Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness...


The French poet Guillaume Apollinaire said:

Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.
Incredibly powerful words, especially for those of us who constantly look to the "what's next?" and oftentimes have the inability to enjoy the 'right now'.

When you make the commitment to start your own endeavor, it's impossible, it seems, to take a break from re-thinking just about every aspect of your business on a constant basis. I came to a point this month where I just wanted to bag it all and walk away.

But.

Then what? My oldest child is entering the first grade, my youngest is in preschool two days a week - full day. My 'me' time is, in most part, comprised of running The Pretty Peacock. Is it relaxing? Hmmmm, no. But it fulfills me in ways that I knew existed, but did not expect to ever fill, and fulfills me in ways that I did not even know I was missing.

What I needed (and will need) is to remind myself that there must be time taken to just breathe it all in. To take that step back and pat yourself on the back for all the accomplishments you have made - and just the accomplishments, not the "but I could have done x, y, z..." and just be freaking happy!!

Why is it so hard? I'm not necessarily a perfectionist. I never thought of myself as someone who is just never satisfied, but I find myself in constant competition with myself. Maybe it's healthy - but what isn't is never being proud of yourself and/or taking only positive inventory.

So, with this new month ahead of me, I'm going to make sure that I don't just trudge along in this pursuit of happiness. I am going to make certain that, even if it's just for a moment, that I pat myself on the back and say, "Dude, you are a Rock Star."

Hope you'll take some time to do the same - and share it with me so I can be inspired!
Feed Shark

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Random Frustrations...That Might Just Have a Point


Back in June, one of my favorite bloggers wrote this post in response to this post by double X regarding Etsy.com and how it "peddles a false feminist fantasy" by making women believe that they can quit their day job to "make quilts". I spent the last couple of months mulling this all over because it irked me so freaking bad that I had to take a minute to really figure out why I had so much emotion in the first place.

It wasn't because I disagreed with double X's sentiment that the majority of sellers on Etsy are female, SAHMs, who have husbands that pay for the 'real' bills and therefore they have the luxury of choosing to charge only enough to pay for their supplies (which I think is flat out ridiculous) and that there is a teeny-tiny percentage of sellers on Etsy that can actually sustain themselves on the income they generate by selling their wares.

There were several points made in the doubleX article that spoke to me and bugged me, but I think what really put me off is the same reason that my fellow blogger took the time to write her post:


I'm irritated with the notion that women do not value their time (by and large) the way that their male counterparts do.

So, I'm writing this post in efforts to make the mom-preneurs out there take note: take yourself seriously, for pete's sake.

That is, if you are actually attempting to make your creative endeavor a profitable one. The thing is, you have to educate yourself.

There is a huge difference between sellers who have come from a corporate background, and those who have not. You really need to have a game plan (i.e. business plan), the discipline, and the drive to make your business - on Etsy, or anywhere else - succeed.

I don't mean that you need to, necessarily, go out and get your MBA, or dabble in a corporate career if you have never had one before - but you do need to pay attention and learn from those who have the advantage of these experiences.

~ Do not be afraid to ask questions. ~
~ Do not be too proud to ask someone to be your mentor.
~
~ Do not assume it will be easy.
~

If you consider yourself a 'business' and you are not turning a profit, or only covering the costs of your supplies and you are satisfied with that, super. Just don't call yourself a business.

doubleX's article brought up how there is a slim-to-none number of male sellers on Etsy and correlated it to the fact that men (on the majority) realize that they would never fetch the price they required for the necessary time and effort it took to create their art.

I don't necessarily believe that. I think dudes, in general, aren't super excited about getting their wares photographed, listed and then maintain their shops...but I'm generalizing and speculating and doing all that stuff you're not supposed to do.

What I do know is that every venue has its market - Etsy's is not filled with customers looking to spend over $100. On anything. There is absolutely no reason for your creative endeavors to be sold in one spot, in fact they shouldn't be (because that's the whole "don't put your eggs in one basket" thing that you are not supposed to do). There are a ton of venues - online and in 'real life' alike. Research and figure out which venues are suitable to sell your art.

All of us, I am sure, have questioned the 'worth' of our work. We are our own toughest critics - and we should be. But that doesn't mean that we should just give away our art.

Take some time to think about it - I do on a weekly (at least) basis. Are you undervaluing your work?

** The picture shown at the top of this post is the Goddess Saraswati ~ The Hindu Goddess of Knowledge and Arts. You can click the picture for more info **
Feed Shark

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Don't take it Personally...


