Tag Archives: Jewelry

Taking Flight with Jenny & Skip from Ugly Glass & Company

Kristi and I are very excited to launch our Taking Flight series by introducing Jenny & Skip, owners of a gorgeous store called Ugly Glass & Company located in Independence Missouri.  This series will focus on the entrepreneurial journey of several small business owners.  If you are thinking about starting your own “handmade” business or own a small business we invite you to become an active participant in this blog series.

That is Jenny (below), we are pretty sure she was excited because we’d just dropped off (check the counter below her) a brand new batch of Hang Ups in KC creations.  Or maybe she was just happy to see us?

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Q.  How long have you been in business?

A. Skip and I started creating jewelry in 2002 and opened our store front in 2012.  We created our store front as way to showcase our work and the works of other creative souls from the USA.  Currently we have over 70 artists and fine crafters on 2 floors from all over the USA, a lot from the Kansas City metro area.  We are much like an eclectic gift show! 

Q. What made you want to start your own business?

A.  I found a love of beads while creating stretchy bracelets with my friend Amie for Family Literacy Centers; “Bracelets for Literacy”.  It was a fundraising project.  After that I was addicted and started making for others.  Amie got me started on doing craft shows too…so it is all Amie’s fault I guess!!!! I think opening our store front came from a need to have a year round selling venue, instead lugging our things from craft show to craft show on the weekends.  We wanted to give that opportunity to other artists and crafters too.

Q. What is a mistake that you’ve made that you would like to share to help others avoid it?

A.  Save lots of money!  We had been looking off and on for an amazing store front for 5 or 6 years, but had not saved a penny. So everything we had on hand when the “right” space became available went into the space and it was used very quickly!  I suggest having enough saved up at home too.  If you are quitting your day job to start your business, you need bill money for a couple of years, because it might take that long or longer before you are making a profit on your business.

Q.  What is the best thing you’ve ever done for your business?

A.  I started it…I dove in and started it.  I am shy so it took a lot to put myself out there and just do it.  If I let my shyness run my life, I would not have started my business nor opened a store front.

Q.   Advice for anyone thinking of starting their own business.

A.  Network…networking is hard for a shy person.  But don’t be shy about sharing with the world that you have a business.  Always have business cards on hand to give to someone as you are telling them about your amazing business!  Create that Facebook page too!  I cannot believe how many come into the shop because they found us on Facebook!  Social media is very important now.

Q.  What is your favorite business book or blog? If you don’t have one – what inspires you?

A.  I don’t read – I like pictures!!!  Many times we are creating what we have been challenged to create.  If a customer says “hey can you make a starfish?”  we shrug and say “we can give it a go.”  Sometimes it is amazing and sometimes it is just plain ugly.  We wake up thinking about color combinations and designs. Our materials inspire us as well. We have huge amounts of beads and glass.  We just start pulling things out and putting things together, sometimes it is everything we dreamed of, others aren’t.  Ya win some and ya lose some!

You can visit Ugly Glass & Company at 206 N Liberty St, Independence, MO.  They are located right on the square in the heart of historic Independence, Missouri.  If you visit Wednesdays between 11am-4pm you can see Skip going live glass demonstrations. You can find Ugly Glass & Company online at www.uglyglass.com or on their facebook page at www.facebook.com/UglyGlassCo.

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If you have any questions for Jenny & Skip or for us you can comment on this blog post and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you Jenny & Skip for sharing your story with us!

 

 

Hang Ups in KC Partners With Literacy Kansas City

Literacy Sign Blog

Kristi and I are thrilled to announce our brand-new partnership with Literacy Kansas City.

I’ve had a few people ask me what Literacy Kansas City is and it occurred to me that not everyone is aware of the desperate need for literacy programs in all geographical areas.   For example, approximately 225,000 adults in the Kansas City area function at the lowest literacy level.  Literacy Kansas City’s goal is to help raise awareness of our community’s significant literacy needs and provide free one-to-one and small group tutoring programs.  Their volunteers give the gift of self-esteem, new opportunities, and capabilities that literacy brings to virtually every aspect of a student’s life.

