How to Make the Skinny Statement Resin Ring

Alternatively titled "How to Make Resin Rings that Aren't Bulky."

Bulky, cumbersome, inconvenient, clunky--maybe some people like their rings to have these adjectives.

Others don't. I don't.

But when it comes to resin statement rings, they ALL seem to be that way.

It took me a damn year, but I've developed a way to create thin, lightweight statement resin rings.

No molds. No fancy, expensive tools (except for a drill, but that's about $15 and you might already have it).

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What goes into making them?

  • A thin, bendable open frame or link
  • The contents to embed in the resin
  • A small drill (like Little Windows Spring Drill) with something to drill on
  • Chain (Yes! chain is comfortable and doesn't slip off like smooth metal)
  • Optional: a ring sizer. Can be found for a few bucks on Amazon or Ebay

These take a few days to a week to make, as all resin jewelry does because of drying time.

But, the best part in my opinion? These rings take ONE layer! It's a bit of a thick layer, but it works!

At any rate, it's thin enough to be comfortable without being cumbersome AND it's thick enough to wear as jewelry.

Clocking in at about 2 millimeters in thickness, these thin statement rings are unlike any other resin rings in existence.

Click here to pre-order The Skinny Statement resin ring class!*

Class will be available September 28th, 2018. It'll be a recorded video cut down to the essentials (in other words, as short and concise as possible). You'll have access to it for the life of my online school, being able to revisit whenever.

If you're not ready for this class (not for newbies!), enter your info below to enroll in my free course, Resin Jewelry Basics! Learn foundational knowledge and figure out how to get started making resin jewelry.*

*The Skinny Statement resin ring class is for those how are already familiar with resin jewelry. If you're totally new to resin jewelry you should take the free course first.

Where to Find Open Bezels for Resin Jewelry

This is the #1 question I'm asked:

Where do you get your open bezels from?!”

They're also known as open frame or open back, and they make for beautiful resin jewelry. 

But people's biggest problem in making open bezel resin jewelry is in just FINDING them. When I first started looking, there was even less options. These days, while more options are available, they can still be a bit tricky to search for (when you spend a lot of time looking, you realize there's tons of options!).

With the right tactics, finding open bezels can be simplified. After all my research, I've discovered tips and tricks to find what you're looking for.

Also from that research, I created the Open Bezel Directory. More on that in a minute, let's get started with a few tips that will change everything.

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First Things First

Open back bezels are not all made equal. As you can see in the picture above, some are made and sold with a way to connect the charm to earrings, necklaces, and so on. Or they're hoop earrings. BUT, others don't have that, so what do we do then?

We drill, folks. It sounds complicated, but it's not too bad--I promise. A small drill bit will work, and there's some special things that need to be done, which we'll cover another time.

The main thing is, what's a good drill to use? I use Little Windows spring drill and recommend it highly.

NOTE: I notice open links, which will have to be drilled to be turned into jewelry, tend to be cheaper. Over time, this will offsets the $15 you'll put into a spring drill. Worth it, definitely.

Okay, now let's get into it . . .

Search for different terms

Just searching “open bezel” doesn't cut it.

Think about it—an open bezel is just a frame without backing. When it comes to finding them, you need to get a little creative. Could a thin ring work as a small open bezel? Yup, it could. What about links, connectors?

Yes and yes.

Play with terms like, “open link,” “open frame,” “connector,” and “connector link.” Think about rings, hoops—anything similar to open bezels and see it in a new light.

However, be warned that getting creative can lead to mishaps. I once used open bezels use for getting stones, thinking the resin would hold it together (it wasn't sealed shut, since there was no gem inside them). Only one turned out, and while it made a cute necklace it was a waste of the rest. Not worth revisiting. A close frame/bezel/ link will give you an easier time.

Don't feel like bothering with search terms and browsing the web for hours? Scroll to the bottom of this post for an easier alternative.

Search on these sites/brands

Where do you search these terms? Google brings up a couple things, but it's helpful to go to specific website and use their searches.

I often use:

I love getting links from Art Beads, because they have quite a few sizes and they have 14k gold-fill and sterling silver options. “Open links” is the thing to search.

Art Beads also sells Nunn Design, a company that's rolling out more and more open bezel options (even rings!). Searching “open bezel” can bring up some options, or you can just look through Nunn Design products on the website.

Another great option, Fire Mountain Gems has options if you take the time to look through various search terms. “Links” and “connectors” are my favorites to search.

Search all possible terms using Etsy—you'll eventually find some great stuff. Open links and connectors are again great ones to look under. Etsy is a great place to be creative with what could work as an “open bezel.”

Etsy is also where I tend to find the cheapest options (while, also, the most expensive).

I find a lot of unique open bezel shapes (birds sitting on a bench, gem-shaped, etc).


Search in the Open Bezel Directory

While the tips above should save you some time, I also created the Open Bezel Directory to make it even easier.

Wading through allll the options can be overwhelming and it can take a long time to find what you're looking for. With collective weeks of research I wanted to create something to save everyone else time.

It's free and has over 100 open bezel options (and it's growing) from all over the internet.

They're searchable, too. You can search for these things within the directory for metal type and shape, like star, gold, hexagon, etc. Or you can just look through to see what you like (it's visual, with pictures).

All the options have prices within the Directory and links to purchase--and I receive no affiliate income. I created the Directory to just share what I've found.

Want access to the Open Bezel Directory? Please come join and save yourself the headache. You get access right away.

Once you access the Open Bezel Directory, make sure to bookmark the page so you can find it again.

Biggest Sale of 2017

***This sale is over, but if you would like to be notified of future ones, sign up below.

You'll also automatically be entered for jewelry giveaways (which happen all year long).

The Higher Jewelry "Black Friday" sale is happening early this year. The 40% off clearance is taking place on 11/10 at 4 pm PST/ 7 pm EST.

The sale is going to be hosted on Instagram in a catalog style. It's fun, easy, and quick.

Items will be organized by type (earrings, rings, etc) and each item will have a letter associated with it. Then you can contact me to see if it's still available to order. From there, all I need if your email address to place your order.

Read on to find out how it works, how to catch an item (there's only one of each item and it's first come, first serve), and what will be in the sale.

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How to Order

The sale is taking place on Instagram, but you do NOT need an Instagram account to order from the sale.

