Friday, September 2, 2022

Minister & Fair Trader: Meet and Learn From Amy Kay Pavlovich

Amy Kay Pavlovich
I've known Amy Kay Pavlovich, the owner of Connected of Lindsborg,KS., for quite some time. I knew she was a minister. I knew she was passionate about fair trade and I knew she successfully sells Dunitz & Company fair trade jewelry. And recently I learned that she is really fun to engage with on her business Facebook LIVES! I thought if she was willing, and she was, we could all learn something from her. 

  

 

 

 

NANCY: I had to look it up. We first met in 2010 at the Chicago Gift Show at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. I believe Connected was your brand new retail store baby at the time. And now you've been at it for much more than a decade!

Connected Store Front
AMY KAY I'm glad you knew that because I switched POS systems and wouldn't have been able to see when I first started ordering from you. As you know, I had a fair trade store in Illinois (Just Good Trade) before moving to Kansas in June of 2013. I'm sure your jewelry was sold there as well as at Connected.

 

 

 

NANCY:  Yes, you're right. It was. So let's get to it. Let the interview begin. I already know about your shop and a bit about you. I'm thinking most people reading this blog interview do not. Can you tell me a bit about your background and how that lead to you opening a fair trade retail store?  Was there a specific event that encouraged you to get into retail?

Press in Local Magazine!
AMY KAY: Sure thing! I've been a minister since 1999 and the first 11 years served large churches where I was essentially a program staff person. I worked with a wonderful church in Columbia, MO, where over time, I led a number of Learning and Serving trips each year.  Around 2007 a college group and I were on our way home from a trip where we met some coffee farmers in Mexico. After that experience I realized it wasn't enough to "just pray for people", we had to do more. After working it all out with the full church leadership, we started a Fair Trade store within the life of the church. Since then, I've been a college chaplain and am now a solo minister. I've also always had Fair Trade stores along with my call.

 

 

NANCY:  After all these years working in fair trade is there something you feel particularly good about? An accomplishment? A life you changed? I'd love to hear a story or two.

Happy Customers
AMY KAY What a lovely question! I love traveling to meet artisans and farmers because they are why I choose to spend my time in retail. I also enjoy my interactions with my customers in my store. I've spoken to lots of groups and get to slide into conversations about supply chains and economic justice often. A few times professional women have admitted that they had never thought about who made the products they buy. I definitely saw an epiphany in their faces. I hope after our conversations their lives were changed to more mindful consumption. A tiny bit of change made by people will hopefully result in real change for producers.

NANCY: And is there some aspect of operating a fair trade store that you enjoy the most? 

Dunitz Artisans
AMY KAY: I love the products themselves, learning about the people who made or grew the goods and chatting about them with the people that come into the store.  Every day is colorful and lovely. It's a nice balance with servicing the church too. I can do creative things with my hands in the store and I mostly use my mind as I serve the church.  My vocation, my call, is to serve God's people and I'm grateful to be able to do it in different ways through both of my careers.

 

 

 

NANCY: I'm completely impressed with how you consistently and often use the Facebook LIVE vehicle. How did you get into that? Do you have certain things you like to discuss or share with your audience?

Faces of Amy Kay
AMY KAY: Oh gosh, Thank you, Nancy. My shop in Lindsborg is situated between creative business people who I respect so much. When the pandemic came along, they started doing Facebook LIVEs. I did not. Even though my store was closed, all my time was being consumed with figuring out how to be present with the congregation I serve and how in the world we would worship in a new way. (note: Remember Amy Kay juggles two careers.) It took a few months to figure it out over a busy season of worship in the church. (Lent/Holy Week/Easter)  By the time I got through all of that,my neighbor and friend encouraged me to try selling our fair trade jewelry through LIVE shows. I balked at first, but then realized that everything I had learned for streaming worship also applied to Facebook LIVE. It was not necessarily comfortable to do it, but I had ample practice from having streamed worship.  Over time I've gotten more comfortable with the format and have continued with the LIVEs even though we are open and no longer on lock down.

