Donna and Arie, both retired, ventured onto a new path 10 years ago. Inspired by beads that they had encountered in their travels, they began creating jewelry. Before they knew it, they were in business and participating in arts and crafts shows in Florida and the Northeast.
Donna and Arie began with very basic designs until they began to take classes at the Boca Museum of Art, Armory Art Center and Crystal Creations Bead Institute in Florida, Rio Grande in Arizona, New York and Israel. They learned pearl knotting, soldering, chain maile, beading and became certified in PMC. In addition, every year they spend a month in Israel studying design and developing new techniques.
Their specialties include wrist wraps, personalized name & medical alert bracelets, metal embossing, polymer clay, and their newly released line of metal stamping in English and Hebrew. Visit their website to learn more about their works of art and how they incorporate our silks in their pieces!
Meet Tammy Rae, one of our clients who pairs our silks with her gorgeous hot glass creations!
Even as a small child, Tammy Rae wove loops on a metal loom to make pot-holders, made tissue paper flowers, stuck sparkly sequins into styrofoam balls with pins and glittered anything and everything that didn’t move. Her love for jewelry started young as well. As she tells it, “Grandma didn’t have much in the way of jewelry but there were a few precious strands of vintage pearls and crystals that turned me into a princess for the moments I was allowed to model them.
One day, a friend needed jewelry for her daughter’s wedding so she went shopping for Swarovski Crystals and her vast collection of beads was launched. After a couple years of stringing with anything that could hang on beading wire, she saw some Boro beads which she thought were simply magical. She signed up for a class with Doug Remschneider at Bead & Button and started melting…..and loved it! During the years that followed she has had the opportunity to study with some Boro greats including Sabina Boehm, Milon Townsend, Brent Graber and Steven Hagstrom. She now melts glass and creates jewelry in her home studio as often as possible.
What Tammy Rae Says About Our Silks
“Besides being beautiful and going SO well with my glass designs, having your ribbons has saved me so much time. Being a lampwork artist, my business is divided between being a “supplier” for jewelry designers and being a designer myself for shows that have a need for finished jewelry for buyers who just “want to wear it home today.” Having your ribbons allows me to very quickly switch almost my entire product line to finished pieces and then to switch it back when I need to for bead and trunk shows. I also have them hanging at every show I do and they sell all by themselves…the easy extra sales are always appreciated.”
Our friends at LilyGirl Jewelry have a creative way of using our silk ribbons in their designs. Their vision started in early 2004 when two sisters began sculpting and bending wire. Denise and Lori, this creative sister pair, decided to put their visions into effect and thus LilyGirl Jewelry was born. But who is Lily? No other than Lori’s ever-loving dog!
Soon their creations began feature Class Act Design‘s silk ribbon. Working out of their studio in Fallbrook, California, beautiful and unique pieces are created with the ribbon. This duo has made everything from necklaces to bracelets, earrings and head pieces. Whether it is woven, braided or adorned with charms, LilyGirl loves using our ribbons!
Be sure to find LilyGirl Jewelry on their website, blog and Facebook. They sell jewelry online as well as host parties for anyone interested in bringing friends together to share their creations. Denise and Lori are great at what they do and believe that “although jewelry may not solve the world’s problems, it sure does make life more beautiful.” We’re a big fan of these women and love how they use our ribbon!
Class Act Designs is going east this August to the Philadelphia Bead Show! Starting on August 17 we will have a booth featuring our wonderful ribbons that will be available for purchase and we will highlight many new fall colors. If you are interested in wholesale or retail sales, feel free to drop by and we would be more than happy to assist you. We also will be meeting new artists who are interested in being featured on our website.
The Philadelphia Bead show is a three-day event featuring artists from all over the country, while also incorporating numerous workshops throughout the day. Over 350 booths are going to be featured selling beads, beading supplies, tools and much more. Instructors are going to be present hosting workshops as well as instructional technique sessions to teach new ways to bead! The cost of admission to the show is $12 for a weekend pass, but click here to receive $2 off of admission. Opening at 10 am each day, the bead show will close by 6pm Monday through Saturday and 5pm on Sunday. It is located at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA so be sure to look for Class Act Designs at booth #556. Contact us on Twitter and Facebook if you will be at the Bead Show and we will see you there!
