I have been enjoying making Bridal hair accessories and jewelery for over 13 years now. Over the time I have had both retail stores, local and international wholsale clients. At times up to 13 staff.
My various past businesses have enjoyed showings in Australia, the UK and the USA (where my pieces showed with Maggie Sottero).
My currently business, Lulu Splendor, is a wholly solo show! I create everything personally from my home in Melbourne, Australia. I have no studio, and spread my work all over my home (requires lots of patience from my husband and 3 children.... thanks!) I solder in the laundry, and do all the other metal work in the backyard shed. All the stone setting, beading, packing of orders and administration in my small dining area. Luckily my items are small.
Most of my componentry comes from the USA, with a selection coming from Italy and Germany. The base metal of all these are Brass. I choose specific pieces for their beauty and quality, and also because it really appeals to me that they are vintage tooled. Vintage tooled means that the dies that they use to cut and dap the metal pieces are original and as old as 1890, but the metal and process of stamping the pieces is new. Because I have been making as long as I have, I also have components that are genuinely vintage, and continually scour for more.
I have hundreds of different components..... here is a sample (and a messy workspace)
When I solder, I usually make multiples, particularity on popular designs, like the Sabine comb.
After soldering, I send every piece away to be plated. I use a local plater, who does a brilliant job for me. I have been using them for many years, and particularly appreciate that they have a state of the art system, and have won environmental awards.
This Link will take you to my metal colour samples.
If the metal finish is to be 'Vintage Brass' or 'Vintage Silver' I oxidize and hand finish the surface colour myself, by hand.
After plating, they are all ready to set stones and pearls. I do this completely by hand..... every tiny stone. I only use Swarovski Pearls and Rhinestone. Nothing else matches it for quality, consistency and variety...... and its sparkles beautifully.
I stock a large Swarovski range, but not the whole range. I often custom make many of my items in other colors. I always stock pearl in White and Cream (Swarovski Cream is actaully standard ivory colour). I do have other colours too. I would love to stock more pieces finished in colour in my Etsy store, but currently dont have the time to produce them except by custom order.
I also have some Genuine vintage stones and beads and one day, when time allows, will make a range to specially showcase them.
My Etsy store stocks a wide range of pieces I have handmade myself. They are all ready to ship. I also frequently do custom work, and work with each bride individually to design and create new pieces.
Some brides want and out of stock item, some want a colour change, or a small design change, others are looking for a whole new piece to be designed for them. I try to accommodate all requests, provided of course time is allowed for the full process.
Here are a few pics of pieces I designed for Alyssa. You will find her Wedding pics here.
They show the process from concept design to wedding.
If you are looking for something truly handmade and unique for your wedding or special occasion, or require further information from me, please contact me through my Etsy store.
Etsy is the only venue I sell through.