We here at Blue Door Beads are lucky enough to be a part of the incredibly vibrant and lively business district of Piedmont Avenue, and we thank our lucky stars every day that we have been able to make wonderful connections with so many local artists! Although our main focus is selling beads and other jewelry materials for others to create their own jewelry, we do feature a selection of finished jewelry. Most of said jewelry is created by our in-house staff, but many pieces are created by local artists. Although we wish we could feature tons of finished jewelry by every local artist with whom we make connections, we decided we would do the next best thing and have this week’s blog post be about all of our favorite local artists. So here’s a big, collective shout-out to all you talented Bay Area peeps!
Oakland resident Martha Preble’s gorgeous Etsy store, ArtfulHummingbird, is an amazing testament to her talents of fusing fine silver, wire-wrapping gemstones, and creating inspiring combos of color and texture. The gemstones she chooses to use in her pieces are incredible — we want one of everything!
Mark Poulin of Oakland has three (count ’em — THREE!) Etsy stores dedicated to his love of creating whimsical jewelry. How whimsical? Not only does he create adorable pendants and charms — including a sloth, a platypus (pictured), and a triceratops — but his introduction to his store MarmarSuperstar starts out, “If I had a unicorn I would feed it whole wheat carrot muffins.” Awesome!
Jessica Fein of J. Fein Designs may be an Alameda artist, but she travels all over selling her one-of-a-kind rings and other cool jewelry. Her urban-yet-organic designs are created with vintage close-out jewelry findings and sustainably harvested wood ring shanks imported from Bali. We feature her rings here at Blue Door Beads, and Jessica has also been featured in New York Magazine, Eco Fabulous, and Everyday with Rachel Ray. She’s a busy gal!
StudioRhino from Alameda, CA features an wonderful selection of handmade sterling silver jewelry, combining cute critters with fun shapes and beautiful accents made of Japanese chiyogami paper. We find StudioRhino to be one of those Etsy stores where, come the holidays, we will be able to find something for literally every jewelry-wearing lady on our gift list!
VelvetOtterhound, also of Alameda, combines her love of steampunk style and vintage jewelry with delicate wire-wrapped accents and unusual chain. All of her pieces are one-of-a-kind, and it is obvious that she takes great care in selecting quality (and funky!) components for her jewelry. Very cool!
Oakland-based NouveauMotley is just the right combination of funky, macabre, and cool. Whether you are looking for watch-part cuff links, a weevil-and-labradorite necklace, or victorian button earrings, chances are you will find something amazing in this Etsy store. And with over 1,700 five-star reviews, NouveauMotley is obviously an artist worth supporting!
For those who enjoy colorful jewelry with fun themes — such as sugar skulls, Rockabilly & roses, or Bay Area sports teams — Queenbeader on Etsy is right up your alley. Oakland resident Brianah Burns’ wide variety of funky pendants, rings & earrings are fun for any occasion, but her Bay-Area-team-themed pieces are perfect for showing some #1 fan pride at the next big game!
Blue Door Beads was the first to carry the 3D-printed Bay Area Landmark series of pendants and charms by Harvest Design, and we love the new designs they keep coming up with! However, our first love will always be their version of the Oakland tree. The fact that the trees come in purple and pink just makes them that much more fun!
We have known Karri Jose of Alameda for many years, and although she is currently taking a break from making jewelry, we can’t get enough of her adorable handbags and messenger bags! We know her Etsy store ColdhouseDahlia has nothing to do with jewelry, but we love purses almost as much as we love necklaces & earrings, so we wanted to give her a shout-out anyway!
P.S. Did you know that Etsy has an option where you can shop locally? Here’s a link! Now you can shop locally and support artists in your area, even if you are feeling too lazy to actually leave the house. Racking up good karma while staying in our pajamas? Yes, please!
P.P.S. Have we inspired you to start selling your own work? We hope so! Interweave Press (publisher of Beadwork, Stringing, and Step By Step Wire Jewelry magazines) has some great reasons why you should start a jewelry business right now. Check ’em out!