This is one of the BIGGEST lessons I have learned since I started selling my work. Art itself is such an emotional endeavor, that forcing yourself to separate feelings from the pieces you make and sell can prove to be difficult. But, it's mandatory.

We have probably all shared in some or all of these scenarios:

~ You receive criticism or disappointment regarding a sale.

~ You look around that vast sea of wares on Etsy or Google search your general category, only to find that someone has ripped off your idea, emulated it very closely, or used the same language you did in title/description. And you get irked. Big time.

~ Your friends/family think you are wasting your college education and/or are neglecting your motherly duties and/or have lost sight of your priorities. (double irk)

BUT take heart: if you are going to succeed in your creative endeavor, you must grow a thicker skin.

CRITICISM ~ If/when you receive less than glowing feedback from a customer (so nice of Etsy to track that for you!) ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALLLLWWWAAAYYS make sure that you look at the situation from his/her perspective before replying in a terse, stiff-lipped manner. Thank the techie-geek gods that you are (more than likely) able to reply via email and not by phone because that buys you the time to take a step back and evaluate: rationally.

EMULATON ~ I create personalized jewelry and considering jewelry has been adorning mankind for centuries, I am more than likely not creating anything so out-of-this-world, brand-spanking new in every detail, that I am allowed to get all bent out of shape when I see something very, very similar in cyberland, because after all, it is the artists 'touch' that is recognizable and the aspect that should be blatantly obvious/different. BUT - when I have created a piece that I designed, has my feel to it, and I scoured the internet to make sure there was nothing else like it and I see someone try to replicate it (or even go as far as copying my product photo), then a 'cease and assist' letter - but I do not (read: try despeartely hard) dwell.

That kind of anger can eat you up, monopolize your time, and paralyze you from moving forward. And who needs that? It stifles creativity and just puts general bad juju in the air. Don't do it. Move on.

FAMILY/FRIENDS ~ I have a really awesome family. Despite the shock and initial disappointment from my parents that the girl who did nothing but babble on about law school since she was 14 has tossed that idea out the window after her undergrad, LSATs and spending thousands on law school applications...they have been nothing but supportive. Yes, I think it is safe to say that most people believe that pursuing your creative dream is not 'practical'. But it is possible. And that is what matters.

However, if you are combating disapproval from those that matter to you, it makes believing in that dream incredibly difficult. Your family needs to support you. I need my husband to believe in my work, in my ability to run my business, and to be that soft place when things get overwhelming - I do not need him to criticize, judge, or ridicule my efforts (and he would not, or he would NOT be my husband!!). It has nothing to do with needing approval, it's about needing the positive energy to move forward. You will judge your work and your ability to 'do this' more harshly than anyone else possibly could. And with your negativity exponentially increased by judgments made upon you by loved ones, how could you possibly make it?

If your family/friends are not providing you with the support you need, then get involved with a group of like-minded, fellow creative entrepreneurs. Etsy (I'm focusing on Etsy here, but several other online sellilng venues do the same thing) provides an excellent resource that hooks you up with teams either locally, or in the same material/method of art that you work with. Or, if you need to chat, check out their forums, it's instant gratification.

It is almost impossible to have a thick skin against those who are closest to you. Just realize that it's probably coming from one of two places: Concern or Jealousy
Think about it.

I thought being a creative entrepreneur would eliminate the need of playing politics, dealing with idiots and lazy co-workers, and just doing what I wanted. Hmmmmm, no. The games all remain the same, but this time, you are the ONLY one in charge.
Feed Shark

Monday, July 20, 2009

TPP's Tried and True Tip Tuesday




~ This is a quick and easy tip that works so amazingly well - AS LONG AS YOU STICK TO IT! ~

The Computer Time-Suck: We have all sat in front of the computer to respond to emails, check the status of a supply order, update order status - and then suddenly, 2 hours have passed. It's some weird phenomena of time and space...or, something like that.

"That takes me about 30 minutes to make." - or does it?: I have sat down to create a custom piece (or even a piece that I have made multiple times) and felt that I had a good sense of how much time it was actually taking me to create from start to finish. I base my pricing according to how much of my labor goes into each piece (I'll have a post on pricing in the next week) so it needs to be accurate. I found that I was about 15 to 20 minutes off (sometimes more) my guesstimate.