With an Instagram account

Hop on Instagram to my feed (@higherjewelry) as soon as the sale goes live on Friday and send me a Direct Message with:

(1) the letter of the item/s you want

(2) your email address

Without an Instagram account

Visit as soon as the sale goes live on Friday and shoot me an email ( with:

(1) the letter of the item/s you want

(2) confirmation that the email address you used is the one you want to pay with (or provide the one you want to use)


The sale will go on until Sunday evening at the same time (4 pm PST/ 7 pm EST)


Payments are processed through PayPal by default, but alternatively I can use Etsy's checkout system. Both are secure, simple, and private. I never see your credit card information nor do I share any personal information.


Shipping is a flat rate (no matter how many items you order, shipping remains the same!).

Domestic (within the US) - $4

International - $12*

All items come in a jewelry box within a padded mailer.

Items will be shipping out on Tuesday, 11/14.

*Items will most likely arrive on time for Christmas for international buyers (domestic buyers, your items will definitely be there on time for Christmas). International shipping can take 4-6 weeks at the longest, and this sale is happening 6 weeks prior to Christmas. So there's plenty of time for it to get to you. But there is always the small chance of an item getting lost or stuck in customs.

What's in the sale?

Earrings, bracelets, necklace, and a new ring design I absolutely love. Take a look at the images below to see what will be in the sale.

I don't often have 40% off sales--it's a once a year occurrence-- because, as a handmade jeweler, it's difficult to have such steep sales. But to make room for new designs I wanted to hold a clearance and clean out space in my inventory--plus, who doesn't love a good holiday sale?

Remember it is first come, first serve with only ONE of each design available. More popular items go within minutes.

Hope you catch whatever you have your eye on!

How to Become a Jewelry Designer Right Now

Not that it happens completely in an instant--just like everything else, there's no end. Just constant growth. Still, right now, TODAY, you can get started.

You can become a jewelry designer. No matter who you are. Whether your want to be a hobbyist or a professional.

You can become a jewelry designer starting now.

Imagine having a vision of a piece of jewelry in your mind’s eye and knowing how to bring it to life. Of wearing it and getting compliments on it. Of the satisfaction of holding the final, perfected version in your hands.

Honestly, it doesn’t always go like that. Sometimes, I experiment and end up with something outside my vision—and it’s way better than what I had in mind.

If you’d like, you can absolutely go to school to become a jewelry designer. In this post though, I talk about how to become a jewelry designer the solo route.

Of course, I recommend taking classes, courses, and workshops on types of jewelry you love in order to learn the necessary skills for whatever subcategory you’re interested in.

Still, without teachers you can become a jewelry designer. There really aren’t pre-requisites.

And whether or not you ever want to sell your designs, designing jewelry gives us the ability to create unique pieces that fit who we are better than anything on the market. Not to mention how the creative outlet is fun, satisfying, and spiritually resonating (speaking from personal experience here).

I hope this post can help you unlock your creativity and create things that are unique to you. Don’t be fooled—there aren’t really any rules. There is authenticity and connecting with that is more important than anything.

Let's get started.

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Why Design Jewelry?

As for the question of who can design jewelry—honestly? Anyone can. Whether a professional jeweler or a hobbyist—anyone can become a jewelry designer.

Of course, design principles and rules are good to understand and know, but they aren’t meant to be strictly adhered to. Jewelry design is an art-form, and therefore it’s a flexible practice that isn’t defined by anything in particular. Some styles are widely liked, and other styles are liked by a small subset of people.

But, the most important part of any art is self-expression and communication. It’s the story behind the work, and especially when done for your own sake—it can be powerful and transformational.

To realize and make manifest in reality a vision you formed in your mind’s eye. To bring into this work something that is quintessentially you.

That's the answer to WHY.

Because the humble satisfaction of taking a vision and making it real through a hand-crafted practice is one of the most meditative, powerful, and healing experiences humankind knows.

Even when everything is mass-produced in human-free factories people will still choose to work with their hands just for the sake of working with their hands. We will continue hand-crafted traditions forevermore after it’s become outdated because it’s such a human thing to do.

In working with our hands, we find a break from the chatter of our minds. A space to heal in. A focus that ignites our hearts and that can stimulate our minds to unravel the knots that have been working themselves into our brainwaves.

So . . . why design jewelry? Because it’s fun. Because it’s human. Because the jewelry that is the perfect expression of who you are can only be created by you.

Actionable Step 1: create a collage or Pinterest board with images of jewelry that you find beautiful, inspiring, or drawn to.

Understanding Basic Design Principles

As I said,  rules and principles can be broken. But, it’s important to understand them first—that way, when you are designing anything you are able to utilize the principles to help you achieve the end result you desire.

The rules and principles speak to how the story of a piece of artwork—whether a painting or piece of jewelry—is told through visuals. Whether the tones communicated are bold, aggressive, joyous, disheartened, serene, abrupt, etc—or a mix of many—the use of size, color, lines, for example, make a huge different in communicating the intending message and style.

Going a step further, it's also important to invest time or money--or both--into learning about the specific craft or crafts you would like to get into. Take a look at your collage once it's finished and see what types of jewelry appeal to you.

I specifically make botanical resin jewelry. Knowing how to metalwork isn't necessary since the focus of the craft is on embedding plants and other materials into epoxy resin (a clear substance), but it's doesn't hurt either.

Personally, I'm not interested in metalwork the same way I'm interested in resin jewelry, so I focus on building the skills that get me making what I'm envisioning.

Actionable Step 2:  Visit this link to learn about the basics of design principles.

Bonus task: learn about Color Theory (not necessary for most of jewelry design unless a lot of color is being used, which resin jewelry can tend to be colorful).

Recognize Your Style and Embrace It

Your own style that you find emerging through sketches and compilations of what you’re drawn to may not be generally accepted as beautiful.

Conversely, you might instead be experiencing that you prefer very popular styles that are considered “kitsch.”

Either way—it’s no big deal. What you like is what you like. It doesn’t really particularly matter what other people think about it. Let yourself express what you find beautiful through your creative endeavors and give a metaphorical finger to those who criticize without any substance behind their opinions.

Over time, your style may evolve. It may go in a direction you never expected. I always encourage to go in these directions, as I went from making bottle necklace jewelry to resin jewelry. I'm happy I grew into a style more suited to who I am today.

Today’s action: create a collage or Pinterest board of designs you don’t typically like and examine what you don’t like about them and what you do. Compare and contrast with your initial collage or Pinterest board seeing what’s similar and what’s not. This is just a simple exercise in expanding your understanding of your style—but always remain open to what you don’t initially like. Your style might change or take on parts of a style you don’t like to create something entirely new. You never know.

