2017 Year-in-review

When I was younger I envisioned 2017 being a big year for me. I always felt in my soul it would be a pivotal year, that would mark a big event like marriage or the birth of a child. As I drew closer to 2017 I began to wonder what would happen because I became happily married in 2015 and my husband and I decided not to start our family yet.

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My intuition proved to be trustworthy because 2017 did not disappoint and granted me with countless milestones. The two major ones were taking the plunge to be self-employed and becoming a home-owner! 

The following is a list of 17 business and personal highlights from 2017!

1.  Made my first gold ring.

2. Made my first wedding ring which led to many more throughout the year!

3. Was a seasonal vendor at the Whistler Farmers Market - one of the biggest in the province!

4. I travelled to California to see my best friend get married.

5. I was able to watch a beautiful and inspiring couple marry each other with rings I made! This particular moment was never on my bucket list until it happened. It was so rewarding to see my work fulfilling its purpose.

6. Made many new friends who I know will be in my life for a long time. 

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7. I created a Limited Edition Canada 150 necklace which was approved by the Government of Canada. 

8. Travelled to many new places and ticked Tahoe, Crater Lake and Sunshine Coast off my bucket list. 

9. I spent most of the first month of being self-employed travelling! I was able to experience a summer and still make an income thanks to a few days at the Whistler Farmers Market.

10. I gained so many special clients who wholeheartedly believe in me and my work.

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11. I was apart of the engagement of two good friends. He chose to ask the question with my Northern Lights ring. 

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12. Moved from Whistler, BC to Big White Ski Resort.

13. I became a home-owner with my husband.

14. We tried adopting a dog which led to an important lesson in humility. It was hard to "fail" at our trial and return the dog, but made us realize that weren't ready. You can't force something when it's not meant to be. 

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15. I made my first men's yellow and rose gold wedding ring.

16. I added to my wholesale accounts. Scenic Route Collection jewellery is now available in 7 boutiques throughout British Columbia and Alberta. 

17. I conquered my first official holiday season and surpassed my goals! I was able to say yes to almost every opportunity and have no regrets!

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I don't know about you, but it was a little sad saying goodbye to such a fulfilling year. But it does get me excited for the opportunities and adventures that are before me in 2018.

Thanks so much for reading. I wish you all the best this year!

 

Cheers,

Brittani

Scenic Route Collection's 1st Anniversary

A year ago today I packed up my things from the jewellery studio at Kootenay Studio Arts and said goodbye to the most stretching and rewarding 10 months of my life! I've decided to use this date as the rebirth of Scenic Route Collection because I finally had the skills needed to turn my passion into my career.  

 At the Year End Show and Sale at KSA in 2016

At the Year End Show and Sale at KSA in 2016

The truth is that Scenic Route Collection has been in the works since 2013. It stared out as my bookbinding hobby, but I quickly added items like crochet toques, lace circle scarves, wire wrapped rings and assembled necklaces. I was making these items and attending Christmas markets all while working full-time at a very unaccommodating and draining job. My intention was the make it on my own with these crafts of mine, but unfortunately it never amounted to much. Just enough to have a free hobby essentially.

Stressed out and uninspired, I knew I had to make a change. Shortly after my passion for handcrafted jewellery was sparked while scrolling Instagram of all things! I discovered I could learn how to make pieces I could proudly say was made entirely by hand. I'd always enjoyed assembling necklaces and pendants, but I knew I didn't possess the skills to make items from scratch. So after some searching, I came across the perfect school in the mountain town of Nelson, BC. However, as life sometimes goes, almost two years passed before I was actually attending my first class, but it was worth the wait. 

 Mt. Sneffels Key to Happiness Pendant

Mt. Sneffels Key to Happiness Pendant

As I sit here looking back on my first official year in business, I am astonished by all that I have accomplished. When I went into the program at KSA, I honestly didn't expect half the things that have happened. I am now selling my work in four Canadian shops and that number is growing every month! I also made my first gold wedding ring and countless other custom pieces for people throughout North America. I am so honoured that individuals keep choosing me with such important parts of their lives! It truly is a testament that great things come from humble beginnings and I am so thankful for mine because it allows me to appreciate everything I've worked for.

Of course none of this could be possible without the support of my amazing mountain loving customers! I am so thankful for the amazing people who trust me to make them meaningful and original pieces. To show my gratitude, I'm having a sale! For the next 3 days you'll be able to receive 15% off all items* in my Etsy Shop. Use code HAPPY15 at the check out to receive 15% off, now through till 11:59 PST on June 21th, 2017. It's a great time to grab some jewellery for all of your summer adventures. Shop now.

Happy adventuring!

-Brittani


*not eligible towards custom work

 

 

 

Happy Endings

At the end of my 10-month jewelry program at Kootenay Studio Arts, my classmates and I organized a year-end show and sale in late June. This was the first time any of us had our student work displayed for the public to view and purchase. The two-day event brought in many people from Nelson and the surrounding community. I really enjoyed getting to talk about my work and passion with everyone who cared to listen. What amazed me most was how much people care about my story and why I do the things I do! I guess looking back on it now, it’s really no surprise my first sale was because of my honest retelling of a how a certain little pair of earrings came to be. 

 No two are alike, just as in nature.

No two are alike, just as in nature.

I didn't plan on ever telling customers about my disappointing failure. You see, I had this awesome design; a spinner ring with trees pierced in the band and a thin wire ring with a mountains spinning around the outside. After making a sample and consulting my peers, I said to myself, "You HAVE to make three of them in different sizes because, let's face it, everyone's going to want one!" So I set out determined to meet my goal. I worked through the steps just as I did with the sample and it was all going smoothly until I was on the final step of the last ring. I went to flare the edges and CRACK, my solder seam ripped! I can’t remember the exact details, but I'm sure I fumed, swore a little then walked away from it.

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...a spinner ring with trees pierced in the band and a thin wire ring with mountains spinning around the outside.
 

I'm a pretty stubborn person at times, so I didn't give up. I knew something could be salvaged. It was clear I didn't have a clean solder seam, so I cut the rest of it open and went to town filing and sanding it to perfection. I kid you not, when I was done with it, there was NO light trying to sneak through the seam. I made sure the ring was clean and oil free before soldering it closed once again. I even did a little sacrifice to the solder gods! I didn't really, but in hindsight maybe I should. The ring was ready to go, nothing was going to set me back and it didn't! It soldered perfectly. After a little happy dance, I went back to the bench and prepared it for the final stage once more. 

You're probably wondering what I'm building up to, or have you figured it out? Did the solder seam cooperate when I flared the ring, making this a story about perseverance? Or did it snap? Well, something snapped when the ring split! It was me. I grabbed the ring, sawed open the rest of the seam and with the frustration of ten elephants I took a rawhide mallet and pounded it flat. I didn't care what happened just as long as it knew how I felt...

Once my little moment was over I took the long, tree pierced piece of silver and examined it. I thought to myself there had to be something usable in it, so I began by separating the little trees from each other with my saw. Once they were in individual pieces, it came to me. Earrings!

I was so proud of myself in that moment.
 The fruits of my happy accident!

The fruits of my happy accident!

I quickly made two ear wires, drilled holes in the trees, assembled the pieces and tried them on. They were perfect! I was so proud of myself in that moment. I took something that appeared to be a lost cause and made in into what is now a customer favourite! Who would have known telling the story of how they came to be would lead to my first sale and get the ball rolling?