Gracie Beal may be a mere 13 years old, but the young Texan’s jewels are captivating women of all ages. As a kid, she loved creating things out of knickknacks and tidbits. As a ‘tween she is creating jewelry that is sophisticated beyond her years. Her sensibility is innovative and ultimately high-end.
I ordered the one-of-a-kind Curlicue gold-heart earrings, twisted like little, dangling sculptures from plain gold wire. The French Glamour earrings are dainty droplets that will glimmer when they peek out from any shade of loose tendrils. Wear skeleton keys on your ears for punk rock-meets-antique romance or the butterfly stud earrings for girlish whimsy.
Mark my words: Gracie Beal is the real deal. Expect to see her in the glossy mags soon and her jewels on ears of the elite.
Curlicue Romantic Wire Heart Earrings. On Etsy for $18.
French Glamour Dangle Earrings. On Etsy for $15.
Skeleton Key Earrings. On Etsy for $16.
Butterfly Studs in Eggplant Purple. On Etsy for $10.
1. When did you start designing jewelry?
I started designing jewelry long before I started making it, but for the most part I started this past August. I’d made a few pairs of earrings as gifts and I realized that I loved making them, and that they were just such a wonderful outlet for all of my creativity! I’ve always been artsy, and designing was just the thing that I needed to come across.
2. How old are you?
I am 13 years old and in the 8th grade, which really hinders people’s view of me as a business partner capable of design.
3. Buying raw materials gets expensive, how are you funding your jewelry line?
I started out with a little bit I had saved and then went from there. As I got orders, my income increased and I was able to buy plenty of raw materials and even things that I could just mess around with and look at the results.
4. What’s big for Fall 2011 from Gracie’s Designs?
My Fall 2011 collection is going to be really subtle and inspired by nature. I’m planning on using a lot of metal and making designs detailed. The style is probably going to be kept neutral. Though many people say that retro and bold pieces are big this fall, I plan to keep my earrings laid back with a vintage touch, and slightly bohemian. Not to say there won’t be a few statement pieces…I’ve got a few things up my sleeve! I’m very excited to begin delving into the fall collection with the start of summer…no school = design time.
5. What is your dream job?
I’m not all that sure, but I know there has to be a lot of creativity involved with it! I would love to become a jewelry designer, but I think it would also be fun to pursue other talents of mine and become an actress or singer. I’ve always loved just having fun with things that you can interpret, and acting, singing, and designing all fall in that category.
6. How many hours a week do you spend on your handmade creations?
I’m slowly building up the time I spend designing, and I’ve taken it from about 30 minutes a week to near 4-5 hours. It’s often hard to fit designing in with my school life and my social life, but I’m hoping it will become easier.
7. Any tips for other pre-teens who aspire to design jewelry?
Definitely! The first huge, huge thing is don’t let anybody tell you no. It’s a little cliche, but it’s so true. I’ve had people and storeowners laugh at me when I told them I was 13. Now I’m managing a small business. It’s also important to never lose sight of what you love. Sometimes when sales get slow or you get caught up in a world of marketing, press, prices, SEO, and technical stuff, it’s really hard to remember why you even started in the first place. You always have to keep that love for what you do. Another tip: be fearless. Don’t be scared to talk to a potential customer or a store buyer. The worst thing they can do is say no! It took me a while to get that, but the sooner you understand, the more it works for you.
8. When did your interest in jewelry begin?
I like to say it was when I was born. I mean, I was the kid pulling at my mom’s hoop earrings! My favorite game as a kid was Pretty Pretty Princess, where you played along a game board to get jewelry for each accomplishment and become the prettiest princess of all. As I grew up, I got into my mom’s jewelry, spent forever in the jewelry section at places like Limited Too and Claire’s, and sketched little pictures of outfits and matching accessories. I made very, very simple pairs of earrings for my aunts for Christmas 3 years ago, and that was when I realized that I could actually make jewelry! I shortly forgot about my interest in crafting jewelry, until August of 2010. I went to the craft store, got a tool kit, beads, and some findings, and I was off to work. I marveled at the idea that someone might actually like my pieces enough to buy them! I’ve never thought twice about making jewelry, and my love for design and jewelry has never failed me.
9. What stores are you at?
I’m currently in the Impeccable Pig on Hillcrest by Snider Plaza, and in BeTween Scene in Inwood Village.
10. Your favorite piece of the season?
Something within my price range would be Anthropologie’s Feather Lace Earrings. I am in LOVE with everything from Anthropologie!
As for a splurge… I would have to go with Judy Geib’s Squash earrings at Barney’s. The color is gorgeous and the antiqued gold is just the finishing touch!