Cultivate a Sense of Adventure and Experimentalism

One of the most important factors in designing jewelry pieces that really come from your heart, mind, and soul is to cultivate a sense of adventure and experimentalism.

Basically, go out on a limb. Try new things out of curiosity and see where it leads. Sometimes you’ll find that through openness, and even through failure, designs will come out even better than you first imagined.

I want to depart this: don’t take the creative process too seriously. Let your creativity flow through you and into this world. Stress does not produce the best work. Being in a state of peace when creating allows you to fully use your subconscious and conscious minds to create quality artwork that is packed full of something distinctly you.

Your designs don't have to please everyone. They don't even have to please most people. Your mom could totally hate them (my mom won't say it, but I know there's things I've created that she did not like), doesn't matter.

A true jewelry designer has a message. A feeling. A story to tell. There is something in their heart that is demanding to come into reality.

There is something in you, right now, that is dying to be expressed. Don't hold it back. Don't lock it up in the back of your mind.

For whatever reason, you need to let it out. And you won't believe how amazing it feels.

Need to add jewelry-making skills to your repertoire? 

If resin jewelry happens to be in your "Jewelry Designs I Love" collage, my e-course can give you the skills to go on and create your own designs in your own style

I invite you to craft beautiful jewelry that you can leave behind on this earth. Jewelry that expresses who you are in a way no other jewelry on earth can, because it’s made with your own two hands in the comfort of your own home.

Join me in the Resin Jewelry Making e-course and watch over my shoulder through video lessons from any device, anywhere there’s signal or Wi-Fi (enrollment isn't always open, click to check if it!).

Fall Equinox Instagram Auctions Info

Friday the 22nd is the Fall Equinox! To welcome the autumn season I'm hosting an Instagram auction starting at 4pm Pacific/ 6pm Central/ 7pm Eastern. Click here for a time converter if you don't live in any of these time-zones (or just type the conversion you're looking for into Google).

The auction will have 4 items up for bid: Two earrings, a bracelet, and a necklace.

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There's only one of each design in my inventory right now. So once it goes in the auction--it's gone.

"So how does an Instagram Auction work?"

Once items are posted, bidding is as simple as commenting (unfortunately, it's impossible to include those who don't have Instagram accounts).

You comment with your bid, bidding in increments of $1 (usd), and tag the person who you are outbidding so that they're aware of your bid.

When the auction ends on Sunday at the same time (4 pm Pacific/ 6 pm Central/ 7 pm Eastern) whoever bid last wins the item!

"How Does Payment Work?"

Once you win an item, I will contact you through Instagram Direct Messages to get your email address.

Then I'll send the invoice to be paid by the due date (24 hours) on the invoice otherwise the second place winner will get a chance to grab the item.

Payment will happen through PayPal by default, but if you'd prefer to go through a different checkout system where you can just enter your credit card, you can pay through Etsy alternatively.

"What About Shipping?"

NOTE: Items will not be shipped until Wednesday the 27th. The delay is due to a family event.

Add +$4 for shipping within the US and +$12 for shipping internationally. All items will come in a 100% recycled jewelry box tucked inside a padded envelope for safe keeping.

Within the US, items will arrive in 3-5 business days from the 27th. International shipping can take 1-4 weeks, depending on how far the package is going. 

If more than one item is won, shipping will only be charged once.

I received emails and comments that I should do another auction, and I'm super excited. It's always fun. This time it will last 48 hours instead of 24 hours since it felt like it was over too quickly last time. Also, this time I will be using more recent items instead of older inventory.

Happy Almost Fall!

That One Time I Lost a Scholarship and Found My Calling

No, really. I lost a four year tuition scholarship and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Now, this post is NOT a “college is bad” type of post. I don’t believe college is stupid, but I am a firm believer that it is not a necessary step for everyone—particularly when it comes to business.

I'm sharing my own personal story but I don't have any answers. But if there's one thing sharing my story can do--I hope it helps someone feel less alone and inspired to forge their own paths.

I was 18 years old (or was it 17? I don’t exactly recall) and I was struggling with the idea of college. I’m not a very woo-woo person. I don’t 100% believe in "intuition," but during my mid-teens I got a deep-gut feeling that my path wasn’t going to college right after high school, if ever.

Which scared the crap out of me.

One: because I was very unsure and insecure, and I didn’t have many deep-gut feelings up until that point.

Two: because my future was already planned and I if I didn’t follow that path I would disappoint everyone and end up working at McDonald’s my entire life.

I went to an online school in 10th grade, and there was a mini-class on discovering your ideal career. In the lessons they covered the “What about Bill Gates, the guy who owns Dell, Richard Branson, Walt Disney, etcetera?” argument (successful people who don't have a college degree).

Their response was that these people were exceptions—and that we, as young people, needed to take the safe path.

This starkly implied to me at 15 that we would not be exceptions, we were not special, and we could not forge our own path like the people just mentioned.

We were ordinary and because of that we can't take risks. Not going to college was too big of a risk to take.

Needless to say, I wasn't a big fan of what they were saying. And the more I delve into the business world, the more I find that to be an entrepreneur means taking risks almost constantly.

It doesn't mean don't make thoughtful choices. It just means don't be afraid to take leaps--don't be afraid of being bold and daring.

Yet as a teenager I was told to play it safe. While every entrepreneur who eventually makes it failed many times and continued to take risks--in fact, it seems to be a determining factor of success.

As an adult, I have a strong opinion on college. On risk taking. On what successful people are made of. I'm truly interested in what makes a person successful, and I've read and studied them for years. I've found that it's complicated, but that college isn't in the equation.

There are go-getters—people who work toward their goals and get back up after every failure. And then there are people allergic to all kinds of work and who really do just want to play video games all day and work at the McDonald’s across the street until they retire.

Then there’s plenty of people in-between. Some leaning more toward a strong will to go after big dreams, and some leaning more toward not striving for anything but the same-ol’.

I can’t bring myself to judge anyone. But I know which direction I want to lean toward. Since I was young, I’ve striven to do my best and reach for bigger goals. I’m not perfect, but I show up. I'm still working on the fear of putting myself out there--and it's always going to be a work in progress. But I will not give up on it.

