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Hand-stamped humor and salty threads made with care in Arkansas...

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How to care for your Bang-Up Betty brass, gold and silver stamped jewelry, how to style your jewelry and apparel, what trends are fresh in stamped jewelry, and more.

Filtering by Tag: arkansas handmade

Hammered in Arkansas: A Jewelry Maker's Best Moments of 2018

Stacey Bowers

Bang-Up Betty has been stamping handmade jewelry in Arkansas since 2013. Celebrating a 5th anniversary, seeing Julianne Moore wear my jewelry and supporting great charitable causes were among some of the highlights of this Arkansas jewelry maker’s 2018.

Bang-Up Betty has been stamping handmade jewelry in Arkansas since 2013. Celebrating a 5th anniversary, seeing Julianne Moore wear my jewelry and supporting great charitable causes were among some of the highlights of this Arkansas jewelry maker’s 2018.

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…

Janelle Monae wore my I Believe in Science pin along with many other makers’ enamel pins during her Today Show performance.

Janelle Monae wore my I Believe in Science pin along with many other makers’ enamel pins during her Today Show performance.

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.

That’s my I Believe in Science enamel pin on the right. On Janelle Monae’s outfit for her Today Show appearance.

That’s my I Believe in Science enamel pin on the right. On Janelle Monae’s outfit for her Today Show appearance.

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.

Bang-Up Betty has been making artisan jewelry in Arkansas since 2013 and celebrated five years in 2018 with a pop-up in Little Rock.

Bang-Up Betty has been making artisan jewelry in Arkansas since 2013 and celebrated five years in 2018 with a pop-up in Little Rock.

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.

Betty the cat perches in the Bang-Up Betty handmade jewelry studio. His name and personality inspired the name of the business, and he is a small internet celebrity. Follow him on Instagram at @bettyisaboy.

Betty the cat perches in the Bang-Up Betty handmade jewelry studio. His name and personality inspired the name of the business, and he is a small internet celebrity. Follow him on Instagram at @bettyisaboy.

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.

Only in Arkansas: Bang-up Betty's creations are not the usual jewelry items.

Arkansas bride: My gleeful expression after saying my vows (that I wrote!) at the Edgemont House in North Little Rock, Arkansas, in September. Photo by Katie Childs.

Arkansas bride: My gleeful expression after saying my vows (that I wrote!) at the Edgemont House in North Little Rock, Arkansas, in September. Photo by Katie Childs.

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.

The inflatable dancing man at our wedding at the Edgemont House in North Little Rock, Arkansas, may have been more of a hit than the bride and groom were. Photo by Katie Childs.

The inflatable dancing man at our wedding at the Edgemont House in North Little Rock, Arkansas, may have been more of a hit than the bride and groom were. Photo by Katie Childs.

Read all about our wedding in this blog post I wrote about how crafty I was and how ridiculous our decor was.

Julianne Moore wears a One Tough Mother Necklace by Bang-Up Betty at a Moms Demand Action conference. A portion of the proceeds from each necklace sold benefits the Arkansas chapter of Moms Demand Action.

Julianne Moore wears a One Tough Mother Necklace by Bang-Up Betty at a Moms Demand Action conference. A portion of the proceeds from each necklace sold benefits the Arkansas chapter of Moms Demand Action.

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 One Tough Mother 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!

One Tough Mother. This necklace by Bang-Up Betty benefits the Arkansas chapter of Moms Demand Action.

One Tough Mother. This necklace by Bang-Up Betty benefits the Arkansas chapter of Moms Demand Action.

Read more about this necklace and grab one for yourself!

Arkansas jewelry designer Bang-Up Betty’s “Stay Gold” collection is inspired by the Golden Girls and features vintage and limited edition pieces. Plus those big Miami colors!

Arkansas jewelry designer Bang-Up Betty’s “Stay Gold” collection is inspired by the Golden Girls and features vintage and limited edition pieces. Plus those big Miami colors!

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!

Bang-Up Betty was voted Best Artisan for the fourth year in a row in the Arkansas Times’s Best of Arkansas for jewelry design.

