Stephanie Maslow-Blackman The Value of Handcrafted Art I think, if anything, this year has shown us the value that artists and craftspeople add to the world. It was the craftspeople that stepped up and helped with the PPE shortage and helped make masks for others. It was artists that helped to entertain us on the days that were bleak this Spring. It was artists and entrepreneurs who donated their art and products and profits to the movements fighting for justice. The artists and small businesses know what struggle is, we live it every day to make a living for ourselves and our families-- to make an impact on our communities and the world. We bring beauty, joy, peace and change with our work. We help others express their inner selves, their thoughts, and how they want to show up in the world. We are a reflection of society and the customers we serve.It's impossible to live without creatives in our lives because creativity lives inside each one of us.So, when we look at the value of handcrafted - specifically jewelry, I'm talking about all the people that make beautiful things happen. Be it miners, stone cutters, designers, setters, polishers, casters, or administrative staff. Your jewelry goes through many human hands before it's in yours.  Since you're already here, you know the value of handcrafted vs mass produced jewelry and you probably already have some knowledge of how labor intensive it is to make pieces by hand with love, rather than mass producing pieces in factories for profit only.You also know, that this means you can have a piece made for you that is 100% custom made for you and you can make adjustments and design alterations, or even design your own ring with me. Together. ❤️When you buy from an artist, and my business, you can feel good, knowing that you have bought a piece of jewelry that is ethical - in many number of ways:I use recycled metals in all of my piecesI pay my employees living wages and this is how I support my family. I've been making jewelry for over 20 years and I guarantee the craftswomanship of my jewelry is unlike anything you've seen. You know that when you purchase my work, you are supporting real people and families here in the USI work directly with small batch, family-owned casters and metalsmiths who adhere to our strict environmental and sustainability standards. Although keeping production in NYC means that our production costs are higher, we are committed to supporting the local economy - and recognize that these costs enable us to pay fair wages to our employees.We only work with gemstone cutters from the American Gem Trade Association because they have developed the industry’s strictest and most comprehensive Code of Ethics and Fair Business Practices. AGTA members invest in the communities that produce gemstones, support individuals whose lives have been impacted by the gem trade, and cooperate with foreign governments to improve working conditions.Whilst we're on the subject of value and ethics, I wanted to share what Metalicious as a company stands for:Giving back to the communityIn 2019, I achieved my goal (and surpassed it) of raising $30,000 for City Harvest in NYC. This is a charity that is so close to my heart. And right now, City Harvest is providing much needed food for families that have lost their income. I get choked up just thinking about it-- many of these kids go to school with my kids. And by contributing to City Harvest we're helping these kids and their families. Supporting local small businesses in NYCThe majority of businesses in the Diamond District in NYC are small sole proprietor businesses that employ staff that hail from all different backgrounds. Jewelry making, stone setting, polishing, casting etc, are typically low paid jobs even though they require a skillset that not many have-- passed down through generations of families.So, by buying from me, you are helping to keep these small businesses afloat as well as keeping people employed and paid fairly.Employ locallyMetalicious has employed women and men directly to help out at my studio with everything from bench work to shipping your orders. Small businesses like mine created 1.5 million jobs annually here in the US which contributes to our overall economy. My staff are truly the nicest people and I am lucky to get to work with them. We are like family and I'm grateful to get to work with them (and I can't wait until we can work in the same space again!).Use ethical gemstone sourcingYou probably know by now that 'I don't do diamonds', so that means researching and sourcing ethical gemstones, from garnets to diamonds, emeralds to rubies and using lab created gemstones. You can read more about my ethical sourcing here. It has taken me years to find gemstone cutters that I trust. And I'm so happy to support their small businesses across the globe.Use recycled metals where possibleOne of the local businesses that I use in the Diamond District in NYC is a casting house that only use recycled metals. That means that they melt down pre-existing metals, rather than mining for metal in the ground. You can read more about that here.  I'm truly grateful to have a sustainable, ethical jewelry company that strives to do good in the world. Thank you for standing with me and supporting true artists, true handmade and for taking time to be with me on this journey. You are the heart of my business. 

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The Value of Handcrafted Art

Posted on September 02 2020

I think, if anything, this year has shown us the value that artists and craftspeople add to the world.

