First off, tell me a little bit about yourself.
My name is Lauren Peritzman and I am the sole designer and owner of Lauren Blythe Designs, which specializes in handmade jewelry with vintage elements. I am married to a wonderful man and have an energetic four year old little boy! In addition to being a jewelry designer I am also a stay at home mom to my son and both jobs keep me quite busy! I am originally from Pittsburgh, PA and moved to gorgeous Colorado to attend college and have never left. I have a background in Communication and Investment Banking believe it or not! When I am not taking care of my son or designing jewelry I love to shop, work out, have coffee with friends or catch up on some of my favorite television shows.
How and when did you start making jewelry and your other items?
I started creating jewelry in 2004 a few months after I got married. I was working in the investment banking field and had gotten laid off. My husband was very supportive for me to start my own business and so my jewelry adventure began!
I had ordered a handmade tiara for my wedding and after studying the materials involved and actually taking it apart, I felt it was something I wanted to do myself. I researched jewelry design, techniques and materials both online and in books and started creating my own line of bridal designs. I opened up an online website called “somethingbluetiaras” where I designed my own line of bridal jewelry including tiaras, combs, hair pins, necklaces, earrings, etc. I started selling my custom designs to hundreds of brides! Everything was handmade and custom designed to order. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun! After my son was born, I found it very difficult to keep up with everything when he was so young, and I closed my shop down in the summer of 2007.
After my son started preschool and I had some more free time, I missed designing jewelry. Last summer I decided to get back into jewelry design, however, I wanted to do something I could feel special about myself and that I could wear and my friends could wear too. I also wanted to incorporate my love for vintage jewelry into my designs. I started with home jewelry parties and then put my designs on Etsy in the summer of 2009. Since then, in addition to Etsy, I have my own website, still do home parties and have some of my designs in local boutiques!
When and how did you originally find Etsy?
I had found Etsy when I was doing the bridal tiaras and jewelry and wanted to sell what was left of my bridal shop. I also had read about it often in several magazines. When I opened Lauren Blythe Designs I had 25 items in my shop. I now have over 80!
What is unique about Etsy and what about the website do you like the most in regards to your shop?
What I love about Etsy is that you can create your own shop in this large marketplace with thousands of other designers and be creative. Your shop tells the customer something about you, the artist. Your photos can be creative and innovative — not just a necklace on a plain necklace stand. It’s also a huge marketplace so it’s easier for people to find you than if you have just a website. I know I can spend hours on Etsy looking at fantastic handmade items! The community and all the resources available at Etsy including Treasuries, the Storque, etc. make it a unique and rewarding experience for a seller.
What inspires you the most in regards to your creations?
I get inspired daily. It may be a necklace or earrings I see in a magazine, or something in a shop. I love looking at vintage necklaces as well to get inspiration and how can I make this modern but with a vintage twist? I am also influenced by the seasons and colors. I try to keep my colors current with the season. Right now, I am very into coral, green, turquoise and pinks with spring and summer. I also get inspired by music. I listen to a lot of 1960s and 1970s music (which I grew up with) while I design and sometimes something I am working on takes on a whole new life depending on what music I have on. Many of my items are named after songs or lyrics I listen to!
What is your favorite piece you’ve created and why?
Now that’s a difficult question as they are all my favorites in a way as they all tell a story! I think my most favorite though is the Afternoon Tea or Savannah (a version of the Afternoon Tea) necklaces. They have lovely vintage elements with the white beaded chain and the different rhinestone buttons and yet are so feminine and romantic with the roses.
What do you want to accomplish with your online shop?
I would love to build a strong customer base, have a lot of happy repeat customers who are pleased with my jewelry and come back for more! I just surpassed 100 sales and would like to double that in the next 3 months!
Do you have any new creations in the works? If so, what can shoppers expect to see from you soon?
I am always creating new pieces. I am constantly buying new supplies and vintage pieces. I have more supplies than I have time to create them! I try to create at least 4-5 new items a week so I can list that many in within the following week. Being the sole designer and creator, it can be very time consuming, but is very rewarding when you create designs someone loves! I am already looking into fall colors and design ideas so I can have new fall items up by August.
Where can readers find out about more information regarding your jewelry and other creations and possible special offers (including additional websites, blogs, facebook, etc)?
In addition to Etsy, I have my website which has several of the same items as my Etsy shop, but also other unique designs. I also have a Facebook page, where I often post about special sales and contests (the last contest was a $40 gift certificate to my shop!) and I have a blog. Additionally, if you are local in the Denver, CO area, my designs can be found at Cali and Mo in Cherry Creek Mall and in Park Meadows Mall, the Vistas. I am hoping to get into some more boutiques this year.