10 Things We’ve Learned From Our Creative Business

Keeping a sense of humor through the highs and lows didn't make the list but is very important. We think we excel in this area as you can see by this photo.

Keeping a sense of humor through the highs and lows didn’t make the list but is very important. We think we excel in this area as you can see by this photo.

  1. We’ve learned that our time is valuable.  Remember when you started our and thought that you could only sell items if your pricing was dirt cheap?  Over the years we’ve learned that our pricing must include a fair hourly wage for us.  Otherwise we are giving our products away for free which makes what we do a hobby not a business.
  2. We’ve learned that our business cannot afford to give discounts.  We price our merchandise carefully using a very accurate formula.  Our profit margin is not overblown on any item so therefore we cannot give discounts and still make a profit and donate to our non profit partners.  When we hear rude people comment about our pricing or try to buy our merchandise for a discount we politely refuse and remind them that a generous chunk of our proceeds to go our local non-profit partners.
  3. It is very important to find your tribe. These are people in the same boat as you who get your daily questions, struggles and celebrate successes with you.  Creative businesses can often be lonely to run.  Our tribe of link minded creatives is called Handmade in Kansas City.
  4. It’s extremely important to have all of your government paperwork in place if you truly want to have a successful business vs. a hobby.  Register your business, incorporate (or if you are like us form a legal LLP), charge taxes and pay taxes.  It seems daunting but a CPA can help you with all of this.
  5. Attending a maker conference will change everything.  There’s nothing like it to really light your fire.  We’ve tried a few but our absolute favorite hands-down is Craftcation Conference in Ventura California.  We’ve attended 3 times and every time we’ve come back and implemented what we learned and our business grew in leaps and bounds.  This is also a great way to find your tribe.
  6. It’s incredibly important to be open to change.  We make a point of stretching ourselves beyond our comfort zone frequently.  When someone offers you advice about your business don’t blow it off, listen and REALLY consider it even if it sounds outlandish.  Some of our best changes and growth ideas have come from Mike Meyer of Meyer Music.  His ideas usually scare us a little at first but the fact that he has such a strong belief in us and what we do makes a huge difference to us.
  7. Taking a class to upgrade skills is creativity rejuvenating.  This will not only help widen your offerings and expand your business but it’ll keep your creative juices flowing.  It’ll also make you happy.  Happy shows through in your work.  You can often find classes at your local craft store.  If you’d rather take a class online we highly recommend Creative Live.
  8. It’s important to be the face of your business.  This is what Mike Meyer told us last spring.  We aren’t shy about sharing our products but never felt like we were interesting enough to share our faces and story.  Apparently we were wrong.  People want to see your face and know your story.  We will be launching a new website very soon and you will see much more of our faces and story on it.
  9. Customer service will make or break your business.  It doesn’t matter how beautiful your product is, if you don’t provide excellent customer service and back the quality of your product, your business will not flourish.  When you are working a show be welcoming and friendly to people who walk into your booth.  We’ve watched many makers over the years who read or play on their phones instead of standing up and greeting the customer like they are grateful they are there.  Worst customer service we’ve ever seen?  A maker ranting about politics while people came and went from the tent.  Oh and how about the lady who wouldn’t let people stand in her tent during a rainstorm unless they were going to buy something?  Greeting customers by speaking to them and looking them in the eye also reduces theft.  It’s win-win.  Online service is just as important.  Send your product out right away when it is ordered.  If the order is large or wholesale, follow up with the customer afterwards.  If the customer has feedback you do not like do not be defensive.  Believe it or not your packaging and customer service are as important as the product itself.  We send each product our in a branded muslin bag with a business card (not a stack), a handwritten thank you note and a receipt.
  10. It’s important to regularly acknowledge and celebrate how far you’ve come.  Don’t get so caught up in working on the future that you forget to celebrate your past.  We celebrate regularly.  If you know us well then you know that it’s usually with food.  That’s just how we roll.

We hope that what we’ve learned can help you out a little.  If you have any questions please feel free to comment on this blog and we’ll get back to you right away.  We love sharing information and contacts so go ahead and ask away!

