Looking back on the year, especially as all my friends are sharing their “best nine” Instagram posts, I always like to pick and choose my personal “best nine” since photo “likes” sometimes don’t do the right things justice (but are always appreciated and welcome!). 2018 was a banner year at Bang-Up Betty. I celebrated some huge milestones, saw celebrities wear my jewelry, got to raise money for several local causes that are close to my heart, and was recognized in some really amazing ways.
Thank you so much to everyone who brought a piece of Bang-Up Betty handmade jewelry into their lives or gave it to a loved one this year. Thank you to everyone who came to see me at pop-up craft shows and events. Thank you to everyone who shared social media posts and told pals about my jewelry. Thank you to my stockists across the country who brought my jewelry to their cities. Every year I do this is more magical than the last. Every morning I wake up grateful and astounded at the support my home state of Arkansas has given me. Thank you, thank you, thank you again.
Now, for the countdown…
1.) Janelle Monae wore my pin. The Janelle Monae. She wore my pin. My I Believe in Science enamel pin. She wore it in an assortment of feminist and activist pins on her Today Show appearance. I am still in recovery.
At some point in time I packaged that I Believe in Science pin with my own hands and sent it off and it landed on the lapel of THE. JANELLE. MONAE. I am breathless.
2.) I had my 5th anniversary. In April of 2018 I celebrated five whole years of making jewelry in Little Rock, Arkansas, and threw a big party complete with this confetti cake that WAS NOT THE ORIGINAL CAKE I MADE. I made a unicorn-shaped cake for the occasion and Betty the cat ATE IT when I wasn’t looking the night before the party. He is a savage.
3.) Betty the cat made the evening news. Anytime I can get Betty the cat in a magazine or on the tv is the best time of my life. In 2018, KARK stopped by my jewelry studio and fell in love with Betty. I think he got more air time than I did and I have no complaints.
4.) I got married! This is really number one on the list BUT THE LIST IS OUT OF ORDER. Collin, don’t get mad.
In September 2018, I got hitched to a very wonderful, supportive, encouraging, hilarious, handsome, incredible guy who was totally fine with us having a weird wedding. It was the most fun day of my life and we’ve been keeping the party going ever since we said “I do.” You really can’t stop the party once you buy a six-foot inflatable dancing man for your wedding and can’t return it.
Read all about our wedding in this blog post I wrote about how crafty I was and how ridiculous our decor was.
5.) Julianne Moore wore my One Tough Mother necklace AND I raised close to $600 for this incredible charity that’s so close to my heart. I had no idea that when one of the loveliest women I know bought a necklace from me, she meant to bring it to the Moms Demand Action conference and give it to Julianne Moore. Julianne Moore then wore it in a PSA for the organization that encouraged people to vote!
6.) I made a jewelry collection inspired by The Golden Girls. I had so much fun designing this collection of vintage-inspired jewelry that my husband then photographed for me on our Lanai. Hahahaha. I’m a Dorothy at heart, but the necklace in the image above was inspired by Blanche.
See more of the Stay Gold collection and read more about what inspired it here!
7.) Y’all voted me Best Artisan in the Arkansas Times’s Best of Arkansas issue! For the fourth year in a row! I am so incredibly grateful for the support my fellow Arkansans have given me over the years. Thank you for giving me the courage to keep making jewelry and putting myself out there.
You also voted my jewelry best in Arkansas Handmade Products in AY Magazine’s Best. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
8.) I got to support Lucie’s Place by making things. Earlier this year, I dedicated this Love is Queer bracelet to Lucie’s Place, donating 100% of the profits to the nonprofit organization that provides shelter for homeless LGBT in Arkansas. I love being able to use my craft to raise money for progressive nonprofits in the state of Arkansas and across the country.
9.) I released the Birthstone Cluster Collection, which is inspired by nature and features raw, rough-cut and natural gemstones to celebrate the wearer. Happy birthday to you! These necklaces are by far my favorite things to make right now and can be personalized. Grab your custom birthstone necklace, or maybe one celebrating your child or another loved one!