Pick Up Sticks Retailers – Find Your Favorite

Just one example of the Pick Up Sticks necklaces jewelry you can create after locating your favorite Pick Up Sticks retailer.

Just one example of the Pick Up Sticks necklaces jewelry you can create after locating your favorite Pick Up Sticks retailer.

We’re always telling you how much we love our Pick Up Sticks retailers, and we try to feature one of them in a blog post on a regular basis.  But have you found one near you?  Do you have a favorite Pick Up Sticks retailer of your own?

If you’re really going to go green and support your hometown economy, there’s nothing like shopping and buying locally.  Pick Up Sticks retailers already know how fabulous the line is, and they’ll show you their bestsellers as well as what’s new.

Probably one of the greatest advantages to buying from one of our retailers is that they’re happy to help you assemble your necklace and bracelets once you find the perfect combination of charms and trinkets.  They can keep you informed about when new designs arrive so that you can add to your collection.  Another benefit of buying from a local retailer is that  you don’t have to pay for shipping.

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And if you are looking for a favorite charm from the past that might have been discontinued from our line, call around to a few brick and mortar Mom and Pop stores to see if they have it in stock. Often you can find special charms that aren’t available from an online store.

As you already know, getting your hands on Pick Up Sticks is a satisfying shopping experience – they’re even better in person than in these pictures!

You can always go to our website and find a store carrying Pick Up Sticks near you.  Or check out the links in the column on the left of this blog post – we’ve been pleased to link to several retailers who asked to be included here.

Happy shopping. If you already have a favorite Pick Up Sticks retail store, let us know who they are so we can give them a shout out on our Facebook page.

If all your best efforts to find a local retailer are unsuccessful, suggest to your favorite store owners that they carry the line.  And finally, if all else fails, or if you’re living in a remote area that only the UPS guy can find, you’re welcome to shop the Pick Up Sticks retail website.

Facebook Giveaway a/k/a “Are You Feeling Lucky?”

St. Patrick’s Day. The holiday that gives you the excuse to wear green, drink green beer, try out your incredibly lame Irish accent, and brag about your very distant and possibly fabricated Irish lineage.

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As you’ve probably gathered from our Halloween posts, we love ourselves a goofy holiday at Pick Up Sticks. So much, in fact, that we design jewelry that commemorates the alleged luck that comes with being Irish and St. Paddy’s Day in general.

And because of all that affection for green and the possibility of being pinched and luck in general, we decided a Facebook contest was in order. Did we say we also love a contest?

Here’s the scoop – if you’re not already following us on Facebook, we’d be quite pleased to have you as a fan.  Find our Facebook page here.  Check out this week’s post on our contest.  Share the post and then comment to let us know you’re shared it and you’re immediately in the running for the necklace shown here.

We’ll randomly draw a winner’s name on March 4.  So HURRY!  Get your name in the proverbial (cyber) hat.

Because we think luck isn’t just for the Irish and it isn’t just for St. Patrick’s Day.  We figure you’re probably a Lucky Girl every single day of the year.  And Lucky Girls need jewelry to show the world just how lucky they are.

Plus, if green isn’t necessarily your color, this necklace will ward off all pinching on the day in question.

Can’t wait to see you on Facebook. . .

Pick Up Sticks Retailer of the Month – French Market

After a Retailer of the Month is chosen, we send them an e-mail with a list of questions, asking that they take a minute to answer those questions and then send us back a few photos of their store as well as Pick Up Sticks in their store.  It’s a pretty straight-forward process – tell us about your store and tell us what makes Pick Up Sticks work for you.  We want two things:  to give our retailers a high-five and some free publicity for being so enthusiastic about Pick Up Sticks, and to give you, our other retailers, relevant information on how to best market the product.

But sometimes there’s a hidden benefit.  Sometimes in researching our retailers, we find inspiration in how they’ve set up their retail business and promoted themselves.  Which is exactly what happened this month while checking out the French Market and Tavern’s website and Facebook page.

