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The Artisan Group Gifts HGTV's Cari Cucksey

So many of the members in The Artisan Group use re-purposed or upcycled items to create many of the lovely products they sell in their shoppes. One of our favorite celebs who supports this type of methodology is Cari Cucksey, host of HGTV's "Cash & Cari".

If you haven't seen Cari's show, you should definitely check it out! With her razor sharp business sense and an eye for spotting diamonds in the rough, estate sale guru Cari Cucksey combs through her clients' basements, attics and garages in search of hidden treasure. And once she and her team have organized and priced the entire contents of the home, they hold an estate sale right on the premises.

We recently sent Cari an amazing swag bag filled with thirty handcrafted gifts from our team. Many of the gifts we sent her were created using re-purposed items, and Cari absolutely loved all the goodies we sent her!

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Christine Lorenzo

The Artisan Group is proud to announce this week's Artist Spotlight feature is one of our fantastic artisan jewelry members, Christine Lorenzo!

{website} www.sariblue.com

We caught up with Christine and asked her a few questions about her unique "evil eye" jewelry line, and her experiences so far working with TAG. Here's what she said:

Thank you so much for selecting SariBlue to be the Spotlight Feature for the week! How exciting! This comes at such a great time for the shop and for me. If it was yesterday, it may have been a little harder to answer these questions. I was running into a little creative block working on some new pieces and it was interfering with the flow of writing.

These last few months have been fantastic as a member of The Artisan Group. Just this week I have been delighted with the opportunity and publicity afforded to me with two amazingly kind features, another article soon to be released in an online magazine, a feature of me and SariBlue in the next issue of my university’s quarterly alumni publication, and I have a few more articles that I need to write waiting in the queue of my very long (super fun) to-do list.

True luck has found me today, however! I had an amazing conversation with a very dear friend who really brought me back to center about why and what SariBlue is all about. As an artist sometimes you need to focus on what you love about your craft and not ruminate about what others may or may not think. The reason I started this little shop was because I really love the medium. I find peace and beauty in it and I feel positive energy as a result.
  • Tell us a little bit about your shoppe.  SariBlue was established a little less than a year ago, unambiguously after a lifetime of seeking out something for me to sink my creative teeth into. Having lived a creative life vicariously through others with passionate artistic admiration for film, art, music and fashion while working in a world of international high-tech, I had finally found something calling to me in the historic Nazar Boncuk, The Evil Eye Bead. SariBlue is a fun, hip, wear-it-everyday jewelry collection centered on the power and theory of this universally recognizable symbol.  I began crafting earthy bohemian style jewelry with a bit of an industrial edge to some of the pieces, centered on the fascinating bead, one in every piece of my collection. The SariBlue collection (Sari is pronounced “sutter” in Turkish meaning blonde/blondie/yellow; my nickname) uses exclusive Turkish handmade glass beads which are made using centuries old traditional methods. One truly important element about the beads is the crafting process of this special glass art; it may be one of the oldest eco-friendly recycling methods around. Turkish artisans collect and recycle glass and melt it in their furnaces that burn low-carbon pine logs in order to shape the glass, fuse them together and create these amazing beads using only simple hand tools. Every bead fashioned has its own identity, lending every SariBlue piece its own distinctive nature.
  • What is your favorite product in your shoppe and why?   I love to create new pieces, my favorite is currently the “ONE” Pendant I made for The Artisan Group Luxury Lounge hosted by GBK Productions in honor of The 2012 Golden Globes. The glass bead is an over-sized Nazar Boncuk in the traditional colour scheme, on a copper head pin with a coloured tip, silver Bali style beads, silver chain and various coloured tiny fancy glass beads. I wear one everyday myself and just love it! 
  • When you're not handcrafting your funky-fun jewelry line, what are your hobbies?    
    I have found that what I become passionate about tends to overtake my life, so these days I don’t have much free time. I have two small girls; G is 7 and M is 9. Every minute I am not working on the shop or business I am with the girls and engaged with what is important for them. I coach G’s co-ed soccer team. But by no means am I a soccer Mom, (LOL) I am a mom, they play soccer and that’s the extent of it, no minivan for me (a mini cooper convertible instead). I am normally running up the field in a skirt, great earrings with some type of super cute shoes on, because no matter where you are you must look fab! The poor boys on the team wonder why I look so fancy! I love kids and try to volunteer in the school as much as I can, getting to know teachers and your community is important and being another positive adult that is visible for kids really makes a difference in their perception of the world. I am by default a realist but not by nature! By nature I am a romantic dreamer: good people deserve good things and the basic principle of karma.
  • What do you like best about The Artisan Group? The Artisan Group for me has been such a fantastic opportunity, the best being that so many people in our lovely team look at our little universe in a similar way. We want goodness to happen to good people. We want to share ideas and help one another. I do realize that perhaps this sounds a little kumbaya-ish, but it is utterly sincere. I have a lot of respect for Valerie and Nikki; it is no small feat to pull together a talented group of people who have their own agenda in the front of their minds, yet are so willing to support group efforts and promote others in the meantime. Having a vision and the ability to execute on this level of detail with two people is extraordinary. My long-winded answer of what I enjoy most about TAG is the team itself, such a lovely group of people who seem to click on so many levels, work together remotely while helping to invest in each other’s success is motivating and humbling. I feel really proud to be associated with my TAG teammates and proud of what we can accomplish. When one of us is super successful it is joy for us all, never seen anything like it!
Christine recently participated as a display participant in a luxury celebrity gift lounge on January 13-14, 2012 at the L'Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, in honor of the The 2012 Golden Globes Nominees and Presenters.

