Friday, November 23, 2012

Top Five Reasons to Shop Online for Black Friday!

Whew, time just flew by this year, didnt it? Can you believe Thanksgiving is over already? I had a lovely time with my family here in NY. And then after dinner, there was talk about the madness of shopping in the malls on Black Friday.  Well, in my opinion I think more people should shop at home for Black Friday.

So here's my list of my top 5 reasons to shop online for Black Friday this year!

1. You can avoid the massively long lines, pushing, fighting, trampling, and general craziness to get the last 40" flat screen tv for 50% off.

2. There's no need to camp outside 1 week in advance in the freezing cold for said 40" flat screen tv for 50% off. Plus in your home, shopping on the computer, its comfortable and most likely nice and warm.

3. Many sites have made it soooo easy for you by offering 1 click shipping and the sales are at times just as good! And, LOTS of sites, like mine offer free gift wrapping!

4. No need to lug around heavy bags and packages while shopping in the mall carrying shopping bags with you from one store to another. (or worse if you live in NYC lugging it around on the subway).

5.No need to drive around in circles looking for a parking spot or worse sitting in traffic for hours on the freeway driving home from the mall, shopping center, etc.

So, if you're looking for some unique, one of a kind gifts and plan to shop from home this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I'm offering Free Shipping in my shop. Just enter code: FRSHP at checkout. www.AzizaJewelry.com
Happy Shopping!
xo
Aziza

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Getting Cozy with Ice Cream


Thanksgiving is coming up here in the US tomorrow and there is just so much I'm thankful for this year (but that's for another post). With the Holidays approaching, I am usually in charge of making desserts and one of my favorite additions to dessert is of course, ice-cream! So, imagine my excitement when I saw these Oh, So adorable Ice Cream Cozies online from All Things Granny

I almost couldn't (pint size) contain myself!


 This one is the royal blue one and it arrived this Monday in this cute little package...


 And it even came with the cutest little wooden ice cream spatula (a good reminder for me to stick to single size servings :)).


How cool is this- Angela from All Things Granny always offers Free Shipping and this weekend for Black Friday/ Cyber Monday she's even offering an additional 10% off. What a cute little gift this will make for an ice cream lover for the Holidays! But she doesn't just make Ice Cream Cozies, she's got some amazing custom made knits for babies and other gifts too!
Til next time,
Happy Thanksgiving!
xo
Aziza

Monday, November 12, 2012

Holiday Gift Ideas for Little Girls

~For Little Girls Only~

As you girls (and guys) may know I was featured in a gift guide for girls this time last year through the Huffington Post blog and it got me to thinking, I'd like to create a gift guide of my own for the Holidays this year!

Below, these are just a few of my gift ideas for girls, and by girls I generally mean ages 8 through 12. Lots of my customers who shop for girls tend to be looking for a gift for a 10 year old girl, but that doesn't exclude younger or older ages either. :)










There's loads more gift ideas for girls in my shop of course! Check them all out at AzizaJewelry.com
Oh, and yes, lots of other gift ideas, including jewelry and others are on my Gift ideas for Girls Board on Pinterest. Check out my pins and feel free roc moment below if you have any cool gift ideas for others to check out!

See you next time! Enjoy and Happy Holiday Shopping! ;)
Aziza

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Aziza Jewelry was featured WPIX TV!!

I'm excited to announce that I was recently featured on local TV here in NYC! My first television feature ever. I was so honored to be a part of a truly phenomenal Tri-State area show called "Working Woman Report" which airs on WPIX channel 11. It is a wonderfully inspiring show that is chock full of advice and inspiring entrepreneurial stories for today's self employed working woman.



If you get a moment, check out the clip of my segment that Allison from WPIX channel 11 has posted on her youtube page. Check it out here.