Jennifer Brown Book Signing 2

Creative Inspiration for Writers: Interview with Bestselling Author Jennifer Brown

We are excited to introduce you to bestselling author Jennifer Brown.  Jennifer writes women’s fiction and middle grade fiction.  Check out her latest suspense thriller SHADE ME.   For a complete list of Jennifer’s books please visit her website  www.JenniferBrownAuthor.com.

So how do we know an actual real-deal author?  Kristi is friends with Jennifer.  I asked them for a photo and this is what I received.

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As you can see they work out together and are both a little camera shy.  

We are grateful to Jennifer for giving us some insight and advice that keeps with this summers theme of creativity in life.   Do you ever wonder what surroundings a bestselling author works in?  What inspires them?  What other creative talents they have?  If so, read on!

 

1.  What inspires you creatively?

I have always found that enjoying other artistic endeavors (mine or otherwise) tends to inspire me. A great book, a meaningful song, a deep movie, a poem or painting that I connect with — when I see something great that someone else created, it makes me want to create, too.

2.  What kind of surroundings do you like to write in?

I can write in pretty much any kind of surrounding, but don’t love dark and gloomy areas. I tend to keep it to my kitchen table, where I’m surrounded by windows and can see and hear what the kids are up to. I can’t really write to music, unless it either has no words, or has words in a foreign language I can’t understand. My brain just latches onto words too easily, and it gets distracting.

3.  Who inspires you?

In terms of inspiring specific pieces, that could be different on any given day.  But in terms of who generally inspires me to write and makes me want to be better what I do?  Stephen King. He’s a master storyteller and I wish I could spin a yarn the way he does.  Also, Lin-Manuel Miranda, because he packs so much meaning into his work, and I love deep meaning in art. And Marian Keyes, because her work is light and fun and romantic and sexy.

4.  How old were you when you started writing?

Gosh, even before I could write, I was a storyteller. I would draw pictures and tell the story out loud as I turned the pages. I wrote my first short story when I was eight. I wrote a picture book in high school. I’ve just always written for my own entertainment. I started writing with the hope of publication in 2000. I was *mumblemumble* years old.

5. Do you have any other artistic outlets?

Here’s the thing. I can draw and paint pretty well, but it gives me the rage. Like, serious rage. I hate it so much, so I never do it. I do, however, play piano. It was something I wanted to do my whole life, but never had the opportunity until I was an adult. I’m self-taught and try to practice every night (when my cat, who loves nothing more than to walk across the keyboard, will let me).

6. How long does each stage of the writing process take?

Depends on the project, actually. It takes me a lot more time to write a 100,000 word YA or adult novel than it does to write a 40,000 word middle grade novel. Also, my writing availability fluctuates through the year, depending on how much I’m traveling to speak, whether there are holidays, or if I’m just personally busy. But generally, it goes something like this:

Writing the rough draft takes anywhere from 3-6 months. After turning it in, there is a several-month wait for my editor (and others in the publishing house) to read it and write a revision letter, and also suggest revisions on the manuscript itself (the length of time on this really fluctuates, depending on the editor’s other projects and workload). Depending on how heavy the revisions are, that stage can take me anywhere from 4-8 weeks to complete. Then I wait a couple months to either get another revision letter, or (if the editor feels the revisions are complete) to get copyedits. Copyedits are detail edits, and grammar tends to be pretty cut-and-dried, so they take much less time – hardly ever more than a couple weeks. From there, within a month or two, I get what’s called first pass pages, which is where the book is laid out and I can make one final look-through to fix any small errors that have been missed. That takes about a week. During this whole process, the editor (and others) is working with the designer to come up with a cover and any interior design, and not long after first pass pages, I will get ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies). Those tend to come out a few months before the book is released, to give reviewers time to look at and review the book before it comes out. I would say the entire process, from idea to bookshelf, can take around 18-24 months. Patience is a must-have skill for any writer.

