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Filtering by Tag: wedding

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.

My Top Nine Moments in a Dumpster Fire Year

Stacey Bowers

Creating the Nasty Women Unite Pin, Not Today Satan Necklace, Smash the Patriarchy Pin, and custom brass jewelry to benefit Arkansas nonprofits were just a few highlights in this feminist Arkansas jewelry maker's year. Thanks for your support in 2016!

Creating the Nasty Women Unite Pin, Not Today Satan Necklace, Smash the Patriarchy Pin, and custom brass jewelry to benefit Arkansas nonprofits were just a few highlights in this feminist Arkansas jewelry maker's year. Thanks for your support in 2016!

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.

 

With your help, I raised $1,295 for Arkansas Women's Outreach with my Strong as Hell Bracelet. Yay for the power of handmade feminist jewelry! 

With your help, I raised $1,295 for Arkansas Women's Outreach with my Strong as Hell Bracelet. Yay for the power of handmade feminist jewelry! 

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.

 

World-famous illustrator Sally Nixon helped me bring my coffin heart pin design to life.

World-famous illustrator Sally Nixon helped me bring my coffin heart pin design to life.

2.) My First Pin

In January, Sally Nixon helped me bring my first enamel pin idea to life! Special thanks to Sally for shining up my rough draft better than I could imagine. Snag your Eternal Love coffin heart pin here.

 

Congrats to Adam and Shelley, who used my custom handmade jewelry in their engagement. They drove to the Grand Canyon for the proposal! 

Congrats to Adam and Shelley, who used my custom handmade jewelry in their engagement. They drove to the Grand Canyon for the proposal! 

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.

 

I'm still so excited that I got to make dozens of these feminist handmade necklaces that say "Smash the Patriarchy" for a feminist wedding. We should all have feminist weddings. I'm always open to make feminist wedding favors!

I'm still so excited that I got to make dozens of these feminist handmade necklaces that say "Smash the Patriarchy" for a feminist wedding. We should all have feminist weddings. I'm always open to make feminist wedding favors!

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!

 

In 2016, I created the Smash the Patriarchy pin. This feminist enamel pin has been all over the world now and is still going strong.

In 2016, I created the Smash the Patriarchy pin. This feminist enamel pin has been all over the world now and is still going strong.

5.) Smash the Patriarchy Pin

Choosing a favorite design is like choosing a favorite child, but if I had to pick, it would be this little hammer Smash the Patriarchy pin that's closest to my heart. Special thanks to Ashlee Nobel for taking my rough draft and creating something so smashing!

 

Thank you for voting Bang-Up Betty best handmade jewelry in Arkansas!

Thank you for voting Bang-Up Betty best handmade jewelry in Arkansas!

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!

 

Watching y'all post pics at the polls while wearing Bang-Up Betty handmade jewelry and enamel pins rocked my world.

Watching y'all post pics at the polls while wearing Bang-Up Betty handmade jewelry and enamel pins rocked my world.

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.

 

Did I mention that I made this Party Hard bracelet for Andrew W.K. and gave it to him in person and fangirled when he put it on???

Did I mention that I made this Party Hard bracelet for Andrew W.K. and gave it to him in person and fangirled when he put it on???

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.

 

Making this Nasty Women Unite pin was so empowering for me, and I'm so happy that this feminist enamel pin has made it onto the lapels of patriarchy smashers across the world.

Making this Nasty Women Unite pin was so empowering for me, and I'm so happy that this feminist enamel pin has made it onto the lapels of patriarchy smashers across the world.

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.

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.