French Market and Tavern, 3840 Hwy 42, Locust Grove, Georgia is touted as South Atlanta’s hottest casual dining spot, and “whether you eat, drink or shop, French Market is the destination place to be.”  What this month’s retailer has done is to very successfully use the internet to entice a wide range of potential shoppers into their space.  Certainly after checking out their website, we were dying to spend a lunch hour at French Market and then an afternoon shopping in the gift shop.

They’re located in the old Gardner Hardware Store, a building dating back to 1906.  Lauren describes their store as a “rustic version of Pottery Barn,” and it looks like she and her husband combined his New Orleans love of food with her love of design in a very appealingly eclectic way.

Here’s what they had to say about Pick Up Sticks:  They love the flexibility in design, and they suggest that you display everything at eye level, with the jewelry set out in a way that allows your shoppers to touch and turn the charms over.  Lauren suggests that your salespeople comment on the uniquely personal ways in which Pick Up Sticks can be added to a piece of jewelry, in essence telling a customer’s story. And she says that she loves that the line keeps people in the store for an extended period of time, searching through charms to find exactly the right initial or charm.

French Market does a great job of retailing Pick Up Sticks. But the bigger take-away here may be that French Market does a great job of promoting their entire business on the web. Their Facebook page is an example of how to use that medium to get buyers in the door.  Frequent posts, gorgeous photos, incentives to customers for checking in. . .this is all textbook stuff on how to grow your community and following.

We applaud French Market on being our Retailer on the Month for July.  They’re doing a great job selling Pick Up Sticks, and as you can see from the photos, the displays make the jewelry very accessible and enticing to the customer. But even better, they’re doing a great job of creating an atmosphere that buyers want to experience.

Next time we’re in Atlanta, we’re putting a visit to French Market on our bucket list. Their website makes our mouths water.  And we plan to follow them on Facebook to get ideas from their very successful social media strategy. Want to join us?

Pick Up Sticks Mentors Part II: Carol the Seaglass Girl

Here’s the second in our series on the folks who have been such incredible mentors to us over the years.  As we said in our post about Hondo and Alice, we never could have been so successful without the help of our fellow artists.  Carol Hall (we’ve always just called her “Carol the Seaglass Girl”) was one of the first people we met at the Atlanta show at AmericasMart.

Carol Hall and her beautiful daughter, Rowan

Back in the day when we really had no idea what terms like “net 30” and “lead time” and “minimum order” meant, Carol sat across the aisle and gave us great tips.  She shared show stories and advice on where to spend our market booth budget wisely.  And she told us hilarious tales about how much fun this life would be once we figured out what we were doing.  When we asked her to write a bit about our relationship, she totally skipped the details about herself and her fun jewelry and only wrote about Pick Up Sticks.

A pair of Carol's seaglass earrings. Find them and more at http://www.seaglass.us/

Our advice to you?  Check out these photos of Carol’s beautiful seaglass creations and then check out her website at http://www.seaglass.us/.  You can also follow her on Facebook.  It’s a totally different look from Pick Up Sticks, but we love Carol’s jewelry!

Here’s what Carol had to say about Pick Up Sticks:

“I can’t remember the first time I met the Pick Up Sticks girls, and I’m not sure any of us want to mark that many years going by, for the sake of our own vanity. We clicked so fast it feels like I’ve known them forever. I do vividly remember the first time I introduced my daughter, Rowan, to them.

She was about 12 and knew their work from seeing it scattered throughout my enormous jewelry box, and from having a few special pieces of her own. She loved the eclectic, glamorous aesthetic, that felt like they had been made for her, so she was excited to meet the two girls that she believed personally created her entire jewelry wardrobe.

Little did Rowan know that Glenna and Sabrina are as fun and beguiling as their work. We were at a trade show (an important working event for both the Pick Up Sticks Girls and myself, where we meet our clients and write orders for the coming season). I thought we would dash by for a quick meet and greet.

Rowan modeling her Mother's seaglass jewelry

The introduction quickly turned into a “Rowan, come by the booth at the end of the day and hang with us!” And “hanging” turned into exploring through all their beautiful jewelry, and exploring turned into Rowan, Glenna, and Sabrina playing dress up; wearing more necklaces than I would have thought possible and still looking effortlessly fun.

My daughter is 18 now, but she, the girls, and I still make time to “hang out” during every show. Dress up with Sabrina and Glenna after long days of work is always the best!

