Last week, friends, I had the chance to interview Rachel, whose love of color, fashion and art inspired her shop, Saressa Designs. Rachel loves designing for weddings, and she firmly believes that jewelry is a fun way to express yourself. She even began making jewelry as a child, fashioning baubles from old pieces and fishing lines her parents gave her. Read on for more of her creative insights... xoxo

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So tell me a bit about you and your shop.
I design wire-wrapped gemstone jewelry using sterling silver, 14K gold filled, 14K rose gold filled and brass. Though I mainly focus on precious/semiprecious gemstones, I also incorporate some Swarovski Crystal and glass from time to time as well as a few unique or vintage pieces. Most of my designs are simple, clean and versatile -- making them great for everyday wear. I love what I do, and I adore each and every customer that passes through my shop.

What inspired you to start the shop?
I have been a DIY-er my entire life, and that included making my own jewelry or modifying jewelry that I received growing up. What inspired me to start my own shop first was the encouragement of others. Honest support from others is a powerful tool...especially for those of us who are shy about putting our work out there. My kids really are what brought me out of the woodwork, though. Becoming a mother has made me much more brave.

What's your best piece of advice for people looking for great online shopping deals?
This is a hard question as for me... the specific product I’m looking for changes up my shopping style. For products from larger companies that are able to mass produce, I have to confess I hit ebay a lot. I’m a mom who doesn’t really have disposable income, but one thing I can’t skimp on is skincare. Dermalogica is one of the only lines that really works for my skin, and I have found the best prices on ebay (shipping included). I do spend time comparing, though, and do a good 30 minutes of searching before I buy. Finding great prices takes time (for me anyway).
In this recession economy, what are some ways people can still look chic for less?
One of my favorite ways to get a chic look for less is to visit Forever21. You can find great pieces there, no matter your age, for a good price. You just have to be willing to spend some time there and try on lots of stuff. As for jewelry, if you like the look of real gemstones and handmade, look for brass pieces. Brass is less expensive than sterling silver or gold filled, so you can find some really great pieces for less and still enjoy the quality of handmade. Lastly, I think taking good care of yourself is where style starts. Keep a good skin- and hair-care regimen. There are lots of great ideas online to keep both looking great for a low cost. For example, I am a HUGE fan of lemon juice and baking soda for an exfoliator. It works great, and I have very picky skin.

What is your favorite item in your shop and why?
This is such a hard question too. My favorite tends to shift a lot, but right now I would choose any item made with rose gold, like the garnet necklace, above. It’s my sister’s fault! :)


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