Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What Makes You Tick?

It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.
Can you believe January is almost over? I can’t. The months seem to fly by for me since in fashion, we’re always talking about Spring/Summer when it’s cold outside and Fall/Winter or Holiday when the temperatures are pushing 100° here in Texas!
In these past few months, I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about where I’d like to take Amy Holton Designs in 2015 and I spent a lot of time preparing for it in 2014. This year, I’ve delved much deeper into goal planning for my business and how it ties in to who I am personally.  In an effort to accomplish this (as well as define some much-needed work/life boundaries) I've been working through a goal setting and year planning process in which the author has you define your core.  One segment of this is defining your principles. For whatever reason, I became very hung-up on this though I know I have very strong core values. While the author uses the words principles and values interchangeably, the words do have different meanings and I struggled with my business vs. personal take. I procrastinated for a while, then sat down one day and committed a chunk of time to working through my mental block. After spending some quality time with my good friend Google, I found an article that eliminated my barrier in three simple lines…
"If it is something you wouldn’t trade, a non-negotiable that can be a competitive disadvantage for you, then it’s probably a value.
If it is situational, if you will trade it in if the offer or conditions are right, then it’s probably a principle.
Values are enduring and rarely change. Principles evolve to your circumstances and can change (they don’t have to, but they can)."
This was exactly what I needed to read.  Sometimes it just takes someone saying the same thing in a different way to give you some clarity. In defining my business, I knew things would change over time however, in my personal life, as well as in business, there are most certainly some things that are non-negotiable. I resolved my dilemma by defining principles for my business and my values for me as a person, knowing my values would naturally guide me professionally as well.
It seemed like such a simple exercise but the obsessive perfectionist in me took over and made it far more difficult than it should have been!
(Ask me, or my husband, how often this happens…)
I’ve never really sat down and tried to put words who I am at my core and the exercise really did offer more clarity than I expected going in. I’m interested to see where the rest of the process will take me. What about you? Do you have a system you use for your yearly goal-planning? Have you ever sat down and put into words what truly defines you at your core?  Do you consciously refer back to these values when making personal or professional decisions? It's been an interesting process so far. Let's see where the year takes me!
Thanks for checking in. I enjoyed having you!
Here’s hoping 2015 is treating you very well so far.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Mother's Day Gift Guide from An Appealing Plan

Happy Saturday!

I had to share a beautiful gift guide created by Krayl Funch of An Appealing Plan.  I am so privileged that out of an abundance of submissions, she has chosen a piece from my Solitaire Collection to feature in the guide.

I have my eyes on the Marie Todd "Rest" candle, the Sea Salt Goat’s Milk Soap (I have a thing for sea salt) and the Lavender Body Lotion by Wholistic Inc.

I don't have children of my own, but do stepmothers count? :)
Which items do you love?

Have a beautiful, enjoyable weekend!
AnAppealingPlan Mothers Day Gift Round Up
  1. Rest Candle / Mind Body Soul Collection - Marie Todd Candles - $54
  2. Green Amythest Pendent Necklace ~ Amy Holton Designs - $217
  3. Lavender Body Lotion ~ Wholistic Inc. - $28
  4. Quilted Sari Throw Orange ~ Buy The Change USA – $89
  5. Sea Salt Goat’s Milk Soap ~ Simply Caprine - $7
  6. “HOME” Paper Quilling ~ Paper Liberated – $520

Saturday, August 24, 2013

London Blue Topaz Necklace - The Finished Piece

I changed my mind so many times while constructing this piece.  At first, each London blue stone was going to be separated by clusters of small, yellow sapphires...didn't like it.  Very odd, since London blue topaz and yellow sapphires are two favorites of mine.  Then, as shown in my sneak peek post, I decided to show them off in their beautiful simplicity.
London Blue Topaz and Citrine Necklace
-- London Blue Topaz and Citrine Necklace

However, I still felt compelled to add some yellow to the piece.  I just like the contrast.  I was going to use one of my large custom-cut citrine solitaire stones but that didn't seem right either.

With no large focal, the piece seemed too long, so I removed six stones which became a lovely pair of earrings, finished with some beautifully faceted citrine teardrop briolettes.
London Blue Topaz Earrings with Citrine
-- London Blue Topaz Earrings with Citrine

Having shortened the necklace, I added a 2 inch extender chain and finished it with a single piece of the same citrine stones.  Extender chains are so great.  They give the wearer more versatility in how they style the piece.

As I was photographing the necklace, I suddenly had a brainstorm.  Why couldn't the extender serve double-duty as a focal point of the piece as well?  Back to my tools I went...
London Blue Topaz and Citrine Necklace
-- London Blue Topaz and Citrine Necklace - Close Up

I adorned each link of the extender chain with more of the faceted citrine stones, creating a cascade effect.  The necklace can now be worn with the extender to the front as a pendant, or with the extender chain at the back, sparkling citrine dripping down the nape of the neck.
London Blue Topaz and Citrine Necklace
-- London Blue Topaz and Citrine Necklace - Extender Chain Worn to the Front

What do you think?  This piece was definitely one of those that morphed from one design to the other, but I'm pretty pleased with the result!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Trunk Show – Open to the Public

Amy Holton Designs will be at Barton Creek Resort today from 2:00-7:00 p.m. between Eliza’s and Bella’s boutiques, just off of the main lobby.  If you happen to be in Austin, stop by and say hello!  These new beauties will be making their debut…

Turquoise and fine silver cluster necklace
Turquoise and fine silver cluster necklace

Turquoise, carnelian, fine and Argentium silver earrings
Turquoise, carnelian, fine and Argentium silver earrings

Turquoise and fine silver cluster bracelet
Turquoise and fine silver cluster bracelet

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Sneak Peek – London Blue Topaz

I love London blue topaz…absolutely love it.  When these arrived in my shipment, I couldn’t wait to use them.

Beautifully colored, delicately faceted London blue topaz nuggets
London blue topaz necklace in the works

Now to decide, do I leave it in its delicate simplicity or add an amazing focal?  Perhaps citrine?  I think a nice pair of drop earrings need to happen as well.  I’m itching to finish it and get it into the collection!

Watch this space…