One of our favorite pieces from Carol's collection - the Coca-Cola bracelet

I have always been smitten with the loving relationship the girls have with each other, and how that translates into jewelry that feels so personal. Their designs have always spoken to a desire to express individuality – revealing unexpected choices by layering designs or finding hidden messages on the backs of pendants, and combining simple style with over the top bling.

There is joy in their work and in their working together as soul sisters. I can remember being across from them at shows and secretly desiring to be 6″ taller, blonde and have a buttery Texas Drawl. Ah, to be a Pick Up Sticks Girl…..

But that’s them. And isn’t it joyful that two girls so different than I am, can so effortlessly express what I want with their jewelry, and what a young girl wants, and so many others. They prove more than any artists I have met, that joyful work attracts people into your spin. I am lucky I was one of the many drawn to them!”

Awww!  Thanks Carol.  Your kind words bring tears to our eyes.  Can’t wait to see you down the aisle in New York soon!

Pick Up Sticks Display Ideas – D’Accord Boutique

D’Accord Boutique in Shepherdstown, WV (134 West German Street), was just one of the many Pick Up Sticks retailers who entered our display contest, but we found their bird house display one of the most unusual we’ve ever seen.  We’re thrift store and flea market junkies at Pick Up Sticks, and we love the idea of using found items to create displays. 

We were so intrigued with Debbie’s display for D’Accord that we asked her to give us some details.  Here’s what she said:

It was springtime, and we were enjoying an outdoor antique flea market.  In one of the booths, a vintage wooden birdcage caught our eye.  We began thinking of the Pick Up Sticks Display Contest, and thought it would be fun to display our charms in a birdcage. 

What a great way to display our bird-themed charms and trinkets.

After debating how to display the charms inside, we decided to hang them on  the outside with small clothespins.  We continued walking around the flea market, and began noticing a lot of small teal bottles at several booths.  We bought several, deciding to place them inside the birdcage to display our necklaces.  To complete the springtime display, we placed a decorative bird inside.”

Our customers often tell us of how much they enjoy our display.  It is one of the first things you see upon entering our store, and sits atop a jewelry case.  Several customers have told us that they love birds and birdcages, and that our display is what drew them into the store. Having our Pick Up Sticks display in a birdcage allows our customers to stop a while and peek inside before looking at our example necklaces in the jewelry case beneath.

Or the bird necklace. . .

We have found that the easiest way to sell Pick Up Sticks jewelry is to display them in a fun, cute manner and have many example necklaces present.  We have pieced together our necklaces to have certain themes, such as birds, bees, luck, royalty, flowers, and Paris. Since we are a French Boutique, our Paris themed necklace is the most popular, with some customers buying the chain and charms as a set rather than buying one of the charms on its own.”

Thanks Debbie, and thanks to D’Accord Boutique for so cleverly showing off
your Pick Up Sticks.  Find D’Accord’s website at http://daccordboutique.com/
or join them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DaccordBoutique.

For those of you who are still searching for the perfect Pick Up Sticks display idea, feel free to use Debbie’s.  Or stay tuned – we’ll be sharing more ideas from our display contest entrants in the weeks to come. 

Our best advice:  Do what Debbie did – keep your eyes peeled for great vintage finds at junk stores or flea markets (or in your grandmother’s barn. . .).  There’s no better way to display our vintage-themed charms.

ANOTHER PICK UP STICKS CONTEST – TELL US YOUR STORY!!

 

Glena and Sabrina, when their story was just beginning. . .

 We blog because we love a good story, and we figure you do too. Based on your comments and feedback, you love the stories of Glena and Sabrina when they were just getting started, how our retailers display their Pick Up Sticks, how we come up with new designs, and how the poodles make our lives complete.

But what we’ve found is that, most of all, you love stories about people just like you, how they wear their Pick Up Sticks (thanks Carly Cristman!) and how sometimes, if we’re really lucky, Pick Up Sticks has a small part in touching their lives (thanks Erika Martinez for your story – see at https://pickupsticksjewelry.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/desere-and-erika-an-amazing-pick-up-sticks-story/).

