I am *not* an organized or thoughtful designer. Most available space in my home eventually accumulates a pile of works in progress, findings and potential projects. I grab beads and design as the fancy strikes me. That might mean icy-blue Apatite in the middle of summer or beachy designs in January. I’m not what you might call “collection minded”. I do one-of-a-kinds and small batches. Does that limit my business? Yeah, probably. It’s far harder to market and sell unique pieces. It means more photography, more online listings, more pricing and merchandising to consider, and leaner margins because I tend to buy 5-10 strands of a stone instead of 50-100. If you want to be a scalable business, minding margins and curating collections can help you reach your goals more quickly. Even though I choose not to follow the rules, that doesn’t mean I don’t know them. I just mindfully rebel.

For the sake of fun and my love of Pantone, this blog is going to cover the elements I’d hypothetically use to build a collection around some of this season’s “it” colors:

An easy way to create a cohesive collection? Focus on neutrals. Boring? Nope. We’re working with stone, after all, and the variation of pattern, cut and size that comes with it. Check out how keeping some consistent neutral elements while varying shape, size, and stone types makes different pairings look like they belong together. Of course, that’s all good in theory, but what happens when it comes to design? This bracelet stack is proof positive that quiet colors don’t mean forgettable designs.

If you want to add a pop of unexpected color, this approach also helps that color look like it fits right in. Keep the pop from being visually jarring by pairing it with colors that pick up subtle undertones in the stone. We don’t think of Purple Crazy Lace Agate as a stone with golden tones, but check out what happens in this photo. Cool, huh?

Not feeling the warm neutral vibe above? No worries. Check out what happens when you focus on shades of gray! Here, we’re using the gray base color with more pops of color. The grays tie it together, the color pops make it fun.

Still not cool enough for you? Bring in some blue! The natural blue flash of Matte Labradorite makes blue pairing a cinch. Even if you keep the Labradorite solo with some simple silver spacers it still looks great next to a combination of bright and muted blues. It helps that the teal flash in the Labradorite echoes the Blue Crazy Lace Agate, and the matte finish alludes to the gray undertones in the Dumortierite.

Of course, you can always have your color cake and eat it, too. Even though these two stones seem like they shouldn’t go together, they *do* because they share just enough similar base coloring, and the sneaky golden tones in the Black Silver Leaf Jasper pick up the brightness in the Honey Opal.

Got any tips, tricks, or questions to share? Comment below or email [email protected]


Melinda Barry

Date 10/15/2018

Love this - I work exactly the same way! And I rely on Pantone to inspire new and unexpected combos 😊

Melinda Barry

Date 10/16/2018

I work exactly the same way - Pantone is a constant source of colors and combo inspiration!

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