That’s the key difference. Success is not predicated on if someone got a college degree so much as: are they willing to fail? Are they going to keep trying? Are they willing to take risks? Are they putting in work? Are they going outside their comfort-zones?

That’s where success is born. Deep inside the core of who someone is. All stemming from their deepest beliefs about themselves.

There are some people who dream of being a medical doctor and, no, of course they won’t get there without a college degree. No one will argue that.

But if someone wants to start businesses, direct movies, write books, or do anything that doesn’t absolutely require a college degree, then with enough passion and persistence they can excel.

The question isn't if they have a college degree. It's: do they have the drive and the will to be relentless about chasing that goal?

At 12, I was put into a class specifically to help me get into college right after high school. All throughout my teens, my relatives and teachers and friend’s parents wanted to know where I was going to go to college—and they wanted to know that I was actually going, right?

But inside I was beginning to feel a deep, sinking feeling that I had to do what everyone else deemed was right for me. Regardless of what my inner voice was trying to tell me.

I’ve never been someone who’s rebellious for the sake of rebellion—I never partied, drank, smoked, or did anything crazy in high school, college, or after.

I didn’t want to disregard the advice of adults around me because it was cool or fun. Our elders and those who came before can have really important advice that we need to deeply consider.

After considering the weight of what everyone was telling me, I found that same nagging feeling in my heart. It was saying that's not your path. You're meant for something else.

The for what part would come in time.

So, because I wasn’t sure what else I wanted to do I felt I HAD to go to college right off the bat, no matter how wrong it felt.

I even, at one point, read a book about a kid who felt the same way I did. Kinda. The resolution to the book? He forced himself to go to college anyway and . . . The End.

I was discouraged no matter what direction I turned for help.

My parents, however, knew me best and sensed my feelings. They didn’t push me to go, but I felt compelled for a list of other reasons. And while they weren’t pushy, they weren’t sure what to tell me. They knew it was my decision to make. I continued to try to look outward when I had my answer already found inwardly.

To make matters worse in a way that would make others jump for joy—a university sent me a letter. A letter saying that I had received a full tuition scholarship based on my GPA. If I kept a high GPA, they would pay my tuition for four full years (basically, a tactic to bring up the GPA of the whole school).

I realized I essentially received $32,000 in the mail that day.

Slumping onto my bed, I just stared at the paper. My vision blurred and I covered my face.

In that moment, more than ever, I felt shoe-horned into going to college as soon as high school ended.

And how could I deny it? It was an opportunity others wished for, and it was handed to me.

In my senior year of high school I was homeschooled (unschooled, specifically. So I created my curriculum, learned on my own, or found my own teachers) which gave me the flexibility to attend in-person college classes at my local community college.

I was on track to go to university, and I did right after high school. For about a year and a half.

Now, I didn’t leave college entirely by choice. I have a history of health problems in my life, and after I got my wisdom teeth pulled the summer after my freshmen year, my health started to decline.

I felt sick all the time and couldn’t hold down food or get up an appetite some days. I had this horrible gnawing feeling in my stomach. I already had been eating as clean as possible for years—including strictly avoiding foods I was intolerant to such as gluten and dairy.

As time passed, I got worse. The year before I worked 16 hours a week, participated in a dance troupe, and had a full course load with high GPA. I lost a lot of sleep. Then on top of being sick I was burnt out from stretching myself.

My weight dropped to underweight status, where I was at risk of a heart attack, and though I was complimented for being so skinny (our insecure skinny culture is awesome, isn’t it?) I wasn’t healthy.

Eating new foods? Forget it. If I deviated from my regular diet, ate at a new restaurant, etc, my body would violently react. I would have flu-like symptoms, my body tossing everything back out because it just couldn’t handle the normal things other people could.

After nearly a year, many strains of probiotics along with a multitude of medications, and several doctors, I finally came back to my normal self. It happened gradually and never completely resolved—but it was a huuuge improvement. A normal, healthy weight and the ability to keep down food and even try new foods like sushi! But this took a year to just begin happening.

How do you keep up your GPA when you’re sick? Short answer: you don’t.

I mean, who knows—when it comes to the many tiers of people working at a university, sometimes things fall through the cracks. Maybe no one would have even noticed my grades dropping besides my teachers and my scholarship would have been automatically renewed.

The thing is, I didn’t stick around to find out.

Because even though I was feeling really, really under the weather, I was elated to realize risking my health wasn’t worth it. I stopped stressing out about my grades by slowly removing myself from school with a sense of a million doors of possibilities opening.

What was I going to school for? No idea. I was, as everyone told me to do, just going to go. I gravitated towards liberal arts, but everyone also said that such a degree was pointless. What about fine art? Ha—another “pointless degree.” Creative writing? That would never get me a job.

I was just taking my general classes—and I was taking them online. Which, it’s great that’s an option BUT at the same time, it’s a horrible college experience. Conversations and debates over the online forum are insanely dry and not one student really cares or is interested. We were all just pulling it out of our asses.

For many, many reason—practical and intuitive—I was relieved to be free of school.

I didn’t dislike college because I just wanted to play video games all day. I didn’t dislike college because I hated learning (I still have a great love for learning even after 3 years out of school). I didn’t dislike college because it was hard—I was more than capable of doing it and keeping up with it when I was healthy.

But there are some important gut feelings that we should listen to. We have to find our own path. We have to discover what we want from our lives at the very core of our being—and stay true to ourselves even when the world turns its back on us for doing so.

Not totally ignoring the advice of others, but not just accepting it as our truth, either.

If we follow the whims of others without checking in with ourselves, we’re prone to be leaves in the wind. Floating along, being pulled in every which way.

We’ve all heard that in some shape or form before, haven’t we? That following the path pre-ordained for you might not be your true path. Many philosophies and morals-of-the-stories have made this point to the extent that it’s kind of a cliché.

Putting it into practice? Not simple. I’m finding it’s a lifelong work to continuously reconnect with the core of who I am.

So . . . I didn’t want to go to college because I was called for something else. Just because I wasn’t sure what that was didn’t mean it wasn’t worth exploring.

In fact, when I got better and could have gone back to university by telling them I was sick and that’s what had happened with me—I didn’t want to. It didn’t feel right in my gut.

I had starting a jewelry business, and that's what I chose to stay with.

Not the right choice for everyone. The right choice for me? Definitely. 100 times over.

Was it, and is it still, super, super scary and sometimes lonely? You betcha.