Initially my LIVES took place on Thursday evenings. During one part of the the covid experience, we had been open and needed to close again because of sickness. Instead of hosting only one "Happy Hour with Fair Trade" on Thursday nights at 8pm, I started showing things Monday through Wednesday as well. After we were able to reopen, I was ready to transition back to having only one show a week. The people who watched the most said that my 8pm LIVEs helped them get through their crazy covid-ness and asked me to continue. Turns out they were mostly single woman and new moms who reached out and I didn't have the heart to discontinue the shows.

From a Facebook LIVE
Instead of showing fair trade products on Monday through Wednesday, I shifted to sharing about something I had found meaningful during the day. It could have been something I had read or listened to on radio. Without looking back to see how long I've been doing this, I'd guess it's been well over a year I've shared what I now call "Musings". They truly are just things that I've been pondering from other people's wisdom. It takes me a few minutes to decide what to share, I pop on to the LIVE and the whole thing usually takes less than 10 minutes. Thursdays takes me an hour or so to prepare, 30-40 minutes live and a half hour to clean up and settle back down. People don't buy much during "Happy Hour" now because we are mobile again. But, I sell more overall because folks come into the store to pick up what they've seen. Two of my best customers only buy from what they've seen during LIVEs and say that they prefer it because they aren't overwhelmed while waking through the store. It's been a very interesting experience.

NANCY: Has doing Facebook LIVE helped increase your page followers? I'm blown away that you have over 3000 followers on Facebook. Is there a trick to building such a wonderful audience?

AMY KAY: No, my LIVEs aren't helpful in building an audience. (Don't you just love AK's frankness?) What's best in that area is what I haven't been doing, sharing pictures with short quippish wording and paying for the post to be shown to people in our area.

I'm about the least savvy business person you could find. My answer here is probably going to sound ridiculous. I think people follow the store because I'm pretty darned real. I've been told my candidness is refreshing. (It is.) I'm certainly not everyone's cup of tea! But those who line my realness come around. Also, I've lived in a few other places since Facebook was developed and some friends from those places continue to follow me as I've moved.

NANCY: Many of us are tech dinosaurs. I'd like to know how you actually do those LIVE chats? Are you using a phone or PC? Do you just press a video button on Facebook and start talking? Do you use a tripod? I'd sure like to know what you do. Maybe I'd give it a go.

AMY KAY: You should give it a go, Nancy! It's so EASY!!!

When I'm the most lazy, I just hold my phone. It always looks better when I set it in a little tripod I keep handy, but if my boys are home with me, I don't take the 60 seconds needed to grab the tripod.

For my Happy Hours, I use a free program that I also currently use for my streaming worship. I like to put the price of products and country of origin on the side of the screen so I don't get confused and say the wrong thing or just get unnerved. It makes everything go more smoothly to put in the hour of work to set up that system. It is called OBS Studio and it is also easy to use.  There are lots of  YouTube tutorials on the program. I watched a few and know enough to make it work each week. You'd be great with either system! (Thanks for the vote of confidence.)

NANCY: You've been selling Dunitz & Company fair trade in your store for a long time. I know you like our large teardrop earrings I've seen you wear in your Facebook LIVEs. Is there another favorite  you wear or sell in your store? You know I had to ask. 

Best Selling Beaded Dots
AMY KAY: Oh I love lots of your beautiful jewelry. Currently your beaded dots are my best seller! People who live in the middle of Kansas and those traveling through like your Frida Teardrops. You know those earrings of yours made with denim and all those fun little beads!

 

 

 

 

NANCY: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Frida Teardrop Earrings
AMY KAY:  Every time I sell one of your beautiful pieces I think of you, Nancy. I'm sorry that I'm a rotten communicator and don't tell you of my appreciation.Thank you for the gorgeous designs, colors and quality you facilitate with your artisan partners.

