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the g+h blog

The Grace Necklace: How to Style it 3 Ways

The Grace Necklace: How to Style it 3 Ways

I've been sharing our Grace Necklace a lot on social media lately because it is quickly becoming a favorite at the shop. It was also recently featured in British Vogue's April 2018 edition. What a dream! I designed the Grace Necklace in 2010, back when I owned my first brick + mortar jewelry boutique, and I still wear it today. It truly is the definition of a timeless, classic piece. While it might appear appropriate only for fancy occasions, below I share three ways to style it so you'll get a ton of wear out of this investment piece.

Style 1: All things fancy

Let's get the obvious out of the way! I love pairing the Grace Necklace with all things fancy. Wear this to a wedding, bridal shower, broadway show, charity gala, you name it.  

Style 2: Dress it down

Believe it or not, you can dress down this necklace too. Some of the places I've worn it --

- to work with a white button down

- to brunch with a button down chambray shirt, white jeans, and my gold Jack Rogers

- to happy hour with a white t-shirt, skinny black pants, and heels

I keep my outfit simple yet classic and polished and add Grace for that just-right sparkle.

  

Style 3: Wedding bells

Last but certainly not least, the Grace Necklace is perfect for a bride or bridal party. I've had quite a few orders over the years for this very thing. Match the necklace with simple gold or pearl studs and you are all set. Every time you or your best girlfriends wear this necklace (see above!) you'll remember how much fun you had on your wedding day. I think the ultimate gift for a bridesmaid is a piece you can wear well beyond the wedding and will have for a long time to come. The Grace Necklace is just that.

Photo credit: Iron + Honey Photography

 

 

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The Entrepreneur Life, Volume 1: Mindset

The Entrepreneur Life, Volume 1: Mindset

Photo Credit: Iron + Honey Photography

Read time: 4 minutes

It's been a minute since I've blogged but I wanted to get back at it in a big way. I'm starting a new blog series called "The Entrepreneur Life" because I have received so many inquiries about leaving a job you hate and following your passions (for more on how I did that, head over to my "About" page here). I hope you learn something from my musings about following your passions and turning them into a lifelong career. At the bottom of each post, I'll include some practical steps and "how to's."

The first post in this series is called "Mindset" because it is, hands down, the most critical ingredient to following a passion. Whenever someone asks me for advice on how to start their own business or quit their current job to pursue one that's more in line with their passions, my first piece of advice is always this -- work on your mindset the most. Even more than you work on your website or resume. If your mindest isn't right, no amount of work is going to connect all the dots on the path to a successful business or career.

By mindset I mean, quite simply, knocking out all the fears that are keeping you in your current job and preventing you from following your passions. These may include the following: fear that others (such as your family) will judge you for quitting a stable job; fear of uncertainty; fear of giving up a steady paycheck; fear that you can't make enough money doing what you love; fear that it will take too many years to build a business that can support you financially. If you believe you can't earn a living being a writer or personal stylist or baker, you won't. Similarly, if you believe you can make more money pursuing a dream than a regular paycheck, you will. It really is that simple, but it does take a lot of work to get to that place of true understanding and belief in these simple principles. One of my favorite quotes to sum up this learning process is from the Wizard of Oz, "You always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself." We are our own worst enemies -- but the beauty in that is that we hold the power to change. You don't need to convince anyone else but yourself. 

The biggest difference for me between my first business (a brick and mortar jewelry store which ultimately failed in 2011) and my current business (grace + hudson) is my mindset. Back in 2011, I didn't truly believe I deserved a better life than billing 80 hours per week as an attorney, constantly arguing with others for a living (if you've come to know me, you know that doesn't fit my personality at all).  Now I believe I deserve to earn a living doing something I love. I believe that I don't need to "sell my soul" to afford my living expenses. I believe that I can create a business that reflects my ideals and my authentic self, and therefore brings me joy on a daily basis. I believe that I can blaze new trails that lead to a super successful business, and that I don't have to be like every other jewelry artist on the planet, struggling to make sales any which way they can. When you truly have these beliefs, you receive out-of-the-box inspiration, you wind up in the right place at the right time, you come up with ideas that seem divinely inspired, you blaze new trails. For example, if you believe you can only make $20k per year as a baker, begging to sell cupcakes to passersby, you are completely foreclosing other possibilities. What if Oprah Winfrey stumbled upon your cupcakes, posted about them on Instagram, and you sold your entire daily inventory and received 1,000 online orders in 3 minutes flat? Your negative mindset is completely foreclosing that option, and other less radical ones that have just as much power to lead to a "sold out" sign. The mental momentum of out-of-the-box possibilities is a powerful thing, let me tell you!     

Practical Next Steps + How To's: 

If mindset is holding you back, I would highly recommend meditating. Meditating helps stop negative, fearful thoughts and helps you get in touch with the amazing, powerful possibilities that come to us in stillness. I would also recommend reading a few books by some of my favorite thought leaders (listed below). This is the exact path that worked for me, and I continue to reinforce it everyday. It's the first thing I do in the morning, and the last thing I do before bed. It doesn't need to take hours. Even a few minutes per day of meditating and reading a short passage will lead to gains. Or, on a really busy day, just set an alarm in your phone that goes off every hour and says something like "I welcome infinite possibilities for success" or "I choose positive thoughts over fear-based thoughts."  

