I was always creative as a child. My first memory of jewelry making was when I was 5 or so. I strung together a green necklace with the tiniest of seed beads in a variety of green shades. It took me forever (more like a week of after school program, but definitely forever for a kid in kindergarden), beads wound up everywhere, they were hard to thread, but it was all worth it in the end. I absolutely adored it. To me, it was unique, no one else had one, and I never saw one like it in all of the jewelry magazines laying around my childhood home, or around the necks of women. I remember showing my parents, hearing their warm praises, and how proud I felt wearing that necklace for the weeks that followed.
Since then, my favorite stores were small mom 'n pop craft / beadery stores, to Michaels and Hobby Lobby chains. My holiday gifts always had a few little jewelry making kits. When I got bored of "kiddie beading", my holiday gifts were little pouches of swarovski beads and crystals with Stretch Magic, crimping tubes, crimpers, and clasps. That is where my love for making jewelry really accelerated. Eventually, I got into wire-work. I learned how to manipulate wire into different shapes, words, around gemstones, and the differences between the different types of wire.
Whenever I had a little down time in college, I started making jewelry again. This time, making jewelry took a different turn. I started selling jewelry...accidentally. I liked being able to make the types of jewelry I like, wear them to class, work, and around campus. I got so much lovely feedback and compliments. Eventually, my peers started paying me for my "gifts". My jewelry creations stopped being holiday and birthday gifts. Others expressed interest in wanting to purchase similar items that my friends, peers, and I myself wore. I loved making people happy. It also helped towards paying for my pre-med degree.
I found that I was able to make myself, my family, my friends, and most importantly, my clients happy with my wearable works of art. That is when I realized that I found my lifelong love and career in creativity. It was not much of a scramble as one would expect when I realized that I wanted to make everything from the beautiful to the fashionable, and the trendy to the unique, but for the average American budget. I wanted to produce jewelry that was comfortable, and lasted, that the public could purchase for a low price.
Tarnish resistant and nickel-free wire in different thicknesses (for strength purposes) was the key. The silver tone wire that I use has a copper core, silver plating, and a clear protective film. The copper tone wire is simply copper with a clear protective film. The gold wire is made of brass, and it too is covered in a protective film. The rose gold tone wire is made up of a metal alloy of silver, brass, and copper, covered in a clear protective film.
I'm a skeptic, so naturally I had to put them to the test. I made a ring in each metal, and turned into a guinea pig. I am severely allergic to non-precious metals, and I know that many people are as well. The itchy red bumps and peeling skin from nickel did not sound appealing. I wore them vigorously, and I did everything with those rings on. I gardened, washed dishes, showered, carried heavy items, etc for a couple weeks. The only thing I noticed, was that the clear protective layer was peeling off. The metals beneath were still shiny, and I did not get any metal allergy rashes.
The simple fix for the barely noticeable peeling of the clear protective topcoat was to care for the jewelry. If they're kept out of excessive amounts of water, soap, chemical solutions (that means rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover too), rugged surfaces, etc., the jewelry looked as perfect as the day I made it.
Because of my results, I was finally content with opening up an Etsy shop knowing fully well that I can provide unmatchable service, high quality, and low prices to a world of jewelry lovers.
At FBWL, we have concentrated on creating tarnish resistant, hypoallergenic, nickel free jewelry since 2012. Our jewelry has always been good for you. After 5 years, my clientele's tastes evolved, and so did mine. I experimented further, and in wanting to continue providing hypoallergenic jewelry at affordable prices, I switched materials. Our newer designs are made with ethical gemstones, and recycled metal. It still won't turn your skin green, or give you an itchy, uncomfortable rash. This is because we use .935 sterling silver, and 14kt gold that has been heat and pressure bonded to a brass core. Gold filled jewelry is not to be confused with gold plated jewelry, which can wear down easily. With our gold filled jewelry, you're getting the weight and feel of solid gold, as well as the shine and longevity for 30 years to a lifetime.
From Brooklyn With Love