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Where I Want This Business to be in 5 Years

  • Feb 26 2015

5 years is a long ways away.

It’s hard to think that far in advance, because it’s impossible to predict everything that can happen between then and now.

But having goals and a target to focus on helps me drive my business forward, hopefully, in the direction I want it to go.

In 5 years it will be 2020.

(Holy crapola! That sounds like a date from a science fiction movie!)

Anyway, 2020 will land before we even know it, and here are my hopes for where this jewelry business will be, or at least be headed towards by then:

I will continue to sell handmade jewelry to lovely men and women all over the world--but a lot more than currently. This business will be profitable, and my day will become an option.

My jewelry collections will be in dozens and dozens of fabulous boutiques, globally.

I will have strong partnerships with other businesses, local and international press, and charity organizations making a difference in the lives of women and girls.

This business will provide an opportunity for women coming out of domestic violence situations to become financially independent through employment, or by learning how to run a business of their own.

This business will make a difference in the world and provide financial opportunities for artists and supporting organizations globally.

The jewelry and accessories sold from this business will set trends and transcend trends.

This business will not only be debt-free, but able to provide grant opportunities for other small businesses looking to make a difference and an impact.

This business will be an inspiration.

(Now how’s THAT for setting the bar high!?!)

The Key to Happiness is Gratitude

  • Feb 23 2015

The Key to Happiness is Gratitude

When I get asked, “How can you be so positive and happy all of the time?” I answer, “It’s because I have so much to be positive and happy about.”

Gratitude is the key to happiness.

It’s so simple, but it’s not always easy to put into practice.

It’s easy to focus and get stuck on all of the negative things in our lives.

There’s always something bad happening that we can get mad about, a feeling of lack we want to remove, or a number of bad things that have happened in our past we can dwell on.

But it’s usually a waste of time, especially if it’s something that’s done and over with and there’s nothing we can do to change it.

You can’t change the past; you can only change your perception of the past.

It’s easy to feel like we are particularly unlucky, or, the victims of our situation.

But remember: everybody’s got their own shyte.

I’ve got shyte, you’ve got shyte.

It’s how we react to our shyte that defines who we are.

When you start feeling down, and find yourself only able to see the dark side of your present circumstances, take a moment to ponder everything you have to be grateful for.

Go into detail.

It will have a bigger impact on your consciousness if you don’t simply think “I’m grateful for my health” but instead think of all aspects of your health that you have to be grateful for, such as your ability to use your legs and go for walks with your adorable dog, the ability to breathe and smell the flowers your hubby got you for your last anniversary, and so on.

Take a minute and consider everything you have to be grateful for, because no matter your circumstances, there is something. You’ll feel better when you do this, and even better the more often you put it into practice.

The more you appreciate what you already have, the happier you will be.

Clash of Colors - Spring Edition

  • Feb 19 2015

Before the weather even starts to warm up or the flowers start looming, spring fashion begins sprouting all around. We can't help it. In no way could we allow ourselves to wait any longer before pulling out our bright colors, soft pastels, and brilliantly clashing combinations of closely related hues. For example, as in the outfit styleboard shown below, the unthinkable combination of pink, red, orange, and yellow - paired perfectly with just enough flecks of lime green to hint at summer, while remaining a look to usher in the spring season. When seeking your own #OOTD, why not take out something of your own to welcome a change in the weather?

Clash of Colors - Spring Edition

Clash of Colors - Spring Edition by Megan's Beaded Designs

Matthew Williamson boho chic dress
$1,530 - matthewwilliamson.com

DESTIN floral print scarve
intermixonline.com

Tech accessory
casetify.com

Yves saint laurent lipstick
$40 - johnlewis.com

Essie peach nail polish
fashion.ebay.com

Chrysanthemum jewelry
www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

Teacup jewelry
www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

10 Tips to Keep the Romance Going

  • Feb 17 2015

Keep the Romance Going

Valentine's Day may have come and gone for this year, but that doesn't mean that the romance has to be over. Far from it. Especially if you are in a committed relationship, keeping the "spark" alive all year round is important and worth putting extra effort into. Below are 10 quick tips on how to keep the love coming after V-day and beyond:

1. Make time and schedule a date night.

Because I run a jewelry business in addition to working a "regular" full-time job, it can be really easy for me to come home from work, only to work on my business for the remainder of the day until it's time to go to sleep and start it all back up again the following day. In order to ensure I'm giving my husband adequate time and attention, we schedule at least 1 date night a week, that I can plan around and make sure I have time for. Likewise, I have friends with children who may not be able to do it every week, but they make sure there is at least 1 night a month they can plan on going out together without the little ones in tow.

