!( - )

!( - )

December 8, 2014

Behind the Scenes at Katya Valera

Today I thought I'd give you all a little tour of Katya Valera and how a piece comes to life! (And one of you requested it, so this is for you! ;)

Behold, my happy little work space. It is indeed little but it is also so happy. All those plastic drawers were the most exciting thing ever when I got them several months ago--invaluable additions.

And I should probably clarify that, no, it is not usually this neat and clean. ;) But that little packaging station to the right particularly thrills my organization-loving heart to death, especially considering those little orange baskets have been in my life about as long as I can remember.

Photo print is from the amazing Amelia Kay Photography on Etsy

And this is where all the pieces await being summoned to their new homes. After a couple different ways of storing inventory, this is the best I've found so far. And these are just the necklaces. (If you have an Etsy shop, particularly jewelry, how do you store it all? It's a tricky thing!)

Most of my pieces come about because I have the beads or parts already and decide what to do with them. I frequently "just know" by looking at them what I want to do, and may tweak it slightly as I go. But rarely do I think of a design and then go looking for the supplies to make it. I have soo many supplies that I really need to (and can easily, and do) just look at what I have and decide what it needs to become.

And sometimes, I take the notion to finally use beads I've had for a long time. (You start feeling kind of bad for neglecting them, you know?) This was one of those instances. I have some lovely glass beads in both purple and green and for this necklace decided to go with the green. I also pulled out a couple of accent beads to go with them.

I decided I wanted the beads to stand out on their own and so chose to just wire them into one strand, as opposed to adding silver beads between, for example. One bead at a time...

Once I had them all linked together, I added a couple of beads in matching green and neon green to the ends for a pop of color, and then it was time to choose the chain. I went with a sleek, bright silver style I don't often use.

All done!


After a piece is done, the next step is to photograph it--usually the next day (since I frequently design at night) or the first morning/early afternoon I am up and able and it's also not cloudy out. Which is not as often as I'd like. ;) This is the one part I would totally pay someone else to do had I the money, as it's the most physically straining part. But my photography skills have vastly improved since I began, and I am much more happy with my results now than I once was.

And this is where it happens. I told you I love our big window. Just one more reason: it's where all the pictures are taken. Yes, I have very sophisticated portraiture setup. ;)

Then the next step is photo editing (thanks, Picmonkey!), and listing the item on Etsy

And it's offically for sale in my shop!



Fun fact: Did you know my shop is arranged by color? :)


I am always excited about my new pieces and can't wait to list them once they're made. Every new piece becomes my favorite.

The hardest part of jewelry making is probably deciding what to make next. I constantly have several pieces planned/laid out/in mind, and there's never enough time to make them all. Though I'm certainly trying, as you may have noticed I've been adding more and more pieces to my shop in the past couple weeks. Including the piece above, which is available here!

So today, I've mentioned it before, but I am so grateful for Katya Valera. It started back three years ago tomorrow (!!!) as a whim with a different name and no plan and quickly turned into a passion I still can't believe I didn't discover sooner. My jewelry helped keep me sane when my health first went south and has continued to be a recurring creative outlet. Even when I go without making new pieces for weeks at a time (as I did recently), as soon as I get back into it, I am so happy. And my jewelry led to this blog, which led to my other Etsy shop, KV Designs. I plan to continue this venture of Katya Valera as long as I'm able. {You can learn more about Katya Valera and the story behind its name here.}

Ember Grey: Grateful Heart

Is there any part of my jewelry process I didn't cover that you're curious about?
Please feel free to ask! I could go on and on about jewelry!

Image Map


  1. Thanks for sharing. It was nice to be able to see your shop without making an 8 hour trip. Really enjoyed having you and Daniel at Thanksgiving! Thanks for the effort you put into the trip!

    1. Thanks, it was a fun post to put together! I'm glad we were able to go, even though I hardly got to leave our room. I'm just glad Daniel got to be with you all a lot. :)

  2. Happy Anniversary of your jewelry making!! That's awesome - and so fun to see your workplace in this post! :)


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Comments make me happy, and I strive to reply to every one. I almost always reply by email so I can be sure you see my reply, so please make sure you're not a no-reply blogger!