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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Rachel Hughes



The Artisan Group
 is proud to announce this week's Artist Spotlight Feature is Rachel Hughes of Saressa Designs!

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SARESSA DESIGNS

We caught up with Rachel and asked her a few questions about her beautiful wire-wrapped gemstone jewelry, and her experiences so far working with TAG. Here's what she said:





Tell us a little bit about your shoppe. 
My jewelry business, Saressa Designs, sort of developed in layers. I’ve always been a crafter and that included making my own jewelry. I started wire-wrapping in 2004 and instantly loved it, but was mainly doing it as a hobby. Between 2004-2010, I designed off and on but got really serious after my first son was born. I finally opened up shop on Etsy in 2011 and now offer a line of wire-wrapped gemstone jewelry that’s simple, clean and a just a tad quirky sometimes.

What is your favorite product from your shoppe and why? 

The answer to this question changes often, but right now it’s the ‘bezel wrapped’ bracelets I’m making. I love their simplicity, style and the amazing response I have had to them. It’s really fun when a product takes on a life of its own.


When you're not handcrafting your lovely line of jewelry, what are your hobbies? 
When I’m not designing jewelry I’m usually with my family. I love to spend time with my family, laugh with my sister-in-law (we think we’re pretty funny) and wrestle around with my little boys. When I do get spare time, I love to knit, or try lots of DIY projects, read, watch a good movie, play outside and do cardio kickboxing.

What do you like best about The Artisan Group? 
There are so many things to love about The Artisan Group, so it’s difficult to choose a favorite. But, besides the amazing opportunities Valerie presents, my absolute favorite thing is the dynamic of  The Artisan Group . There is so much support and encouragement here that lends to invaluable advice, ideas, critiquing and growth. There’s lots of humor too. 

I’m certain that Valerie and this amazing group she has put together has been a key component to the growth I’ve seen this last year.


Rachel recently participated as a display participant in a luxury celebrity gift lounge on June 1-2, 2012 at L'Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, in honor of the The 2012 MTV Movie Awards Nominees and Presenters.

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Jessica Taylor



The Artisan Group
 is proud to announce this week's Artist Spotlight Feature is Jessica Taylor of Shaka Soap!

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SHAKA SOAP

We caught up with Jessica and asked her a few questions about her amazing soap line created in Hawaii, and her experiences so far working with TAG. Here's what she said:





Tell us a little bit about your shoppe. 
I started making soap less than a year ago. I was intrigued with the idea of creating my own bath products; especially in light of all of the scary ingredients that are in products on the market today. What I thought would be just a weekend hobby quickly became a passion. I was constantly researching and experimenting, making soap, lotion, sugar scrubs, and whatever other products I was curious about. I realized that I could turn my passion into a business, and easily named my business after the familiar "hang loose" sign we use here in Hawaii, called the "shaka". I pour my soul into everything I create and I love every part of it. I am having a blast!  

What is your favorite product from your shoppe and why? 
I have been really enjoying playing with graduated colors in a soap bar. My most recent creation is my tougue-in-cheek "Nearly Fifty Shades of Gray" soap, inspired by the title of a book. There are actually seventeen layers of gray and it was very challenging to create each layer to be the same hue and amount. I really was nervous to unmold it and see how it turned out. I scented it with passion fruit and roses and colored it with activated charcoal.


When you're not creating such amazing-smelling soaps and lotions, what are your hobbies? 
I love to read and I have an obsession with music. Reading a book I can get lost in is an incredible feeling. We also live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, so our family loves to just get in the car and drive to a new area on the island. I am fascinated with the Hawaiian culture and have a deep respect for their history and traditions. I love learning new things, and the Hawaiian culture is my latest attraction.

What do you like best about The Artisan Group? 
I love The Artisan Group for many reasons on many levels. I feel truly honored that I have been able to gift amazing celebrities (Tom Cruise, Ryan Gosling, Mila Kunis, etc) and have my products at GBK Award Show Gift Lounges. I love the camaraderie that is in The Artisan Group and how the desire to help one another is almost tangible. It is an amazing group and I feel incredibly blessed that I am a part of it.


Jessica recently participated as a display participant in a luxury celebrity gift lounge on June 1-2, 2012 at L'Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, in honor of the The 2012 MTV Movie Awards Nominees and Presenters.

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Carolyn Moran



The Artisan Group
 is proud to announce this week's Artist Spotlight Feature is Carolyn Moran of Care More Creations!