2. Have long, thought-provoking conversations.

Put away the phones, turn off the TV, and shut the laptops. Face each other. Then... just talk. It doesn't have to be romantic, it could be about anything. Relationships are formed and maintained via communication. It sounds simple, but it's everything.

3. Compliment each other constantly.

Everyone likes to feel appreciated, especially by someone they liked so much they chose that person to be their partner. Compliment everything from physical appearance to chore-completion skills and beyond. Soon it will become second nature and you'll be nauseating to your friends (but you'll both feel so good about it, so it's worth it.)

4. Little surprises never get old.

Flowers and chocolates are awesome, but so is completing a household chore normally assigned to the other person. The more unexpected, the better.

5. Dream together.

Talk about where you want to travel, what kind of house you want to live in, and what you would like to learn together. Look at inspiring pictures of your goals and start mapping out the steps you could start taking now to make some of them possible.

6. Learn something together.

Take an art or a dance class together. Start learning a new language together. Or even something that might be "boring" such as accounting or the legalities of running a business can be more fun when you get to experience it as a couple.

7. Go somewhere new together.

Whether it's on the other side of the world, or simply a neighboring city, there's some serious relationship cementing that happens while experiencing new places together. (Plus, who doesn't love any excuse to travel!?!)

Notre Dame

8. Hold hands.

In the car, watching a movie, across the dinner table, while walking down the street, whenever possible...

9. Make yourself feel attractive.

Go beyond necessary hygiene grooming and dress yourself up and invest in making yourself feel more attractive. It will boost your self-esteem around your partner, and even make you feel more attracted to him or her as a result.

10. Have a lounge day.

The hubby and I call these delightful excursions "naked days" because we lock ourselves up in the house in nothing but robes for an entire day. We eat ridiculous junk food and binge on Game of Thrones all the while taking the time to enjoy each other in all of our unkempt glory.

Date Night Dress Up

  • Feb 11 2015

Looking for some outfit inspiration for what to wear on your Valentine's Day date night (or Treat Yourself night)? Here's a style board in red and black to get your wheels moving. Individual outfit details with go-to shopping links are below the image, just in case your closet or jewelry box is feeling a little lackluster.

Date Night Dress Up Style Board

Date Night Dressing by Megan's Beaded Designs

Beaded anklet
etsy.com

Buxom beauty product
sephora.com

Dangling Butterfly Earrings
$9 www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

Flower hair accessory
$12 www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

Single on Valentine’s Day? Treat yourself!

  • Feb 9 2015

Single on Valentine's Day

Every year I try to prepare for the onslaught of anti-valentine jokes to hit my Facebook feed and lips of my single friends. “I don’t care about being single on Valentine’s Day,” they say, “It’s a stupid holiday anyway.”

But of course, they’re saying these things because they totally do care, their bitterness spewing from their jealousy of all the happy couples around them.

I’m not here to judge.

Being single on the most romantic holiday of the year sucks.

However, always striving to be that annoying glass-half-full kind of person that I am, I feel like there’s no reason you can’t use the holiday as an excuse to do something extra special… FOR YOURSELF.

Buy yourself a new book, piece of clothing, or that necklace you’ve been eyeing on this site.

Head out on a long, romantic walk to collect your thoughts and contemplate your reality, take a luxurious bubble bath, get out the paints you’ve long since stored up in your attic and create a work of art (just for you), and cook yourself something extra special for dinner (or get takeout, and grant yourself a break for the oven for a night).