"I can't seem to get my day organized.": When you look at your to-do list for the day, it can be daunting, especially when deadlines are involved. No matter how many lists you make (and lists are good!), I know how disappointed I am at myself when I did not cross off as many items as I would have liked to for the day.

Alright - so, the tip?

A Timer.

If you set up segments of time - say, 20 minutes to respond to emails from 9 - 9:20 - and the timer goes off and you aren't quite done...Tough. Time is up and you need to move on to your next task. You will be able to finish responding emails at your next alloted time. This 'time allotment' is something you can jot down next to each item in your to-do list.

You will be amazed at how much more productive you are when you know you only have a set amount of time to complete a task. I know that when I have those 20 minutes to reply to emails, I cannot get distracted by surfing the web for materials for my next project - if I need to look for materials, I need to put it on my to-do list and set up a chunk of time for it.

I set up segments for how much time I can spend packaging up items for shipment, talking to vendors, even eating lunch. There are, of course, times when I am interrupted by unforeseen, unscheduled events (my mother's helper had to go home early, my son falls out of a tree and breaks his wrist, the washing machine floods...you know the drill) but by and large, the timer is a magical bit of technology that you need to have as a staple in your home studio, office...wherever. I am honestly reliant on it to keep myself on track.

The use of the timer has also helped me to pinpoint exactly how much time it takes me to create/design a piece of jewelry so that my labor charges are accurate. I should not be undercharging for my time - that is crucial! And guesstimating your labor time is doing you a huge disservice. You would not guesstimate on how much it costs you in material, right? Your time is just as valuable, if not more.

Go out and try it - use your cell phone, or download one that you can put right onto your computer. Here are a few links:

Computer Timer

Time Left

Timer

I use a stand alone, digital, kitchen timer. It has three timers in one, so that I can set a timer for the entire time I have my mother's helper, one that counts up when I am creating my pieces, and one that counts down for the task I am working on off my to-do list.

Try it and let me know how it worked for you - or if you have any suggestions! I am always open to learning how to make better use of my time!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Guilt and the WAHM...


I know that as a Mother, we always are feeling some sense of guilt:

~ Guilt about wanting to go out without the children
~ Guilt about not having everything just perfect in and out of the house
~ Guilt about how much time we are spending on other things... which leads me to why I am writing about this topic :

Being a WAHM (work at home mom) generates and adds to the 'guilt list'. I have heard my 6 year old tell my mother (of ALL people) that "Mommy works all the time" and if you have ever heard those words - or even sensed them, you know how painful it is to digest.

I love what I do. I run my own small business, which provides me with a sense of accomplishment, pride, feeds my soul, and allows me to bring in an income AND still be available for carpool duty.

But, at what cost?

My sister-in-law was/is someone who has always dreamed about being a mother, raising a family and that was the focus of her life's work. After now giving birth to four children, she has started her own creative endeavor to have, not only a little escape from the day-to-day (those of us in the business of handmade know how therapeutic it is to have those meditative moments of creation), but to also have something that is just HERS. And she should have something that is her own - without feeling guilty that not every spare moment is spent having 'quality time' with the kids.

I deeply feel that the benefits of having a mother that is a WAHM, far out weighs any of the negatives. Here's why:

~ My son (6 years) comes up with different 'businesses' all the time. Not only does he have this wonderful entrepreneurial spirit, but he thinks about who his target market is, how he is going to promote, among a slew of other aspects of business that I had no clue about until I was, perhaps, a teenager. Watching me work and having him ask me (a bazillion) questions of why I do things that I do has become a catalyst for his own business adventures. He is also starting to understand the value of labor: why items are priced a certain way, even though the construction paper and glue did not cost that much to make the product...

~ My daughter (3 years) is getting the benefit of seeing her mother, a female, run a business and now knows that if she wanted to, she could, too. I am a HUGE believer in empowering women - that does not mean I have any less respect for full-time Mothers, because I surely do, but I want to make sure that all little women know and understand that there are no limits.

~ Both my children are pretty independent. I know that children who have been in daycare since they were 3 months old, on majority, are more 'independent' than those children who do not attend daycare, but by and large, those two hooligans can entertain themselves, use their imaginations and figure things out quite well. I don't expect them to whip up dinner, nor do I leave them to their own devices for hours at a time - but an hour? Sure. And, the GREATEST joy of being a WAHM, is that if they need anything at all - I'm a staircase away.

