Armadilla Hill Jewelry is currently not making any new items for sale.
We will be available to custom orders and if there is enough interest, can put up instructional posts and videos on this site. Please comment below or contact us if you are interested in either.
The History of Armadilla Hill Jewelry
Carl has made jewelry on and off since 1966. He started making copper wire bracelets, necklaces and earrings. After a year or so, he decided to quit.
Fast forward to 2007. We had been doing craft shows and fairs with fabric and wooden items for over 10 years and we decided to start adding jewelry into the mix. The quilted wall hangings, dolls and other fabric items weren’t selling so good anymore and we needed something new.
Polymer clay was the up and coming item, so we started making beads and shapes for jewelry. I would design them and Carl would assemble the jewelry.
At a couple of shows, we had other jewelers approach us about making special order beads for them. But not much came from that.
Carl also started making fused glass beads on a copper tube base. These were incorporated into our designs. And Carl would demonstrate making the beads at shows that allowed open flames.
Most of the bracelets and necklaces were strung with beading thread. But we decided to try making wire and chain items also.
How We Decided on the Name
We live in the country and Carl took great pride in his raised bed gardens. They were the talk of all of the neighbors.
Most of the men hated Carl, because every time he added more to his gardens, some of the other wives would pester their husbands to do the same.
One day an armadillo started digging up Carl’s bulbs and ruining his beautiful gardens. The ‘dilla eat almost $100 worth of Carl’s bulbs.
So Carl decided he would outfox the armadillo. He would put one of our dogs in the front yard on a chain and when the dog barked, Carl would go outside and shot the ‘dilla.
Things didn’t go exactly as planned. The dog, Freebie, decided he didn’t like the leash and chain. He pulled hard and Carl pulled back. The pistol in the holster fell out during the pulling contest and landed right on the hammer. the .22 magnum went off and shot Carl in the ankle at point-blank range. There was no major damage though.
So we decided that our acre would be known as Armadillo Hill. But here is Texas most people don’t say armadillo, it’s armadilla or armadiller. So we decided to misspell the name to the main pronunciation in our part of the world.
That’s how we became Armadilla Hill Jewelry. And the ankle shot is still funny after the initial shock wore off.
We Start Adding Other Types of Jewelry
Suddenly it seemed that everyone was making polymer clay beads and jewelry. You had to be unique to sell it. And most people started asking us why they should buy something that they could make themselves.
So Carl and I started to experiment selling other types that weren’t so common. We started making jewelry with chains and other findings.
Since Carl knew how to work with wire, he started making handcrafted sterling silver chains and earrings. And we also added wire-wrapped gemstones to the mix.
There was quite a bit of competition in the jewelry category at shows and fairs for the strung items. So we had an advantage for a while.
Shows Were Being Overrun with Jewelry
Most of the craft shows and fairs would have 1/3 to 1/2 of the booths with jewelry. So they started limiting the number of people they would accept with jewelry.
Shows that we had appeared at before still wanted us as we had something different from the rest of vendors. Then others started copying the type of jewelry that we had.
Soon it became almost impossible to get into the less expensive shows. The only shows that would take jewelry were the juried shows and most of them were too steep for our limited pocketbook.
We had been selling at most of the shows, but a good show for us was $400 to $600. A lot of the juried shows started out at $300 and then you would have to add in the motel for 1 or 2 nights. That meant that we just about break even, not make a profit.
We Changed the Way We Sold Jewelry
So Carl decided that the internet would be the way to sell our jewelry. He got a domain name and a web host and started putting up a website.
He was never happy with the way things looked. And he kept trying different programs to get things just right.
We also tried Etsy for a while and eBay too. But the sales just never happened like the old shows had. So we added wooden items and listed both on our applications. And they would accept us.
So we were back out on the road again. And Armadilla Hill Jewelry was put in the background of the shows with Heartfelt Gifts in the foreground.
Heartfelt Gifts was formed as the selling outlet for all of the products we made. But Heartfelt Gifts had name competition with a boutique in California on the internet. And we still had websites up.
So we became Designs by C and N to avoid name problems.
I hope you have enjoyed this story.
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