If you have single friends, may a night of it! Typically there are lots of clubs hosting “single mingles” on Valentine’s Day. Giving you the perfect opportunity to head out and meet some new peeps.

Or, you can just head over to Facebook and read all of the nasty anti-Valentine and I-hate-being single posts until you feel like the worst version of yourself. (Not the best idea.)

Personally, I’d never pass up a reason to pour on a little extra, much-needed self-love!

Pink Valentine Bracelet
Bracelet - $19

Take the time to plan out what you’ll do now, so you don’t find yourself sucked into the social media vortex of negativity that’s bound to happen.

You just might realize, Valentine’s Day isn’t so bad after all, and you can be your own fun date for the day.

Valentine Gift Guide for Him

  • Feb 2 2015

Hunting for a valentine gift for the hubby, boy-toy or man-friend? Here's a gift guide of Valentine's Day treats for only the manliest of men.

Valentine Gifrt Guide for Him

Valentine Gifrt Guide for Him by Megan's Beaded Designs

Acqua di Parma gift sets kit
$71 - liberty.co.uk

Diesel shoes
amazon.com

D S DURGA scented candle
net-a-porter.com

Allurez jewellery box
$130 - allurez.com

Blomus bar tool
2modern.com

Christmas home decor
$105 - sweetpeaandwillow.com

Mens Stormy Leather Bracelet
$227 www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

Valentine's Day Gifts for Her Under $25

  • Jan 30 2015

Hunting for the right Valentine's Day gift for your sweetie, BFF, or yourself? here's a guide if you're looking for something fun and unique, but only have a small budget to spare. All of the items feature in the guide below are less than $25.

Valentine's Day Gift Guide {for her}

Valentine's Day Gift Guide (for her) Priced Under $25 by Megan's Beaded Designs

Pointed toe pumps
$27 - newlook.com

Uniqlo pink shawl
uniqlo.com

Tech accessory
amazon.com

ALDO sunglasses
aldoshoes.com

Coccinelle leather belt
$33 - yoox.com

Clarins lip care
$27 - johnlewis.com

NARS Cosmetics nail polish
$23 - liberty.co.uk

Pink home decor
amazon.com

H M flower shaped candle
$3.01 - hm.com

Doughnut Ring
www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

Light Pink Bracelet
$19 www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

Butterfly Earrings
$9 www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

The Surprising History of Beadwork

  • Jan 26 2015

Native American Beadwork
(Image Source: Flickr Creative Commons)

Usually, when we think of beadwork, we often think of the kind found at pow-wow events and natural history museums. It's how I was first introduced to beadwork: from the Native style jewelry and decor my grandfather made when I was a young. Surprisingly though, Native Americans first made beads out of natural materials with tools made of rocks and wood. Their beads were generally large and it wasn't until Europeans came over that they were able to obtain small beads to create the more intricate designs.

It was their take on how to work with these small beads that led to our current association of bead work with Native American culture.

People have been doing bead work for the then 5000 years, according to archaeologists. Beads were used to make decorative clothes, for religious purposes, wall hanging, and jewelry.

Even if "just" worn as a fashion staple, I feel like beadwork still has a significant and personal meaning for each person who wears it.

For starters, most beadwork is still created entirely by hand. The beaded pieces you'll find here on Megan's Beaded Designs, for example, are all originally designed and woven together by yours truly, one tiny bead at a time.

There is also the fact that beadwoven pieces look so different than anything else you can find in the jewelry market. Generally commanding more real estate, they are often pieces that will attract more attention and serve as statement-makers.

Beaded Statement Jewelry

Light & Dark Blue Jewelry

  • Jan 21 2015

Color your ensemble with dark blue cobalt and the whisper of light gray with the newest color edition of The Rebecca Collection from Megan's Beaded Designs.

Light & Dark

Light & Dark by Megan's Beaded Designs

Chevronnecklace
www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

Blue jewelry
mwww.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

Dark blue jewelry
www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

Pendant necklace
www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

Blue Earrings
www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

Beaded Ring
www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

Beaded headband
www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

Shop the entire Rebecca Collection by clicking here.