sebasilver

Traditional Filigree Jewellery – Our Business Journey


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Maintaining a unique identity in a crowded marketplace

Last year in an interview I said that one of our biggest challenges was to ‘maintain a unique identity in a crowded marketplace’.  This is an ongoing challenge & one that we thrive on.  Walking to work this morning I spotted a new jewellery store that has opened on the main walk way around Korcula old town. I started to think about how we can ensure that our identity is not lost amid the mass of stores here, and what makes our store different to others.

I have the best views on my walk to work.

I have the best views on my walk to work.

I firmly believe that our main unique selling point (USP) is the fact that ALL of jewellery is made here by us in Korcula, it is only available in our store in Korcula and in two boutiques in Dunedin, New Zealand.    Each piece of our jewellery is handcrafted, using traditional filigree techniques that have been passed through many generations of the Seba family.  It brings us much joy to know that we are keeping a centuries old tradition alive.  By adding a Korcula flavour/modern twist to our pieces we are able to introduce a fresh approach to filigree making, keeping filigree relevant for today’s jewellery lovers and wearers.

I have written before about the various steps that go into creating each of our pieces, from the traditional filigree bead – see Creating Our Filigree Beads, part i, ii & iii to the wide variety of bespoke requests that we have enjoyed creating.

One of our first bespoke creations created for an UK based customer in 2011.

One of our first bespoke creations created for an UK based customer in 2011.

If you don’t see what you like in our store we are happy to create something especially for you, our bespoke service is offered to customers worldwide and we are yet to meet many of the people we have created pieces for. Items can be ordered online and discussed via email – sebacroatia@yahoo.com – feel free to contact us if you would like to know more about this service.

Both Doka & I enjoy sharing how we create our filigree pieces, and are here to answer questions in Croatian, English, Albanish or German.
We hold daily filigree demonstrations in our Korcula store (Seba Dizajn) where people can watch and learn about how we create our jewellery.  There is a full working table in store and a lot of our pieces are created on site during the summer months.

Daily in store filigree demonstrations.

Daily in store filigree demonstrations.

We are passionate about our creations and ensure that each piece is worked to the highest standard, ensuring a product that will be enjoyed for many generations.  Our unique pieces include several designs inspired by our Korcula environment, some of you will be familiar with our ‘Cathedral Window‘ Series – each pendant, and newly introduced pair of earrings,  has a framework that is based on the window of St Peter’s Cathedral – the oldest (of 17) church here in Korcula.  We have recently added a pendant to our collection that we first made in our first year of opening (2011) that is based on some of the amazing stonework found here in Korcula.

Korcula stonework inspired pendant.

Korcula stonework inspired pendant.

Our use of social media to promote both our business and Korcula is another feature has helped us create a unique identity here in Korcula. There are a number of Korcula businesses with fabulous facebook pages and we enjoying interacting with them and our ‘friends’ all over the world.  We also use Twitter (@SebaDizajn), Pinterest, Google+ & this blog to help share our filigree world.
It is always interesting hearing about how people ‘found us’ and each of the social media listed here has been responsible for introducing a customer or two.

The constant updating of our stock also helps keep our business alive and fresh, making it interesting for those who are returning to visit and for us :)   If you are in Korcula come and visit, we would love to meet you. If you are further away, leave a comment below, we enjoy hearing from our readers all over the world.   Where in the world are you?


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A design trilogy – filigree style

Our ‘non-shop’ season has been fairly full with creating new jewels for the 2014 season.  There is an endless stream of ideas and never enough time to create all that we discuss.

The earrings featured here are part of our ‘luxury’ collection – while we consider all of our work to be special each pair of these earrings took several days to complete.

These photos highlight some of the many steps towards the final product.

Here you can see some of the first pieces we created for the earrings featured below.

Here you can see some of the first pieces we created for the earrings featured below.

In this photo we are ready to solder rings into the two different styles of flowers that you can see. The rings will hold small gemstones when the earrings are complete.

In this photo we are ready to solder rings into the two different styles of flowers that you can see. The rings will hold small gemstones when the earrings are complete.

