yard taking photos. Enjoy!All of the above pictured tulips came from a variety pack I bought at Home Depot.

Every spring I plant a flat of impatiens. Once established, they look gorgeous into November!
Lily of the Valley - I dug some of these up from the yard of a house we rehabbed a couple of summers ago and they are taking hold quite well!

Lamium - great shade plant. We also have a lighter green version.

Purple Sand Cherry - I like to call it the poor man's japanese maple :)


Friday, April 17, 2009

Crystal Wrap Collection

I have been experimenting with plastics for a while and have come up with my first collection created out of plexiglass! Each piece was hand cut, sanded, softened in an oven, then hand molded. I accented each piece with varying colors and sizes of Swarovski crystals set in resin. I am really happy with the designs. I think they look incredible!

This photo is of the entire collection thus far, including rings, bangles, necklace and earrings. I am sending the aqua-toned group out to Los Angeles to be photographed. It will be featured in a LookBook for an upcoming fashion event. I cannot wait to see the model shots with the product!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Photo Shoot!

Recently I had the opportunity to collaborate with photographer Vicki Smith, make-up artist Jolie Carrillo-Allen, and model Sarah Nelson. It was actually my first experience being involved in a professional photo shoot! Not only did I learn a lot, I had a great time and made some new contacts I hope to work with again in the future. Thank you all for bringing my jewelry designs to life!

Eighties Leopard - Resin Heart Necklace

Hot Pink Leopard - resin heart necklace
Nailed and Ball Chain - resin bangles

Silver Rising - resin pendant necklace

Mardi Gras - hand painted wooden bead and fringe necklace

Neon Zebra - resin heart necklace

Pinwheel - resin pendant necklace

Purple Leopard - resin heart necklace

All of these items are available in my etsy shop, except Mardi Gras, which is available in my other shop on

Special thanks to my collaborators: Sarah Nelson (Sarah is also an aspiring clothing designer: see more here. Vicki Smith Photography, and make-up artist Jolie Carrillo-Allen.

New Pink Symphony Collection!

The new Pink Symphony Duet Collection is here! Pink Symphony is my collaboration line with singer/songwriter Jillian Riscoe.

Music Shakes The City necklace and bracelet.

Hit That High Note To The Stars necklace and earrings.

Percussion Like Patchwork necklace and ring.