Lastly, I'd love for people to understand how easy it is to be a fair trade retailer. As I mentioned earlier, I am not a business person. I, quite honestly, suck at business. If I can open a store and keep it open, anyone can! If anyone reading this has a call to have a fair trade store or to incorporate fair trade into a shop of another nature, I'm a huge cheerleader for their interest. The fair trade community is a supportive, affirming, nurturing, sometimes salty, and always a fun group of people with whom to be in cahoots. Cheers! 

--end of interview--

A Pefect Pin
For all her self-deprecating, I think Amy Kay definitely has it going on. You've got to love her more after reading this interview. She clearly is doing a fantastic job wearing multiple hats at the same time. Her customers are engaged at her fair trade store, Connected and on her Facebook Page. And of course, I'm thrilled she is selling Dunitz & Company's jewelry. After reading her words of wisdom, are you ready to take on a Facebook LIVE? I think I might be. -ND

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Wholesale Deals - Close Out Finds from Dunitz & Company

Snatched Right Up!    
It's hard to believe I launched Dunitz & Company in 1989. As a wholesaler, I've introduced countless collections in countless color combinations. I presented my retail partners with new designs in new colors twice a year at lots of trade shows. There were years where I exhibited at 16 show. (My friends said my dogs split time as if they were from a divorced family. Half time with me. Half time at the vet hospital where I boarded them.) Honestly, the one blessing that came out of  Covid for me is I've figured out how to survive without traveling to trade shows. 



 

 

Sold within 5 minutes
And so I diverge. One thing that happens when you design lots of new things is you accumulate inventory. Over the years I learned that retailers HAD to see entirely new things every six months or they lost interest in my line. Translation? I have bins filled will all sorts of beautiful things in many price points and in a wide variety of styles. Sometimes a bin has 2 or 3 items. Sometimes it has 50 or more.

 

 

 

 

Sold right away!
Are you a retailer? Have a store? Then you're reading the perfect blog post. I started a new Facebook Group attached to the Dunitz & Company Facebook page (Meta, yes, I know) where I'm now offering older Dunitz designs at crazy good prices.  The offerings are always for less than I paid the artisans. That means there's lots of room for retailers to make incredible profit.  And for me, I'm happy to sell these things for something. That's much better than having it sit here on shelves.  As of typing this blog post, the group has about 50 members. Come join us. I know what I'm offering is good stuff because I'd estimate that more than 85% of what I've posted has sold. On some days I've posted three times. I haven't made a dent. I'll have things to offer for a long long time.


If you're a retailer, don't be shy.  Come find your wholesale deals in our Facebook Group. -ND

Thursday, July 7, 2022

What is Handmade? A Rant.

Nancy in Guatemala
I launched Dunitz & Company back in 1989. And I have focused on our handmade fair trade jewelry collection since the early 1990s. I have spent countless hours with artisans in Guatemala. We've worked out designs together at beading tables. I've sketched many a jewelry concept. Artists have presented their ideas to me. I've watched my colleagues laboriously craft countless pieces of jewelry. What Dunitz & Company offers is definitely handmade. And as an integral part of the design process, I can without hesitation confirm that our designs are original and not mass produced.

 

 

When did the definition of handmade change? At many junctures over the years, we've seen the definition of handmade change and/or be questioned.

One of the first times Dunitz & Company was affected by how people defined "handmade" was when the New York Gift Show decided to reorganize their show.  And after that, most of major trade shows followed suit. In the "old days" everything considered handmade was presented to customers in the same section. And then it was decided that artists making their goods in the first world (USA, Canada, Europe, even Japan) were different than artists working in developing countries. My theory was American artists complained about being in the same room as those working in Africa or Central America because designs from developing nations tend to be less expensive. So, it happened. It didn't matter if your designs were ethnic or contemporary, we were all segregated into sections based on where physically artisans produced goods.  I had always preferred it when everyone was all mixed up in a hall. I found I was able to sell to a more diverse group of retailers who "shopped" the entire handmade section regardless of where things were made. I found retailers were searching for a "look." They weren't necessarily shopping price or visiting what was now perceived as the "ethnic" sections of the shows. Bottom line. It is what it is. And it was what it was. We didn't have control of our locations. We took what we got and hoped enough buyers found us.