These beads will be used instead of flowers in the third of our trilogy.  

 

I took the photo above  on my mobile phone to emphasis how small each bead is. Here they are tied together with wire, in the next step the bead halves will be soldered together and the wire will no longer be required.

Here we are soldering the earring stems - you can see all three designs in the trilogy in this image.

Here we are soldering the earring stems – you can see all three designs in the trilogy in this image.

 

Design 1- trimmed and ready for final cleaning.

Design 1- trimmed and ready for final cleaning.

The completed trilogy - Seba Dizajn is the name of our Korcula store.

The completed trilogy – (Seba Dizajn is the name of our Korcula store).

I hope you have enjoyed this short insight into the work that goes into creating our filigree jewellery.

 


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The Filigree fun continues

Far too long since I have blogged, we had a fantastic break with family in Berlin to welcome 2014 and since our return to Korcula we have been working on new designs for our 2014 collection.

Here is a peak at three of our recently completed designs,

open design college

This open style of filigree bead has been popular as both earrings and pendants.  We decided to add a new dimension to the pendants and have included a small coral bead in the base of the bead on the left, while the central bead has a coral bead suspended inside it.  The third photo shows the original design.

Do you have a favourite?

 


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more adventures in Croatia: Lynda Milina from Canada to Korčula

Seba Silver:

The blog piece that I am Re-blogging here shares the story of one of my friends Korcula friends and her business organising painting tours right here to Korcula. Read on, enjoy and if you are so inclined click on the links to Lynda’s website and learn more about Slikamilina Painting and Photography Tours.

Originally posted on Our Adventure In Croatia:

This week we introduce to all our readers and followers, a Canadian who lives part of the year in Croatia (Korcula to be precise) where she runs painting and photography holidays for tourists from all over the world. How wonderful to combine a hobby with a holiday to Croatia!

enjoy capturing the colours of Croatia

how about a painting holiday in Croatia?

View original 1,192 more words


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Behind the Green Door

I met my husband in a store with a green door – you just never know where your destiny awaits ;)
Green is a popular/traditional colour for doors and windows here on the Dalmatian coast so I guess the chances of meeting behind a green door were reasonably high.

My ‘cyber friend’ Sarah-Jane of Chasing the Donkey fame recently blogged about the wonders of the many fantastic old doors she has come across in her Croatian travels…. and I thought I would share some of my favourite Korčula doors with you.

Wrought Iron S Door - there must be some other S's here, this is not our door!

Wrought Iron S Door – there must be some other S’s here, this is not our door!

 

A classic white double door

A classic white double door

 

A classic arched stone entrance - Korcula

A classic arched stone entrance – Korcula

 

Blue doors and shutters -  Lumbarda, Korcula

Blue doors and shutters – Lumbarda, Korcula

 

Double green doors

Double green doors

 

The love door - one of my favourites.

The love door – one of my favourites.

A lovely handle - come on in :)

A lovely handle – come on in :)

What do you take photos of when you are on holiday? Are you a door lover too?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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It’s all about you – thanks!

The  third season of our Korcula store (Seba Dizajn) being open  is drawing to a close.  The weather is still stunning here on our wee Adriatic Isle and it is hard to believe it is almost November.

Mornings like this,

October sun Korcula

October sun Korcula

make it even harder to believe that it is almost November, long may the gorgeous mornings last.

We have met some truly wonderful, fun and inspirational people here in Korcula, and on-line via our various social media outlets, without you our business would not be what it is today;

  • still open
  • slowly growing, and
  • fun.

This post to thank you, thank you very much for all of your loyal support, the fun and friendship.
Seba Dizajn, officially closed for the end of the 2013 season last week.  We are however still in town and happy to open if you are visiting Korcula, there is a good chance you will find us in the store creating some new pieces for our 2014 season or catching up on some paperwork.

The 'off season' is our main production time.

The ‘off season’ is our main production time.

