Thursday, August 24, 2017

Do Men Have a Relationship with Jewelry?

"I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. 
They've experienced pain and bought jewelry." ~ Rita Radner

I've noticed more men than ever before browsing the shows, so when I came across the above quote, I thought...Do men have a true personal interest in jewelry?

As with almost everything down through history, there seems to be uncommon ground between the sexes when talking about jewelry. That holds true today as much as ever when it comes to the kinds and styles of jewelry men are wearing. Cultural, religious and social differences around the world determine how and what men choose to wear. Jewelry sends signals of both men and women about who we are, the commitments we have made, our belief system and our level in society. However, especially in the world of business, there are some definite guidelines for accessories that are acceptable men's wear and those they are better off to avoid.

Acceptable accessories for well-dressed professional men in today's business world are of simple design and, for the most part, made from elements of metal and natural leather. A functional piece, such as a gold or silver watch with a matching or a soft leather band is a perfect accompaniment. A wedding ring has been accepted without question for as long as they have existed; but other types of rings, in general, are kept to a minimum. Large precious stones seem to be avoided, although a small stone in a ring or ear stud might be all right, if the dress code allows.

Some other ways to adorn business attire would be:

  • Upgrading simple brass blazer buttons to gold, silver or mother of pearl buttons is a subtle way to express individuality.
  • Cufflinks for French or double cuffs made of precious metals and of simple design are more formal, while novelty designs and silk knots can be considered informal office wear and have become popular with younger men.
  • Tie accents are both functional and ornamental and are widely accepted, using some restraint.
  • Lapel pins of a variety of designs can be strictly ornamental or can attach a commitment to a group or affiliation.

These are some of the basics practiced by the professional in a structured corporate setting. However, through the years, trends have changed drastically for more informal business environments and casual accessories. Here are a few:

  • Watches, functional and worn by many, are acceptable in almost all circumstances, depending on the style. In the current fashion world, they are made of metal, leather, cloth, plastic and other synthetics and come in an array of subtle and outrageous colors and designs.
  • Rings are symbols of commitment and affiliation - wedding and friendship rings, class rings, championship rings - and can usually be worn in any combination a man is comfortable with.
  • Bracelets are widely acceptable men's wear today and are decorative, functional, cause-related or are worn for medical awareness.
  • Belt buckles can be monogrammed, trophies for contest winners or heirlooms.
  • Necklaces are mainly personal preference in materials, lengths and combinations. They are favored among many men because they can be proudly sported outside or hidden when necessary under a shirt.
  • Earrings have become almost as acceptable for men as for women these days, and can easily be removed if required for work.

And there you have it. In answer to my original question, I guess that men do have a personal interest in wearing jewelry, in one form or another in both social and business environments. As our social boundaries become more accepting and tolerating, I think men are finding jewelry a way to express themselves as never before. I am excited to welcome our male counterparts into the world of modern jewelry making.

If you or a man you know, are interested in finding inspiration or instructions, we have a whole gallery of designs for men's bracelets that I would love to share with you. Click here to either get ideas for your own designs or for how-to's to duplicate ours.

And as always, I would love to hear about your creations. Comment below, email us or post your pictures and descriptions on our page at (Don't forget to like us while you're there!)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

How to Start a Jewelry Making Business

I have had several people approach me with questions about how to start a jewelry making business. Although my current business interest is supplying jewelry-making components, I do have a lot of experience and history in starting businesses in general. So I have adapted that knowledge into a guideline that might help you, if you are interested in starting your own.

The first issues facing any prospective business owner are, of course, the initial decision and finding the drive to follow through with it. Owning and running a successful business is hard work, so your major challenge is to understand the commitment needed to make it happen.

My next question is, what kind of jewelry do you make? Do you specialize? Do you make necklaces and chokers, or bracelets and anklets, or do you create sets that coordinate with each other or that make fashion statements?

Decision #2 - What do you want to make to sell? Will you concentrate on a type and style, or do you plan to make a variety of pieces?

Decision #3 - Will this be part time for some extra money or are you planning to build a business that will be a source of income? Either way, where will you work and how much time can you invest? Do you have money for start up expenses, supplies, for help and for advertising? Where will you sell your creations and do you have a marketing plan?