I know it's a dirty word. Amazon. Dunitz & Company does sell some designs on Amazon Handmade. [Did you know there is a juried handmade section on Amazon?] We do not sell to Amazon resellers. (In fact, we do our very best screen retailers so we don't sell to those that  buy wholesale and then resell on Etsy, eBay, Facebook or Instagram.) [One time a major mail order catalog placed an order for our botanical earrings, and at one point I saw them being offered on an advertisement on eBay. I wanted to pull my hair out. The amusing thing was they described poppies as dahlias and dahlias as poppies. No wonder they couldn't sell those earrings well.] 

We didn't jump on the B2C bandwagon until very late in the game.  Our wholesale business was ample, and stores always asked if we retailed. We learned if companies sold direct to consumers, those retail store buyers would not buy from them. It didn't take the world very long to change and retailers didn't have the luxury of walking away any longer.  We have fair trade colleagues who were emphatic that they would never sell direct to retailers. They all do now.

Having said all this, there was a time in 2017 that Amazon was at the New York Gift Show actively recruiting vendors to sell in their then new 'Amazon Handmade' section. I'm certain Amazon was attempting to compete with Etsy, another B2C website focused on handmade goods.  In the beginning these sites were struggling with their definition of handmade.  Was handmade a first world artist working at their desk making as many earrings as they could make in a day?  Was handmade that first world artist with a few or many employees making their designs at work tables? Did handmade include products made by artisans in developing countries? And on and on. Since these are publicly traded companies, I'm sure the end game was and is to most broadly define handmade so the most sales can be made.  What was clear at that New York Gift Show, Amazon Handmade actively pursued me. Their representatives were very clear that I, a designer working with artisans in Guatemala and a vetted member of Fair Trade Federation would have easy clearance to sell on Amazon Handmade. And that AH rep was right. Dunitz & Company was accepted and up and running quickly. 

Crafting Earrings
So what happened recently? Amazon Handmade questioned whether Dunitz & Company jewelry was handmade or not. Seriously! After being vetted by them back in the day, it was as if they wanted to vet us all over again. They even started singling out products in our collection. The designs they were questioning couldn't be anything other than handmade. They wanted proof that our beaded teardrop earrings were made by artisans (and not by machine?) They singled out our beaded coral necklaces, one of the very first designs I offered in the 1990s. One friend of mine suggested that a competitor who had copied our designs had written in to Amazon Handmade complaining. It can be dirty business selling on some of these B2C websites. It is true that these two designs singled out are two of our oldest and most copied by other companies. If they didn't sell well, I would have retired them long ago.

 

Beading Coral Necklace

How do you prove to Amazon Handmade that your product is in fact handmade? Their definition of handmade? Videos showing artisans making our glass earrings, embroidered & beaded jewelry and yarmulkes was not good enough. Proof of Fair Trade Federation membership is not ample. What was the clincher, I think? I asked the artisans that create our work if they could snap a few photos with the teardrop earrings and beaded necklaces in front of some old Dunitz & Company posters that hang in the workshop.  It was a lot of work to convince AH reps that I was not buying from Alibaba in China. After several emails, AH reps informed me I could still offer my designs in their handmade section. 

AFTER NOTE: 7/12/22 - Not yet 3 weeks after this Amazon Ordeal described above, they have written me again, threatening that Dunitz will be removed from their Handmade section because they're questioning our work. Let's see where it goes. The result might be we no longer vend on Amazon. And now 7/13/22, they report once again, I'm good to go on Amazon Handmade. What a roller coaster!