Just a year into being out of college I was learning so much more—about myself, about the world. I grew like never before in my life. Now, I’ve found my calling.

And no, it isn’t to make jewelry.

But it isn’t to not make jewelry, either. My calling is to be an entrepreneur, a storyteller—to be independent. To create space in my life to adventure into my passions through running a business.

To travel the road that resonates with me. To listen when my calling pulls me in a new direction and create a life that gives me the freedom to follow my inner voice. To put in the work right now for this dream.

Your calling doesn’t have to be one thing. It isn’t a eureka moment. Your calling is a journey that might not have a destination.

It’s been a long journey so far, and I’m not wildly successful quite yet. Honestly, I don’t need to be. It’s enough to know you’re on the right path and feel it in your bones.

Did I get sick because I made the wrong choice being swayed by outside forces? Did I just push myself too hard? Was it a coincidence and a perfect excuse to leave college? 

I don’t know. In my own way, though, I’m very thankful for that scary time in my life. And though I may have disappointed most people who know me, I didn’t disappoint myself. I’m on good terms with myself, and I feel in my soul I’m right where I am supposed to be.

Whatever your path is, college-related or not, I hope you learn to sense those gut feelings. And I hope they pull you onto the path you’ve always dreamed of travelling.

How to Win Free Jewelry

So, I don't know if hacking a giveaway is possible--it's pretty much entirely based on chance.

But, I can tell you how easy it is to enter giveaways for Heaven in a Rage jewelry, made with resin and real flowers and leaves (I have less than 100 entries as of writing this, which just makes chances for winning higher).

All the pictures below are all Heaven in a Rage giveaways!

I believe business is about giving as much as taking, in a sense. So there's no catch--these giveaways are truly free. That's also why I often will giveaway high-quality pieces made with 14k gold-fill, 18k gold-fill, and sterling silver.

And I try to make entering is simple as possible.

I do a giveaway every few months--about 4-5 times a year. But you can enter once and be entered for ALL future giveaways. Click below to enter.

There's only one condition: I keep track of everyone entered by putting them on my email list (I use a trusted email service provider that keeps all your information safe and secure).

If you unsubscribe from an email list, which you're free to do at any time, you won't be entered for giveaways anymore.

That's it! Good luck.

Hi! I'm Kayla. I'm a handmade jewelry maker and teacher.

I teach and create open bezel resin jewelry (you can see through the resin to the back side).

I've been creating resin jewelry for 2 years, using my streamlined technique, plus real flowers and leaves.

I always strive to create new designs and quality handmade work. I sell my work throughout the year between opening my e-course for enrollment (Resin Jewelry Making), and email list subscribers get notified of new pieces available as well as exclusive offers.

8 Tools You Need to Have for Successful Open Resin Jewelry

When it comes to making open back, or open bezel, resin jewelry there’s 8 tools that I’ve found help create success.

All crafts have tools that make things easier, and fortunately these are all pretty common tools. You might already have things like jewelry pliers and a utility lighter—and some items are even more common items.

And if you don’t have an item, it won’t be too hard to find at your local department store.

These are the tools I use to create open resin jewelry. I’m writing another blog post on the supplies I use and why I use them, but today let’s talk tools.

There’s alternatives to what’s on my list, but I use these for a reason. After lots of mishaps and learning through trial-and-error, I've narrowed down my essential tool list to these 8 items.

(In a rush? You can get a short, 1-page PDF printable of all 8 must-have tools here.)

1. Jewelry pliers

These are a staple for any jewelry crafter, helpful for cutting wire and chain, opening jump rings and links, and getting into tiny spaces. 3-in-1 usually has the regular jewelry pliers on top, capable of created loops and holding objects on the needle nose, plus wire cutters.

I use a 3-in-1 pair as well as a pair with a curved nose. Using two pliers at once is the most effective way to open and close jump rings and easily line them up after they're closed. And a curved nose can get into places and hold onto objects differently than the standard jewelry pliers.

2. A drill

Open bezel jewelry isn't impossible to find, but you can really open up your options if you can also use open links and connectors.

To attach them to bracelets, earrings, and necklaces you can drill a hole. Technically, you can use whatever kind of drill you would like.

I personally use a Spring Drill from Little Windows made specifically for resin. I use a brand of resin that's a little soft, which is great because it means it's flexible but also has it's downsides.

Plus, I'm also impatient and like to put together my jewelry as soon as I can, so sometimes I don't let the resin harden long enough to withstand the pressure of a drill. So, to ensure that I'm using as little pressure as possible so that the resin isn't strained (which creates cloudiness and white streaks) I just twist the drill and apply a light amount of pressure with my hand.

Yeah, I don't actually use he spring. But, it's a great option for a faster drill. My resin jewelry is thin because I don't like chunky jewelry, which also means this process of doing it by hand isn't painstakingly long. If a resin charm is super thick, a spring drill or electric drill would make the process a lot easier.

Definitely always have practice pieces you don't care about, especially if you haven't used a drill much in your life and aren't confident you can do it well.

Size-wise, I recommend using 1 to 1.5 millimeter drill bits. At this size, they can get delicate. Particularly 1 millimeter bits can break pretty easy, especially if it's drilling through a thick resin charm.

Of course, if you don't use open link or connectors and your open bezel charms already have jump rings soldered on to the charms--no holes needed!

3. Utility lighter

This one has so many names, BBQ lighter, candle flame lighter, etc. Even if you don’t have one at home—they come in handy for so much more than making resin crafts.

But, when it comes to resin it’s one of the most important tools. Alternatively, you could use a straw and blow on the surface of resin--but I have this weird, irrational fear of accidentally sucking in (plus, not matter how mild the resin smells, I like to wear a respirator for safety and smell reasons).

The heat of a flame pops bubbles in curing resin that are near the surface (curing is the state when the resin and the hardener are mixed together and begin the hardening process).

Heat in general is helpful for resin crafts—summer being the best climate to work in. The heat causes the resin to mix better, the resin to de-gas more quickly (resulting in less bubbles), and doesn’t slow the curing process like cold does (which is a good or bad thing depending on the situation).

As a jewelry maker and seller, I don’t always have the choice of only working when it’s warm—sometimes I have to create resin jewelry in the middle of winter. A heater helps, and using my utility lighter creates an even more noticeable affect on the bubbles in the resin because in the cold, there's more bubbles.