7.  What advice do you have for kids & adults who dream of being a published author?

It’s never too early; it’s never too late. Read. Read a ton, actually. And try to absorb what you’re reading in terms of style and craft. Pay attention to what makes a story good and what makes a story bad (in your opinion). Write. Every day. Even if you’re just playing with bits and pieces of stories and techniques. And, finally, believe in yourself. Too many would-be authors give up too easily. You are going to have days, weeks, months, years, where you are certain that you stink and it will never happen for you. You will get rejected. You will get bad reviews or hateful emails or harsh critiques. That’s just part of being in the business. Sometimes the writer who gets published isn’t necessarily the best at writing; she’s just the best at believing in herself and sticking with it the longest.

We so appreciate Jennifer taking the time to share herself with us.  We’d like to congratulate her on her nomination for the 2016-17 Gateway Award for Torn Away!


Don’t go yet!  We have exciting news!

Jennifer is hosting a give-away on her Facebook page.  You could win a signed book by Jennifer Brown and this fabulous necklace from our Literacy Kansas City Collection.

Hang Ups Live Love Read Necklace

Hang Ups Live Love Read Necklace

Here’s how you enter:

  • Visit Jennifer Brown’s Facebook page and find the post announcing this contest.  Don’t forget to “like” her page to keep up with news and announcements.
  • Post a comment and link on her contest post telling her which of our Hang Ups products you absolutely love.  You can find us at www.hangupsinkc.com.
  • The contest runs from August 9th through August 26th, 2016.  It is open to US Residents only.
IMG_1872Betls C

Belt Bracelet DIY

A great way to nurture creativity is to try something new.  This belt bracelet DIY is a low-cost, fun way to expand your horizons and make something fun that you can show off to your friends.

Leather bracelets are trendy, earthy and so versatile. Leave the leather unadorned or attach a button, an old broach or an item that has special meaning to you to add your own personal touch.  You may even have a belt in your closet that you can use for this project.

Let’s get started!

Materials:

  • Narrow belt (approximately 1/2 inch wide)
  • 2 – 1/2 Inch Ribbon Crimps
  • 7-10 Split Rings
  • Lobster Clasp
  • Headpin
  • Decorative Beads

Tools:

  • Scissors • X-Acto Knife
  • 2 Pairs of Round Nose Pliers
  • Split Ring Pliers
  • Wire Cutters

1. Use your ruler to determine a straight line across the belt, near the belt buckle. Use your X-Acto knife or sharp scissors to make a straight cut to remove the belt buckle.

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2. Loosely wrap the belt around your wrist 3 times to measure length needed. Hold your finger to mark where the end of your belt meets on the third wrap. Lay the belt flat on your cutting mat making sure to keep your finger at the spot where the to ends met. Subtract 1.5 inches from this length to allow for your ribbon crimps and closure and cut belt to length with x-acto knife or scissors. Wrap the belt around your wrist again to make sure you have cut off enough to leave a 1.5 inch space between the two ends on third wrap.

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3. Attach ribbon crimps to each end of the belt. To do this simply slide your belt into the opening and squeeze the entire length of the crimp with pliers tightly.

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4. Connect 2 split rings using the split ring pliers.

5. Attach the lobster clasp to one end of the split rings.

Split Rings on Lobster Clasp

 

6. Attach the other end of the split rings to the ribbon crimp.

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7. Make a chain by attaching at least 5-7 split rings.

Split Rings

8. Attach split ring chain to the other ribbon clasp.

Split Rings to Crimp

 

9. Thread beads onto the headpin.

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10. Form a loop at the top of your beads by wrapping the wire around the nose of your round nose pliers.

Beads

11. Thread the open loop onto the end of your split ring chain. To close the loop simply hold your loop with one set of round nose pliers and use the other set of round nose pliers to grasp the end of the wire and wrap it around the base next to the bead. Once you have done this snip the wire close to the wrap and bend in the end so that it doesn’t catch.

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12. Try on your fabulous new earth friendly triple wrap belt bracelet!

Triple Wrap Belt Cuff

We hope you enjoyed this DIY project.  If you would like to see more of our bracelet designs click here.

We hope you are having a happy and creative summer!