Here are some of my favorite books to get you started. Financial fear is probably a big one for you, as it was for me -- and I'd recommend reading "You are a Badass at Making Money" by Jen Sincero (get it here). If you already meditate and/or believe in the law of attraction, I'd recommend reading "Life Visioning" by Michael Bernard Beckwith (available here). It'll help you get in touch with the vision you have for your life, and understand only you have the power to make it come true, and similarly only you have the power to make it not come true. If you've never meditated before and need help with the constant stream of negative thoughts that hold you back from following your passions, I would recommend a 40-day practice called "May Cause Miracles" by Gabby Bernstein (find it here). It's a great place to start to end those negative, fear-based thoughts that are keeping you stuck. It only takes about 5 minutes per day -- get it on Audible and play it while you brush your teeth in the morning. Giving up these fears is a daily practice. A daily choice. But it does get easier the more you do it. 

If I know one thing for certain, it's that a fulfilling, successful business first starts in your mind.  Changing your mindest is the greatest gift you will ever give to yourself, and your future business or career!

Photo Credit: Iron + Honey Photography

 

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My Favorite Jewelry Brands, Volume 1: Melanie Auld

My Favorite Jewelry Brands, Volume 1: Melanie Auld

Photo Credit: melanieauld.com

When I launched this jewelry blog back in June, one of the things I promised to do is share my favorite jewelry brands. Believe it or not, I don't always wear gold + dainty (insert winking smiley face). Just like you, I have a collection of jewelry that ranges from dainty pieces to statement pieces, and everything in between. I just happen to love designing and making dainty jewelry. There's something extra special about designing a piece that seems simple, yet can be worn every single day and on so many different occasions. Anyways, enough about me. Let's talk about Melanie Auld, the first jewelry brand that I just had to introduce you to. While Melanie makes a full collection of jewelry, her rings definitely take center stage. They are literally the most beautiful things I've ever seen, begging to be layered and stacked.

Photo Credit: melanieauld.com

Melanie is based in Canada, and her pieces can be found online at melanieauld.com as well as in Anthropologie and Nordstrom stores. She works primarily with 14k gold-plated brass. You'll find many pieces in the $100 range, so you can certainly treat yourself. P.S. -- that's going to be a running theme on this jewelry blog - I believe in jewelry you can #treatyoself to, the more the merrier. While I have two or three fine jewelry pieces from special occasions, I'm an everyday girl -- if I had to wait until a birthday or holiday to add new jewelry to my collection, I'd just cry! 

Photo Credit: melanieauld.com

Melanie's also collaborated with Jillian Harris (that's right, the former Bachelorette) on a small collection, many with heart detailing. I love Jillian's home decorating style, and her taste in jewelry is just as beautiful (have you caught her on HGTV's Love it or List it?) You can find the collection here.

Photo Credit: melanieauld.com

Like what you see? Melanie is having her end of summer sale! You can click here to shop styles at up to 50% off. Seriously! I just bought this ring for $55, what a steal.  

A friendly little note: this post is not sponsored or an advertisement. I just introduce you to brands I love, that reflect my personal sense of style, and that I believe in!

Happy shopping + expanding your jewelry collection, xoxo!

 

 

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The Inspiration Behind the Names of Your Grace+Hudson Jewelry

If you’ve taken a look around graceandhudson.com, you know that I name the jewelry in my collection after women. I’ve been asked a few times now, who is Layla? Who is Natalie? I love how I’ve (quite unintentionally!) intrigued you with these names. So, here’s a bit about my naming inspiration (p.s. in the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing ALL that inspires me on the new grace+hudson account on Pinterest. Look out for all things pretty, airy, light, and peaceful!) 

The name game is a pretty fun process over here at grace+hudson. Some pieces are named after real women in my life. The Nina Choker, for example, is named after a good friend I met at SoulCycle (my home away from home! The SoulCycle community in Chicago is seriously full of amazing, inspiring, and kind women). Nina happens to be the blonde model you see in my bridal photos on the site. It was a nice way to thank her for her help at the photo shoot - she's a natural! 

Nina wearing the Nina Choker
(Photo Credit: Iron + Honey Photography)

Other pieces are born through the custom design process, and then it only feels right to name it after the woman who ordered it. Last month, a friend told me how much she loves the fishbone chain you see in the Layla and Luna pieces. But she also really loves the Callie Choker. So, we decided to make the fishbone chain into a choker. She looked stunning in it, and the Caitlin Choker was born (no, despite what you may think, the Caitlin choker is not, in fact, named after Caitlyn Jenner).