It was the craftspeople that stepped up and helped with the PPE shortage and helped make masks for others. It was artists that helped to entertain us on the days that were bleak this Spring. It was artists and entrepreneurs who donated their art and products and profits to the movements fighting for justice. 

The artists and small businesses know what struggle is, we live it every day to make a living for ourselves and our families-- to make an impact on our communities and the world. 

We bring beauty, joy, peace and change with our work. We help others express their inner selves, their thoughts, and how they want to show up in the world. We are a reflection of society and the customers we serve.

It's impossible to live without creatives in our lives because creativity lives inside each one of us.

So, when we look at the value of handcrafted - specifically jewelry, I'm talking about all the people that make beautiful things happen. Be it miners, stone cutters, designers, setters, polishers, casters, or administrative staff. Your jewelry goes through many human hands before it's in yours.

Wax Carving  Wax Carving Tools

Since you're already here, you know the value of handcrafted vs mass produced jewelry and you probably already have some knowledge of how labor intensive it is to make pieces by hand with love, rather than mass producing pieces in factories for profit only.

You also know, that this means you can have a piece made for you that is 100% custom made for you and you can make adjustments and design alterations, or even design your own ring with me. Together. ❤️

Stephanie sketching your dream jewelry

When you buy from an artist, and my business, you can feel good, knowing that you have bought a piece of jewelry that is ethical - in many number of ways:

  • I use recycled metals in all of my pieces
  • I pay my employees living wages and this is how I support my family. I've been making jewelry for over 20 years and I guarantee the craftswomanship of my jewelry is unlike anything you've seen. You know that when you purchase my work, you are supporting real people and families here in the US
  • I work directly with small batch, family-owned casters and metalsmiths who adhere to our strict environmental and sustainability standards. Although keeping production in NYC means that our production costs are higher, we are committed to supporting the local economy - and recognize that these costs enable us to pay fair wages to our employees.
  • We only work with gemstone cutters from the American Gem Trade Association because they have developed the industry’s strictest and most comprehensive Code of Ethics and Fair Business Practices. AGTA members invest in the communities that produce gemstones, support individuals whose lives have been impacted by the gem trade, and cooperate with foreign governments to improve working conditions.

Rings in hands

Whilst we're on the subject of value and ethics, I wanted to share what Metalicious as a company stands for:

Giving back to the community
In 2019, I achieved my goal (and surpassed it) of raising $30,000 for City Harvest in NYC. This is a charity that is so close to my heart. And right now, City Harvest is providing much needed food for families that have lost their income. I get choked up just thinking about it-- many of these kids go to school with my kids. And by contributing to City Harvest we're helping these kids and their families. 

Raising Money for City Harvest

Supporting local small businesses in NYC
The majority of businesses in the Diamond District in NYC are small sole proprietor businesses that employ staff that hail from all different backgrounds. Jewelry making, stone setting, polishing, casting etc, are typically low paid jobs even though they require a skillset that not many have-- passed down through generations of families.
So, by buying from me, you are helping to keep these small businesses afloat as well as keeping people employed and paid fairly.

Casting at a casting house in NYC

Employ locally
Metalicious has employed women and men directly to help out at my studio with everything from bench work to shipping your orders. Small businesses like mine created 1.5 million jobs annually here in the US which contributes to our overall economy. My staff are truly the nicest people and I am lucky to get to work with them. We are like family and I'm grateful to get to work with them (and I can't wait until we can work in the same space again!).

Stephanie and Jo

Use ethical gemstone sourcing
You probably know by now that "I don't do diamonds", so that means researching and sourcing ethical gemstones, from garnets to diamonds, emeralds to rubies and using lab created gemstones. You can read more about my ethical sourcing here. It has taken me years to find gemstone cutters that I trust. And I'm so happy to support their small businesses across the globe.

Gemstones

Use recycled metals where possible
One of the local businesses that I use in the Diamond District in NYC is a casting house that only use recycled metals. That means that they melt down pre-existing metals, rather than mining for metal in the ground. You can read more about that here.

Recycled Metals 

 

I'm truly grateful to have a sustainable, ethical jewelry company that strives to do good in the world. 

Thank you for standing with me and supporting true artists, true handmade and for taking time to be with me on this journey. You are the heart of my business.

 

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