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Filtering by Tag: arkansas wedding

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!


What a Jewelry Designer Wears to Her Wedding

Stacey Bowers

Your wedding jewelry should be as magical to you as your wedding day. Especially when you’re a jewelry designer.

Your wedding jewelry should be as magical to you as your wedding day. Especially when you’re a jewelry designer.

Full disclosure: I bought my wedding dress on a Dillard’s pink tag sale rack for less than $100. And I made my jewelry. That’s about as handmade as my wedding got, though. I don’t know how my discount dress ties into that, I’m just really proud of that deal I got.

My jewelry was literally the last thing that was ready for the wedding. I made my necklace that same morning. Like, four hours before the ceremony. Not because I wasn’t worried about it, but because I wanted it to be so perfect.

I wanted to wear something of my Grandmother’s, and I chose a little amethyst, gold and diamond charm of hers that I love so much. It was on a very worn, lackluster box chain, and that just wouldn’t do, so I built a new chain for it out of Czech glass beads, creating two graduated layers to frame the charm perfectly. I love this charm so much because it looks like a tiny stained-glass window and is so rich and warm in color that I can’t help but smile when I wear it.

I built an elegant and vibrant Czech glass chain in graduated layers to frame this beautiful little amethyst, diamond and gold charm that belonged to my Grandmother. I was sure that I wanted to wear something of hers on my wedding day.

I built an elegant and vibrant Czech glass chain in graduated layers to frame this beautiful little amethyst, diamond and gold charm that belonged to my Grandmother. I was sure that I wanted to wear something of hers on my wedding day.

For my “something borrowed,” my sweet sister was kind enough to lend me the handmade brass bangle she wore at her wedding. My “something old” was my Grandma’s diamond ring. For my “something blue,” I had my deep blue sapphire engagement ring that makes my heart sing whenever I see it. I think the little black diamonds studding the middle band are the best touch and really make the teenage goth girl inside me happy, er, sad.

My earrings I actually made as part of a collection of jewelry I released right after the wedding. I called it the “Stay Gold” Collection, and it was inspired by The Golden Girls. They usually pair with a pineapple necklace and include the same chain as my wedding necklace. This pair I’ll keep forever, but you can snag your own if you like them.

My  wedding earrings  were intended to be part of my  Stay Gold Collection  inspired by the Golden Girls. They featured a brass spiral circling Czech glass bead chain and matte gold chain in a long, elegant chandelier shape.

My wedding earrings were intended to be part of my Stay Gold Collection inspired by the Golden Girls. They featured a brass spiral circling Czech glass bead chain and matte gold chain in a long, elegant chandelier shape.

For my bouquet and each of my two bridesmaids’ bouquets, I created a brass charm stamped with C + S to attach to the ribbon. Anyone who knows me knows I wasn’t going to get through one day without stamped brass.

How about this amazing bouquet of tropicals by Hannah Allen?! Is it not a dream come true? It’s certainly mine.

I personalized my bridal and bridesmaids’ bouquets with brass charms stamped with our initials.

I personalized my bridal and bridesmaids’ bouquets with brass charms stamped with our initials.

Little Rock floral designer  Hannah Allen  created this luscious bouquet of tropical plants and local flowers. It’s so dreamy!

Little Rock floral designer Hannah Allen created this luscious bouquet of tropical plants and local flowers. It’s so dreamy!

Our wedding was a tad unconventional. We had yeti cake toppers, an inflatable dancing man on the dance floor, and I threw the bouquet to all the single men, much to the relief of all of my single gal pals. It was the most fun night of my life.

Back to jewelry. I wanted each of my honorary bridesmaids (and bridesman) to have something special from me, so I created each of them a unique necklace of their birthstone using real, natural gemstones, some in their raw and unpolished forms. I dropped each of the stones into resin to create a cluster of stones so that each one was unusual and couldn’t be repeated.

For each of my bridesmaids, my honorary bridesmaids and my honorary bridesman, I made a  unique necklace of their birthstones , using real stones set in resin in an unusual cluster setting. I personalized them with their initials.

For each of my bridesmaids, my honorary bridesmaids and my honorary bridesman, I made a unique necklace of their birthstones, using real stones set in resin in an unusual cluster setting. I personalized them with their initials.

I loved making these cluster birthstone necklaces so much and getting to know all of the stones involved. I spent a lot of time researching and learning about gemstones, from their structures to their origins to their symbolism and historical use. I had to collect them all, and I made more necklaces so you can claim one, too! Find your birthstone necklace here.

See the entire  Birthstone Cluster Necklace Collection  and find your birthstone. Let me know which one you like the best!

See the entire Birthstone Cluster Necklace Collection and find your birthstone. Let me know which one you like the best!

Shoutouts to:

Katie Childs Photo for slaying my wedding photos.

My husband Collin Buchanan for photographing my birthstone jewelry.

Hannah Allen for going above and beyond with my tropical wedding flowers.

Angela Alexander for doing my hair and makeup perfectly.

The Edgemont House for being the most beautiful home to get married in.

Boulevard Bread Co. for the most delicious catering that I ate probably way past when I should have.

Kelli Marks of Cathead’s Diner for making our beautiful cake (and bringing donuts!).

Our friends and families for celebrating with us and supporting us. You are everything and more to us.

How You Get the Girl: Jewelry She'll Say 'Yes' To

Stacey Bowers

If you're reading this, it means that Taylor Swift hasn't sued me yet for using her lyrics in my post title. It also means you're probably about to have a wave of warm, mushy, lovey-dovey feels wash over you.

Twice in my "career" as a jewelry designer has a guy asked me to make something so awesome that it would convince a woman to spend the rest of her life with him. TWICE have I succeeded in inspiring matrimonial bliss. I'm just kidding. They were both super awesome dudes and obviously INCREDIBLY thoughtful and I'm sure their soon-to-be-fiancées were already completely and totally head over heels for them, but I like to think I helped.

Exhibit 1: Adam and Shelley

Adam really wanted to sweep Shelley off of her feet, so he decided to shower her with bracelets stamped with heartfelt promises and this "Adventure Girl" necklace, which is completely appropriate because he then DROVE HER TO THE GRAND CANYON AND PROPOSED TO HER. Sorry. I didn't mean to shout that, but SERIOUSLY CAN IT GET MORE ROMANTIC THAN THAT?? NO. THE ANSWER IS NO.

Exhibit 2: Scott and Hannah

Scott thought of this all on his own, which makes him brilliantly clever and charming in my book. I can't take anything but stamping credit on this.

Scott takes Hannah to a damn fine dinner and gives her a classic monogrammed necklace, but... wait... why is the monogram wrong? BECAUSE THAT'S GOING TO BE HER MARRIED MONOGRAM. THAT'S WHY. Confused, Hannah flips over the necklace. BOOM. It says "Marry Me?" on the back, and eternal swooning ensues because NO ONE SAW THAT COMING AND IT WAS FANTASTIC.

And that's how it works. That's how you get the girl. Bravo, gentlemen. Bravo.