Bang-Up Betty was voted Best Artisan for the fourth year in a row in the Arkansas Times’s Best of Arkansas for jewelry design.

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!

Bang-Up Betty jewelry was voted best in Arkansas Handmade Products by AY Magazine readers.

Bang-Up Betty jewelry was voted best in Arkansas Handmade Products by AY Magazine readers.

Bang-Up Betty’s Love is Queer Bracelet 100% benefits Lucie’s Place, a shelter for homeless LGBT in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Bang-Up Betty’s Love is Queer Bracelet 100% benefits Lucie’s Place, a shelter for homeless LGBT in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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.

My new Birthstone Cluster Collection features rough, raw and natural gemstones and is inspired by nature. Photo by Collin Buchanan.

My new Birthstone Cluster Collection features rough, raw and natural gemstones and is inspired by nature. Photo by Collin Buchanan.

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!


Freekend Weekend Pop-Up Brings Together Arkansas Artisans and Food Trucks Aug. 4-5

Stacey Bowers

One Tough Mother Necklace  by artisan jewelry designer Bang-Up Betty, vintage clothing from  Crying Weasel Vintage , and handmade leather clutch by  O'faolain

One Tough Mother Necklace by artisan jewelry designer Bang-Up Betty, vintage clothing from Crying Weasel Vintage, and handmade leather clutch by O'faolain

It's a TAX Free-kend Weekend Pop-Up Shop at the Moxy Warehouse! Brought to you by the same crew who brought you the Speakeasy Pop-Ups last year! We are excited to come together again and bring you a few new vendors, some of our new goods, AND at TAX FREE prices! Woohoo! 

We will have a preview party Saturday night with complimentary beer so you can sip and shop and we will be there on Sunday as well with a complimentary self-serve (careful now) mimosa bar!

Freekend Weekend Pop-Up brings together Arkansas artisans with Little Rock food trucks for a shopping weekend that coincides with Arkansas's tax holiday

Freekend Weekend Pop-Up brings together Arkansas artisans with Little Rock food trucks for a shopping weekend that coincides with Arkansas's tax holiday

RSVP on Facebook!
 

Vendors List:
AR-T's
Bang-Up Betty
Crying Weasel Vintage
DOWER
Krystal Bijoux Jewelry
O'Faolain

Food Trucks:
Viva Vegan (Saturday Night 6:00pm-10:00pm)
Philly Phresh Water Ice (Sunday 10:00am-2:00pm)

Wanna know more about tax free weekend? 
Learn what it's all about and what items are tax free at: https://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/images/uploads/exciseTaxOffice/faqsConsumers.pdf

Handmade leather wallet by  Dower , Arkansas t-shirt by  AR-T's , Glamfestation brooch by  Krystal Bijoux Jewelry  

Handmade leather wallet by Dower, Arkansas t-shirt by AR-T's, Glamfestation brooch by Krystal Bijoux Jewelry 

Thanks for Voting Bang-Up Betty Jewelry Best Artisan in Arkansas

Stacey Bowers

Bang-Up Betty jewelry voted best artisan crafter in the Arkansas Times's best of Arkansas

Bang-Up Betty jewelry voted best artisan crafter in the Arkansas Times's best of Arkansas

I am so grateful and so humbled that y'all voted Bang-Up Betty jewelry best Arkansas artisan crafter in the Arkansas Times's Best of Arkansas 2018. It's so thrilling and so rewarding to hear from you that this little handmade jewelry business I started five years ago is meaningful to someone other than just me and my mama (who still doesn't approve of my nope middle finger necklace, that's for sure). 

I feel that making jewelry has been a part of my life forever. My sister Amy would take me to the original Argenta Bead Company in North Little Rock (where The House of Art is now), and let me pick out beads and make shiny things, and I felt so loved and encouraged by everyone in that shop, especially Ellie Roy, the owner. I made some TERRIBLE jewelry when I was 12 years old, but they let me try to sell it (no one really bought it), and therefore planted the seeds to Bang-Up Betty a long time ago.

Handmade necklaces by Arkansas artisan jewelry designer Bang-Up Betty. Find the I'll Cut You Necklace, Custom Heart Necklace, Made of Magic Unicorn Necklace, Salty Pretzel Necklace and more in the shop. 