The Artisan Group Gets National Press Coverage!

We were thrilled to find out The Huffington Post, a nationally-syndicated news organization, wrote a blurb about The Artisan Group in their wrap-up coverage of the 2012 Golden Globes Gift Lounge! Take a peek at what they had to say about us!

Celebrity Janina Gavankar Selects Lapis Beach as One of Her Favorites

Our friend, celebrity Janina Gavankar of HBO's hit show True Blood, is a big fan of The Artisan Group, and just like she did with the Primetime Emmys Gift Lounge, she selected a gift from our group as one of her favorites out of all the swag she received at the Golden Globes Gift Lounge event!

Bracelet created by: Lapis Beach Hand Knit JewelryFollow Lapis Beach on Twitter.

The Scarlet Robin Featured by Lauren Conrad

The Artisan Group is so proud of our members Jenifer Gallagher and Jillian Anderson of The Scarlet Robin for having one of their gorgeous necklaces featured on Lauren Conrad's website as one of her Top 10 favorite accessories for her Tuesday Ten: Everyday Accessories post!


Feel free to visit The Scarlet Robin's online jewelry shoppe, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter as well!

The Scarlet Robin will be participating as display participants in a luxury celebrity gift lounge on February 24-25, 2012 with The Artisan Group at The W Hotel in Hollywood, California, in honor of the The 2012 Academy Awards (Oscars) Nominees and Presenters.

Actress Tess Hunt Opens Each TAG Gift from Golden Globes!

Curious as to what handcrafted goodies The Artisan Group gifted the celebrities at GBK's Golden Globes Gift Lounge? Actress Tess Hunt and actor Josh Sussman (of the hit TV show Glee) were gracious enough to film a video of Tess opening up each gift in their TAG swag bag, complete with thank-yous to our participating members!

Thanks, Tess and Josh! You guys are the best! xoxo

Celebrity Love from the 2012 Golden Globes Gift Lounge!

The Artisan Group just returned from Beverly Hills where we were a sponsor in GBK's Golden Globes Luxury Gift Lounge at the L'Ermitage Hotel. Once again, we were a huge hit with the celebrities and press!

Each celebrity that visited our exhibit received thirty-two handcrafted gifts in their TAG swag bag, and many of them loved their gifts so much they tweeted us some love! Take a peek!


The Artisan Group is proud to announce this week's Artist Spotlight feature is one of our fabulous artisan jewelry members, Kathy Messick!