Earlier in the week I popped into the store to use our scanner and met a fun Canadian couple, Carol Anne and Tim, this fun couple are on a European Cycling mission and currently about 2/3 of the way thru their journey. I asked them how long they were spending in Croatia and was surprised to hear that they were spending two months here – a great choice!
Tim pulled up the map of their journey, you can follow their progress here if you are interested, and we talked for 30 minutes or so about their journey and life here in Croatia.

Last month we met a brilliant group of artists, here on a trip organised by Lynda Milina of Slikamilina Painting and Photography.  We really enjoyed the group from Utah, fun ladies having a great time, loving their art tour, loving Korcula and loving the chance to see how we create our filigree jewellery.  Interestingly enough one of the group members (Hi Georgeanne) had been following us on facebook for sometime and was really excited to meet us.  I even sold earrings from in my ears to one of this keen group!

We have meet several of our facebook page fans this year and for me this has been a real highlight of our customer engagement experience.  It is so nice when people introduce themselves as existing friends of our page,  how neat to meet the people who we have been sharing our work and lives with in person.  And, further proof that social media real does help small businesses wherever in the world they might be located.

Today it’s just me, paying some bills and blogging :) – and I am about to head home for lunch.  Please contact us with a quick email (sebacroatia@yahoo.com) if you are going to be in Korcula and would like to see our filigree jewellery, we are only 5 minutes away from the store and would love to come and meet you.

Our support throughout this year has come from near and far and we appreciate each one of your comments, thoughts and purchases. Thanks! It’s been fun, let’s do it all again next year…. we have some many new ideas developing for the 2014 season, it’s going to be the best yet.

thanks

Remember some of our products are loaded here on our website, Seba Silver - if you do not see what you are looking for there, please contact us as there are other options available – I am aiming to get some new products loaded onto the website this week.   Remember we also offer a fabulous bespoke/custom made jewellery service, why not send us your ideas and let us create something unique just for you.


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Repairing and restoring a much loved bracelet.

Earlier in the summer we received an email request from a customer who we meet in our store last year.  Chris had a silver filigree bracelet that needed some repair work, and if possible an extension made so that she could wear it – without the extension the bracelet would be repaired for her daughter to wear.

Chris sent us some images of the bracelet and we sent each other a few emails talking about the work that needed to be done and working out a price for the work.  Approximately two weeks later the bracelet arrived in the post from Australia.

A closer inspection revealed more repairs were necessary than we originally thought and we emailed Chris about this and were given the go ahead to do all that we thought the bracelet needed to fully restore it.

The first part in the repair process was repairing and replacing the central beads of each segment, three pieces were missing and we thought it would be best to replace all 6 beads.

Before - bracelet sent from Australia for repair work.

Initial repair work, centre of each segment has been replaced.

After the damaged pieces were repaired Doka then started working on the required extension.  The bracelet needed to be 2.5cm longer than it had been.  The original segments, as seen above, are 3cm long so we decided to recreate the original design in a slightly smaller frame.

Creating the matching segment on slightly smaller scale.

Creating the matching segment on slightly smaller scale.

New pins were created to fit between each of the hinged segments and finally a new catch was created, then all the pieces were cleaned and polished.

We sent a few ‘work in progress’ photos to Chris as the repair progressed but saved the complete work for a live inspection here in our Korcula store – Chris enjoyed Korcula and her 2012 painting tour with Slikamilina Painting Tours so much that she returned to Korcula this year for more painting.

Here is the completed bracelet;

The completed bracelet, polished and ready to be worn and admired.

The completed bracelet, polished and ready to be worn and admired.

Chris was overwhelmed, literally – there was a tear in her eye and many thanks offered to Doka for all his work.

It’s amazing, I can’t believe it, it’s like new, thank you so much.

I wish we could have recorded her response on first seeing the bracelet – one of our best customer reactions to date!

We learnt a little more of the history of the bracelet from Chris – her Dad brought it for her during the second World War and it was given to her when she was 18 years old. She wore it constantly while she was at University and even used a safety-pin for a catch when her original catch broke!

Chris left the store this morning wearing her fully restored bracelet and she was so happy, we said our goodbyes at the door and I watched her walking down the street – I don’t think she took her eyes off her ‘new’ bracelet.

 

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