4. Short, wooden craft sticks

Short wooden craft sticks are perfect for mixing resin and hardener inside a plastic measuring cup, or medicine cup. Why short? With resin jewelry, a pretty small amount of resin is used. So the measuring cups the resin and hardener is mixed in are pretty tiny themselves.

A large wooden craft stick might tip out and fling curing resin everywhere (not a good situation to be in).

The short ones are the perfect size. They also work as the tool to add resin to your crafts and to spread the resin around. Make sure to use clean ones. 

5. Toothpicks

A really common household item I’ve found essential for making resin jewelry. It lets you get into small corners, it can pop bubbles, or it can even be used to twirl bubbles out of resin.

Have you wanted to make open back resin jewelry but don't have the time to wade through endless YouTube videos and Pinterest articles? Do you not have time to learn through trial-and-error?

For really tiny charms, I use toothpicks to pick up resin from the measuring up and drop the resin, literally drop by drop, onto the charm. An overflow is fixable, but it is a pain in the butt that we would all do best to avoid.

6. Cotton swabs

Cotton swabs are super helpful, when used carefully, to pick up little resin spills and messes. I mainly use them to stop resin from going over the side of a bezel.

Even if the resin dome on a charm isn't overflowing, if even a drop of resin falls on the edge of the charm, the resin will begin flowing down off the top, following the new pathway that was made for it.

To stop the resin from flowing downward on it's new pathway, I quickly grab a cotton swab and swipe along the sides.Even if the cotton swab doesn't grab all of the resin on the side of the bezel, once it cures it can easily be scraped off the sides.

But, be careful using cotton swabs, because the cotton fibers can get in the resin. Especially when you’re using tape for your open bezel charms, the cotton fibers can get pulled off by the sticky surface and get in the resin.

There last two coming up aren't must-haves, but they can make your life easier.

7. Small, sharp scissors

Specifically, I use cuticle scissors. Now, this tool isn't necessary but I find it really, really handy.

If an open charm was pressed flush against the tape and it has flowed out the bottom, or if during the hardening process the resin has flowed off from the top layer of the charm, I use cuticle scissors.

Once the messed up piece hardens, I use the sharp tip and curved edges to gently goad the overflow off of the charm. A nail or scrapper comes in handy, too.

8. Tweezers

Another non-essential, I keep tweezers handy because the make it easier to pick up small pieces of flowers, leaves, or small findings I want to embed in the resin.

I sometimes get resin on the tweezers, but you can wipe off the resin before it hardens (after it hardens, you can still get the resin off, but it isn't as easy).

There you have it! 8 tools to succeed at making open resin jewelry. To keep this list handy, you can get a printable PDF version of the list below.

To review, the eight must-have tools I use to make resin jewelry are: jewelry pliers, a drill, utility lighter, short & wooden craft sticks, toothpicks, cotton swabs, small scissors, and tweezers.

The last two are not necessary--but they are super helpful and easy to buy if you don't already have them.

Keep in mind that it's recommended to dedicate these tools to resin-jewelry. But, let's be honest, when I need to light a candle I use the same utility lighter I use for resin jewelry making.

However, this rule should be STRICT when it comes to food. Even though many epoxy resins are food-safe when cured, or hardened, when working with epoxy resin before it is cured it's recommended to not cross-contaminate with food.

So be sure not to use your tools for food just to be safe.

How to Care for Resin Jewelry

All kinds of jewelry need some kind of upkeep, but resin jewelry needs its own special care. In comparison to metals strengthened for use in jewelry, resin is a relatively soft substance easy to scratch and sensitive to chemicals. To make your resin jewelry long-lasting and to keep it in top condition for as long as possible, I have some tips and tricks for you.

Now, these aren’t rules so much as tips and do-them-as-often -as-you-can recommendations. I’m definitely not perfect and forget to take care of my jewelry properly—but, if we could all follow these rules all the time our jewelry would last a loooooong time (especially if the jewelry is high quality in the first place).

Of course, regular jewelry care for metal jewelry applies to resin jewelry because it's often on a metal chain or in a metal bezel. Things like removing your jewelry when:

  • Showering
  • Swimming
  • Putting on perfume or lotion

Avoiding these things helps prevent and slow down metal tarnish, which happens to all metals over time. So, water doesn't have a negative effect on resin, but it does encourage tarnish on metal.

But, beyond regular care there are some special requirements and emphasis on different things (storing in a dark place is IMPORTANT for resin jewelry!).

So to start, let's talk things to avoid.

How to Care For Resin Jewelry - things to avoid.jpg

Extreme Heat

Epoxy resin is a type of plastic, which means its melting point is lower than the melting point of metal. While epoxy resin can be flamed when its first mixed together and is still in the curing/ hardening stage, once it has cured a flame can ruin the piece.

And while leaving your resin jewelry out in the sun isn’t the end of the world—and the minor heat won’t ruin the piece—UV rays are damaging to the natural color of flowers and leaves and some epoxy resins yellow with UV light. Some epoxy resins are specifically designed to not yellow with exposure to UV light, like the brand I use.

Sharp Objects

Anything with a sharp edge can scratch the surface of resin. This could be possibly fixed with a simply extra coat applied to the top, but it’s easier to just avoid sharp objects in the first place.

Abrasive cloths, sandpaper, and the like also fall into this category. Even small scratches, if there's enough, can create a cloudy look.

Submerging in Liquids

This one is not just resin jewelry-specific.

Wearing any jewelry in the shower, pool, etc, will cause tarnishing to happen more quickly than usual. Basically, don't submerge in liquids, even if it is just water.

This may seem confusing when you read later in this post that sterling silver can be “cleaned” by submerging it in a concoction of boiling water, baking soda, vinegar, yadda yadda—I know. The thing is, this method is for removing tarnish that has already happened. And the “extreme heat” is good to avoid but boiling water is actually fine with epoxy resin in my experience.

Plated and even gold or silver filled jewelry have a limited number of layers before the base metal underneath is revealed--and once it is there is no way to brighten it unless it is re-plated by a professional jewelry (resin doesn't hold well in the process of this).

Harsh Chemicals

I know, there's chemicals everywhere. Even natural ones. But when I say harsh, I mean if particularly aggressive.

Chemicals such as acetone are known to eat plastic (and resin is a type of plastic). Alcohol, while useful at cleaning the metal parts of jewelry, can potentially damage the surface of epoxy resin, too. Perfume, which is often alcohol-based, is also a substance to avoid.