I'd love to know what you think!
xo
Aziza

p.s. you'll get to see some of my (whacky on camera no rehearsal before the interview) personality, lol :)
p.p.s. as I gear up for the Holiday Season, stay tuned for an extra special announcement in the next few days!
p.p.p.s. Did you know I offer random sales, giveaways and more? Sign up for my newsletter to get the inside scoop!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Aziza Jewelry is Moving from NY to California!!

Big News!

(drumroll please.....)

I'm moving cross country! Yep, this big city girl is moving from NY to Cali and I'm taking my gems and glass jewelry with me. :) Since this is the first time I've ever had a hug move, I'm taking things slow. I'll still be filling orders as usual for the next 2 weeks and by early November I may have a slight delay in shipping as I will be packing the last of my things for the big move.

Why so far? Truth be told, I'm not a huge fan of cold weather and for the past 10 years or so I've dreampt of being able to live in a warmer climate year round and now I'm in a place in my business where I can do it!

Wish me well. I will miss NY dearly. Don't fret my lovelies, I definitely see myself returning someday in the future!

xo
Aziza

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Strawberry Love and Watermelon Tourmaline Jewelry

Summer is almost over- in fact, some of my friends that are school teachers are already back to work and feel like their summer break is basically over. :(    But... here's a bit of good news- there's still time to love your summer with these charming goods...



Yummy Juicy Handmade Glass Bead Strawberry and Sterling Silver Love Necklace on an 18 inch sterling silver box chain.  Mmmm...perfect if you're a strawberry lover or just a lover of cute things.I made the glass bead on my gas torch in my studio in Brooklyn, NY. The sterling silver wire was handformed into the word "Love" and was hung from the sterling silver chain.





My 14k Gold Fill "love" wire bracelet with faceted watermelon tourmaline gemstones. Custom made for your wrist. Fill up with Love.  Personally, I love this bracelet because it literally looks like your wrist has candy on it. Its sparkly and colorful and as an added bonus, energetically speaking: watermelon tourmaline promotes love, healing and power.



Also in stock are these genuine dark red ruby earrings with cascading watermelon tourmaline dropping down. They are intense, and rich since ruby promotes love, vivacity, passion and power, while multi tourmaline promotes love, power and healing.   


Thats all for now...
Enjoy the rest of the summer. :)

With Love,
xo
Aziza


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Keep Chains From Tangling

Oh the agony of trying to detangle a chain necklace! We've all been there right? Well, there's no need to beat yourself up because here is a simple way to prevent this from happening in the future.

Many jewelry wearers such as myself, often face storage and jewelry care problems, specifically, the problem of keeping jewelry chains from tangling! I thought I would address this issue once and for all and post my own personal solution. :)

Life Hack: How to Keep Chains from Tangling:






This method works, not just for my sterling silver and gold name necklaces, but also for ANY kind of fine or delicate chain necklace.

First, avoid storing/keeping your name necklace ,or any other chain necklaces loosely in jewelry boxes or drawers like this:



1. Instead, store chain necklaces lengthwise in an airtight ziploc style bag designed specifically for chains, like this one:







Each necklace purchase from my shop comes with a bag like this. And you can purchase them separately in my shop here.

2. Slowly slip it into the airtight bag by dangling it heavy side down while holding on to the clasp:








3. When the bottom of the necklace is as far down in the bag as it can go, close the top of the ziploc bag right around the clasp making sure that the clasp is slightly sticking out of the closed area:






4. Make sure there is little to no air inside of the bag so that your necklace moves as little as possible while stored inside:


5. If you plan to store it in a jewelry box, jewelry chest or even a jewelry drawer you can carefully fold the bag several times over:






6. And then place your name necklace inside of your jewelry box, drawer or even jewelry travel bag. If you want to see how I store my personal jewelry, you might want to check out this post where you can see pics of the bins I use and how I set up my personal jewelry storage space.





