The Art of Gifting ... in an Internet World

One of my favorite sales to date was one in which a mom on the east coast found a pair of earrings she liked at my shop, then her son on the west coast bought them for her and had them sent to her directly. I absolutely loved the idea that they were able to discover and use my tiny little home-grown jewelry shop in Des Moines, Iowa to serve needs which literally spanned the coasts.

But there's a lesson for me in this. Families are dispersed in today's world, and the challenges of shopping for gifts are greater than ever, even for those people we love the most. I have been working on a little surprise for you but I really need to show it to you before all the Christmas busy-ness is upon us. The surprise: Gift Certificates at Naturally Nickel Free.

Garnet Argentium Silver Ring
First of all, a little sympathy is in order for those of you who love someone with a nickel allergy. If you want to choose jewelry for your sweetie, and they have a nickel allergy, the perils may seem great, and the task formidable. And if the stakes weren't high enough, you should know that if you choose jewelry that irritates their allergy, the allergy will actually become more severe over time. You may already know that a nickel allergy lasts a lifetime. Once you have it you (or your loved one) will always just have to work around it. But unfortunately that does mean you have to find reliable ways to avoid nickel, and still live life as you want.

The concept of the Gift Certificate is easy enough - you buy it, and your honey gets it. The mechanics of the transaction are a little different from usual, but the effect is the same. When you buy a Certificate for the one you love, you will get notification of your Certificate Code from ArtFire. Then I will send you an e-certificate, and you can decide from there if you would also like a "real" paper certificate (it is nice to have something under the tree, isn't it?) and where you would like it sent.

Niobium Anodized "Rainbow" Ear Curls
I actually went to some effort to try to make this work on my other shop, but have found that ArtFire's Gift Certificate system is really quite sophisticated, and I think you will appreciate the details of how it works.

(1) When you (or your sweetie) redeems the coupon, any unused portion will be "saved" until the next time you want to use it. No additional codes are necessary, and the value of your certificate will not depreciate.

Niobium Wave Necklace w/ Cherry Quartz
(2) When you use your certificate on a purchase, it will also cover shipping costs. It sounds obvious that you really don't want to stick Grandma with a bill for shipping, just because she wants to claim her gift. I really appreciate that ArtFire has the back-end stuff figured out to manage this though.

Now you can shop, but pass on the choice to the person who will really be wearing and enjoying your purchase. How cool is that? Choosing the right gift can seem like such a chore when really it really ought to be fun. Also, if there are specifics we need to work out for a custom order, I can work out all directly the person receiving the gift.

Banded Oak Agate Niobium Earrings
So now I will regale you with some of the advantages of Gift Certificates in general:

1) No bulky or odd-sized boxes to mail out.
2) They get to choose what they want, and you get the glory.
3) They get to shop and enjoy your gift at their leisure, after the craziness of the holiday has come and gone. They can even claim their gift on March 7, which is a day when absolutely nothing is happening.
4) They will be able choose something they will really wear.
5) Gift Certificates fit in a stocking.
6) You and your sweetie don't have to be in the same place at the same time.
7) You choose the dollar amount. By the way, if you don't see a listing for the dollar amount you want to spend, just ask me.
8) You don't have to stand in line at the Post Office unless you really, really want to.
9) Less shopping in crowded malls.
10) Guaranteed, handmade, original nickel-free jewelry - what's not exciting about that?

Of course, like the mom and son at the top of this article showed, there are other ways to get creative about the art of giving.  I am really proud though, to be able to offer this, and hopefully make the distance between you just a little shorter.


  1. Donna Jo, you have such a wonderful heart for all of us who struggle with nickel and metal allergies! I appreciate the journey your business and personal approach has taken! You are my hero!


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