Her passion for everything beaded, dyed and glam began at the young age of four when Lisa’s mother started a jewelry business in her basement. Her mother’s company Red Cobra Inc. inspired Lisa’s young enthusiasm for jewelry and she remarks she “can still picture the natural straw and Rit dye swirling around in our washing machine.” Lisa quickly fell in love with the industry as she was surrounded by the artistic creativity of jewelry making which stayed with her throughout her adult years.
Lisa attended Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and graduated with a BFA in Fibers. Her career began as a fabric stylist in New York City, but quickly everything stopped when her father died of brain cancer. Although it was the beginning of her career, she decided to move back home and become a physician assistant.
Lisa’s return into the jewelry industry came unexpectedly when she was on vacation with her husband a few years ago. A sea glass beaded bracelet that she purchased brought back Red Cobra Inc. childhood memories that inspired Lisa to begin working with jewelry again. Today, Lisa enjoys working with brooches and earrings from the 70’s or broken pieces that she can make into wearable art.
To this day, Lisa still continues to work in the medical field and helps patients and their families navigate through the different cycles of life. However, with her return to the jewelry industry, Lisa states it is her true passion and enjoys the creativity and memories that jewelry making creates for her. Lisa works Class Act Design’s silk ribbon into many of her pieces and the manner in which she does sets her apart from many jewelry designers. Look into Lisa Taxin Jewelry on her website which also has an online store.
Summer has unfolded! Along with the beautiful weather, endless BBQs, and sports mania, the colors of the summer are perhaps the most thrilling aspect of it all. From neons to pastels and sun-dripped yellows, this summer is overflowing with vibrant hues. Class Act Designs has debuted numerous new colors perfect for your summer palette. There is a color for everyone and enough to adorn your summer wardrobe whether you are seeking a beach vacation or camping in the woods. Flash Poppin’ Pink when you are out with girls, A-Maize-ing Grace is perfect for your beach outfit and wear Breakfast at Tiffany’s…well do we even need to say where?
Be sure to take a look at all the colors Class Act Designs has to offer, over 159, and you will be sure to find some to accompany you this summer. Wrap the ribbon around your wrist and add a charm or wear it long around your neck and add your favorite pendant. Play up your summer style! Also, be sure to take a look at all the artisan made charms we offer to deck out your ribbon. Find Class Act Designs on Facebook and Twitter and tell us which ribbon you are going to be rocking this summer.
Every successful business begins with one great idea and for Fran Cey and Judy Solomon, it was silk thread. However it took time for their business, Class Act Designs to develop into what it is today. Beginning in 2000 they catered to schools and universities by assembling Swarovski crystals and silver components using school colors. Fran had an artistic eye and Judy was able to put her visions into reality and this power team developed Class Act Designs into the successful business it is now.
Five years down the road, Cey and Solomon decided to change direction in their path and concentrate on the silk ribbons. Their business was utilizing silk ribbons, but they were not happy with their supplier, so began to make the ribbons themselves. This was the right choice for them and within one year CAD had an expert dyer as well as two professional sewers. Cey likes to use “colors that we see in our everyday lives” and that has now expanded to over 158 ribbon colors. It is clear that for Cey and Solomon, Class Act Designs is a passion that runs deep. This power pair share mutual compassion for what they do. “Judy and I inspire each other to work hard and laugh constantly,” says Fran.
Class Act Designs has grown extensively over the past few years and internationally as well. They are regular advertisers in Bead and Button Magazine, Bead Magazine UK, and Bead and Style. Often, designers using their silk ribbons are featured in those trade journals .In addition, they can be found at three bead festivals each year, the Bead and Button show in Wisconsin, Tucson Bead Show in Arizona and Bead Fest in Philadelphia. Find more information on their website and follow them on Twitter and like their Facebook page.