Oh my gosh. I think today's rant is over.  I'm sure this isn't the end of Dunitz & Company justifying our artisan jewelry is in fact handmade. But, these are my stories for today.  How do you define handmade? -ND

Monday, June 6, 2022

Meet Amber Solomon, Marketing Advocate for GOEX

Amber models Fair Trade
I recently met Amber Solomon through social media, and more specifically through Twitter. It seems we're two of the most active Fair Trade Federation members "working" Twitter.  From this a  friendship has blossomed. Amber is the Marketing Advocate for GOEX, another proud FTF member.  Recently GOEX and Dunitz & Company collaborated on a social media marketing campaign for Mother's Day. I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here. I asked Amber if she was willing to have me interview her for our blog. She said yes. That means we'll hear a bit more from her about this campaign.  Frankly, she was the brains behind it.  We all can learn a lot from this social media maven.

Keep reading here for the interview.

NANCY: You seem to be an integral player at GOEX. Can you tell me a bit more about this company you work for and what you position is there?

Helping Children in Haiti
AMBER: GOEX Apparel is a fair trade, sustainable apparel company and the marketplace initiative of The Global Orphan Project. GOEX's purpose is to use a simple tee to connect the consumer and the maker. GOEX customers sustain fair wage jobs that liberate families from poverty and empower them in their families and communities.  GOEX values high service, high quality, excellent design and integrity.

As a Market Advocate, I act as the person with the megaphone on the soapbox.  If there's a way I can get GOEX's name out, I find it and then do it.  Through marketing, social media, event management, promotions and partnerships I let the masses know "we're here!" I advocate!

 

NANCY: Were you a fair trade advocate before joining the GOEX team, or has working at GOEX turned you into one?


GOEX Cardigans
AMBER: I actually knew very little about the world of fair trade before working at GOEX.  Prior to  GOEX, I had worked in the entertainment industry.  Working at GOEX has changed my perspective and my life. I am now very much an advocate for ethical consumerism.  That will never change and I am happy about the journey that's brought me here.

 

 

 

 

 

NANCY: Was there one event in your life that propelled you to work at and in a fair trade business?

AMBER: I like to think fair trade found me. I was laid off from my job in the movie theater industry due to COVID-19. It was a terrifying time for me but I took the opportunity to sit down and think about exactly what I wanted from life.  I quickly recognized that I am a person who desires purpose and that purpose, to me is more than cutting a check to a cause. I need to be out there making the change, being the change.

NANCY: I always thought I had a jump on social media.  After working with you on our joint Mother's Day campaign, I realize there is so much more to learn.  Can you share just a bit about what exactly that campaign was? You had me "take over" your accounts for a day and honestly, I still don't get quite how that works.

AMBER: Sure! At GOEX, we work to sustain fair wage jobs that keep families together.  I thought what better way for families to empower others than to expose people to fair trade products.  As part of the bundle, I wanted to dive into what it means to be a working mom in Fair Trade worlds, showcase the work that working moms do, and show that the contributions that mothers' make to our world is vital. I wrote a blog about women in fair trade and another about some working moms of GOEX, educated out subscribers through email and social media posts, in addition to the awesome Instagram takeover. (GOEX Instagram, DUNITZ Instagram The Instagram Takeover means I posted and provided stories on the GOEX account that spoke to our collaboration. Truth be told, those posts looked like they came from me. Amber did all the work. I do not have their passwords!)

NANCY: If you'd like, you can brag about the fair trade bundle we put together for the collaboration. 

 

Mother's Day Bundle

AMBER: From the laser cut earrings (has an vintage botanical image of dahlias) provided by Shop Dunitz & Company, to the cardigans and tees made by our makers, so many working mothers touched that product before these bundles met their final destinations. I mean, what a great story, right? Someone buys a Fair Trade product for their mother. That purchase in turn empowers another mother. That's IMPACT! 