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CARE MORE CREATIONS

We caught up with Carolyn and asked her a few questions about her intricate wire-wrapped jewelry line, and her experiences so far working with TAG. Here's what she said:





Tell us a little bit about your shoppe. 
Care More Creations, titled after my name, is a line of wire-wrapped, healing gemstone jewelry that I created in 2008 after my husband and I moved to Alaska. I went from a busy full-time 9-5 office job to living a serene carefree life. Needing a creative outlet, I began making jewelry out of my home overlooking the Kenai River, within eyeshot of eagles, salmon, moose and bear. Inspired by the breathtaking scenery and wildlife, I began studying and attempting various wire-wrap techniques, and with time developed my own unique style. I find it very rewarding to start with just two key elements: rock and metal, and using my hands and my heart, along with a few tools, I swirl, loop and tuck the wire into unique settings with no use of heat, glue or solder. The color of the wire, the curves and swirls of the wire setting and the little baubles I add enhance each stone’s unique characteristics of shape, color and striations. Although it was not my original intent, the frequent compliments I received when I wore my designs encouraged me to launch Care More Creations and since then my Etsy shop has become popular around the world and with women of all ages, especially those with a passion for nature and fashion.

What is your favorite product from your shoppe and why? 
Each design that I create is one-of-a-kind because of the individuality of both the gemstone itself as well as the wire setting. But my favorite products are the pendants that I create with raw natural gemstones. These may be rocks I pick up along a walk or incredible specimens that I inspect at my local rock shop.


When you're not handcrafting your fantastic wire-wrapped jewelry pieces, what are your hobbies? 
I love spending time with my family and friends. My husband and I enjoy fishing and the great outdoors. My daughter and granddaughter are my pride and joy, and any time I can spend watching them succeed and grow and be happy... well, it doesn't get any better! I also enjoy the quiet moments of lone time when I can read, reflect or just relax.

What do you like best about The Artisan Group? 
When Valerie Guerrero, founder of The Artisan Group asked me to join, I was incredibly honored. Becoming part of this fabulous team of fellow like-minded artisans and business owners is probably the most rewarding achievement of Care More Creations.  Being a member of The Artisan Group has given me incredible opportunities, such as displaying my jewelry and gifting celebrities at the GBK's 2012 MTV Movie Gift Lounge.  But it also has given me the confidence to take my shop to a whole new level, and having a team that cheers each other on is truly amazing. They are all so encouraging, inspirational, and fun, and they are always there to give advice, feedback, and their personal knowledge. I have learned so much from my TAG family, not only about my craft and business, but also myself.

We couldn't ask for a better leader in Valerie.  Her integrity, expertise and organizational skills have taken this group to a national level and I am so proud to be a part of it all.

    Carolyn recently participated as a display participant in a luxury celebrity gift lounge on June 1-2, 2012 at L'Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, in honor of the The 2012 MTV Movie Awards Nominees and Presenters.

    ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Amy Fine


    The Artisan Group
     is proud to announce this week's Artist Spotlight Feature is Amy Fine of Amy Fine Design!

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    AMY FINE DESIGN

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





    Tell us a little bit about your shoppe. 
    I started making jewelry around 12 years ago, though I had been interested in making and designing it forever. I opened my shop on Etsy in early 2010 after a long craft show season. Feeling a little battered I thought the internet had to be a better option. My jewelry has evolved from it's earliest days, partly as my taste changed and, also, as the economy changed. What was once an easy sell, a gorgeous strand on twisted tourmalines and pearls, hanging from solid gold chain, is now a luxury item. I have arrived at a place where I try to combine my absolute love of gemstones with more realistic materials like leather and copper. What turned out is a more earthy, organic feeling line that, actually, fits me better, so I'm happy with the end result.

    What is your favorite product from your shoppe and why? 

    Right now I am digging a new leather line that I introduced in the late spring. It includes, for the first time, pieces for men and since they are a hefty part of the population, hey...! My husband wears a bracelet for the first time in his life and that was by choice, no coercion. Father's Day was very good to Amy Fine Design!!! And, I love them for women too.


    When you're not handcrafting such gorgeous jewelry, what are your hobbies? 
    We are a music family. There are a lot of concerts for us and just all around music loving. Movies too. We are a family of 4, I have 2 daughters 21 and 18. I have been rated #1 funniest in the family but I often have to concede to others...we are a little crazy and spend an awful lot of time laughing and having fun.

    What do you like best about The Artisan Group? 
    Well, The Artisan Group... I was involved in an event for the first time at the (GBK) MTV Movie Awards (Gift Lounge)... since then I pitched that story to a local writer and turned out her sister (who has taken a liking to me) is someone who knows someone and that someone knows the biggest someone there is and my jewelry is on the way to them as we speak. It may mean I need a factory overseas. But seriously, it's a great group of artists trying to make a name for themselves all while helping their fellow artists climb the same ladder. Much fun and thanks to all.

      Amy recently participated as a display participant in a luxury celebrity gift lounge on June 1-2, 2012 at L'Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, in honor of the The 2012 MTV Movie Awards Nominees and Presenters.
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      The Artisan Group is an elite collective of artists who gift their handcrafted products to celebrities at Hollywood's top gift lounges.

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