Storing your chain necklaces in an airtight ziploc bag will also prevent them from tarnishing very quickly. All silver will eventually tarnish, even if its 99.9% fine silver, however, storing these necklaces in airtight bags will greatly retard the tarnishing process. Need a few of these bags? They're available for purchase in my shop here

Want to know how to clean and maintain Sterling Silver and Gold Necklaces? 5 Free Easy Jewelry Care Storage Tips can also be found here.

Happy Detangling!
xo

Aziza
All Jewelry potographed is available for purchase in my shop: AzizaJewelry.com

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Neon Jewelry for Summer and J. Crew (this is why neon rocks!)

So, earlier today, I sent out this weeks newsletter, (If you're not already getting my newsletter, and you want to sign up, just click here) where I discussed a few new things going on with Aziza Jewelry, including all of the new neon pieces I just made and added to my shop...

 Hot Pink Jade Briolette Earrings


Neon Yellow Jade Cluster Earrings

...and then I started thinking...what would I wear with any one of these earrings?? And where can I get me some classy trendy neon clothes to match??

Wait, did I really just say classy and neon in the same sentence? lolol. I know, but keep reading...

 ...and its like almost if by magic, the J. Crew Gods heard me and in the mail later today I received this beautifully wrapped neon colored Summer Style Guide from J. Crew with...get this...a $25 Gift Card!! This is just one of the many reasons why I LOVE J. Crew. 


Bonus: The guide was really snazzy and its almost like the J. Crew people are psychic or something, because neon pink and neon yellow are the 2 very colors I have chosen as neon jewelry makes its debut in my shop today.

 I'm thinking my new neon pink jade necklace will go well with these pants! Just perfect in fact! If you have not seen the neon tidbits in my shop yet, you know what to do... Hop on over!

Until next time!
xo
Aziza

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Inside Look at My Jewelry Studio: On Camera Interview

As an artist and business owner, I've always struggled creatively with how to tell my story. Thats why, recently when I was approached by IFV News, to tell my story on camera, I was thrilled!

You see, as a jewelry designer and glass bead artist (yes, thats technically how I describe what I do) I've done a few written Q+A interviews here and there, but without being able to give my audience a visual of the lampworking process, I've always felt like what I really do in my creative process, often gets lost in the translation.

When I describe what I do, calling myself a glass bead artist, or telling people I create lampwork glass beads and jewelry, I literally feel peoples eyes glazing over, as most people have no idea what I'm talking about. In fact, they often ask, "so where do you buy the beads?" and "you make all of the jewelry yourself?" And of course the answer to both of those questions is "yes, and YES!"

Then there's the business aspects of selling, shipping and marketing...I talk about it all in the video, along with my dreams, hopes for the future of my business and even how I got started at the age of 8!

Want to see the process? Its really cool, I promise. Check out the video below:

Aziza Browne glass bead making


http://www.ifvnews.com/video/ifv-news-aziza-browne-a-brooklyn-ny-jewelry-designer-achieving-solopreneur-success

Hopefully the video has given you a more in depth look at what I do and how I create my jewelry.

Soooooo, what did you think about the video? I'd LOVE to hear your feedback, questions and comments!

Also, please feel free to share the video if you like.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Successful Jewelry Business??

Lately I've been thinking about business and success. Especially my personal jewelry business success. After all, no-one starts a business with the goal of being mediocre in mind. At least, I didn't.

So, how do you know you are successful in your industry? Can you measure it by the amount of money you've made? By your influence? By the amount of happy customer emails you get?

That's a question you can't exactly define the answer to and have it be a good fit for everyone. For me, I felt a glimpse of success the first time I sold my jewelry at a craft fair and someone walked up to my booth and recognized my work and asked me if I was "Aziza".

How cool is that? I had never met this customer before, in person or online, but she recognized my jewelry from a brick and mortar store it was sold at right here in Brooklyn. And then she bought more of it on the spot at the craft fair! Gosh, that felt good! Really good!