Meet Our Friends Rebecca & Norman: Robot Maker and Presidential Hopeful

Say what? Norman, a current top-runner in the presidential race, and I would like to give you an exclusive, never-before-granted tour of Remnants by RJ: Where the Robot Magic Happens.

For those of you who don’t know, Remnants by RJ is just that—a collection of society’s cast off “remnants” that I (Rebecca Jackson) transform into fun, quirky pieces of art. I tend to see what something could be, instead of what it just is.

Primarily, I make recycled robots. I take discarded bits of life—those things lurking in attic boxes or collecting dust on thrift store shelves—and allow them to find their way to a new reality through trial and error assimilations. Each robot is a transformation of the ordinary into something magical with a name, a story, and a personality.

Just like Norman. As soon as the clock knob came to rest on his little film canister head, I knew I’d found my robot counterpart.

Norman is the odd-bot-out in most situations. He has the innate social skills of an ostrich/warthog hybrid and often feels a bit insecure. You might say, Norman is—and always will be—an underdog. But who doesn’t enjoy rooting for an underdog? Despite his insecurities, he accepts himself as he is and enjoys sharing his journey with the world.

Today, that journey takes you inside The Workshop.

Norman 1 Norman 2

Finished robots, photo shoots, and packing materials reside in the outer sanctum of the workshop…as does the all-important Drill Press of Awesomeness. (If the house were on fire, I would save the drill press first, then maybe the kids. But seriously, they have legs, they should be able to get out on their own.)

Norman 3

The inner sanctum is a small square room, located in close proximity to the drill press, that houses the workbench on one side and the robot part shelves on the other. Despite its cluttered, slightly haphazard appearance, the shelves are mostly organized and bins are labeled as necessary: arms, eyes, legs, small feet, etc.

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When a robot begins the reassembly process, it’s a matter of trial-and-error. I usually have the glimmer of an idea and begin looking for potential bodies and heads. Then it’s a matter of trying them out.

Norman is currently overseeing the reassembly of a very special robot for Carolyn. (Since neither of us want to ruin the surprise, this is only a sneak peek. You’ll have to wait for the final reveal.)

Norman 6 Norman 5

I often try to add something personal or unexpected. It is very important to me that each robot is one-of-a-kind. Despite traditional robots being streamlined, replicated machines, I don’t ever want to mass-produce anything. I love the way my recycled robots find their way to a new life all their own.

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Equally important is my commitment to recycling. As a society, we are often obsessed with the next bigger, better thing. That leaves a whole lot of consumer waste in landfills or sitting on shelves in a thrift store. Incorporating those old-fashioned or outdated materials into my work is not only a commentary on the never-ending race to the future, but it is also a challenge to rethink the familiar, giving it new life as an eco-friendly, sustainable piece of art.

Of course, that’s a natural segue into a concluding paragraph with a good dose of campaign propaganda. Norman is currently running for President of the United States on a platform of “Recycling Materials, Not Ideas.”  Among other things, Norman believes that humans, like recycled robots, are endowed with certain unalienable rights, like Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Appendages.

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Together, Norman and I are ready to start infecting the world with imagination and kindness. Won’t you join us? I bet, with your help, we can change the world.

Thank you to Rebecca & Norman for guest-blogging for us in our summer creativity series!  If you’d like to see more of Rebecca’s creations or follow Norman’s Presidential Campaign here’s where you can find them: remnantsbyrj.com, on Etsy, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and via email at remnantsbyrj@gmail.com.

 

Preservation Hall Jazz Band NOLA

Creative Inspiration from New Orleans

In our last blog post we suggested some ways to nurture your creative spirit.  I (Carolyn) took our advice and tried #15 last week.  I took a trip to New Orleans with my husband.  It’s impossible to spend time in that city and not feel creatively inspired.  They have the best of my favorite forms of creativity:  food, art and music.

On Monday night, after a day of exploring the Garden District and French Quarter, we visited Preservation Hall, an all ages historic jazz club in the French Quarter.  The music was amazing and I fully enjoyed it but by then I was a little creatively distracted; imagining all pieces of jewelry I could make from the instruments that the musicians were playing.  So the first chance I had when I got home I made a few new things.