I would not be able to illustrate these lessons to my children in any greater capacity than having my work be from home. They see it on a daily basis and witness the up's and down's - though, I try not to project too much! It gives them insight on what it takes to work for yourself and HOW much work it takes. Nothing comes easy - and that is a lesson that must be learned, repeated, and UNDERSTOOD.

I do try and continue to improve my work/life balance. There is not a time clock I can punch that indicates the 'end of the day', or the drive home from the office I can use to switch gears. But I have to enforce limits. The time I spend with the kids has to be true, quality time. This is especially difficult in the summer when the kids are home all day!

I have hired a mother's helper two full days a week, sometimes three. I schedule, pretty much, every minute of time that she is here so that I can get as much work done as possible. The rest of the week is devoted on the majority, to the kids having fun and making all those summer memories that they are supposed to be having.

Do I still feel guilty? Yes and no. I love my work and I, of course, love my children. I just need to focus on all the benefits I am providing them because I am a WAHM and remember how absolutely grateful I am that the work I love can be done from home - where I can take a break and give some smooches - and get some.
Feed Shark

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Organize Thyself : The Tickler Filing System


When you are a WAHM, it is incredibly difficult to keep track of your business tasks and your personal/home tasks. I consider myself an organized person, but when I embarked on my own business and had to keep track of contacts, orders, invoices, supplies, etc AND still needed to make sure I RSVP'd for the grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary, picked up my son's Tae Kwon Do uniform, and stocked the fridge (cannot have the children eating pb&j for dinner AGAIN!!)...I was way beyond overwhelmed.

One of systems I used as a paralegal - and what David Allen, author of "Getting Things Done" has brought forth as a viable option for organizing our "to-do's" outside of the law firm, is by using a tickler file system - a system that "tickles" your memory as to what you need to get done and when.

This system has truly changed my life when it comes to order management and keeping the bills paid on time and doctor's appointments un-missed! Here is what you do:

The concept is based on having 43 folders: 12 folders represent the 12 months of the year. Then you have 31 folders, numbered 1 - 31, that represent each day of the month.

The system allows you to break down your daily to-do's by date. When the day is over, you move it to the back of the filing cabinet so it is in que for the next month. As you can see from my filing set up shown here, July's all set and you can see all 31 days of the month MINUS the 4 that have already passed. Those four dates (files 1, 2, 3 and 4) are now behind "August's" tab.

This is a small example how I use this system:

WORK:
~ Order Management: When I get an order in, I find the date that corresponds to when the piece needs to start fabrication in order to be completed in my typical 14 business day turnaround.

~ Supply Management: Every 15th of the month, I place a large supply order. So, I put a note to myself on the #15 file telling myself that I need to place my order. I may even put a reminder message to myself on the 14th, so that I can get my lists together and ready to go for the next day.

~ Contact Management: When I get an email from someone that needs to be contacted at a later date, I print out the email, jot a note to myself and pop it into the appropriate date file so that I contact the person when promised.

HOME:
~ Doctors, Dentists, and appointments in general: Most of these institutions mail you those handy-dandy "Your appointment is..." postcards in the mail about a week before you are to be seen, I slip these into the date file of the appointment. I also put a reminder message in to myself about two days before as a head's up.

~ Bills: Every time I receive a bill, I put it into the date file that is 9 days before the due date. This reminds me to pay the bill THAT DAY and, equally as important, gets that piece of paper OFF MY DESK!!!

~ Misc obligations, etc: The birthday gift I have to buy for my daughter's little friend's party, the 'Thank You' note that needs to be written and mailed, the repair service that needs to be called in for the refridgerator (AGAIN!)...the little day-to-day things that you may write down in your planner, in your Outlook calendar, on your phone's task list...every where that will remind you, but no where that will actually MAKE you do it. This system allows you to put the actual 'thank you' card in the file - with the stamp - so you will actually get it completed.

I create customized jewelry and run my household. My studio is in my home, so having an uncluttered workspace is integral in keeping tabs on things. This system keeps my desk free from stacks of papers, paperclipped, with sticky notes on them, and instead, gives me a spot to keep that paperwork tidy and ready to be handled when I am ready to - and supposed to - handle it.

Sometimes having things right up in your face just overwhelms you further - perhaps even paralyzes you from moving forward and getting things done. I honestly feel so much better knowing that I have spent a few moments of dedicated time looking at every piece of paper that goes into the tickler because I know that it is going to be taken care of in a timely fashion. No more waking up in a panic in the middle of the night wondering if I mailed out something on time!