 

 

 

 

NANCY: For a small fair trade business, do you have a best recommendation for where or what they should focus on in the social media realm?

GOEX on Twitter
AMBER: The world of social media is at a very exciting point in it's evolution, in my opinion. You have the Metaverse, the new Twitter, TikTok all empowering people to become stars. What a time to be alive! My advice to small fair trade businesses is to find where your audience is and meet them there. Also, don't be afraid to make videos. Even just a zoom in on one product or service you offer is a great for the frustrating world of algorithms.  Go beyond the sales pitch. Remind your followers that there are indeed people behind the logos and the add to cart buttons.  People want to know who you are and what you stand for. Show them.


NANCY: Tease us! Do you have a favorite item from GOEX that you wear on your own time?

 

Woman Up Hoodie
AMBER: Yes! I LIVE in GOEX cardigans and the Woman Up Weekender Hoodie.  I have a cardigan in almost every color. The Woman Up Weekender hoodie is the best to sit back with a cup of tea and play video games or watch movies.

 

 

 

 

 

NANCY: And I know you've been browsing the Dunitz Collection recently. Maybe you're lusting for one of our designs? Which one might that be?


AMBER
: I'm a sucker for all things Virgo and butterflies. Your
Virgo & Monarchs
ceramic Virgo earrings
and the Monarch laser cut stud earrings are saved to my wish list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NANCY: Anything else you want to share with me today?

AMBER: Thank you so much for working with me and with GOEX. I am a firm believer that collaboration is greater than competition and together we can make the world better. (Are we two peas from the same pod?)

--end of interview--

This was such a fun collaboration. I adore connecting with others that believe collaboration over competition is the way to go. You might think that most fair traders feel the same. I've learned over the years this often is not the case. Human nature kicks in and many small businesses and their owners are more concerned about protecting their turf and don't want to promote others.  I already knew that this was not the case with Amber. Did I mention that we met through Twitter? (Yes!) She's one of the few fair traders I know who actually re-tweets what I share. Bravo for Amber.  Bravo for GOEX Apparel

Here's my pitch for GOEX.  You know you wear tee-shirts and sweatshirts. Why not buy ethical? Check out the GOEX site and you're bound to find a gift for you and everyone in your household. 

And after you've found that new shirt, consider the jewelry you'll wear with it. Dunitz & Company, with our fair trade jewelry from Guatemala is always ready to decorate your ears, neck and wrist. -ND

Monday, April 11, 2022

More Portrait Drawings with Fair Trade Jewelry

I can't stop drawing. And I can't stop sharing what I've been drawing. I found by adding Dunitz fair trade jewelry to some of my portraits, I can post them on Dunitz & Company social accounts, most notably our Instagram feed. With this blog post, I have another excuse to share some of my artwork. These drawings shown here were all created within the last several months.  In no particular order, check out how I add our fair trade designs to my drawings.


Crazy. For some reason a couple of years ago we started receiving all sorts of random magazines at the office. We received an issue of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. There are so many beautiful women on its pages that provided plenty of material for my drawing pleasure.  This woman wears our Glass Teardrop Earrings.

 

 

 

 

 

This bombshell was inspired by a cover from IN STORE, a fabulous jewelry trade publication. They always have such great covers. On this occasion, I braved up and challenged myself to drawing a hand. Then I decorated that hand with one of our embroidered rings.  (Retailers can order these on our wholesale website.) This woman also wears our Glass Triangle Dangle Earrings.

 

 

 

 

I had purchased some new wider pastel sticks (Nupastels) and wanted to give them a whirl. For this quick drawing I didn't use sharpened pencils. It seemed appropriate to decorate this woman with purple earrings. This style is quite popular and we always offer it in many different color combinations.

 

 

 

 

 

An old and dear friend of mine visited recently. She & I worked together in the 80's during my Corporate America days. Years later she & I traveled to Cuba together for a jazz festival. I snapped this pic mid-drawing. And for fun, I added our Crystal Teardrops.