I have thinking about how to use a piano key for a while.  I started off with the idea of making earrings but I ended up with a necklace.  Isn’t that always how the creative process works?  You never know what the end result will be.  You can find this necklace on our website by clicking here.

Piano key "before" picture.

Piano key “before” picture.

Cutting piano key with scroll saw.

Cutting piano key with scroll saw.

Sanding piano key with disc sander.

Sanding piano key with disc sander.

Cutting piano key into smaller pieces with scroll saw.

Cutting piano key into smaller pieces with scroll saw.

Piano Key Necklace

This is what emerged from the dust – a piano key necklace

Piano Key Necklace

Piano Key Necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trombone player at Preservation Hall was amazing.  His trombone caught my eye and I was thinking about making a necklace with it.  This is what emerged today.  You can find these earrings on our website in silver by clicking here and in gold by clicking here.

Trombone

Trombone “before” picture.

Cutting the trombone with my Dremel

The first cut.

Cutting the trombone down to size using my trusty Dremel.

Cutting the trombone using my trusty Dremel.

Sanding metal isn't for the faint of heart or for gloveless fingers.

Sanding metal isn’t for the faint of heart or for gloveless fingers.

My drill press making drilling holes for the ear wires quick and easy.

My drill press makes drilling holes for the ear wires quick and easy.

Trombone Earrings

Trombone Earrings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, the upright bass.  I’ve been eyeing the tuning pegs for some time now.  Little did I know that they are extremely difficult to cut and virtually impossible to drill a hole through.  This is what I ended up with after several broken drill bits and a bruised pride.  You can find this necklace on our website by clicking here.

Upright Bass scroll and pegs.

Upright Bass scroll and pegs.

I could unscrew the tuning peg so I had to cut it off using my Dremel.

I couldn’t unscrew the tuning peg so I had to cut it off using my Dremel.

The end result - necklace made from bass peg.

The end result – necklace made from bass peg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also have other jazz band inspired jewelry available on our website made from drums, saxophones, clarinets, trumpets and more.  Check out our Band of Angels Musical Instrument Jewelry Collection by clicking here.

It’s important to note that no working instruments were harmed in the making of this jewelry. We only use instruments that have been deemed irreparable by experts.  A portion of the proceeds from all of our musical instrument jewelry collection goes directly to Band of Angels KC, an organization who collects, repairs and distributes instruments to kids in need who would like to participate in band and orchestra programs.  Our donations, specifically, are used to send kids in need to music camp.  We are very proud to work with this amazing organization.

We had such a wonderful time in New Orleans and appreciated every second of our visit.  We hope that you find a magical place that inspires you this summer whether it be in your back yard or somewhere far away.

 

You-cant-use-up-creativity-the-more-you-use-the-more-you-have.

20 Ways To Nurture Your Creative Spirit

We are dedicating this entire summer of blog posts to creativity.  We’ll share some DIY projects, introduce you to some REALLY cool people who inspire us and tell you what we’ve learned as artists and business owners.

We are all creative in our own way.  Even if you don’t think you are creative you probably have some creative mojo tucked away. Creativity is like a muscle – the more you use it the stronger it gets.   Sometimes you make something U-G-L-Y…embrace it, keep it, have fun with it!  We still laugh about some of our ugliest and most unfortunate creations from our early jewelry making days.  Sometimes you make something beautiful and never want to give it away or sell it.  Creativity is good for the soul.

We thought it would be fun to share a list of ways that we stay creatively energized.  Hopefully some of them will inspire you.

