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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.

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Bead 'n B*tch: Beaded Spiders - Not Your Grandma's Crafting Circle

Stacey Bowers

Relax, eat spooky snacks and get crafty as we learn how to make beaded spiders just in time for Halloween. This class will be held at Stifft Station Gift in Little Rock, Arkansas, and is taught by jewelry maker Bang-Up Betty.

Relax, eat spooky snacks and get crafty as we learn how to make beaded spiders just in time for Halloween. This class will be held at Stifft Station Gift in Little Rock, Arkansas, and is taught by jewelry maker Bang-Up Betty.

Get bitten by the beading bug at this laid-back crafting class where we’ll learn how to make beaded spiders while getting into the Halloween spirit. Supplies, spooky snacks and refreshments will be provided, and jewelry maker Stacey Bowers of Bang-Up Betty will walk us through how to make adorably creepy little beaded spiders with bendable legs. You’ll leave with your very own handmade arachnid, the skills to make more and the good spirits that come with spending the afternoon unwinding with friends and getting your creative juices flowing. These cute critters make great Halloween decor, and they transition well to Christmas ornaments!

This class will be held inside Stifft Station Gifts (3009 W. Markham Street, parking and entrance in back) Sunday, October 6, from 3-5 p.m. Space is limited to 10 people, and reservations are required. Bring your friends! Reserve your seats by purchasing this listing.  

Refreshments will be provided, and ages 21+ are welcome to BYOB. This class is for ages 18 and up. If enough interest in a kid-friendly class arises, we’ll do our best to accommodate! Please email Stacey@bangupbetty.com if you are interested in a kid-friendly class.

Design your own colorful, quirky beaded spider at this laid-back class that’ll serve spooky snacks and get you into the Halloween spirit. This classes is part of Bead ‘n Bitch, a new series of crafty classes in Little Rock, Arkansas, curated by jewelry maker Bang-Up Betty.

Design your own colorful, quirky beaded spider at this laid-back class that’ll serve spooky snacks and get you into the Halloween spirit. This classes is part of Bead ‘n Bitch, a new series of crafty classes in Little Rock, Arkansas, curated by jewelry maker Bang-Up Betty.

Bead ‘n B*tch is a creative new class series curated by Bang-Up Betty with the intention of conjuring up camaraderie through crafting in a relaxed environment where attendees can unwind with a low-budget, low-pressure art form, tasty snacks and good company. Think of it as a good old-fashioned stitch ’n’ b*tch, but with beads. After class, you should be able to carry on this art form at home if you like without a big investment in tools and equipment. 

By purchasing this listing and registering for a class, you agree to allow us to communicate with you via the email you provide at checkout. Please make sure it’s the right email! We may also need to contact you by phone in case of an emergency.

Cancellation Policy: If you need to cancel your registration, please do so no later than 4 days before class is scheduled (cancel by Oct. 2.) so that we have time to fill your space. Cancellations that occur in that window will be 100% refunded. Cancellations after Oct. 2 and before Oct. 5 will be refunded at 50%. Cancellations that occur on Oct. 6 will not be refunded. Thank you for understating! Please email stacey@bangupbetty.com to cancel a registration. In the event that the instructor needs to cancel the class, registration fees will be refunded in full and registrants will be notified by email.

Bang-Up Betty Is Calling Stifft Station Gifts Home: Custom Jewelry Stamped Onsite

Stacey Bowers

Starting in September, you can shop Bang-Up Betty’s extended collection of jewelry and gifts at Stifft Station Gifts in Little Rock or have a custom piece of jewelry made at the gift shop.

Starting in September, you can shop Bang-Up Betty’s extended collection of jewelry and gifts at Stifft Station Gifts in Little Rock or have a custom piece of jewelry made at the gift shop.

Starting September 2019, Bang-Up Betty is calling Stifft Station Gifts home. You’ll be able to browse a huge selection of Bang-Up Betty pins, stickers, gifts and jewelry all in one place and have custom jewelry made while you shop the absolutely magical and gigantic variety of gifts for all ages, handmade jewelry, local goodies, yarn and other crafting supplies that Stiff Station Gifts offers in the heart of the historic Stifft Station neighborhood in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Tuesday, Thursdays and extended hours during the holidays, you’ll be able to drop by Stifft Station Gifts and have custom jewelry stamped while you shop, and Bang-Up Betty’s extended section of jewelry, gifts, pins and more is available during store hours. The Stifft Station Gifts store is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and is located at 3009 W. Markham Street with parking in the rear and a back entrance for convenience.