Why are Kristi and I so passionate about literacy?  Because we LOVE to read and believe that everyone should have the opportunity to love it as much as we do.  Kristi was a reading volunteer at her kids school in Liberty for years.  She also loves that her children have started to share that passion for reading, they will even recommend books for her to read. I have an English Literature Degree and a background volunteering with the Barrie Literacy Council in Barrie, Ontario, Canada.  I’m also the daughter of a school librarian and I am a school library volunteer.  I LOVE (it’s that big and bold love again) working in the school library.  Who knew?  I guess I really am my mother’s daughter.

So where does Hang Ups in KC come in?  We are in the process of creating a brand new line of jewelry dedicated to the joy of reading in the form of inspirational words and quotes.  The jewelry will be in our usual eclectic style using mostly vintage and repurposed items.  A portion of every sale in this line will be dedicated to Literacy Kansas City.  Our brand new Literacy Kansas City line of jewelry can be found on our website by clicking on the jewelry tab.  To make it super easy, here’s the link:  http://www.hangupsinkc.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=78_80.  Here is a sneak peak of what we have available online right now.

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We would truly appreciate it if you could help us to spread the word about our new jewelry line in support of Literacy Kansas City.  This is the link to our website’s home page  (www.hangupsinkc.com).  We would also love to hear what you think we should create – so many of our friends and followers have brilliantly creative minds.

For more information about Literacy Kansas City and their initiatives please visit www.literacykc.org.

I guarantee that your city has the same needs as Kansas City.  Go ahead and google literacy programs in your area.  They are looking for all kinds of support like tutor volunteers, book donations, sponsors, etc.  If you are as passionate about literacy as we are maybe there is something you can do to make a difference.

 

 

What to Bring to an Arts & Craft Fair

Fall is prime Arts & Craft Show season.  We love having the chance to meet people and to see customers from past years.  The day is very fun but setting up and tearing down a booth is not for the faint of heart.  It takes careful planning, muscles and patience.  We have learned so much since our first show a few years ago and thought that we would share what we’ve learned makes a successful show with you.  We create jewelry but you can easily take this list and personalize it to fit your business. Remember that visually appealing displays will help you to sell your product so planning your display carefully before the show is very important.  Our friends from Paper Flora have pinned some amazing craft show displays on Pinterest.  You can check them out at:  http://www.pinterest.com/paperflora2/craft-set-up/.

For Your Display:

  • Inventory: bring everything you have even if you don’t think it will sell.
  • Tent & weights to hold it down (for outdoor shows).
  • Tables.
  • Table coverings.
  • Crates & boxes to add height and interest to your display.
  • Draping cloths to cover boxes used in display.
  • Bowls, trays & bins for product.
  • Mirror:  so that customers can see how your product looks on them.
  • Pricing signs, tags or labels:  you will sell more if pricing is clear.
  • Banner with company name with clips to hang it.
  • Fire Extinguisher:  some areas require it and will fine businesses who don’t have one with them.
  • Power strip, extension cord & lights (if needed).
  • Dolly or rolling cart to make moving heavy boxes/ displays easier.
  • Display emergency supplies:  bungee cords, zip ties, poster putty, scotch tape & duct tape, clothes pins, safety pins, wire, paper towels, Windex.

Sales Supplies:

  • A small table that will serve as your cash area.
  • Cash float:  we usually have at least $200 in 10’s, 5’s and 1’s along with sufficient coin.
  • Credit card reader.
  • Extra price tags.
  • Tax rate info/ chart.
  • Receipt books.
  • Business cards.
  • Packaging materials:  packaging bags or boxes that reflect your branding and add a professional touch to your sales.
  • Business license or permit (look into what your state/ province requires).
  • Mailing list/ newsletter sign-up sheet.
  • Pens.