The best parts of this system: It is inexpensive, there is hardly a learning curve, and works amazingly well. I still keep a calendar so that I can see at a glance what is coming down the pipes for the day, week, and month. But as for the day-to-day, to-do's (even when the vacuuming needs to get done!), I use this tickler system.

Try it out - send me your thoughts!
Feed Shark

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A New Direction...

This blog originally started as just a place for me to write about what I was working on, perhaps even the 'why' I was working on it, giving bits of advice and tips on how to sell on Etsy, spotlighting other craftinistas out there, and the like.

I have only been blogging for a number of months - hasn't even crossed the year mark - and I want to change the focus (if there ever was one).

Being a creative entrepreneur is a very difficult, time-consuming, energy draining, enlightening, empowering, and generally overwhelming (in both negative and postive ways) task...and all those aspects are exaggerated exponentially when you add in the fact that you are a WAHM.

I am always looking for new and better ways to organize my time - both professionally and personally - and my space and I think it's time I shared those ideas and, hopefully, gain some new ones from my readers. I also know what WAHM who run their own handmade businesses go through on the day-to-day and hope that we can provide each other with information and perspective well beyond the "it's going to be okay" pep talk.

I'm excited to embark on this...


Monday, June 22, 2009

Button Empire...An Etsy Fave...


I *heart* Etsy. If you don't know about Etsy - go check it out! All sorts of talented artisans from all over the world, with their own shops, selling their own wares...it's pure awesomeness. TPP started out that - and is still there (and will be for quite some time!!) - and if you are a fellow crafter/craftinista, Etsy is the most perfect place to start selling your pieces IF you are so inclined.

Okay, enough babbling. What I'm here to talk about is the MOST FUN item I have purchased off Etsy...and it's from Canadian-born: Button Empire. Who knew that it was not only my matramonial pairing that resulted in a crafty chick with a geeky boy? WHO KNEW this was a commonplace occurrence? A 'well-known' fact, if you will???! Well, Button Empire knew!

These are the cutest buttons (which I had made into some kickin' key chains) EVER!! My husband may not feel super comfortable carrying it around - but he is going to have it hanging somewhere visible in his office (okay, his HOME office, but whatever). I freaking love the things!!

Button Empire
is not limited to just nerd-love, though, oh no, no noooo! There is love for the Buddha...love for all things handmade, wedding favors, birthday and greeting cards...an amazing assortment of creative wit and fun products.

It's the kind of thing that perks you up even after you realize that it's nearly July and it's 62 degrees outside (barely). :)

Check them out. You won't regret it. Tell them that The Pretty Peacock sent you!!
Feed Shark

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!!!!! How about a SALE??!!





I'm sorta, kinda looking forward to having the kids home for summer break - I feel like a lousy mother when I say I am NOT looking forward to it!! :) But all you mama's out there know the bittersweetness of it all, am I right?

Okay, so in order to bring in the the summer break with some style and retail-therapy, The Pretty Peacock is offering 10% off your entire order AND FREE SHIPPING!!!!!!!

SO - use the discount code: SKOOL until midnight on Sunday, June 21st...and let's brace ourselves for what is about to ensue!! :)
Feed Shark

Monday, June 15, 2009

M.A.M.A Campaign...Midwifery Care Needs YOU!!


Growing up, I wasn't taught about midwives, never really knew what they did, or why. Even when I thought about having a baby, I didn't explore any other option other than what I knew: The Hospital.

Once I became pregnant, however, everything changed. How my little being was going to come into the world was of utmost importance. That is how I learned, and later experienced the complete awesomeness of midwifery care. You can read my birth story here. And you can see an awesome picture of me pregnant with my daughter at 30 some odd weeks, right here!! :)

There is a ton of talk in D.C. regarding health care: the costs associated being the primary concern and fodder for debate. If you don't know a great deal about midwifery care, such as:

~ It's far more cost effective than a hospital birth
~ It's just as safe as a hospital birth
~ Midwifery care pre and post-natally cannot be matched by a hospital

I had two children - BOTH who were nearly 10 lbs. I did not tear. I was home and completely fit to go within hours of delivering. My midwives visited me at home after my births. They knew me on the phone from the sound of my voice!! What OB/GYN do you know that can do that???!

Here are some resources to educate yourself - and you SHOULD educate yourself - whether you are expecting now, will be one day, or are a parent already, even if you never planning on having children...educate yourself!!