 
 
Same drawing. But completed. My friend deserved roses. If you love vintage fashion, our laser cut rose earrings feature old botanical illustrations. These certainly make for fun, eco-friendly and affordable gifts.
 
 
My drawings seem to really allow me to show off Dunitz & Company earrings. In this case, my friend's ears were hidden and a long neck allowed for one of our glass pendant necklaces. I mention all the time that blue always sells better than other colors. For this drawing, a blue necklace was added.

 

 

 

 

OK - It's a bit scary, I know. This is a self-portrait. I don't wear earrings. But for this transformation, I thought I should be wearing one of our best sellers ever. No matter how many Starry Night Earrings I order for stock, they continually sell out.

 
 
This was another challenge I set up for me.  I wanted to try a portrait where I used no black. No black outlines. No black sketching. These color blocked earrings are from our Contemporary Colors collection.  Sometimes I pick school colors for these dangles. Do you know a MSU Spartan for a pair in this color combination?


 

 

 

A first for me. I zoomed to a garden in Manchester, England to draw this model, Heather. She posed nude for a few quick sketches. And then because it was cold and breezy across the pond, she covered up a bit. For her longer pose, I worked on this portrait.  If I could have decorated her ears, I would have had her actually wear these glass teardrop earrings.  The color shown her matches her red hair so well.





This close up is a crop from another Sports Illustrated swimwear mode portraitl.  These women are fun to draw since they're all young and beautiful.  I decorated this gal with a pair of our triangle shaped glass earrings.



 

 

 

Another magazine model. Her lips were so full. Maybe she uses fillers. I added some striped beaded teardrop to her portrait.

 

Sometimes I specifically look for photographs where the model is not looking straight on. I also like looking for pics with lots of shadows. This model also now wears one of our most popular round beaded earring styles.


 

 

 

 

 

Curly hair. Yes! That's what I was after. And ears. Ears to show off our long skinny glass earrings. I fondly call these our stick earrings because they are so narrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is fun! (I use that word a lot. It's what my drawing has given me.) Earlier this year the tree trimmers came to my house to....yes, trim my trees. I have one absolutely huge ficus on my property. It's a really big "tree" job. I asked a couple of the men if I could take their photo so I could draw them while they worked. At the end of they day, I gifted them my drawings.  I of course take photos of my work. This allowed me to give Carlos a faux earring for a social media post. These small glass dot studs are a super seller and very loved by our customers.

 
 
I saw a most beautiful photo of this friend of mine.  That prompted me to draw her. Hands are challenging and I went for it. I added what I call our "skinnies", little bracelets you roll over your hand. We offer this set of 5 on our retail website. You can wear them all. Or give them out as friendship bracelets.

 
A beachy girl with wild hair needed a pair of our long embroidered fringe earrings. These earrings are all one-of-a-kind and will match up with your Boho aesthetic.


Another swimsuit model. Drawing the arm and a well endowed bosom was a new challenge for me. Since her bikini top is turquoise, I thought she should be wearing some matching glass dangle earrings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I fondly refer to this model as 'big hair girl.'  What fabulous long curly waves she has. My choice for her ears? Our large embroidered teardrops made with recycled denim. I always have to reassure our customers that the denim we use, which comes from discarded pants is always thoroughly washed before using.

 

 

 

 

 

When I first started creating portraits early in 2021, I would often spend a few hours on each drawing. In recent times, I've often given myself a "30 minute challenge."  This was my first one and still is one of my favorites. I didn't have time to re-think my strokes. I just made them. This sweet model is wearing our smaller glass earrings, which are very loved by so many customers of ours. They really are the perfect accent with so many outfits.

 

 

 

So, there you have it. In another few months I'll post a bunch of other drawings with Dunitz fair trade jewelry added for fun. Want me to draw you? Send me over some photos. -ND