Caitlin Tracey (CT as we call her!) wearing the Caitlin
and Callie Chokers (she loves to layer them)

And finally, some pieces are not named after real-life people at all, but rather just the way they look and feel. If you follow me on Instagram @graceandhudson, you may have seen my inspo behind the Natalie Necklace. To me, Natalie represents a woman who is sophisticated, strong yet feminine, effortless, but also a little modern. You know, she really has her sh** together. So, maybe your name is Natalie and this sounds like you, or maybe you just want to be like Natalie and channel some of those strong, feminine, sophisticated vibes when you wear the necklace. Soon, I’ll share all of the character traits behind each name + each piece on the website. And maybe someday you’ll see a piece named after you! 

The Natalie Necklace
(Photo Credit: Iron + Honey Photography)

 

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Quick Trick: Turn Your Choker Necklace Into A Bracelet

Quick Trick: Turn Your Choker Necklace Into A Bracelet

Photo Cred: Iron + Honey Photography

I love that choker necklaces are all the rage right now. It's been a while! Do you remember those itchy, stretchy plastic flower chokers from the 90's that came in every color of the rainbow? No? Click here for a flood of memories, friend. Thankfully, the latest generation of chokers are stylish, dainty, and feminine. Since you're likely adding a choker or two to your collection this summer, I wanted to share a quick trick with you to get double the wear: turn your choker necklace into a bracelet. And it's so easy. Just wrap the choker around your wrist (for me, it loops around my wrist twice) and secure the clasp. I shared this tip on Instagram Stories a few days ago, and I already saw a few of you turning your g+h chokers into bracelets on social media. If you missed it, I've shared the video again below. Follow me on Instagram @graceandhudson for more styling tips. (p.s. please feel free to send me jewelry selfies or tag me in your posts! I repost them on Instagram Stories all the time.)

This little trick should work with all choker necklaces that come with extenders (that small length of chain at the end of a necklace that allows you to secure the clasp at differing lengths). All grace + hudson chokers and necklaces come with extenders for the perfect fit, and to assist you in achieving the perfect layered look when wearing multiple necklaces. You should definitely pop over to graceandhudson.com and check out the Callie Choker (shown in the video) and the Nina Choker (pictured above). Or you can just click here to view them both. These two chokers look really stunning as bracelets.

Want to up-level your jewelry style even further? Layer your choker necklaces with dainty necklaces, and your choker bracelets (I'm coining the term, thank you!) with chunkier bracelets. I generally recommend stacking in bunches of 3, whether on your neck or on your wrist.

Cheers to getting double the wear out of one piece of jewelry!

Grace + Hudson Jewelry: How To Turn a Choker into a Bracelet from Stacy Mikulik on Vimeo.

 

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The One Simple Step You Can Take To Preserve Your Jewelry

The One Simple Step You Can Take To Preserve Your Jewelry

 

Welcome to grace + hudson! I'm so happy you joined me on launch day! In all of my business research and prep work to launch g+h, I noticed that no one is blogging really well about jewelry. So, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the first ever blog post on the g+h jewelry blog. Here, I'll introduce you to other fabulous jewelry brands (it might be hard to believe, but I don't *always* wear gold + dainty jewelry!), teach you how to care for your jewelry, provide you with styling tips, educate you on all those fancy metal names you may see when browsing jewelry, how to pick the right piece of jewelry for a formal event, among other things. First up though, is the one simple step you can take to preserve the life (and shine!) of your jewelry.  

I've been making jewelry for nearly 10 years now, and I used to own a small jewelry boutique in New Jersey, where I'm from originally. One question I always get is: what can I do to preserve the shine of my jewelry and care for it the right way? The single practice that can prolong the shine of your jewelry is so simple you'll wonder how you missed this information before - store it in a jewelry box. No, jewelry boxes aren't just home accents for the top of your dresser, or just pretty gifts exchanged between girlfriends. Rather, the entire concept of a jewelry box is to minimize your jewelry's exposure to air. Air exposure causes any metal, whether a piece of jewelry or a pipe under your kitchen sink, to lose its luster over time. So, storing your jewelry in a box is the most effective step you can take to preserve the life of your jewelry. And aren't you glad it takes no time at all?

Now for the important question - where can you find yourself a stylish jewelry box? If you're like me, you probably remember being gifted more than one jewelry box when you were little from your mama or grandmama (I distinctly remember one that was blue velvet - yes, we've got an 80's baby over here). But you probably can't remember the last time you saw one out shopping. It's been a while since I bought a jewelry box too, so I did a little shopping around for you, and linked my two favorites. If you're looking to add a little glam to the top of your bedroom dresser, go for the West Elm glass box. It is so pretty in person (and I actually use these boxes when I display my jewelry for sale!). You can find them here. If, however, you are looking for a jewelry box that will neatly store away in your closet or dresser drawer, go for the Vlando Jewelry Boxes (they come in a ton of colors, too). These babies are so cheap, but trust me they feel quality in person. You can even get them with Amazon Prime here, woohoo!

 

This is also the reason I'm including these really pretty suede jewelry pouches with every purchase! Use it for travel, pop it in your gym bag, or store your jewelry in it everyday. Enjoy your jewelry, loves!

     

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