Selling my jewelry at a Craft Show in Brooklyn a few years ago

I don't have a clear definition of success and what that looks like for me yet, but I sure felt successful at that moment. In fact, I felt a little famous :).  I'm not sure I would define my business as a Success with a capital "S" just yet, but I have had a lot of successes along the way and Success is definitely what I'm aiming for!

I'm curious, what do you consider the markings of a successful business or venture? What are some of your own big successes?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Want to pick up your name necklace in Person??

Many of you already know this, but for those of you who don't... I live in the NYC area and since lately I have been getting quite a few requests from local buyers, I figured I would just go ahead and make it even easier for my fellow New Yorker's to Shop Local! I am now offering customer the option to pickup their online purchase! Woo-Hoo!

Some of you are probably saying, "What? I thought you had a physical store I can shop at anyway!" But, I really don't...not yet anyway! :)

As many of you know, this past Holiday Season was C-R-A-Z-Y for me- I was getting up to 20 orders a day for several weeks on end...which means a lot of trips to the Post Office!



With that kind of schedule, it makes it harder at times to figure out the best time to schlep all of those orders over to the Post Office and ship them out when there's the least amount of people over there waiting in line in front of you!


Plus, you can $ave on $hipping and still get a last minute, really cool gift on the way to that party or event! ;) This is where pickup is a Win-Win!

Details: Pickup is available when I'm not uber busy, I need at least 1 day's advance notice and of course, if its a custom order, you'll need to arrange with me to purchase online first (minus the shipping charge). Contact me directly or message me through my Shop

P.S. In case you haven't visited my shop in a while, I'm offering new subscribers to my Newsletter a 15% off coupon code good for a one time purchase... which will definitely come in handy for my lovely early Mother's Day shoppers!

P.P.S. Oops, almost forgot- Another reason to sign up for my Newsletter- special deals for Early Mothers Day Shoppers! Mother's Day is just weeks away on May 13th!

Until next time...
xo
Aziza

Sunday, February 26, 2012

5 Easy Jewelry Care and Storage Tips

It happens all the time. One of my customers will email me completely freaked out because they've got knots in their necklace. My first question is "did you keep the airtight plastic bag that your necklace came with?"(more on that later)

What a lot of  jewelry consumers unfortunately don't realize is that proper jewelry maintenance will help to ensure that their jewelry will last a lifetime.  A lifetime? Yes, truly! Keeping your jewelry in great condition is possible with just a few simple prevention measures. Especially with my custom name necklaces, one way to prevent them from tangling is to keep them stored in plastic airtight bags when not in use.

After lots of questions and several requests from customers, I put together a short list of 5 Easy Jewelry Care and Storage tips so that your jewelry will last a lifetime.



But, first things first, its essential that you keep all original packaging that your jewelry came with as there will usually be some kind of jewelry care instructions or a leaflet describing what material your item is made from.  At a minimum, keeping all original packaging, box, or gift pouch is important if you don't already have any storage so that you can keep your new necklace, bracelet or earrings stored in it when not in use in it, and to keep them safe.


 




Also, knowing as much as possible about the material your jewelry is made from, is key to making it last for a long time. As a side note, I should probably say that your jewelry may not last a long time if its cheaply made, or even if you think its cheaply made (read: it cost $1, $2, $5). Sometimes you just have to use good judgement about what you are purchasing, who your'e purchasing it from and what you'll be using it for.

Before I began to make my own jewelry line and then sell it professionally, I bought jewelry from everywhere! Everything from well made handcrafted jewelry purchased at artisan markets, to really cheaply made jewelry at places like Claire's, e-Bay, etc. I've had jewelry that I purchased online for as cheap as $10 over 10 years ago and most of it has maintained in good condition because of just a few simple rules I follow:

1. Keep it in an airtight plastic bag
Got a necklace made from a fine link chain? Keep it from knotting by storing it in a plastic airtight bag. And then store that plastic bag in your jewelry box. Keeping sterling silver, solid gold and gold filled chains in airtight bags are especially important because it will actually PREVENT the metal from tarnishing quickly. Keeping soft gemstones like cultured pearls and freshwater pearls in plastic is also important because the plastic barrier will keep your pearls from rubbing up against other metals and scratching the pearls. This will also keep the luster and shine on your pearls longer.