Benefits of Choosing a Midwife
Benefits of a Midwife Assisted Birth
Personal Birth Stories
Study of how Home Births are as safe as Hospital Births
Midwives and Hospital Births

NOW, on to the M.A.M.A Campaign:

Campaign Mission Statement

The mission of the M.A.M.A. Campaign is to increase women’s access to midwives and to quality, affordable maternity care consistent with the Midwives Model of Care© by securing federal recognition of Certified Professional Midwives.

"The M.A.M.A. campaign is a historic coalition of the key midwifery and consumer organizations in the U.S. unified behind the goal of achieving federal recognition of Certified Professional Midwives. Our specific goal in the next weeks is inserting an amendment into the health care bills that are moving through congress right now to mandate Medicaid coverage for CPM services on the federal level. "
(excerpt from an email written by Suzy Meyers, who is the Seattle Midwifery School Midwifery Education Chair and on the Board of Directors, National Association of Certified Professional Midwives.)

Check out the Campaign's website.

Learn, grow, and SUPPORT this incredible effort.


*** I birthed both of my children at the Puget Sound Birth Center. If you are in the Seattle area and looking for healthful birthing options...check them out!! ***


Feed Shark

Friday, June 5, 2009

Celebrate Adoption...a new and necessary Collection



I am not adoptive parent. I'm not going to pretend to know what it is like to go through the process - both financially and emotionally, or understand all that is entailed - but, I do know how connected I feel to anyone who raises a child: biology does not play a role in the action of being a parent.

I was contacted by Laurie Good a while ago, with a graceful invitation to be featured on her blog - and noticed that, not only did she have one of my favorite foods in her blog title (Pho...nummy!!), but that her blog focused on adoptive families.

I started creating jewelry because I, personally, feel that jewelry should
mean something to you. There should be an emotional tie to it and/or needs to represent something. I don't know if I feel like this because jewelry is worn so close to your skin...because Indian people have all these customs and traditions about certain stones and metals touching your skin and can 'heal' or change your fate...whatever it is, it's incredibly important to me that the jewelry I wear means something.

I Googled "adoption jewelry" and some interesting pieces were brought up. There are a lot of little sayings that go on in the adoption world - so I started to broach the subject with Laurie. I wanted to create jewelry for adoptive families - but I really wanted their input
. And their input, was amazing - and eye-opening!


I, as I'm sure many others, have always put this 'awe' and "how honorable" badge towards the families who adopt. What I never really thought about was how the person who carried and birthed the child is equally worthy of the awe and honor. I also learned that most of the phrases attached to adoption, were not appreciated by the adoption community...

So far, I have three pieces in my Celebrate Adoption collection - but I know there will be more. There is the Nature & Nurture Pendant Set, The Forever Family bangle trio (three interconnected bangles, with personalized charm), and The Sun, The Moon, and The Sea Pendant (explained below).

Laurie came up with this amazing analogy to explain the connection between the birth mother/first mother, adoptive mother/family, and the child by using The Sun, The Moon, and The Sea - this absolutely kick butt poem she wrote (Laurie is AMAZING!!) - really brings it home:

Nature and Nurture ~ by Laurie Good©

I, the Moon,
And, you, the Sun,
We, together, shape the one

The one that will grow,
The one that will be
Vibrant and strong, he is the Sea

The Sun gives him life,
The Moon helps him glow,
One presence he will feel the other he will know.

The Sun gives him warmth,
The Moon guides his tide,
Nature creates what Nurture will guide.

I, the Moon,
And, you, the Sun,
We, together, shape the one.

It gets you a little choked up, doesn't it? This is the piece that I created: The Sun, The Moon, The Sea
Each little charm is created using eco-friendly fine silver. The Sun has a sparkling Citrine stone, the Moon has a Sapphire, and the Sea has Aquamarine. The backs of each charm, true to The Pretty Peacock style, has an ornate pattern - just in case it flips over, you are still looking at something beautiful!

I have so many design ides kicking around in my head: I just need to find the time to bring them to fruition...and I will...because this is the very reason I love doing what I do: creating pieces that will be cherished and treasured, and most of all, MEAN something.

♥ ♥Laurie is hosting a giveaway on
her blog that I am sponsoring ~ check it out for your chance to win one of TPP's Sparklette Tags and get a discount code!! ♥ ♥

** Nature and Nurture poem by Laurie Good is copyright protected and CANNOT be used in any form without express written permission from Laurie Good.

Feed Shark

Monday, June 1, 2009

On to Sandier Pastures..GIVEAWAY

Grace, of the Sandier Pastures Blog, has, um, gracefully agreed to host a giveaway for TPP!!