Before you can actually set your decisions into motion, you'll need to research the legal requirements for the type of business you create. The government will have its hand out for income tax and you will need to collect sales tax required by each state on things you sell. Your local authorities also may require licenses and insurance, especially if you have a store where people will visit.

This list of basics is far from complete, but at least it will give you something to think about.

If you need some guidance with design ideas go here.

I would love to hear about your process and your progress. What you share with me will also help your contemporaries. You're not in this alone. If you have questions or comments, you are always welcome to contact me.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Swarovski Designer Components - Great For Leather Jewelry Projects

Antelope Beads is proud to offer select Genuine Swarovski Pendants and Beads that we feel work exceptionally well with our leather cord and other designer component offerings. They can add eye-catching sparkle to your designs, that will never become dark, dull or hazy. Please explore our selection and let your imagination run wild! Click here to see 9 on trend Swarovski jewelry design ideas.

Genuine Swarovski Beads and Pendants are made with the highest standards available on the market. The high-quality precision cutting and the clear through-hole achieve high brilliance and clarity. Rounded hole edges reduce the wear on stringing materials and increase the durability of designs. The AB coatings are incredibly durable, even when used on a daily basis. Click here to Shop the beautiful crystals now.

California Prop 65 Warning: Consuming foods or beverages that have been kept or served in leaded crystal products, or handling products made of leaded crystal, will expose you to lead - a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Power Of The Mission - Women Helping Women

For over 10 years Antelope Bead's Mission of Women Helping Women has supported talented artisans around the world. Camille & Co's clothing line shares the same Mission and fell in love with the Claycult Cambodia Ceramic Beads. Camille & Co created a Boho Jewelry Collection which debuted this January at one of the the worlds largest apparel trade shows. discovered the designs at the show and loved the story about Claycult and our Mission and has launched the Boho Jewelry Collection in their World Jewelry area. 

 We would love to share your story of spreading the shared Mission.
Email us and we will delighted to highlight your Mission!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Rising Popularity of Unique Men’s Bracelets

Fashion has always been known to transcend boundaries and jewelry trends are following right in its chic footsteps. Gone are the days when jewelry was reserved for women and young girls. From pendants and earrings to watches and bracelets, men’s jewelry has come a long way.

Originally, men’s jewelry was used to represent religious beliefs, social positions or cultural passions. Now, the popularity of men’s jewelry, especially bracelets, has skyrocketed. Not only are men wearing bracelets on the runway and in magazines, real men have begun to accessorize with leather wrap bracelets, beaded bangles and more!

Design Do’s and Don’ts for Men’s Bracelets

Say “Yes” to Natural Materials – Many men still prefer a more rustic, natural look when it comes to jewelry. Dark wood beads or leather strapping is popular as it adds a glimmer of ruggedness to any look. Our Bulahan wood beads and Lillypilly Bayong wood sliders make great accents or focal points for any men’s bracelet. Combined with our flat or round braided cord, you can create a stylish men’s leather bracelet that can be worn every day with jeans or even with a nice suit. Leather is also durable and can withstand long-term wear, making it a perfect option for the practical, yet stylish, man.

Don’t Go Overboard with Beading – Beads can add beautiful texture to a bracelet, but it’s important not to overdo it. Bracelets with bead accents should remain tasteful and subdued. Bright colors should be used minimally. Instead, opt for wood beads or clay beads in earthy tones as these colors tend to be more popular among men.

Use Metal Minimally – If you followed our last blog, you’d know that minimalist designs are becoming increasingly popular for women. Simple, minimal designs for men are also soaring in popularity. Metal is a perfect material for creating minimalist-style men’s bracelets. Geometric or tribal metal sliders in antique brass, silver or copper look great against snakeskin or leather cords! These simple, yet stylish designs are extremely popular with younger men, but that doesn’t mean more mature men can’t jump on the bandwagon!

Now that the holidays are right around the corner, you can give the perfect gift by purchasing one of our premade designs or creating a custom bracelet of your own. Check out some of our men’s design ideas to find out how to make one for the man in your life. Our tutorials are very easy to follow and can help you design something amazing!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Trend Report: Delicate and Minimalist Jewelry

Delicate jewelry first hit the fashion world over two years ago, but shows no signs of slowing down!  Seen in stores from Nordstrom to Urban Outfitters, delicate jewelry designs can be simple and elegant, worn alone, or layered with other complementary pieces.

