Bang-Up Betty made the news this week! Monday, I brought my tools and an array of designs to KATV's Good Afternoon Arkansas to talk shop and teach Elicia Dover how to stamp jewelry and about my line of Arkansas made jewelry. I chat about where I get my inspiration, how I learned how to make jewelry and some of my favorite designs. Click here to watch the video!
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.
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When I ran that "Top Nine" app on Instagram for 2016, my most-liked posts were all sad (in retrospect) posts about the garbage election. So, I chose my own top nine to commemorate the standout moments of arguably everyone's worst year ever. Here are some of the precious moments that, for me, saved 2016 from being a completely unpolishable turd.
1.) Bang-Up Betty Gave Back
Thanks to everyone's generous support of my Strong As Hell Bracelet for Arkansas Women's Outreach, I was able to raise $1,295 for the nonprofit that provides feminine hygiene supplies and support for homeless women in Arkansas. I was also able to donate $106 to AVAC (AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition) in George Michael's memory through BUB sales. Throughout the year, I was able to provide auction items to support Lucie's Place, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and Rescue Road animal rescue. And by partnering with Get Bullish and The Outrage, money from the sale of BUB products was donated to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and Malala Fund.
3.) I Helped With a Proposal!
Adam and Shelley drove to the Grand Canyon, where he popped the question using a handful of BUB jewelry and a stunning engagement ring. Congrats, you two! Read more about it here.
4.) The Best Wedding Favors Ever
Speaking of weddings, last summer I stamped dozens of these to be wedding favors at a feminist wedding. I still die of shock and am completely flattered anytime someone wants me to be part of their big day!
6.) Arkansas Times Best Artisan Crafter
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for voting me best artisan crafter for handmade jewelry in the Arkansas Times 2016 Best of Arkansas. It was seriously such a surprise and honor!
7.) I Voted
I can't not mention the dumpster fire election. While the outcome is a nightmare I never wake up from, I still remember every wonderful second I spent in that booth voting for a woman for president for the first time in my life. Hopefully I get to do it again.
8.) I Met Andrew W.K.
Last fall I met Andrew W.K. and gave him this bracelet. And he Instagrammed it. And he listened to me talk about my big brother. It was so party.
9.) Partnering with The Outrage
A few months ago, a sweet soul named Rebecca reached out to me about her new website to promote feminist messages while funding feminist causes. It's been fantastic watching The Outrage blossom, and I'm thrilled to introduce three enamel pins I created exclusively for them. This Nasty Women Unite pin came first, and I'll be announcing the other two later this week.
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.
I was saddened to learn recently of the passing of a smart, headstrong, compassionate young woman, a devoted member of the northwest Arkansas community, a scholar with huge dreams whom I am honored to have made giggle at least twice with my jewelry, according to her mother, Sallyann.
Jessamy Eve Samuels was an inspiration to anyone she encountered. A student of anthropology at the University of Arkansas, she loved people. “One of her favorite things to say was, ‘People are the best,’ Sallyann said. Jessamy was interning at the Museum of Native American History in Bentonville, Ark., and wanted to study Vikings for her Masters at the University of Iceland.
As founder of the Young Democrats of Arkansas’s (YDAR) Environmental Task Force, she had a gift for community organizing. One friend lovingly recalled Jessamy sneaking her phone into Arkansas Governor’s School to check in on the YDAR chapters she’d created: “I think Alma, Harrison, Clarksville, Ashdown and Cabot High Schools all owe their Young Democrat chapters to Jessamy.”
Sallyann reached out to me a couple of weeks ago to share Jessamy’s spirit and to request several necklaces to give to her friends. Each necklace reads “March Fourth”, Jessamy’s birthday and an ode to her brave spirit, which marches forth through the lives she helped shape in her 19 years.
A scholarship fund in Jessamy’s name has been established at the University of Arkansas, a tribute that scholarly Jessamy would surely adore. To donate to help another young leader march forth, please visit https://onlinegiving.uark.edu/
When you make your donation, please select “other department, program or fund” from the dropdown menu, then type “Jessamy Samuels Scholarship Fund” in the space provided.
You can also mail a check with a memo that says “Designation of Gift: Jessamy Samuels Scholarship Fund” payable to The University of Arkansas Foundation, Inc. to:
300 University House
One University of Arkansas
Fayetteville AR 72701
Last week custom requests were a little confused...
These are just a handful of my favorites from last week that I made before heading to L.A. for the holiday weekend to collect bacteria from Nicolas Cage's hand prints at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Fun fact: the first movie my sweetheart Collin and I watched together was "The Wicker Man."
The best thing about that spectacular WWJD necklace is that it stands for "What Would Janet Do?" because Janet Young, duh. (Hey, Janet!) And somebody's smokin' bff got a "pole dancer" necklace to complement her g-string.
And finally, Sydney Brazil made my heart explode when she ordered this "Strong As Hell" necklace. Why? Because she's a Thea Foundation scholarship winner who could tap dance your face off and she is STRONG AS HELL! Sydney, I can't wait to watch you go to college and travel the world so my working ass can live vicariously through you.
I'll end this post with a flashback to 1999 and let you count the WWJD bracelets I wore...