Jewelry and More by Kat: Designer and daughter offer bounty of beautiful, affordable wares

Posted by: Justine Benstead

Karen from Jewelry and More by Kat.Take a moment to browse the pages at Jewelry and More by Kat on the newly revamped iCraftGifts.com, and don’t be surprised if your visit lasts a lot longer than you anticipated. With 256 items and a variety of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, plasterware, and much more to choose from, the hobby shop is more like a full-fledged business. See a screenshot of just a few of the wares on the left.

“Welcome to my shop!” ‘Kat’ writes, “filled with products for all to enjoy.”

And she really means all. One of the shop owner’s goals is to create beautiful jewelry that is also affordable:

“My products are handmade, so no two are alike, each one is unique. I choose less expensive materials so that everyone can afford the fun and joy of items that ‘look’ expensive.”

If the material costs are less, the finished result is more. Artful designs like the 'Candy Apple' red beaded bracelet pictured below look expensive and original.

“Bracelets are my passion!” says Jewelry and More by Kat shop owner Karen. Together, she and her daughter work to create the bracelets and other one-of-a-kind items for sale in her store: “My daughter has wire wrapped jewelry in my shop. Candy Apple red beaded braceletTogether, we show at craft fairs and home jewelry parties. The parties are fun!”

Further reading: Local Craft Festival Photo Journal: Fairs Combine Business and Pleasure

Q & A with Karen of 'Jewelry and More by Kat'

Tell us a little about how you came to be an artist, selling your work here on iCraft?

“Through the years, I created many things as gifts for family and friends. They always said I should sell it.  But with a busy life as a bank head teller, single mom and foster mom- there was never time. I always had a house full of kids, kids - maybe that is why I give my jewelry names! 

Anyway, now that I'm retired, I have lots of time. Online is the way to reach all kinds of people and so I found iCraft.”

wire wrapped turquoise stone pendant on black string- necklace
What inspires you most to create?

“I see an ordinary item and envision a finished piece. It's the thrill of bringing life to that item that brings me joy and the hope and anticipation of a customer finding that same joy in it too.”

Who do you envision buying your work? (i.e., what type of girl/woman is she?)

“That ordinary, everyday, hardworking woman.  I feel this but don't know how to say: someone who doesn't have the means to buy the expensive stuff. I am the Walmart in a world of stores.”

You work across a lot of different platforms. What are your favorite mediums to work with?

“I have crocheted and painted ceramic for 40 years, but my all time favorite is my jewelry.  Beads, chains and sad, broken and old jewelry all inspire me. I love to make something old-new again.”

Do you have a preferred color palette when creating?

“I try to use all colors but I seem to tend toward shades of blue and turquoise.”"love cats" blue plasterware patchwork cats, pair

With pieces like the turquoise bead necklace pictured above and blue plasterware patchwork cats pictured to the right, it’s easy to see why.

Do you use social media to promote your work? Which ones, and why?

“I use Facebook. We show at craft fairs and I am starting home jewelry parties.”

Learn more about social media and crafting here.

What do you feel is the most challenging thing about being a crafter?

“My challenge is physical. I have hand tremors and handling the small tools and small objects is definitely interesting and time consuming. But the satisfaction and pride are great!”

Despite physical setbacks and a lifetime of caring for others, Karen still devotes her time now that she is retired to doing things to create joy in other people.

"Owl Fun" beaded turquoise semiprecious gemstone necklace
What do you feel is the most rewarding thing about being a crafter?

“Jewelry brings me joy but my customer’s feedback, compliments and smiles are my biggest reward.”

What piece or accomplishment (within the craft world) are you most proud of?

“I have many favorites but I have a fondness for my owl necklace (pictured to the left). With those eyes, he is unique and fun.”

If you could give a new crafter one piece of advice, what would it be?

“Be patient with your new adventure and always go with your gut instinct.”

What are some of the unique challenges you have faced as a crafter? Success stories? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Photo Credits: Jewelry and More by Kat

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Justine Benstead
Tampa, FL, US

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