Carley's Creations by studiogracie

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As the cliché goes, it's the season for giving. When we give gifts, we also give thanks for the important people in our lives – and don't forget, that includes yourself, too!

Giving is what this post is all about: an opportunity for you to snag some genuine, handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry for the holiday season... and also my way of showing appreciation for the most important and inspirational woman in my life - my mom!

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Carley's Creations by studiogracie was started in 2006. My mom was inspired to turn her college hobby into something more serious while fundraising for one of my summer trips, which is why the business is named after me. (None of the designs are actually mine – I suck at making jewelry!)

Read on for an interview with studiogracie about her unique work, creative process, and views on style, as well as an exclusive Etsy offer for Trim readers!

Carley: How did you get into making jewelry?

studiogracie: I was a poor college student and needed to make a little extra income. I saw a lot of poorly made stuff out there and I figured that I could do better! I don't care for mass produced pieces. What fun is it to wear something that everyone else is wearing? Its much more of a statement when you know you are wearing a one-of-a-kind piece.

C: How would you describe your jewelry?

SG: Practical, polished, individual, and creative!

C: What materials do you commonly work with?

SG: I use a lot of gemstones, all of which are genuine: Amazonite, Jaspers, Turquoise, Tiger's Eye, Jade, Serpentine, Aventurine, Malachite, Lapis Lazuli, Rose Quartz, and Agates. I also work with handmade glass, pearls, and Swarovski crystal.

C: What are your personal favorites?

SG: I'm partial to “natural” shaped gemstones. I can come up with much more interesting pieces with them than standard round beads. It's corny, but the color and shape of the gemstone inspires my design. My favorite gemstone is Tiger's Eye. It has beautiful warm earth tones that turn different hues when seen from different angles, yet it's easy to wear and kind of like a neutral color. I also love using freshwater pearls. They come in such a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes, and their iridescence really add a touch a class to each piece of jewelry.

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C: Why is it important to use genuine materials?

SG: At a lot of stores, you get plastic and cheap metal that turns your skin green. Why wear that if you can pay almost the same amount for real gemstones and pearls?

C: Where can we find your jewelry being sold?

SG: I'm at the Spring and Fall craft fairs at Westfield, Somerville, Summit, and Red Banks in New Jersey every year. I also have an Etsy store that operates year-round.

C: Do you have any style advice for our readers?

SG: Remember that accessorizing is important! Investing in a well-made, timeless piece is worth it, because a striking piece of jewelry can really make an outfit shine.

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You can find Carley's Creations by studiogracie on Etsy here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/studiogracie

Use coupon code TRIMMAGAZINE for an extra 10% off your purchase, no minimum required!

Stackable with Holiday Special free shipping for orders over $50.

xoxo,

Carley Chan