  1. Keep lists of amazing and inspiring people we meet.
  2. Hang out with happy, interesting people.
  3. Ask for feedback from people we respect & admire.
  4. Walk away from a project that’s frustrating us.  Often time and space cures what is going wrong.
  5. We embrace our mistakes – sometimes those end up our favorite creations.  At the very least they give us a good laugh.
  6. Sleep well, eat well and play often.
  7. We do something that makes us happy every day.  Even on crazy days, even if it’s just for a minute or two.
  8. Take risks with our art or projects.  We like to dream BIG and this takes us way out of our comfort zone at times.
  9. Get outside.  Walk, ride a bike, go for a run.
  10. Make lists of all our ideas: possible and impossible.
  11. Clean up our work area.  This is a big one.
  12. Attend a creative class or better yet a conference (our absolute favorite is Craftcation in Ventura, California).  We also love online classes at Craftsy).
  13. Carry a journal or sketchbook.
  14. Go to a museum, craft fair or art show.
  15. Take a trip – even if it’s local, a change of scenery is inspiring.
  16. Join an online creative challenge (ie. #yearofmaking) or create your own challenge.
  17. Embrace quiet – take time away from social media, phones, TV, music and people in general.  Giving ourselves time to think is invaluable.  Even if it’s only for 10 minutes on busy days.
  18. We recommend posting something you’ve made on social media.  The positive feedback may surprise you and will definitely motivate you.
  19. Hand-write a letter to a friend or family member on pretty writing paper.
  20. Turn off electronics for a few hours every day.  Too much time on Facebook or Pinterest take time away from making.

If you are thinking about getting a little more creative we highly recommend the book Make it Mighty Ugly by Kim Werker.    In this fun book Kim offers exercise and advice for getting creative.  We feel very lucky to have met Kim at Craftcation.  Her energy and courage in creativity are infectious!

Now log off and do something fun and creative.  We promise that you won’t regret it!

Hello June! What’s Up?

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June is a busy month with so much to be excited about!  We start the month with a bang, on June 4th, by going to see the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies at Starlight Theater.  It’s a family event for us:  Carolyn’s whole family are going along with Kristi and her youngest daughter Mary Alice.  It’s the kids first concert and they are all very excited.  If you have a chance to grab last minute tickets we highly recommend it.  This band is very fun, creative and happy.

The following Friday, June 10th, Kristi & I will attend Art That Blows, an event that benefits Band of Angels KC.   Local artists have repurposed and donated non-functional musical instruments into pieces of art for this event. Guests may bid on the pieces during the silent auction starting at 5pm and then enjoy a live rooftop performance by DJ Ashton Martin while overlooking the breathtaking Kansas City skyline. Tickets are still available.  You can learn more and purchase tickets by clicking here.  Kristi and I have donated a whopping 40 pieces of jewelry made from retired instruments to this event.  We are excited to meet the other artists who will be in attendance as well as Band of Angels supporters.

On Friday June 17th and Saturday June 18th (from 5pm-11pm each evening) Kristi and I will be hanging out in our booth (with all of our Hang Ups) at SoJo Summerfest (formerly Jazz in the Woods).  Check out this fun festival for local food & brews, local music and to meet local artisans to support local charities.  Does it get any better than that?  This event takes place at Corporate Woods, Overland Park KS and is a free event so come by and see us!

Last but definitely not least, Sunday June 19th is Father’s Day!  Like so many other people out there we are desperately trying to think of unique and fun gifts for our Dad’s and our husbands.  If your husband or father is a musician we have plenty of options for you on our website.   For example, this money clip features a key from a retired trumpet.  A generous portion of the proceeds go directly to Band of Angels KC and will help to send kids to music camp.  There’s nothing better than a gift that gives back.

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That’s what we have going on this June.  We’d love it if you could come out and say hi to us at any of these events.  We wish you all a safe and happy June!

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Looking for Unique Gifts For Graduates?

Look no further!  We have a great selection of graduate gifts from hand-stamped pieces to jewelry made from musical instruments.

This is a small selection from our Literacy Kansas City Collection.  A portion of the proceeds from this collection will be donated directly to Literacy Kansas City.   Literacy KC’s mission is to advance literacy among Kansas City area adults through direct services, advocacy and collaboration.  Their vision is literacy for all.   Who doesn’t love a gift that gives back by helping others?