To celebrate Bang-Up Betty’s new partnership with Stifft Station Gifts, we’re throwing a party Thursday, Sept. 5, from 5-8 p.m. at the boutique. Say hello, enjoy refreshments, see the new digs, and put your name in the hat for prizes; we’ll be doing a giveaway every hour!

Bang-Up Betty is subversive and sweet hand-stamped jewelry made in Little Rock, Arkansas. Starting in September, you can shop Bang-Up Betty at Stifft Station Gifts and have custom jewelry made while you shop.

Bang-Up Betty is subversive and sweet hand-stamped jewelry made in Little Rock, Arkansas. Starting in September, you can shop Bang-Up Betty at Stifft Station Gifts and have custom jewelry made while you shop.

Stifft Station Gifts was opened in 2015 by Cindi Booth, a longtime craftsperson, weaver and artisan jewelry maker behind Bijou Booth jewelry. Her boutique showcases a huge selection of locally made crafts and jewelry as well as gifts for animal-lovers, children, artists, nature-enthusiasts, puzzle-workers, dog and cat parents, cooks, and those with a wicked sense of humor. Learn more about Stifft Station Gifts here. Find Stifft Station Gifts on Instagram and Facebook for updates and new gift inventory.

Stifft Station Gifts offers a bountiful selection of gifts for gardeners, cooks, crafters, nature-lovers, dog and cat parents and more in Little Rock’s historic Stifft Station neighborhood.

Stifft Station Gifts offers a bountiful selection of gifts for gardeners, cooks, crafters, nature-lovers, dog and cat parents and more in Little Rock’s historic Stifft Station neighborhood.

Local jewelry designer Stacey Bowers, AKA Bang-Up Betty, has been hand-stamping funny, fierce and activist statement jewelry since 2013. Bang-Up Betty jewelry, pins and apparel have been published in Bust Magazine, Chris Guillebeau’s 100 Side Hustles, Erin Wood’s Women Make Arkansas, and has been seen on Buzzfeed, Huffington Post and a few celebrities. You can find updates from Bang-Up Betty on Instagram and Facebook and at bangupbetty.com.

Jewelry for Dog and Cat People

Stacey Bowers

Cat Lady Necklace  with Whiskers and  Dog Mom Necklace  with Paw Prints were just added to the Bang-Up Betty jewelry online shop.

Cat Lady Necklace with Whiskers and Dog Mom Necklace with Paw Prints were just added to the Bang-Up Betty jewelry online shop.

With National Puppy Day (and our Puppy Party at Argenta Bead Company!) coming up this Saturday, I’ve gone dog and cat crazy in the studio. To celebrate our favorite furry friends, I’ve created a small line of dog- and cat-centric necklaces — and a wolf, too! It’s kind of a dog, right?

Cat and dog moms will love the line of bar necklaces celebrating their fur babies, and I’ve got a couple of bolder designs in the mix, because it wouldn’t be Bang-Up Betty if there weren’t a curse word here and there. These designs are in the web store now and will be available for sale this Saturday (March 23, 2019) from 1-4 p.m. at Argenta Bead Company in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas, during our Puppy Party. Speaking of, you’ve still got time to order a pet ID tag that benefits Out of the Woods Animal Rescue before the party.

This  Cat Mom Necklace  with adorable stamped whiskers is the purrrrrfect gift for cat lovers.

This Cat Mom Necklace with adorable stamped whiskers is the purrrrrfect gift for cat lovers.

Aaaoooooo! This  Lone Wolf Necklace  with a textured brass wolf charm is for those who don’t run with the pack.

Aaaoooooo! This Lone Wolf Necklace with a textured brass wolf charm is for those who don’t run with the pack.

This stamped  Dog Mom Necklace  has the pawfect little paw print accents.

This stamped Dog Mom Necklace has the pawfect little paw print accents.

Raise your paw if you speak cat? This stamped  Cat Whisperer Necklace  shows the world you’re fluent. It comes in “ Dog Whisperer ,” too!

Raise your paw if you speak cat? This stamped Cat Whisperer Necklace shows the world you’re fluent. It comes in “Dog Whisperer,” too!

Because you’re top dog around here. This  Queen Bitch Necklace  has a solid brass, textured dog charm in the sassiest pose.

Because you’re top dog around here. This Queen Bitch Necklace has a solid brass, textured dog charm in the sassiest pose.

How about the sterling silver Dachshund charm on this  wiener dog necklace ??

How about the sterling silver Dachshund charm on this wiener dog necklace??


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!


Arkansas Jewelry Designer Bang-Up Betty Featured on THV11

Stacey Bowers

Since 2013, Bang Up Betty has been serving up unique and fun handmade jewelry from Arkansas!