Oils seem pretty harmless right? Well, oils can ruin the surface of resin. It's not very noticeable and is fixable with an additional coat of resin, but when it comes to making your resin jewelry last as long as possible it's better not to leave oil on your jewelry.

It usually happens when it’s been sitting there a while. You might be thinking, “Oh, that’s fine, I’m not cooking while wearing my jewelry. I’m good.”

But the main culprit is actually the oils from human skin—especially for resin earrings which are often surrounded by hair and pick up oils from that as well. Necklaces, especially long ones that lay over your shirt all the time, are less effected.

So, a great way to take care of this is with mild dish soap. Dish soap is made to cut through grease. With some warm water it can remove oils. I do this before storing it (which I cover in more depth later on in this blog post). To remove a light amount of oil, use a soft non-abrasive cloth.

Speaking of cloths, you may be wondering , how do you clean (aka remove tarnish from) and store resin jewelry?

Also, I have a printable, short version of this guide you can keep handy to remember how to care for your resin jewelry. You can grab it by clicking the button below.


When it comes to jewelry, earrings need to be cleaned the most often, but otherwise people don’t often wash their jewelry to clean it. Rather, upkeep for jewelry involves removing tarnish that happens to all metals over time.

Water & oxygen exposure will tarnish all metals. If you are using sterling silver or solid gold, the tarnish can be removed to brighten the jewelry back up forever. Because underneath each layer of tarnish is just more of the same stuff, sterling silver or solid gold are the longest lasting options.

There's also platinum and some metals similar to platinum, but they're not as well known as gold and silver.

Plated jewelry, no matter what it is plated with, will tarnish just the same. But when brightened back up it will just continue to reveal the base metal beneath (which is usually a dull, dark gray). After attempting to remove tarnish, plating metals will look the same or worse.

In general, jewelry can be cleaned with:

  • Mild dish soap
  • warm water
  • a soft abrasive cloth can be used to remove some tarnish from (only) the metal (because, remember, something abrasive could scratch the surface of the resin)
  • --also, if you're removing tarnish from chain, a jewelry-dedicate toothbrush can be handy

But, this method of cleaning is not the best for removing tarnished metal.

Removing Tarnish

To remove tarnish from a sterling silver piece (sterling means 92.5% pure sterling with some other metals mixed in it to strengthen it enough to be worn) try this method:

It's all over the internet, so I have no idea where this originated, but I read about it at this website.

It takes:

  • a glass bowl lined with aluminum foil
  • or an aluminum baking dish
  • or a pot and a piece of aluminum foil

The aluminum will draw the tarnish to it by the end of this process. Next you need:

  • boiling water
  • salt
  • baking soda
  • white vinegar
  • a cloth to polish

I found that this technique for removing tarnish from sterling silver works great with resin jewelry I’ve made with Art Resin epoxy resin. I was nervous about the boiling water and let it cool slightly (just so it stopped bubbling) before I poured it. Still worked great.

Some versions don't call for salt or vinegar, but I used all the ingredients when I tested this. Maybe one day I'll skip it and see how well it works without it. There's many more ways (this article has 13 ways to remove tarnish), but this one is easy and I can verify that, despite the boiling water, it works great with resin jewelry.

It's quick, simple, and only requires household items—hard to argue it’s not worth it.

Plus, when it comes to small pieces and areas that are difficult to polish by hand (like chain), this method is a time-saver.


When not wearing your jewelry, prevent tarnish by keeping your jewelry in a closed container like a small baggie or a jewelry box (or both!). Air tight is preferable. Store this container in a dark, cool, dry area.

This helps to preserve the longevity of any flora embedded in the resin and the resin itself, since in darkness it isn't exposed unnecessarily to UV rays.

Like I said earlier, I’m not perfect about taking care of my jewelry. But make do, and go as far as you can.

I store my jewelry in a dresser drawer in a jewelry organizer. Pieces that I really want to keep nice go in little zip-lock baggies.

Not sure how you’ll remember all this? I have a free, 1 sheet printable with all this info briefly jam-packed to keep handy near your jewelry box.

So, care for your jewelry to make it last as long as possible to continue enjoying it. You don't have to keep it in a locked box and never wear it--and by wearing it, it will bear some wear and tear--but remember what to avoid, properly clean it, and you'll be good.

Is High Priced Jewelry Really Worth Your Money?

Jewelry, at times, comes at a higher price. Whether your buying materials for your next jewelry making project or you just enjoy buying finished jewelry—in this blog I am honest and upfront about what I’ve learned about the jewelry industry and the importance of what going into making jewelry.

But how can you tell when the "expensive" jewelry is worth it? When do you opt for the inexpensive option? And as a jeweler how do you decide what materials to work with?

I won't be covering much about stones or diamonds because that's not my area of expertise, but when it comes to quality and metal choice--I think everyone should know how to pick quality jewelry. In this article I cover in-depth knowledge on how to choose your jewelry based on your needs and wants.

The first clarification to make is the difference between fine and costume jewelry. It's not always easy to know the difference.

Fine Jewelry

Fine jewelry is any piece with precious metals, often with naturally occurring gemstones (as well as pearls or diamonds). 

What does "precious metal" mean?

  • gold
  • silver
  • and platinum

And the precious metal must be in at least a certain karat to be considered fine jewelry (at least 10 for gold). Karat measures the purity of a precious metal, such as gold. 100%, or 24 karat solid gold is usually too soft for jewelry-making.

So gold is often mixed with other metals to strengthen it so it's suitable for jewelry. The less it is mixed with other metals, the more pure. The more it is mixed with other metals--the less pure. So if the gold is 18 karat, it is 18 parts gold and 6 parts of another kind of metal. The lower the karat, the less shine and depth of gold.

Fine jewelry lasts long than costume jewelry, and can often be handed down through generations as a family heirloom. That's why they're considered investments.

Costume or Fashion Jewelry

Costume jewelry, otherwise called fashion jewelry, is made with non-precious metals, plated metals (silver plated, gold plated, etc) and/or man-made gemstones. A piece may have natural gemstones but plated metal, and it is still classified as fashion jewelry. And vice versa--if a piece has precious metal but man-made gemstones, pearls, or diamonds it is still costume jewelry.

Plating is a very thin layer of precious or non-precious metal over a base metal (this is usually an alloy of many types of metal). With time, all jewelry tarnishes and layers come off through wear and tear or oxidation. But when this plating comes off, underneath is a different color and tone--the base metal.

