I had the great pleasure of interviewing one of my favorite bloggers, Bev. Along with being a fantastic blogger Bev handcrafts the most beautiful jewelry for her shop Linkouture.
I’ve been eyeing up her jewelry for quite sometime, remind me to set up a hint email for my hubby 😉
Perhaps, this post will be hint enough 🙂
You’ve probably been asked this a million times, I apologize, where did the name Linkouture come from?
No, it’s a great question and one I surprisingly don’t get asked that often! So three years ago, before I opened my Etsy shop (but knew I wanted to) I was trying to come up with a clever name to call my jewelry business. I played around with my name and different words, but nothing felt right. (Somehow, Bev Feldman Designs didn’t have quite the right ring to it…no pun intended!) Anyway, one day my good friend Dara and her now husband were over for brunch with me and my husband and we were discussing this. I don’t remember how exactly the name came about (and there are differing opinions on who actually came up with the name) but somehow someone said Linkouture and I knew that was it! I wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget. I felt like it really captured the essence of what I wanted my jewelry to be–unique and elegant–as well as how my jewelry was made, with lots of little rings, or loops.
Where do you gather inspiration?
Inspiration hits me at different times and places. Sometimes an idea will just pop into my head and I will make a sketch or write it down so I don’t forget. (I feel this happens most in the middle of the night when I am supposed to be sleeping, or when I’m taking a shower.) Sometimes, as with my line of beach stone jewelry, it’s from a trip somewhere. Other times it’s just being in the metalsmithing studio and experimenting and coming up with an idea I like after trying a few that don’t feel quite right. And sometimes it comes out of a request for a custom order, which then evolves into something else, as with my fitness jewelry for a cause.
What is your favorite piece you have made?
It depends on my day and my mood. Right now I am really loving a new bracelet I just made which features a large silver link in the center. I am tempted to make one for myself!
What has been your most popular piece?
Definitely my freshwater pearl earrings. I think I sold about ten pairs of them at my last show. They are delicate and elegant, and fancy enough to wear on a special occasion, but they are also classic and simple which makes them perfect to wear every day!
You figured out you were creative when you were younger, but what was the thing that pushed you to go further?
I actually have a post brewing where I am going to write more about this, but the thing that really pushed me to pursue this was reading Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture. This book had a profound effect on me, in a way that no other book has. It really influenced me to want to work for myself and do something for a living that used my hands more.
I’m a greenie, I appreciate that you have eco-friendly jewelry in your shop. What makes your jewelry eco-friendly and why is that important to you?
This year I made the switch from silver plated to sterling silver, and almost all of the silver I used is made from recycled silver. Plus I hold onto the scraps of silver when I am working and turn them in from the place where I buy my raw supplies. I make most of my findings, including clasps and ear wires, so that I can use recycled silver. I also use packaging that is made from recycled materials.
In my personal life, I try to throw away as little as I can. I donate a lot of household items and clothes I no longer need, and buy the majority of my clothes from thrift stores and consignment shops and try to get household items and things for my daughter from Craigslist, yard sales, and Freecycle. I try to use things that are environmentally-friendly as much as I can (though it’s definitely a work in progress!). It made sense to me to make this switch in my business to have my personal values align with how I run Linkouture.
How long does it take to make one of your beautiful bracelets?
I’d say anywhere from 1-2 hours, from beginning to end. The basic Byantine chainmaille bracelets at this point don’t take me super long (less than hour), unless I’m using the really tiny rings, in which case that takes a bit longer. When I first started learning it, it took me FOREVER and it was really frustrating, but at this point I barely have to think about what I’m doing, so it goes by pretty fast.
If you were on Shark Tank, and had to pitch your business which Shark would you choose?
Oh, is it terrible that I have never watched Shark Tank? Actually, I caught about 20 minutes of it once. I am sure I would learn a lot from watching it, so if I ever do I will have to let you know which Shark I would choose!
Okay, we have to set up a Shark Tank date!
Do you have any new designs showing up in your shop this Holiday season?
Yes, a couple! That bracelet that I mentioned previously, plus some earring and necklace gift sets. Well, I suppose the latter aren’t new per se, but it’s the first time I have added gift sets to my shop. I’ll admit, this holiday season I was more focused on getting up all of my current designs listed in my Etsy shop, but I did add a few more colors that I hadn’t previously had listed.
How can we order, and when is the best time to order for Holiday delivery?
You can order via my Etsy shop. All made-to-order and custom pieces must be ordered by Tuesday, December 2 at 12:00noon EST (it is noted in the item description if it is made-to-order), and all other orders must be placed by Friday, December 19 at 12:00noon EST and will be shipped by Saturday, December 20. Unless you live in Canada, in which case you should allow for an extra two weeks just to be safe!
I truly enjoyed learning more about Bev’s process and shop. Linkouture will have some amazing Holiday Deals this Friday through Monday, you can sign up here to get the deals sent to your inbox.
© 2014, Dean @Mrs. AOK, A Work In Progress. All rights reserved.