Frequently Asked Questions
Do you accept custom orders? TOP
Yes, Mother's and Grandmother's bracelets are naturally custom orders. I am also happy to work with you on other custom requests for particular styles and colors with a deposit made in advance.
Do you offer wholesale discounts? TOP
My first priority is to my individual customers. Should a boutique or gallery be interested in carrying my work, I am happy to discuss that on a case by case basis.
What are your shipping timeframes and charges? TOP
If you complete your purchase with Paypal, I make every attempt to get your order out the next business day. Personal checks require a 10-day clearing period. All domestic orders are shipped Priority Mail with delivery confirmation for $5.25 or First Class with delivery confirmation for $3. Contact me for international mail rates to your home.
What payment methods do you accept? TOP
I prefer Paypal as that lets me ship your order to you much more quickly, most often the next day. I also accept cashier's check, money order, or personal check with a 10-clearing period. If paying by check, I will contact you following your purchase with mailing details.
What if I am not satisfied with my purchase? TOP
Of course, I want you to be happy! If your purchase does not fit properly, I can resize it at no charge. If you simply are not happy with your selection once you receive it, I will refund your money, less shipping charges, upon receipt of the returned merchandise. You have 10 days from date of delivery to return.
What materials do you use in your creations? TOP
Good question and one that counts! I use only the highest quality materials, including sterling silver, fine silver, and Thai silver, 14K gold-fill, 14K gold, and 22K gold vermeil. What does all this mean? Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper; fine silver is 99.9% silver, which is what remains when working with precious metal clays; and Thai silver is 97% silver with 3% copper. Thai silver beads are all individually handmade by the hill tribe groups of Thailand, who produce absolutely gorgeous silver pieces. I never use simple silver plated materials, which is usually a microscopic layer of sterling silver plated over base brass. As for the gold? You know what 14K gold is, so I can skip that one! 14K gold-fill is pure 14K gold plated over another alloy, usually brass. Gold-filled components are typically plated to 1/20, which means that the pure gold in the component makes up a minimum of 1/20 of the entire piece. Gold-filled components hold up very well and should not be confused with gold-plated, which tends to turn and rub off fairly easily. 14K gold-filled components are a good quality option to the much higher priced 14K gold. 22K gold vermeil is 22K gold plated over a core of solid sterling silver. Vermeil also holds up very well and tends to be a bit brighter gold than 14K gold-filled. Bali and Turkish silver fall under the sterling silver category and include the intricately detailed silver beads you will see in my work.
As for the color, I absolutely love handmade lampwork, detailed further in another section of my FAQs. I also use Swarovski crystal and glass pearls, freshwater pearls, Czech crystal and precious and semi-precious natural gemstones. The description for each of my pieces always includes what was used in that particular piece.
What is lampwork? TOP
Lampwork refers to handmade artisan glass beads, which I am completely addicted to! They are made by melting glass using a torch and wrapping the melted glass around a metal stick called a mandrel. Using various colors of glass and different winding and pressing techniques, the variety of beads that can be produced by lampworking is endless. Each bead is its own work of art.
What categories of jewelry are available on the market today? TOP
While there are dozens of minor categories of jewelry, they all fall into three basic categories: fine jewelry, costume jewelry, and bridge jewelry.
Fine jewelry consists of hand- and machine- made pieces using pure gold, carat golds, platinum, and fine and sterling silver. This category can include anything from your basic wedding ring or 14K gold rope bracelet on up to your high end pure gold and platinum pieces you find at fine jewelers like Harry Winston and Fred Leighton.
Costume jewelry is the other end of the spectrum. Costume jewelry pieces are mass-produced and are primarily done in plated materials, though some of your nicer department stores will carry some costume lines in sterling. The beads used in costume jewelry are also mass-produced, primarily in China and India, as is the jewelry.
Bridge jewelry falls in the middle of the two and is where I fit in. The main characteristic of bridge jewelry is the individually hand-made artisan nature of it--in both the jewelry piece itself and in the beads used to build it. It is not mass-produced, nor imported, but rather individually handmade by a skilled artisan who takes pride in each piece. Bridge jewelry includes higher quality materials like sterling and fine silver, 14K gold-filled and occasionally 14K gold, top-quality crystal like Swarovski, and handmade artisan beads. Many bridge jewelers also like to form pieces from precious metal wire, like my bangles and wire-wrapped pieces.
Each type of jewelry has its place. Who doesn't dream of wearing a beautiful platinum and gold piece on their wedding day? And we all need quick and dirty costume pieces to match a fun outfit. Bridge jewelry brings you the best of both worlds--it combines the artisan and high quality nature of fine jewelry with the fun of everyday costume jewelry.
How do you price your work? TOP
This is always the hardest part of jewelry design. There is a formula that calls for pricing jewelry pieces at three times the cost of the materials included plus $20 for each hour it took to create the piece. Most of the time, in my opinion I feel that that price works up a little too high, so very rarely do I follow that formula. I fully believe in my work and take pride in the quality I put in each piece, yet, I want my pieces to be affordable. For that reason, I feel that my work is VERY reasonably priced considering the high quality materials and hand-made American craftsmanship you are receiving. Additionally, the precious metals market flucuates daily just as the Dow and the NASDEQ do, and sterling silver, like gold, is considered a precious metal. Keeping that in mind, my prices may fluctuate from time to time based on the materials market. One thing to note: there has been a very large influx in foreign buy-sell in the jewelry market. This means that jewelry sellers (those who do not design and create their own work) buy ready-made pieces from overseas and sell them here in the States for a nice markup. More power to them, if that is their niche; there is certainly a market for everyone. Just remember that in all things, you get what you pay for. There is a big difference in buy-sell jewelry and artisan jewelry handcrafted by American designers.
Thanks for asking! I worry about this stuff when I shop online, too! My website host and I have done our very best to ensure the privacy and security of your transactions. Your personal data will be treated with the highest standards of security and confidentiality. Happy Shack Designs is committed to ensuring your privacy as a customer, but if you have any questions, please contact me at 904-705-8440 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where did the name "Happy Shack Designs" come from? TOP
Honestly, it just popped in my head one day. I'm a very laid-back kinda girl and I didn't want anything too stuffy for the name of my business. I love color, and being a Florida native, have spent my entire life living less than an hour from the beach. (Right now, we are only eight minutes away!) My design style also tends to be a little more on the 'fun' side, so I think the name fit.