But what defines “delicate jewelry” and how is it different than “minimalist jewelry?” Delicate jewelry is frequently minimalist, using simple, small focal points and fine lines. For instance, the leather necklace shown here, “Turtle Voice,” is certainly a minimalist design, but not necessarily delicate.  On the other hand, the “All the Angles” is both minimalist and delicate necklace with its simple geometric lines and fine chain.

As far as trends go, delicate designs can be adapted for everyday wear with fine chains and a small pendant or charm.  Bars worn horizontally continue to be popular, along with geometric focal points. Short necklaces like this make great pieces that can be worn with any outfit.
If you’re looking for something that makes more of a statement, long pendants or geometry necklaces are the way to go. Long necklaces can be worn singly or in multiples for a beautiful layered look. However, be careful how you mix longer necklaces! You don’t want to over-complicate the look. Instead, try creating a tiered effect by selecting necklaces at different lengths. If this is too much effort, look for one necklace with individual strands from 18 to 30+ inches that are already connected – this takes all the guesswork out of layering!

The trends for delicate earrings and bracelets align similarly with necklaces. Most earring or bracelet designs are made from a few fine-lined components and thin chains or strands of leather. Quite often, long earrings will be comprised of one or two components.  Bracelets will typically be designed using a single strand of chain and maybe incorporate a single link, bead, gem or charm.

Delicate geometry earringsWhile these trendy designs can come at a hefty price, making your own delicate jewelry can be more affordable and customizable. All you have to do is add the components you like and tailor the length to your size and taste.  Antelope Beads has a great assortment of components for creating your own jewelry, including our new Designer Components series in brushed gold and silver. Combined with fine chains, leather options (including our new 3mm flat leather!) and delicate charms, the possibilities are limitless!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Hottest Jewelry Trends for Fall 2016

Hooray for fall! Now that summer is gone, it’s time to break out the flannel, warm blankets, boots and, of course, your fall jewelry. The beauty and colors of fall have influenced some new trends this season. From pearls and dangling, duster earrings to boho necklaces, we’ll reveal the most popular jewelry trends this fall!

Pearls are back in a big way.
For many years, pearls remained a staple for conservative fashion enthusiasts and young girls, but much has changed. As Jackie Kennedy once said, “Pearls are always appropriate.” And let’s face it, she’s right. Pearls are gorgeous and versatile because they can be worn every day or saved for dressier occasions. With our Kazuri Round Mother of Pearl beads, you can create gorgeous, pearly pieces in a variety of colors that will last a lifetime.

Antelope Beads Convertible Boho Dreamcatcher Anklet or Bracelet
Earthy, boho designs are still staples. Jewelry with Earthy tones and Bohemian style accents are still popular for fall. Tassels, leather cords and wood beads in deep red, green, brown and orange hues complement the colors of the season perfectly. If you know someone with a free spirit or you define your style as fun, flirty and carefree, boho jewelry is the way to go.

Long dangle earrings are IN. When we say long earrings are in, we mean earrings that hang long enough to nearly brush your shoulders. Also called “duster earrings,” these dangle earrings are designed to be a bit more elegant. With a nice up do, these earrings can make beautiful statement pieces that attract the eye. Want to make one of your own? Try adding some tassels or drop pendants to add some length to your earring design.

Antelope Beads Charm Tassel NecklaceCharming designs are widely desired. Who doesn’t love charms? At Antelope Beads, we use charms in a wide variety of our jewelry creations. From different animals and symbols to letters, numbers and birthstones, charms are a decorative way of expressing yourself. Not to mention, they look amazing on bracelets, necklaces, anklets and earrings. This fall, don’t be afraid to flaunt your charm jewelry. The best thing about charms is that they can also be worn during holidays! Whether it’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas, charms can be used to create beautiful conversation pieces.

Step aside lariats, chokers are making a comeback. Choker necklaces were very popular in the 90s, but have recently made a triumphant return. The great thing about chokers is that they can be layered with longer necklaces to add depth to a particular look. They can be designed more simply or more ornate depending on the look you want to achieve. Making a custom choker can be easy! All you need is some round leather cord or a short chain to create a trendy necklace that can be worn daily.

Which trend will you be wearing this fall? With these five, it’s hard to pick our favorite trend for the season! No matter what you want to make, Antelope Beads is happy to provide all of your components on our site. Happy designing!