Erika and Desere

All of you may not have had the chance to read the post on Erika and her cousin Desere. But at the studio, we were inspired by Erika’s story of her love for her cousin and their deep bond. We were touched and grateful that we were able to share just a moment in their lives.

Based on the fact that everyone enjoys a great story, we’re having a “testimonial contest.”  Send us your best Pick Up Sticks story (please include photos or videos) to sabrina@pickupsticks.net by midnight on Christmas Eve and we’ll read them all and pick a winner.

If your story’s chosen as the winner, you’ll receive a charm and trinket of your choice on a stainless steel ball chain. We’ll also run your story on our blog and Facebook on January 5.  And because you all love stories so much, we’ll try to run several additional entries after we announce the winner.

Do you have a favorite Pick Up Sticks story? A moment between you and a sister, mother, daughter or best friend, when Pick Up Sticks helped make the moment more complete? Do you just want to say how much you love Pick Up Sticks (we’d be happy to hear it!) and send us a photo with your favorite necklace or bracelet? Do you have a favorite charm, and if so, why? Are you a retailer with a great customer story?

Stories. We’ve all got them. We’re betting your’s will make us proud to be a part of your life. We have great fun designing and selling our jewelry – getting to hear about how it fits into your day is icing on the cake.

Here’s the fine print:

THE RULES

Deadline: December 24, 2010, midnight

1. Who is eligible? Anyone! But please understand, if you win, we can only ship your prizes to United States or Canada. You may enter as many stories as you want, before the deadline.

2. What is eligible? All stories must be original.

3. What do I need to submit? Entries accepted via email only. High resolution images work best.  Please email images in a jpg format.

4. Where do I email the entries and who do I contact if I have questions? Sabrina@pickupsticks.net

You don’t have to purchase anything to win or participate. Internet access and valid e-mail address required. Void where prohibited. All entries must be received by December 24, 2010, 11:59 pm (MST).

When you submit a story, it means you have read and agree to the following:

Submissions must be the exclusive original work of the entrant. You must have the unrestricted right to provide this narrative. You guarantee that the submission does not infringe upon any third party’s proprietary, copyright or other rights.

You transfer to Pick Up Sticks all rights, title and interest in and to the stories you submit.

Pick Up Sticks reserves the right to alter any story submitted for the purpose of grammar, syntax, and spelling, in any way they see fit.

If you’re not the winner of the competition, you still grant Pick Up Sticks the right to use your story if they deem it appropriate.

You grant Pick Up Sticks the worldwide, perpetual right to use your name as the narrator of this story and winner of this contest, without approval or compensation.

Recession Proofing Your Business – Connecting with the Customer

 

The Lipstick Factor.  Price Point Matters.  Both are concepts that will hopefully help you figure out how to get through these interesting economic times with style, panache and success.  And both are concepts that we’ve blogged about recently. 

There’s more.  Of course, there’s always more.  There are a thousand ideas out there designed to make your retail space more appealing, telling you how to rearrange your displays, how to dress your windows, how to create an atmosphere that practically pulls the wallet out of the purse for the purchase.  We’ve been reading those, trying to glean the most relevant info just for you.  And we have a few ideas we’re going to pass along in our next “recession-proofing” post.

But you know what we think really matters?  You know what gets someone back over your threshold a second time?  The experts all say that the major reason customers return to a retailer is because they feel some sort of loyalty and emotional connection to you, your employees and your retail store.

The guy in the picture with all those adorable little girls is Glena and Sabrina’s grandfather, Perk Long, in front of his store in Ruidoso, New Mexico, in the 40’s.  The girls are Glena and Sabrina’s mothers and aunts.

It was easy for Perk to connect with his customers.  He ran a business in a small town where he knew all his customers by their first name and where they could gather around the store stove and drink coffee.  He knew their kids’ names, how their old daddy was doing, what color hat their wife wanted for her birthday.  Perk didn’t have a Wal-Mart or Target to compete with, but he still knew that speaking to customers and making them feel welcome was as important as finding the right size Levi’s for them.

But things are different today.  Connecting with your customers and staving off the competition is tougher than ever.  So how do you do it?