Kath's Elegant Accessories

We caught up with Kathy and asked her a few questions about her beautiful jewelry line, and her experiences so far working with TAG. Here's what she said:

  • Tell us a little bit about your shoppe.   In the Fall of 2010, at the urging of friends and family, I opened my shoppe, www.KathsElegantAccessories.com. During college I worked with an accessories designer, but my focus in her company was sewing (I got a child sized sewing machine when I was about four years old). My ongoing obsession, I mean relationship, with wire and beads really started with a mother/daughter bracelet set I created for my niece. From there, I discovered knitting with wire and I was totally hooked. I love flowers (especially roses), so many of my designs are floral inspired creations. The items in my shoppe are named for family, friends or individuals that have been supportive of my creative endeavors or have inspired me with their sense of style. Since I am a self-taught artisan I love learning new techniques and am currently experimenting with some exciting new designs for my shoppe. Stay tuned.
  • What is your favorite product in your shoppe and why?   That is a difficult one to answer. The first piece I ever knitted, a statement necklace of rose quartz, seashells and pearls will always have sentimental value, because it was named for my late mother, Sarah, whom I lost to pancreatic cancer in 2007. But, I would have to say, the Mother of Pearl Statement Necklace – Tina II is my favorite. I have the prototype of that design and I wear it year round.
  • When you're not handcrafting your gorgeous jewelry line, what are your hobbies?    Hanging out with my wonderful husband; walking with my Alaskan Malamute, the Z dog (Zorro); trips to the beach (Santa Rosa, FL is my favorite); reading (I love sci fi, especially David Weber books); cooking, baking (Chocolate Kahlua and Fuzzy Navel Cakes), entertaining and gardening.
  • What do you like best about The Artisan Group?   I love the sense of community that I have found in The Artisan Group. I have never been a part of a more supportive, helpful or generous group. In the eight months that I have been a part of TAG, I have learned so much and had opportunities that I never imagined would be possible. Through The Artisan Group, I had business cards in the 69th Annual Primetime Emmys; participated in the Golden Globes with a statement necklace on display as well as wire-knitted pendants in the press and celebrity bags; and am participating in the Oscars with business cards and press gifts, along with an advertisement in the Oscars Event Guide. I can’t thank Valerie and Nikki enough for making this amazing group possible. I love TAG and its members and can’t wait for all the exciting opportunities that lie ahead!
Kathy recently participated as a display participant in a luxury celebrity gift lounge on January 13-14, 2012 at the L'Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, in honor of the The 2012 Golden Globes Nominees and Presenters.

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Sandy Dans and Stevie D'Andrea

The Artisan Group is proud to announce this week's Artist Spotlight feature is two of our very talented artisan jewelry members, mother-daughter team Sandy D'Andrea and Stevie D'Andrea!

Jewels For Hope

We caught up with Sandy and Stevie and asked them a few questions about their lovely jewelry line, and their experiences so far working with TAG. Here's what they said:

  • Tell us a little bit about your shoppe.  Jewels For Hope creates unique handmade jewelry and donates portions of their profits to several major organizations. This one-of-a-kind jewelry company was founded by Sandy D'Andrea in 2009 after her experience as a caregiver for nearly a decade for her mother, who was afflicted with Parkinson's disease and dementia. Sandy, a free-spirited, loving wife & mother of three girls (and two black labs), is a self-taught jewelry designer who believes that "giving back" is most important. Sandy's eldest daughter, Stevie Lynn, joined the company in early 2010 and has learned the art of jewelry design from Sandy. Graduating from The Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in Advertising & Marketing Communications, Stevie also handles the promotion of Jewels For Hope, showing Sandy the ins and outs of social media marketing. At Jewels For Hope you will find the classic style of Audrey Hepburn, the bohemian look of Janice Joplin, and the sassy feel of Betsey Johnson, all made from the heart!
  • When you're not handcrafting your beautiful jewelry and donating to your favorite charities, what are your hobbies?   When not designing... which actually doesn't leave us much time, one of Sandy's favorite things to do is to go hear her husband's band play. There is nothing better then a night out with your friends and family, listening to great music, and drinking a nice cold beer! Stevie also agrees with her mother (substitute wine for beer, LOL) but also enjoys sitting home relaxing, reading a good book, and trying not to get distracted by Twitter.
  • What do you like best about The Artisan Group?  {Sandy}: I am learning so much!! I love reading everyone's posts and supporting everyone. {Stevie}: I love that everyone is so supportive. I feel whenever I have a question, everyone will help and try and answer. Two heads are better than one, and so on and so on, and with The Artisan Group, you get 400+ people that are all there for you. Like a close knit family - minus the drama :) Without TAG we would not be where we are today - so THANK YOU!
Sandy and Stevie will participate as a display participants in the upcoming luxury celebrity gift lounge on January 13-14, 2012 at the L'Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, in honor of the The 2012 Golden Globes Nominees and Presenters.