Personal Supplies:

  • Food & water:  often it is too busy for you to leave your booth to pick up food.  Pack something that is not messy and easy to put aside when you help your customers.
  • Chairs.
  • Craft supplies:  to make repairs, change product at customer request and to be productive during down times.  Our customers love to see what we are making at shows.
  • Extra clothes:  the temperature is often very different during dawn set-up than it is mid-day.  Dress in layers or bring extra clothes to make sure you are comfortable.

If you’d like to see what we have created and will be selling at our future shows visit us at www.hangupsinkc.com.

We’d love to hear from you!  Tell us what you have on your list that we didn’t mention above.  Happy show season!

We Are Springing into Fall!

It’s not fall and the weather isn’t fall-like here in Kansas City but it sure feels like fall now that Labor Day weekend is over doesn’t it?

We had a fun and busy summer with our families but we also squeezed some Hang Ups in KC business in.  A little over a week ago we launched our website (www.hangupsinkc.com) with a huge sale.  Thank you all for checking our site out and for your support.  We had a fabulous weekend and are excited that our website it finally out there!  At the present time we have 88 items listed on our website.  We continually create and post new items so please check the site regularly and keep us in mind when you are looking for unique and affordable gifts.

Speaking of unique gifts we do custom orders!  Check out our “Custom Pieces” tab on our website.  We have some great personalized gift ideas posted and will be adding more in the next few days.  If you have an idea of your own send us an email at info@hangupsinkc.com.

Now that we are back to work full-time we will be blogging regularly with fun DIY projects and awesome recipes.  We also have some guest bloggers lined up.  If you have something you’d like us to blog about we welcome suggestions – drop us a line at info@hangupsinkc.com.

We wish you all a happy and creative autumn!

 

Our Website Has LAUNCHED!

Kristi and I are so excited to announce that after months of hard work our website (www.hangupsinkc.com) has launched!

Any of you who have created websites know what a big deal this is…for us doubly because Kristi and her wonderful husband Matt built the site themselves.  Kristi will be writing a blog in the next few months with tips and tricks for those of you who might be thinking of creating a website for your small business.

To celebrate this momentous occasion in the life of our small business we are offering an extremely rare 40% off all merchandise (excluding custom orders) on our website.  The offer is time-limited so check it out as soon as you can.  It will run Friday August 23rd to the end of the day on Saturday August 24th, 2013.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Hiho Hiho It’s back to work we go!

July and our month-long summer break have come to a close.  Kristi kept very busy with her graphic design business and family.  It wasn’t all work for Kristi, though, she spent a fabulous week on the gorgeous gulf coast. The break from reality and coastal living have inspired her and I can’t wait to see the new designs she comes up with this fall.

Alabama 2013

I spent my month on the road with my family.  First we went to visit family & friends in Canada and to attend our nieces high school graduation.  While I was visiting my parents, north of Kingston Ontario, they introduced me to the most mind-blowing and amazing antique store I’ve ever been to.  I’ll be featuring it in our next blog post.  After we arrived home from Canada we spent 4 glorious nights in our own beds and then we headed down to New Orleans for the BIG trip celebrating my husband and niece’s graduations.

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Here they are along with our boys standing in front of St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square (French Quarter).  New Orleans bubbles over with creativity surrounding food, art & music…oh and the ghost stories.  I can’t even begin to express how much I love that city.

So now it’s back to reality and back to work.  We are not complaining, though, because we get to do something that we love every day and on our own terms.  How lucky are we?  Kristi and I had a day together this week that we used to visit some of our stores and plan for our busy upcoming season.  We are both feeling very creatively inspired and are excited to be back at it!

We hope that you all are having an amazing summer and are feeling as inspired and energized as we are!

Button Bracelet DIY

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Todays confession:  Kristi and I are more than a little obsessed with buttons.  We love new buttons but especially love vintage buttons.  We thought it would be fun to do a DIY tutorial on making button bracelets.  It’s a fun and inexpensive activity to do at birthday parties, with your kids over the summer or for yourself.

