My Ah-Ha Moment

****Caution**** The below post contains a few choice words. If you're easily offended by stuff  like this, then please don't read any further.


So, I'm reading InStyle Magazine the other day - the April issue with the funny and ever-so-gorgeous Sofia Vergara on the cover.   I land on page 177 and start reading
'Designer One-on-One' featuring

Les Arts Decoratifs

There's this picture of Marc in the upper right hand corner of the article with a quote from him that stopped me dead in my tracks. 

Marc Jacobs - via Pinterest - Lane Brooks/Packaging Men

It goes like this: "Be open! If you dress to suit you mood - as you should - you don't need a signature look."
~ Marc Jacobs, InStyle Magazine, April 2012 ~

Marc Jacobs

Finally I saw in writing something I had felt in my heart for-EVER! 

Only, here's what I heard in my head and my heart when I read his quote:

"If you design jewelry to fit your mood - as you SHOULD - you don't need a signature style!"

Wow,...that's some powerful stuff right there, baby!!

 Thank you Marc Jacobs!! 

Most of the experts will tell you that you have to pick a "Style" and focus on that. You know, design with a certain set of materials and create a "cohesive look and feel" to your designs so that when people see your 'stuff' they know - with out a doubt - that it's yours.

Make sure people can recognize YOU in your designs. 

Shit, I don't recognize me in my designs - how can everyone else? 

It's excellent advice I know, and maybe I put too much thought into it, but when people ask me to describe my style I sit there with a blank stare on my face. 

That's like the hardest question on the planet for me.  

And you know why?

Because most jewelry designers I know DO have a specific style. They've got their vintage, steampunk, rocker, eclectic, romantic, boho-chic, organic, spunky style down to a perfect "T". 

And me,...well I kinda feel like my ass is just 
flappin' in the wind.


Until I read that quote by Marc Jacobs and my muse, God, the Universe, my soul - whatever it was - spoke to me, I felt like I was just 'hanging-out' with out a clue in the world and that I had to fit into some nice, neat, itty-bitty, little category that was already defined for me.  

I kept thinking,..."Well, I must be doing this all wrong if I don't have a specific style or certain design category that I fit into. I better decide on one and start going in that direction."

And then I'd sit there. Unable to design. Unable to create. Unable to be motivated or inspired. Unable to be me. 

If I choose something for the sake of choosing, or for marketing purposes or because other folks think it's something I'd be good at,
it will be forced and fake.

I cannot pigeon-hole myself into a design category or style.

I don't want to.

I want to create whatever it is I'm drawn too.

I want to create for whatever mood I feel today.

I love vintage things,...don't really make 'em that often,...but I love looking at them and drooling over them. I love steampunk stuff, and rocker things. I love eclectic, organic, rustic and boho-chic things to the MAX.  I have a bit of a romantic side,...every now and then,...and I can be sort of spunky when I feel like it, too.

I have bits and pieces of all those things inside of me. I have lots of different sides, lots of different moods and lots of different styles that I love to create and let come out. 

I love a ton of different music and I like to dance to all of it! 

My inner child likes to play 'dress-up".

I dress pretty casual and have a rather simple wardrobe and so jewelry is how I express my moods and the various styles that I like - all of them!

No, my designs do not all look alike. 

They don't all have the same colors (well, sometimes they do!),  they don't all use the same materials and they certainly don't all have the same style - not in the least!   

They are quality - that's one common thread.

At least that's what my clients tell me.

Pot-Pouri?  Is that a style?  How about Eclectic,..sort of organic-rustic-boho-chic-bit of glam-elegant-rocker-classic-casual-ness-ish? Yeah,...I like that!

It does cover lots of moods and after all,...I am a woman.

I'm entitled to ALL my moods!  (And styles!)

How about you? How do you celebrate all your moods? Do you have a certain design style that you are drawn to and like to create or do you like to mix things up all the time? 

Do you follow your heart and let your inner child play?

 She might just surprise you!

My Muse!
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Playing with Style!

All jewelry designs created and photographed by Michelle Buettner


  1. I love this. I too have been struggling with identifying 'my style'. Your post here makes me feel a bit better about being all over the place with my designs as opposed to following one. Thank you for making me feel a bit better about that! :)

  2. I totally agree! I have always felt that I don't have a "style" or "brand" per say and that sometimes made me feel somewhat inadequate (not sure if that's even a word) as a jewelry designer and artist. Thank you so much for this post and whatever your style is I love it!!!

  3. I know the magazine and quote and LOVE IT! And all I can say is Amen.

    I like to experiment and play around, try new things. I love it.

    Great post!

  4. 1st - Hope, you're welcome! Thanks for taking the time to comment and I love your 'style'! Your designs are always very cool - all of them!

    2nd - Jenn - thanks for the compliment on my 'style' :) I too felt inadequate (yep!) and it's good to know none of us are alone.

    3rd - Courtney - Thank you!!

  5. Seeing your jewelry gallery in this post, just confirms again what a wonderful designer and artist you are. Following your heart in this very personal expression trumps "branding" every time. And if you are lucky enough to sell some pieces along the way to those who appreciate it, that's just icing on the cake, right?

    Keep on keeping on,

  6. I think you do have a style, Shel - yours. It doesn't have to have a label unless you want it to. It doesn't have to be anything different than what it is right now! But I think you should know that I can tell your pieces in the way you wrap your wires, in the shape of the ear hooks - really subtle things, but important to your style.

    I'm not crazy about labels myself, but I think eclectic works great - it covers a lot of ground and feels nice and open. When I start feeling closed in is when the ideas stop coming!

    And I'm like you when dressing - my wardrobe is simple so my jewelry can be fun and big and loud if I want it to be!

  7. Lynda - thanks a bunch!! I appreciate your comments.

  8. Brandi - thank you. Your blog is one that truly inspires me. It makes me think and makes me want to do better and stretch my limits and learn new things. You've always got something new to share that's really genuine and valuable.

    Also, I didn't realize it, but maybe you're right and you can tell my designs by my wrappings or ear-wires, etc. I just thought I could tell cause it was mine! LOL!! :)

  9. Hi, Shel. Thanks for visiting Brandi's blog today and leaving a comment on my reader spotlight.

    Your post is perfect! It's so nice to know I'm not alone in not being able to define my style. And from the other comments here, it looks like a lot of us are in the same boat. I had thought of using the term eclectic to just cover everything.

    Anyway, that's what collections are for! So we can have the bridal collection, the boho chic collection, the urban metal collection, etc.

    I want to add my soldered bezels, enameled beads, some metalsmithing, some wire wrapping to the mix but felt like I was trying to go in too many directions. Now I know I'm free to explore it all! Thank you for that.


  10. Yes Cyndi - I had no idea that so many other people felt like this, too. I thought I was just a bit off my rocker w/this one - glad to know I'm not. ;-)

    Your designs are very nice, by the way - I love them!!

  11. Be you - it is always in style!


Thanks for sharing what you have to say - I love hearing your comments!