Dream Vintage Spoon and Belt Cuff Bracelet from Hang Ups in KC Dare To Dream Handstamped Bracelet from Hang Ups in KC Antique Typewriter Key Necklace from Hang Ups in KC Live Courageously Handstamped Spoon Bracelet by Hang Ups in KC Enjoy the Ride Leather Stamped Bracelet by Hang Ups in KC On to the Next Chapter Hand Stamped Bracelet By Hang Ups in KC Dream Big Hand Stamped Feather Necklace With Brave Wings She Flies Handstamped Long Necklace Oh The Places You'll Go Hand Stamped Leather Bracelet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jewelry from our Band of Angels Collection also makes great gifts for students and teachers.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of every item in this collection goes directly back to Band of Angels KC.  Band of Angels is a non-profit organization who collect, repair and distribute instruments to kids in need.  They also send many kids to music camp every summer.  We have a lot of fun making jewelry from the instruments that cannot be repaired.  Here’s a small sampling of what is available on our website.

Violin String Earrings

Cello Tuning Peg Necklace Saxophone Key Cuff Links Clarinet Key Necklace Drum Cymbal Cuff BraceletHammered Flute Body Earrings Piano Wire & Leather Bracelet Viola Wood Earrings French Horn Valve Key Necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To order you can visit us online at www.hangupsinkc.com or simply click on the photos of an item that you like from above.  Orders arrive in a pretty muslin bag with a thank you note from the Director of the non-profit that benefits from the gift.

We wish you all a very safe and happy graduate season and Memorial Day Weekend.  Happy Victoria Day to our Canadian Friends!

Please Help Us Support Robin’s Warriors Online Auction

We frequently mention Handmade in Kansas City, a cooperative that we belong to, via our blog and social media.  This week we are particularly proud to be a part of this group of talented makers.  One of our members, Sara from Gypsy Soup, is going through a tough time.  Her sister Robin is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  We all want to help so we are running an online auction to raise money to help with Robin’s medical and living expenses.  The auction is just short of a week old and we’ve already raised $832 for Robin.  Here’s a peek at some of the handmade items, donated by our makers, that are included in the auction.

Robins Warriors Collage

Robin’s Warriors Online Auction

We invite you to visit the auction by clicking here.  If you click on the collage, above, you will also be taken to the auction site.  The auction ends next Wednesday, May 11th, so you may want to check it out and place your bid as soon as possible.  Most items also have a “Buy Now” option to purchase the item that you love straight out instead of bidding.  Handmade in KC, Sara & Robin all appreciate your support.

Back to Hang Ups in KC business.   Happy Mother’s Day to the Mother’s out there!  We would both like to thank our own Mom’s who have been our biggest supporters and cheerleaders our entire lives.  If you’ve met us and think we’re a little off the wall, well you can thank our Mother’s for that as well.  ♥

Graduation season is coming up quickly.  If you are trying to come up with a unique gift for the grad in your life please consider checking what we have to offer.  Click here to see what we have in stock in our online store.  If your grad plans to be a writer, teacher or is musical we have some amazing options.

Happy Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day & Graduation!

Carolyn & Kristi

 

 

 

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How Hang Ups Celebrates Earth Day

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About four years ago we signed up for an eco-art fair called Zeleny, organized by repurposing Queen, Alexis from X37 Adventures.  Zeleny  (the Czech word for Green) focused on celebrating the repurposing movement and giving back to the community.  That is when we were bit by the repurposing bug.  We love the personality that antique, vintage and “found” items have.  Currently almost 100% of our creations feature repurposed items that may have ended up in a landfill, such as silverware, rusted out typewriters, leather belts & purses, keys, key holes and broken down instruments.  That answers the question of how we celebrate Earth Day – every day is Earth Day at Hang Ups!

This is a small sampling of our jewelry made from repurposed materials.  You can find any of these pieces of jewelry on our website by clicking on the photo of the piece that you like.   Giving back to the community that we live in is very important to us – most of the items on site give back to Literacy Kansas City or Band of Angels KC.

Do you love stuff made from repurposed materials?  If so, we’d love to see your favorite item. Please share in the comments section!  Happy Earth Day!

.141010-VV2 150104-VVredoA (600x586) 140343-VV9 150925-VVA (563x412) 150935-BOA2 160271-BOA3 151214-BA2 160211-BOA2 160136-BOA2 160407-BOA4 160223-BA 160227-BA