What's up for grabs? A 'win-it-via-giveaway-only Personalized Pendant Fairy Charm Necklace: check it:

Check out the Sandier Pastures blog, follow the directions to enter and WIN!!!

Feed Shark

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Little Something New...

Mother's Day had me pooped! But also got me thinking about new designs for all the Mama's out there. I have grown a bit tired of seeing stamped disks - I have tried to add a little something different to my disks: a fancy bail, a channel set crystal, a special charm...but it's still a disk - NOT that that is a bad thing - after all, most everyone seems to be drawn to them! It's just a little, hmmm, tired?

I am, personally, drawn to jewelry that has character - nothing that screams "HEY, I'M A MOM AND THESE ARE MY KIDS' NAMES AND THEIR BIRTHSTONES" - that's just not me.

Small, but stunning. That's what I was after. So, I created a new line called "Sparklettes" and it is part of our Good Karma Collection - which is all created from fine silver and therefore is eco-friendly by nature (fine silver is reclaimed silver - no harmful mining is used to procure it).

I am going to be adding a few more styles, but currently, there is the Sparklette - The Circle, and Sparklette - The Tag. Both of these designs have a unique pattern that is actually a part of the silver - not just engraved on the top. A birthstone can be embedded and then just a single initial goes on the Tag, while a full name can go on the Circle.

These are meant to be small, so both of these are under 1/2". That makes it way easier to layer them up if you have multiple hoodlums running a muck, or if grandma has a brood - it also makes it super simple to add on another charm when another member of the family enters the world!

If you put in SPARK in the discount code area at check out - you will get 10% off your first Sparklette order!! So shine on and do a little something good for your Karma!


Feed Shark

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More Fun Giveaways!!!

This is the season of TPP Giveaways!!!

Here are two great blogs that I am featured on for a bit - both of which have pendants that you can win by following Kristy (Mommy In Pink) and Toni's (Mommies Angels) instructions:

These pendants can only be WON - this design is not sold on the TPP site - so enter and win!! :)
Each blog has their own discount codes for special savings when you order off our site.



REMEMBER : The last day for US residents to make MOTHER'S DAY Orders is April 30th!!! All Mother's Day orders will be shipped NO LATER than May 4th by USPS Priority Mail.

Good luck and happy entering!! :)
Feed Shark

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Give Away Today....


Is soooo awesome! I love Emily, who runs the Give Away Today blog because she supports mom-owned businesses, up-and-comers, handmade biz...everyone who deserves a bit of spotlight taken from the 'big dogs'!

Give Away Today is sponsoring a giveaway for one of our Precious and Tiny Good Karma Heart Pendants - the exact one photographed above. This piece is not offered on our website - you can ONLY win it!

Go check out the blog and find out how you can win!!
Feed Shark

Sunday, April 19, 2009

You Spin Me Right Round, Baby, Right Round...


♥ Want to find out how to get 50% off a Pretty Peacock ring? Scroll down to the Blue text!! ♥

Okay, sorry for that because if you're anything like me, that lovely song by Dead or Alive is going to be in your head all day!! (Click here to see the video...ahhh, the '80s) ~ or, if you born after the '70's, you probably prefer the newer version by Flo Rida.


I love rings. Because I was always surrounded by jewelry growing up (East Indian women (and men!) deck themselves out in jewelry as a way of life!!) I have naturally gravitated towards designing and creating jewelry. I, however, am not one to be decked out head to toe in jewelry. I like simple, meaningful pieces that can handle some abuse. The ring is the perfect choice! Strong, simple, subtle, and packs a statement!


After having made sets of custom wedding rings for friends and clients alike, I am now creating ring designs that I am carrying on my website. I have only just started listing pieces, but there will be several designs to come - I just need to find the time to photograph and list them, which is not going to happen with the Mother's Day rush upon me!! (DON'T FORGET MOM on MAY 10th ~ She will NOT be happy!!!)


I have listed two of my best sellers - my "Thick is Good" band in Sterling Silver, and my "Sweet Love" ring with faceted stone. All my rings will allow for personalization...whether that means the names of children, or your mate, or creating a stacked set with your wedding vows on it, perhaps? I created a stacked set with one ring having a poem my husband wrote for me way-back-when stamped all around it, and then the other two having my favorite quotes. That's what makes pieces like this so special - because they are SO uniquely YOU!