2. Put jewelry on AFTER putting on any lotions, sprays, perfumes and oils
Putting jewelry on after you put on any lotions, sunscreens, perfumes and body products is a great way to prevent product build-up on jewelry. Having these substances, in combination with natural body oils, build up on your jewelry will quickly change the color of your gemstones, pearls and metal chains. It is even more essential that you put pearls on last because putting lotion and perfumes on top of pearls will quickly eat at the nacre of pearls and the acid contained in these products can quickly change the color of cultured pearls and freshwater pearls as well from a lustrous white to a dull yellow.


3. Take All jewelry off before showering, washing dishes, going into the pool and before bedtime

Excessive exposure to water and especially chlorine from your pool can quickly deteriorate the color, and quality of jewelry. It can erode protective coatings on metals like sterling silver, brass, copper, gold fill and even erode the metal itself! Also harsh pressures from showers and even faucets can loosen small gemstones from their settings and make them easier to lose. Its easy to see why so many people lose gemstones from ring band settings! Taking jewelry off before bedtime is a great way to let your jewelry breathe and prevent it from losing its shape and luster while you toss and turn in your sleep. It will also prevent any kinks from occurring in chains. At bedtime, take off jewelry and store valuables safely in a jewelry box. I like to store my personal jewelry in small plastic airtight bags inside of clear acrylic bins so I can see whats inside without having to open it!




4. Wipe off sweat, body oils and dirt from jewelry regularly
After wearing your jewelry all day, especially under the hot sun during the summer time, its very important to wipe off any sweat, sunscreen build up or excess skin which may have accumulated on it. Sometimes, its nothing more than just a few dead skin cells which happens organically and can't really be prevented from ending up on jewelry. This can usually be removed by using a soft polishing cloth (made for that specific material) and very gently wiping it off before storing it.

5. Use a Polishing Cloth when appropriate
Its a good idea to purchase a polishing cloth to keep your jewelry shiny and in most cases it can also be used to wipe off excessive product buildup, like hairspray and sunscreen, moisture and sweat. However, normal polishing cloths should not be used on gold filled metal jewelry, as the top coating can easily just be polished right off.

Using it on sterling silver, solid gold and other metals like brass and copper are usually fine in most cases, however its always a good idea to consult with your jewelry manufacturer first.

Need a polishing cloth? I've got small polishing cloths for use with sterling silver and solid gold in my shop here.


So what about gold filled or gold plated jewelry? How should you care for it? Firstly, preventative measures are best. Be sure to put perfumes and body lotions on before putting on your jewelry and always store it in a protective bag when not in use. When it does occasionally become heavily tarnished, use a soft damp cloth (an old soft jersey t-shirt works well) and gently wipe off excess dirt from the jewelry. Be sure the cloth is damp, not wet, and polish very gently otherwise the top layers of gold may be stripped right off.

Some of you may be thinking- but what if I purchased a necklace, earrings or bracelet from someone who did not give me a box, protective plastic bag or pouch to store it in?  Or worse "what if I received one and accidentally threw it away?" Well, the good news is, you can always use a kitchen size resealable airtight storage bag (like ziploc or a similar brand). However, if you choose to do this, I highly suggest you use the smallest plastic airtight bag you can find to keep the moisture and air out.  You can also purchase small ziploc style polybags here on my website and as a bonus, if you liked the tips in this blog, I'm including with your purchase of the poly bags, a highly detailed report with tips and tricks on how to keep jewelry clean and safe to last a lifetime.

I hope this post has been helpful!
Have questions? Please comment below or feel free to email me.


Until Next time!
xo
Aziza