POUND RIDGE, N.Y. Amy Fine was looking for a new creative outlet.
The Pound Ridge woman had retired from her job as a creative director in the recording industry and was looking to start a new career. She found it as a jewelry designer. Now, one of her signature items a leather bangle has been chosen to be included in the swag bags given to the presenters and nominees at this years MTV Movie Awards.
Fine, who has lived with her husband and two children in Pound Ridge the past seven years, previously resided in Bedford, where she started the business in her home. Its come a long way since then.
I am definitely building a brand and a following, she said of the business known as Amy Fine Design. I am contributing to the household income, which wasn't something I planned.
In the wake of her recording industry retirement, Fine said she took a metal smelting class. The idea she could design and create her own jewelry pieces didn't take root until she took her girls to one of those places where you can build your own pottery and beads and other clay bric-a-brac.
I made a necklace and wore it out to dinner that night, she recalled. A friend offered to buy it. I was really flattered. I thought, maybe Im good at this.
She began creating her own jewelry pieces primarily high end in earnest and would put on shows at her home and invite 100 or more women to attend.
The women were happy to come by and I was making a lot of money, she said. It was very exciting and I thought it was the start of something.
Fine began to take her show on the road. She would display at area arts and crafts shows and holiday fairs. But it was a lot of work and often entailed getting up at five in the morning and traveling long distances. Two years ago, she decided to move her business to the Internet.
It meant no more schlepping, she said. Suddenly, the entire world is your audience.
She hooked up with Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade goods that boasts some 800,000 sellers
Its huge and sells hundreds of millions of dollars in merchandise a year, Fine said. They provide the template and the management. But I shoot every picture [of the jewelry] and write the descriptions to entice the buyer.
Getting noticed on Etsy isnt always easy, but in the past 18 months Fine has done just that. If you search Amy Fine Design on Google, her Etsy-based website will appear on the searchs first page. While thats made the business more lucrative, its kept her busy. She works at least six hours a day, seven days a week, and sleeps with her laptop close by.
I make it, I sell it, I package it and its all I can do to keep up, she said, noting she constantly is searching for new ideas and designs to keep her inventory fresh.
Her association with The Artisan Group, an organization that represents artisans who create handmade products is what led her to the MTV Movie Awards gig. Shell provide them with 100 of her leather bangles, which also happen to be her No. 1 seller, for the swag bags, along with one of her necklaces that will be put on display. The celebrities who enter the gift lounge at the LErmitage Beverly Hills Hotel will try on some of the pieces and be photographed. If a young starlet, such as Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) or Kristen Stewart (the Twilight movies), is seen wearing some of Fines work, it could launch Amy Fine Design into a whole new stratosphere.
The awards show is slated to be aired June 3.
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