These differences aren't always discernible to the eye. Gold-plating, when new, can look like gold-filled* or solid gold. Always almost, the jeweler describes the materials of the pieces--if not, it's assumed to be non-precious, man-made costume jewelry without any special aspects. If there's something special about it, a jeweler will probably point it out.

*Gold-filled can be any karat, but it means that there are about 100 layers of plating. So while a solid karat of gold is often more pricey than, say, 92.5% solid silver, it's more economic to go with gold-fill. It last 100x longer than plating, but doesn't cost the same as it would if it were gold all the way through.

Overpriced vs. Underpriced

So, with that knowledge, how do we understand how jewelry becomes overpriced and underpriced? In reality, this is difficult to distinguish. There are many factors that go into the price of jewelry, besides being fine or costume jewelry. To name a few:

  • how much time the jewelry took to make (aka, handmade takes more time and often costs more or is underpriced and the jeweler makes less than their time is worth)
  • where it was made (sweatshops in China paying 13 cents an hour will be able to have lower retail prices than a one-woman--crafting, sourcing, marketing, everything--shop in the USA, for example)
  • the positioning of the brand (designer = the prices might be higher simply because of the name and how popular it is)
  •  the cost of materials, supplies, and tools needed to create the jewelry (not to mention “overhead” which means the cost of a studio, electricity, gas in the car to get to the post office)
  • whether or not the item is also sold in bulk at a discount to retail stores (if it is, that means the base price to allow for profit from sales needs to be doubled at the least)
  • the uniqueness of the piece (just like an artwork, originals are worth more, especially when they can’t be replicated easily or often)

Lots of variables. That means that aside from metal quality and the use of precious stones or metals—the price of any given piece of jewelry can vary greatly. Sometimes it can be overpriced, but sometimes it can also be underpriced.

When it comes to handmade jewelry, more often than not it is underpriced to keep up with competitors who often don’t understand how to structure prices and charge enough to keep the business alive. Some handmade jewelers simply enjoy their work and charge the bare minimum to cover the costs of what they deem a “hobby business”.

But this can be damaging to other sellers who price to stay in business and to grow the business to bigger and better things, because lower prices from other handmade sellers cheapen the value the average consumer puts on handmade jewelry (though it is not all created equal, since there are so many variable at play).

As a jeweler myself who has come to deeply understand the difference between metals and how to price to cover costs and overhead, to make enough per hour to stay in business—after nearly three years of doing this, I’ve come to a point where I understand the value of moderately priced jewelry (which may be “expensive” to some).

After all, "expensive" is a very opinionated word. Is $100 expensive? Is it only expensive for certain products? Is $1,000 the base level price for expensive jewelry? Or maybe just $500?

It comes down to what you want out of your jewelry; your personal preference. What matters to you? What do you value in your jewelry? Do you value diversity in your collection over high-quality? Do you value hypo-allergenic options?

Allergy-friendly Options

If you have sensitive skin or allergies, there are precious and non-precious metal options for you. 18 karat gold and .925 sterling silver (92.5% only silver, with 7.5% of other metals to strengthen the silver for jewelry use) are great options that often don't cause reactions. There's also silver-filled, which is the same concept as gold-filled.

However, white gold, which is often touted as allergy-friendly, is not a great option. White gold is made white by usually mixing in nickel. Sometimes, palladium is used instead of nickel, but this should be inquired about. Nickel is one of the most wide-spread allergies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 10 to 20% of people have an allergy to nickel.

Platinum is consider hypoallergenic because it doesn't need to be mixed with other metals to be strengthened--so you can use 100% platinum for jewelry. One kind of metal significantly decreases the likelihood of a reaction, and very few people have been known to react to platinum itself.

Palladium is similar to platinum, and is also considered hypoallergenic, but is a rarer metal that is harder to come by.

If you aren't looking for precious metal, any pure metal is your best bet. They aren't as shiny, but they can be cheaper. Popular pure metals great for sensitive skin--especially in piercings--are titanium and niobium. Titanium is dark, dull gray color, but like platinum it doesn't need anything to strengthen it. Niobium is the same, and can be colored through anodization.

Avoid plated metals and metals that aren't identified by the jeweler or shop (they're likely amalgams of many types of metals, increasing the likelihood of a reaction).

High Priced Jewelry Is Often Worth the Money

ESPECIALLY if the jeweler discloses that the metal is precious and high-quality, and that any gemstones, pearls, or diamonds are natural, not manufactured. Or, if the jeweler creates unique work that is time-consuming and requires skill--often, they also use quality materials for their work--it's worth it.

I want my jewelry to last. The jewelry I buy and the jewelry I make. I want it to look good forever—not just for a month. When it comes to stones and diamonds, I’m not an expert—but when it comes to metals like sterling silver and gold, I can’t recommend precious metals enough. They have a sparkle and shine that jewelry is known for—almost a glow that catches the eye.

And if you can’t splurge on sterling silver or gold-fill than opt for some sort of solid metal, such as copper or brass. You can always brighten these metals up, so long as they're solid copper or solid brass. And if you're wondering if there are metals that never tarnish--they don't exist. Over time, all metals tarnish and lose layers. You want to make sure that underneath it looks the same, so that as layers come off your jewelry will remain as you bought it (with proper care and cleaning, of course).

Again, at the end of the day, it's about what you want out of your jewelry and how long you want it last. Are you looking for something to go with a costume that you're not likely to wear 10 years from now, or are you wanting an heirloom you'll be passing on to your granddaughter?

I buy fashion jewelry somestimes. I think it's still worth it if I really love it, and besides--it typically doesn't cost as much. But, I also have fine jewelry pieces that are staples in my own personal jewelry collection, while costume jewelry comes and goes, they stay.

But, a word for the makers . . . 

In an economy where everyone seems to be feeling like there's less and less room in their budget--quality jewelry is worth it, but it may sell slower. If you sell your work, I recommend a mix to widen your price range. I offer antiqued brass sometimes, and other times 18 karat gold-fill. Sometimes I do use silver-plated, but I also offer .925 sterling silver. 

This offers diversity in price, so if someone wants some of my handmade jewelry they aren't forced to choose fine jewelry at the moment--they can go with fashion jewelry options.

Of course, if you're business is high-end and you refuse to have lower priced options because of branding and marketing reasons--stick with your gut. If your work is quality, charge what it's worth. The people who value quality and hard work will know it's more than worth the price.