What will be listed next? Well, those stacking rings I mentioned, simple posey rings (who doesn't love a posey ring?) and rings that have multiple birthstones to represent family members. And THUMB RINGS! OOOhhhhh, I love thumb rings!!

When will they be listed? I should add pieces from the next couple of weeks onto forever - I never stop designing and if you have a design idea that you would like brought to life - let me know! If it becomes a "staple" design on my site, your ring will be discounted 50%!!!!

Contact me and let me know your thoughts!!
Feed Shark

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

9 Blogs... 9 Giveaways...A Gazillion Chances to Win!!

I am lucky enough to be part of the ever-fantastic Maternal Spark's wwWhip-Up Event ~ What’s a wwWhip Up? Well, 9 bloggers have joined in the event to blog, tweet and talk about a creative mom entrepreneur (That's ME!!!). Heather, of Maternal Spark, is all about putting a spotlight on and promoting mom-owned businesses (she's awesome!!).

The wwWhip-Up is THE perfect way to help celebrate the debut of The Pretty Peacock into the world wide web ~ because after the painstakingly long and frustrating ordeal in crafting, coding, and launching it...it's nice to throw a nice, big party for it ~ blog-style!!

Here are the blogs you should visit (any and all) to win a personalized Pretty Peacock hand stamped jewerly piece:


Check out these blogs, follow their instructions on how to win...and on May 1st, the winner will be announced! The giveaways run from April 15th - April 30th (just an FYI)

It's way good fun, so check it out!! Here is an example of the piece the winner will receive! (you don't have to have "maya" on there...but it IS a really beautiful name :) )

This personalized, hand stamped, sterling silver washer pendant has a satin finish and a gorgeous Swarovski crystal-encrusted “princess” crown (sure to get some "oooohhh's" and "aahhhhhs..."), and it includes a sterling silver rope chain. This is a blog giveaway exclusive...you can't buy it, you can only win it on the blogs listed above!!

A HUUUGGGGEEEEELLYY Huge "Thank You" to the incredible Heather of Maternal Spark! She is such the rock star and made all this wonderment a reality!!! (thank you!!!)

Now go ENTER!!


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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Need Some Good Karma? TPP Featured Item of the Week for April 12th - April 19th...

Every week, The Pretty Peacock website is going to offer 10% off a Featured Item of the Week AND for TPP Blog readers, you will also receive FREE SHIPPING (USPS First Class) by putting in TPP in the discount code area at check out.




This week's feature is from our GOOD KARMA Collection ~ which is our eco-friendly, fine silver line, here's more info:

What is fine silver? Fine silver is 99.9% pure silver - versus Sterling's 92.5% composition. Fine silver is an incredible material - it actually starts in clay form! Millions of silver particles are suspended in an organic binder, and when the material is heated to a high temperature, the binder burns away and all that is left is 99.9% pure silver!

So, how is it eco-friendly? The millions of fine silver particles are actually 'reclaimed' silver pieces from the tech industry. If the idea of 'reclaimed' silver makes you worry about the quality of your jewelry - it absolutely should not. Fine silver is high quality, high grade silver - without the alloys that cause many people to have an allergic reaction.

Most precious metals require harmful mining to procure. No mining is needed to procure fine silver, which saves the planet from surface scars, loss of depleting elements and acidic by-products that leach out into our water table and soil.

Now you get to adorn yourself with artisan treasures AND keep the planet beautiful - now, that's Good Karma!

Click here to take you directly to this listing - and don't forget to put TPP in the discount code area to get FREE SHIPPING!!!

Feed Shark

Sunday, April 5, 2009

TPP Featured Item of the Week for April 5th - April 12th...

Every week, The Pretty Peacock website is going to offer 10% off a Featured Item of the Week AND for TPP Blog readers, you will also receive FREE SHIPPING (USPS First Class) by putting in TPP in the discount code area at check out!!!

The Featured Item for this week is the Gold-Fill Hearts Afire Charm Bracelet with a Swarovski Crystal channel set birthstone....

To find future Featured Items, just visit the homepage for The Pretty Peacock and a link is provided. Sign up for the newsletter - we don't bombard you with newsletters - we're far too lazy for that AND we hate clutter - so our newsletters only come out four times a year AND will be well worth it! Discount codes for percentage discounts, dollar amounts off, and free shipping will be in each issue along with updates and sneak previews on new designs of the personalized, one-of-a-kind, Pretty Peacock-esque variety!!!

Feed Shark