THV11 contacted me recently to chat about how I got started making jewelry, what inspires my handmade jewelry, what my bestsellers for holiday gifts are, and, of course, Betty the cat.

This interview with Ashley King airs Friday, December 14, 2018, during the 8 p.m. premiere of their new show, The Vine. It’ll be an Arkansas Christmas special focusing on what’s wonderful and local, and I’m so honored they chose to showcase my handmade jewelry.

I’m proud to be an Arkansas-based jeweler supporting local nonprofits and making folks laugh and smile with my jewelry!

Arkansas jewelry maker Bang-Up Betty at work stamping custom jewelry at Moxy Modern Mercantile. Bang-Up Betty handmade jewelry is designed and made locally in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

Arkansas jewelry maker Bang-Up Betty at work stamping custom jewelry at Moxy Modern Mercantile. Bang-Up Betty handmade jewelry is designed and made locally in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

Find Handmade Jewelry and Gifts in Arkansas for the Holidays

Stacey Bowers

A glimpse inside the studio of artisan jewelry designer Bang-Up Betty, who will be stamping jewelry on location at two Little Rock boutiques in December.

A glimpse inside the studio of artisan jewelry designer Bang-Up Betty, who will be stamping jewelry on location at two Little Rock boutiques in December.

Come watch me work this December, and shop local and handmade for the holidays!

Arkansas jewelry designer Stacey Bowers of Bang-Up Betty will be onsite with a huge selection of hilarious and sweet hand-stamped jewelry, enamel pins, koozies, stickers and more at two Little Rock boutiques in December. She'll also be stamping custom orders ONSITE! Pick your phrase, your metal, your charms and watch it happen before your eyes. Whether you need stocking stuffers or that perfect special something, she's got you covered. You could even get your whole gift list knocked out between Bang-Up Betty and the clever, quirky gifts at Moxy and the local art and delicious tea at Abbi’s Teas and Things!

Sunday, December 2

Moxy Modern Mercantile

1419 Main Street in Little Rock

11 am - 3 pm

Sunday, December 16

Abbi’s Teas and Things

2622 Kavanaugh Boulevard in Hillcrest, Little Rock

2 - 6 pm

December 7- 8

Fayetteville friends, catch Bang-Up Betty jewelry in Fayetteville, Arkansas, December 7-8 at the Nerd Prom and Winter Wonderland hosted by Cattywampus Co-op!

Find funny, sweet and feminist jewelry in our  online shop  or at one of the several shopping events  held in Arkansas in December, where Bang-Up Betty will be stamping and making jewelry onsite so you can take it home with you right then and there.

Find funny, sweet and feminist jewelry in our online shop or at one of the several shopping events held in Arkansas in December, where Bang-Up Betty will be stamping and making jewelry onsite so you can take it home with you right then and there.

Photography by Katie Childs.

Witty Literary Necklaces for Book Lovers

Stacey Bowers

Write On! and Books B4 Boys, two witty literary necklaces designed by Bang-Up Betty for Et Alia Press, a Little Rock-based independent publisher.

Write On! and Books B4 Boys, two witty literary necklaces designed by Bang-Up Betty for Et Alia Press, a Little Rock-based independent publisher.

Book worms, bluestockings and lit lovers, Bang-Up Betty has teamed up with independent publisher Et Alia Press to bring you witty literary jewelry that might make you pull your nose out of your book for a minute.

Read them and weep (with joy, of course)! Et Alia Press has just published four styles of charming literature-themed necklaces to make you giggle. The necklaces, made by hand by Arkansas jewelry designer Bang-Up Betty in my North Little Rock studio, are available for purchase through Et Alia Press’s website and are selling quickly.

Bluestockings, pick up your new favorite book! These witty literary necklaces are handmade in Arkansas and have tiny pencil and book charms.

Bluestockings, pick up your new favorite book! These witty literary necklaces are handmade in Arkansas and have tiny pencil and book charms.

Last summer, Et Alia Press’s Erin Wood stopped by the Bang-Up Betty studio to meet Betty and me and see how I make jewelry. I’m excited and honored to be featured in her forthcoming book, Women Makers of Arkansas, along with dozens of incredibly talented Arkansas creators.

Look for Women Makers of Arkansas in spring of 2019, and check out all of the good reads available along with our literary necklaces through Et Alia Press.

Arkansas jewelry designer Stacey Bowers of Bang-Up Betty with Betty the boy cat. Photo by Erin Wood for Et Alia Press's forthcoming Women Makers of Arkansas book project.

Arkansas jewelry designer Stacey Bowers of Bang-Up Betty with Betty the boy cat. Photo by Erin Wood for Et Alia Press's forthcoming Women Makers of Arkansas book project.

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.