If you can somehow find a way to create an emotional connection, your customer’s loyalty to you and your store will be a foolproof way to get them to buy again and again.  Why go to Wal-Mart for gifts when they can come into your store, be noticed by you, have a salesperson point out something new in their favorite lines, and talk about something they just read on your Facebook page?

It’s no surprise that social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter are so popular, and growing by leaps and bounds. People want to feel a part of something.  They want to be recognized as unique at the same time that they want to feel like part of a group, a community.

Pick Up Sticks started a Facebook fan page and a blog almost a year ago with the primary goal being establishing a connection with you and your customers.  We want to know how you feel about our jewelry and our customer service.  We want your feedback.  We want to know who you are, and we want to link our website to yours so that customers who are loyal to Pick Up Sticks can then be loyal to you.

Encourage your customers to connect with Pick Up Sticks on Facebook.  Send them to our blog.  Let us add you to our blog website as a link, and in turn, you add us to your website as a link.  When we blog about new designs, post a photo on an information board in the store and let customers pre-order (actually having an information board is another great way to connect – it makes people feel like you’re letting them in on insider information).  Create your own Facebook page and share our fans.  Let us “like” you on our Facebook page, and do the same for us.

And of course, do what Perk did.  Talk to them.  Try to learn their names.  Ask about their kids and their old daddy.  See what they like, and then when they come back, point them in the direction of something you think would be perfect for them.

Here’s what the experts say over and over: reward your customers for their loyalty and they’ll always choose you over the megastore.  An emotional connection is what tips the balance for customers.  And it makes showing up worthwhile for you and your sales staff – as trite as it may sound, we all feel better about our day when we’re making real connections with the people around us.

Thanks for connecting with us.  You’re the reason we show up at the studio every day, and you definitely make it worthwhile.

Published in: on October 20, 2010 at 9:30 am  Comments (1)  
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Word Candy Contest!

Welcome to the very first official contest on the Pick Up Sticks blog!  We’ve been working on several new word candy charms to add to the line this season, all of which will be available to order next month.   We want you to take a stab at guessing what words we’ve chosen to match the above image!

If you’re the first person to correctly guess the words on the back of this image, you’ll win the charm on a 20″ stainless ball chain necklace! 

The contest is also running on Facebook – check out our page there http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Pick-Up-Sticks-Jewelry-Company/372218491219?ref=ts to see the hillarious guesses we’ve received.  And no, the answer is not “Nice hooters,” although we find that response damn funny!

Published in: on April 21, 2010 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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New Mexico Girls in Cyberspace?

If you had asked us a year ago if we had a blog, we would have probably responded with a confused “Huh?” A year ago, Sabrina was listening to podcasts about artists and industry and Glena was just getting a Facebook account, but a BLOG? Really now people, isn’t designing and selling fun beautiful jewelry enough?

But it has quickly become clear that the very best way to help you, our customer, is to give you information. Lots of information. Information that you can then pass along to your retail customers and your collectors so that they will come back again and again for more Pick Up Sticks Jewelry.

Want to know the best way to use a jump ring? We’ll post a video on our blog for that. Want some great display ideas? You’ll be able to check out the blog. Want to know the newest designs before anyone else does? Yeah – you guessed it – we’ll post them here

We’ll give you the background stories for some of our charms – where the ideas came from, what the images means to us – so that you can pass that story along to your customer. Every customer wants to feel connected to whatever she’s buying or receiving as a gift, and if you can give her a story to tell when someone admires her jewelry, as well as a chance to tell her own story with specific charms, she’ll be hooked.

Most of all we want to hear from you – your comments and constructive criticism – when your thoughts come from an encouraging place in the spirit of collaboration, your input can only help us to be better designers and business owners.   If you have an idea for a contest, let us know.  We want our blog to be as much fun as buying our jewelry is for your customers! 

As a teaser, here’s an early look at one of the design sets Sabrina’s playing with – vintage, yet sassy zodiac charms.  She’ll be using something like this graphic (we’re in the very early stages here). . . and we’re open to any suggestions you might have about how best to design and sell this series of charms. 

Can’t wait to post our next entry. Talking to you in cyberspace is going to be so much more fun than we expected!

Published in: on February 19, 2010 at 7:34 pm  Comments (4)  
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