Friday, October 11, 2013

we made Wish Bracelets :: how it started

You are lookin' at me, and the first three wish bracelets that I ever made {and one of our backyard gates and my oldest pair of Frye boots...and an awesome Navajo beaded Thunderbird buckle. Anyway...}

I asked Gabe to snap this phone photo of me before I headed over to 2013's Girls Night Out, an annual fundraiser for the Women's Resource Center of Durango. I was asked to be a vendor there. I desperately wanted to be, so I came up with the Pretty by JL Wish Bracelet. You can read more about the actual epiphany behind the wish bracelet, and more about the Women's Resource Center event here

Even though I did a post showing the wish bracelets before, I count this as the beginning. Because this was the evening I created them for, and it was also the evening I learned how much people would like them. I had had no idea what to expect. I just wanted something fun, pretty and cost appropriate to give as gifts at the event. I'm really glad that I took the time to pose for the above photo...because it's the only one I'd get. Mary and I were so busy at Girls Night Out making wish bracelets that we didn't get to look around, get anything to eat, and we each only took one pee break {out of necessity} while the other tended to our orders.

I'm also really glad that I took the time to take the one photo that I did of our table before the event actually started, and after we'd finished setting up. I figured that I'd get more. But as it turned out, there wouldn't be any time to take photos, and had I just taken the time...they would have been pictures of crowds of women; not of our table, which was quite pretty if I do say so myself.

Below are crops of the original one photo. I shared them on Instagram the next day. We displayed Pretty by JL summer accessories, Watermelon Limeade, a custom 3 color heart bracelet set, and catalogs from our recent trunk show on the left half of it >>--->

<---<< On the other half, we set out a pretty platter of silk, and glass dishes holding the wish bracelet beads. Then we went to work! Mary, a wonderful friend who volunteered to help me {I am SO thankful that she did!}, is practicing her wish bracelet technique in the below photo. She agreed to help without really knowing what we were even going to do, and again, I thought I'd have the opportunity to take more photos. I would have asked her to look up and smile had I known that this would be it! But, she looks fabulous anyway >>--->

Once all the pretty ladies started arriving, it didn't take Mary and I long to realize that we'd need to start a list {or order form} since it would take us more than five minutes to make each bracelet. We ended up having each woman write down her name and silk color choice on the list. Then we'd have her also choose five beads that she'd then put in a plastic bag and label with her name. So, what Mary is doing in the above photo is really all she did for the next 2 1/2 hours, and so did I. 

The girls of Girls Night Out loved our wished bracelets! They'd approach our table {often with a glass of champagne in hand} and inquire about what we were doing...I'd give them the spiel {which they loved} and then they'd fondle the silks and debate about which beads to choose. Several of them would say, "I'm terrible with choices like this..." I'd reply with something like, "No, you just like pretty things and we get it! I'm terrible in the same way!"

Once the women left their wish bracelet orders, Mary and I would tell them to mingle for a bit and then come back. We'd cross off names on the list as we worked our way through it. That way when someone came back they'd know if their wish bracelet was finished or not, before checking the racks we hung them on. We had all sorts of visitors. Some women came back frequently to find that it would still be a little while before hers was finished, some just sort of hung around and watched us from a small distance, and some didn't come back at all!! We blamed that on the champagne, and on the shuttle buses that snuck up on unsuspecting-fun-havers near the evening's close...threatening to leave without them!

All night, Mary and I would only break from wish bracelet making to tie them on. It's a bit of a magical moment when pausing before making the second half of the square knot, and looking up to the recipient to ask, "Did you make your wish?" There is always a moment where she looks briefly away before saying yes. Even when I tie them on people now, I wonder a fuzz about what they're wishing for and can't help but get excited.

Mary and I only ended up making about thirty wish bracelets during the 2 1/2 hour duration of the event, between the both of us. But, we worked solid and appreciated the enthusiastic oohs and ahhs of the girls who visited our table. As the shuttle buses pulled away and we looked up to see the other vendors packing up, we both realized that we were starving and cold! {August in SW Colorado will do that to ya!} We'd seen and heard all the fun that the Rhinestone Cowgirls and Diamond Divas of Girls Night Out had been having...with their bling tops and jeans, their glasses of champagne, and their little plates of exotic looking goodness that was food. So we decided that we needed a girls night out of our own!

Below is a tired but smiling Mary while we waited for our drinks at Tequila's, a wonderful local Mexican place! She has on a Natural Beauty Wish Bracelet that I had insisted she make for herself while getting ready for the event. We may not have had any champagne or sushi with the others girls...but we sure did enjoy our dinner and girls night out of two!

Girls Night Out raised over $30,000 for the Women's Resource Center {you can read more about it here}. It also got me thinking about where else we could go with Pretty by JL Wish Bracelets! I had a lot of fun, majorly thanks to Mary, and we stumbled across something pretty special! Browse by way of the links below to see what's happening with Pretty by JL Wish Bracelets today, and thanks for stopping by to see how it all started!

Live your wishes and love your life in style with Pretty by JL!

<-----<< S H O P wish bracelets >>----->

Pretty by JL Wish Bracelets are handcrafted with love in Colorado ::USA::