Handmade necklaces by Arkansas artisan jewelry designer Bang-Up Betty. Find the I'll Cut You Necklace, Custom Heart Necklace, Made of Magic Unicorn Necklace, Salty Pretzel Necklace and more in the shop. 

I ended up working at Argenta Bead as one of my first jobs (I've always simultaneously had at least 2 jobs, always, because I'm a workaholic) and learned a lot more about making jewelry. I left for college with an arsenal of beaded necklaces I made myself, and I fit right in at the art studio in school. 

I put jewelry away in college and focused on getting a degree in communications (and minoring in binge drinking). I graduated with a good knowledge of marketing, writing, media, design, Español (my actual minor) and my entrepreneurial spirit intact. I interned at marketing firms, film sets and worked at stationery and invitation companies (hey, Mint Julep Paperie!) out of college, which sparked my first small business, Betty Pearl, hand-drawn greeting cards I printed myself. Like my jewelry, the cards were cute, offensive and salty. That's just what I do. 

Betty Pearl Valentine postcards, the prelude to Bang-Up Betty handmade jewelry 

Betty Pearl Valentine postcards, the prelude to Bang-Up Betty handmade jewelry 

I sold my stuff on street corners (at craft fairs! got you!!) while simultaneously working as a writer and editor in the Little Rock publishing scene until selling $4 cards ran me ragged and I retired Betty Pearl. Pretty soon after that, I found myself back into beads. Creativity and entrepreneurship needs an outlet. 

I made funny, four-letter-word bracelets for my friends as holiday gifts in 2012, after teaching myself how to stamp and drill copper and brass. When the bracelets were a success, I launched an Etsy site to make some money off my handmade jewelry on the side. It got kind of big kind of fast. 

One of the first Bang-Up Betty jewelry designs, a handmade stamped copper bracelet, called the four-letter-word bracelet. You could order customs! You still can in my  brass or silver mantra bracelet.  Photo by Arshia Khan. 

One of the first Bang-Up Betty jewelry designs, a handmade stamped copper bracelet, called the four-letter-word bracelet. You could order customs! You still can in my brass or silver mantra bracelet. Photo by Arshia Khan. 

In the next couple of years, my handmade jewelry was featured in Bust Magazine, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Bustle, Cosmo UK and more. I created my own website. I expanded the business into wholesale, and now stores across the United States carry Bang-Up Betty jewelry, enamel pins, koozies, shirts and more. Oh yeah, I expanded the products as well. There are now about 100 designs in my repertoire, where I started with about four designs. I did all this while maintaining a thriving career as a nonprofit marketing director.

And when I say "all this," I mean all this. I do 98% of this business by myself. Designing and making the jewelry, marketing retail and wholesale jewelry, maintaining the website, fulfilling orders, photographing products, attending markets and craft shows, planning events, professional development, bookkeeping... that's all me. Shout out to Collin Buchanan and Katie Childs Photo for photography help and Lee Lee Arts + Design for graphic design help. 

Anyway, I've derailed from thanking you for voting Bang-Up Betty jewelry best artisan (for the fourth time!!). I guess I just wanted to share a little bit behind why this makes me feel so special. It's a lot of work (see above paragraph) to start, manage and expand your own business, especially if you yourself MAKE nearly every single thing that you sell. And it can be really scary to put your art out there, especially if it tends to lean one way politically and you live in a state that trends the opposite way. Sometimes my hands hurt, but my heart is always full. Thank you. 

Handmade jewelry artisan Stacey Bowers (AKA Bang-Up Betty) in her studio in North Little Rock, Arkansas, with her popular Smash the Patriarchy hammer. Photo by Katie Childs. I'm talking about myself in the third person. This is weird. But, you know, captions. 

Handmade jewelry artisan Stacey Bowers (AKA Bang-Up Betty) in her studio in North Little Rock, Arkansas, with her popular Smash the Patriarchy hammer. Photo by Katie Childs. I'm talking about myself in the third person. This is weird. But, you know, captions.