November 27, 2011

Handmade Jewelry from Blue Hour Designs ~ Norbert Melnikov

What are you guys doing? What on Earth are you thinking? Why would you do that? You’re going to make jewelry for a living? Seriously?

These were the questions that we heard over and over, some phrased more nicely than others, when we first started our handmade jewelry business: Blue Hour Designs.

Perhaps this is because we had no background in designing, nor making, nor selling it. Perhaps it was because we gave up our careers in teaching and computer engineering and stable paychecks along with it.

Perhaps it was because our little boys were just one and three years old at the time. Hmm… Perhaps these were good questions after all…but we were just too darn excited!

We are Alysia and Norbert, a married couple who started Blue Hour Designs a few years ago. Alysia, despite being educated as a teacher, is an artist at heart. I, Norbert, despite my background in computer engineering, am a businessman at heart.

If we add in our long-time desire to own a business, Alysia’s craving for an artistic outlet and me hating life in cubicle-ville, our decision might make a little more sense, but still probably a little far-fetched.

Alysia, naturally, is the creative force behind the jewelry designs and pretty much everything else that needs to look good. Making things look good is not one of my strong points. And this is saying it nicely!

Alysia is the primary metalsmith, too, although I frequently lend a hand in the workshop when things need to be seriously twisted or formed. I am in charge of actually selling the pieces or, in other words, marketing and pretty much everything else business-related. We admit it took some time to learn how to work with each other, we may have even wanted to kill each other a few times, but it’s been pretty smooth sailing for quite a while now.

The inspiration for our name ‘blue hour’ comes from the French expression l’heure bleue, which refers to twilight. Twilight has always been Alysia’s favorite and most inspiring time of day, and it is also a vivid part of her very first memory as a child. All our jewelry is handmade by us right here just outside of Boulder, Colorado in our at-home studio. Alysia’s designs are modern, streamlined, creative and unique.

Most of our jewelry is made of sterling silver, although we also use some gold, copper and brass. We believe in responsible and mindful fabrication by incorporating eco-conscious practices in the process of metalsmithing.

Whenever possible, we replace commonly used chemicals with natural products. We also use recycled/reclaimed precious metals in all of our designs. These metals share the same exquisite beauty of mined precious metals but are recycled and eco-friendly.

We sell our jewelry online on Etsy and also our website shop. We’d love for you to also visit our blog where Alysia shares all that inspires her and like us on Facebook.

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