What you need:

  • Waxed linen.  It is more firm than regular crochet linen and you can buy it for about $1.99 at Hobby Lobby or your local craft store.  Use a coupon and you can get it for just over $1!
  • Buttons; you can use buttons that you have around your house or buy them for just a few dollars at thrift stores, craft stores, antique malls, etc.
  • Beads; they are very inexpensive at craft stores.
  • Scissors.
  • Super Glue.

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Start by measuring your wrist to determine how many inches long your bracelet needs to be.  Your clasp will be a button that you will slide through a loop at opposite end of the bracelet.

Start by cutting 2 lengths of about 25 inches of the brown waxed linen.  Line them up together and slide the ends through the button.  Create a knot by making a circle with the linen near the button and pulling the linen through it making a nice tight knot at the base of the button.

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Slide a bead onto the two pieces of linen and nestle it close to your clasp button.  Make a knot after the bead.  Separate the ends of the waxed linen sliding the ends through the first button hole in opposite directions.  Pull it snugly against the knot you made.  Do the same for the next button hole and tie a knot.  Add another bead and knot again.

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Continue threading the buttons and beads alternately onto the bracelet, knotting on either side.

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Once you have added the last button tie off the end of your bracelet with a slip knot.  Pull tightly and, if you want, make a another knot around your existing knot.  Once you have pulled the knot tight trim off ends and glue the knot with a bit of Super Glue.

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How fun was that?  Have a great summer!

Our Favorite Recipe for Fresh Guacamole

‘Tis the season for deck sitting, picnics, barbeques and other fun events with friends and family.  I am always looking for a fun, fresh and homemade dish to snack on or take to potlucks.  This recipe for guacamole is super easy and very delicious.

Guacamole

 

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

In a small mixing bowl, combine the avocado with the onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and mash with a fork until mostly smooth.

Serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap (pressed directly onto the surface of the guacamole) and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Enjoy!

Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do

This is for all of our friends who are working so hard to fulfill their dreams.  It takes a lot of hard work to live your dreams but it’s worth it!

Dreams Don't Work Unless You Do

Exciting News From Hang Ups in KC!

We are very excited to announce that our vintage and upcycled line of jewelry can now be found at a fun and unique store called Ugly Glass & Company.  Isn’t that the greatest name?  Ugly Glass & Company have just moved to a larger location and are now located at 206 North Liberty St., Independence, MO 64050, which is right on the historic Independence Square.

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Ugly Glass & Company features handmade products from over 45 artists from all over the USA.  The owners, Jenny & Skip Alexander, create their own line of glass and metal jewelry in the store studio.   You can see Skip with his safety glasses on, firing up his torch in the photo of the front window above and in the photo below.  If you are interested in taking a class on glass work go to their website at www.uglyglass.com.   Check out Skip’s fun eyeball glass!  The glass comes in several forms including rings and pendants.

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There are so many top quality handmade treasures to choose from including furniture, jewelry, glassware, soaps, bags, photography, art prints, scarves, notecards and much more.

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The first time I visited Ugly Glass I fell in love with and had to have a leather bound journal by Evertesh Creations.  I also love my spiced mug mat and tea from Alice’s Cottage.  Kristi and I are both big fans of Ni-Chern Designs bags as well.  Nicole from Ni-Chern has a knack for finding the greatest fabrics.

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We have a variety of jewelry at Ugly Glass including silverware, keys and stamped necklaces.

Hang Ups at Ugly Glass

Whether you are looking for a unique gift for yourself or someone you care about Ugly Glass & Company is a great one stop shop.  We are very excited to be featured artists with Ugly Glass.

If you are interested in checking out Ugly Glass & Company and don’t live in the Independence Missouri area you can find them on Facebook or at the website www.uglyglass.com.

Thanks for visiting our blog and letting us share our excitement with you!