Save The Date for another TAG Twitter Party!

The Golden Globes event may be kicking off this week, but we're already starting to think about how we can celebrate our participation in our next event... the 84th Annual Academy Awards Gift Lounge!

To celebrate the Oscar nominations, we are once again hosting a super fun Twitter Party full of Oscars trivia, and handcrafted prizes gifted by our talented members.

Save the Date! You won't want to miss this...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. ET

Here's how you can win:

  • Follow @theartisangroup on Twitter
  • Follow the hashtag #theartisangroup on Twitter
  • Answer trivia questions about your favorite shows, movies, actors, moments, what YOU think should be nominated for a Oscar this year (respond directly to @theartisangroup)
  • Be sure you include #theartisangroup in all your responses during the Twitter Party.
  • Win prizes, drawn at random based on correct answers to our trivia questions! Winners will be announced on Twitter, Facebook, and reposted here on our blog on January 25th!

Don't forget... Tuesday, January 24th at 8pm EST! We'll see you there!


The Artisan Group is proud to announce this week's Artist Spotlight feature is one of our very talented artisan jewelry members, Alexis Gopal!

Alexis Studio Design

We caught up with Alexis and asked her a few questions about her interesting handcrafted artisan jewelry, and her experiences so far working with TAG. Here's what she said:

  • Tell us a little bit about your shoppe.  I've been making jewelry as a hobby ever since I was a little girl, when my mom would take me to the huge bead shops in Manhattan, and I would ask for beads and earring hooks and findings, not having a clue what to do with them. I taught myself how to make earrings, bracelets, and necklaces but eventually my hobby had to be put on hold for medical school and a career in medicine, which left little time for leisure. In 2006, after I had stopped practicing to stay home with my two little girls, I resumed making jewelry, and took some courses in metalsmithing, and precious metal clay. That year, I started Alexis Studio Design LLC, when I realized that enough people were asking me where I got my jewelry, so they could buy it. I never developed a particular style or look because I love working in so many different media, so my work includes wirewrapping, polymer clay, fiber jewelry, seed bead embroidery, among others. Recently, I opened a jewelry supply shop LexiBeads to provide jewelry artists and crafters with unique components for their work, since I found I had a hard time finding unique pieces myself.
  • What is your favorite product in your shoppe and why?  My favorite products are my wire mesh pieces... I love the versatility of wire mesh, and it's so much fun to work with.
  • When you're not creating lovely pieces of jewelry, what are your hobbies?  My spare time is very limited, and is usually spent on my beautiful girls, but I enjoy reading, oil painting, making lampshades, watching Criminal Minds if I'm lucky enough to get the opportunity.
  • What do you like best about The Artisan Group?  I adore The Artisan Group... it's like a second family. They're very supportive, very quick to give very helpful advice and come to one's rescue. I feel very fortunate to be a member. It's the only organization that I've ever been a member of that has truly enriched my life professionally and personally.
Alexis will participate as a display participant in the upcoming luxury celebrity gift lounge on January 13-14, 2012 at the L'Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, in honor of the The 2012 Golden Globes Nominees and Presenters.
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The Artisan Group® is an exclusive premiere entertainment marketing organization on a mission to introduce Hollywood to the best-of-the-best in handcrafted products!