Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday's Featured Seller - Bellagems61

Today's featured Zibbet seller is Kristin from Bellagems61 ( She is a seller of a variety of beautiful gemstones. She also is very active in the Zibbet community, hosting a listing challenge that keeps members up to date on the stats of Zibbet. 

How did you get started on Zibbet? Where did your shop name come from?
I started on Zibbet in August of last year. I closed my Artfire shop and was researching new locations for Bellagems61. Zibbet had the best reviews. I joined the community first and then opened the shop on August 28th.The name of my shop is pretty straight forward Bella ( beautiful in Italian) gems because that is what I sell and the 61 is actually the month and day I started the business June 1st.

I love the variety of stones you have. Where do you find them?
My stones come from several vendors that I work with. My Ethiopian opals are cut by a young man in India. He's family has been in the cutting business for three generations. He went to Ethiopian last year and bought rough directly from the mines.There are several other vendors I work with and they provide the other stones I carry in all three shops.

Who are your favorite suppliers?

I have two suppliers that have also become very good friends. The young man I mentioned Shahbaan is the same age as my son and we're very close. He actually calls me mom and we do have almost a parent child relationship. I also work with Brian who runs Pinnaclediamonds here on Zibbet. Brian and I have known each other for many years, he's great to work with. I talked him into joining Zibbet at the same time I joined.

You take wonderful pictures of your stones and jewels. What is your secret?
Taking pictures of gemstones is the least favorite part of owning the business. I use Corel paintshop pro for all my photos. It's great software allowing me to crop the pictures to the sizes you see in the shop. The best advice I ever got for taking good pictures was to use natural light when possible. I live in Florida so sunshine is usually available I use it whenever possible.

Do you take custom orders? Say a customer is looking for a particular stone.

I do take custom orders for any gem that a client might need. I've worked with many people over the years providing stones for their jewelry projects. My favorite client for a custom order was a young man who wanted to design an engagement ring for his girlfriend using stones mined in America. We ended up using a beautiful ruby from my home state of Montana.They were married last summer. I received a lovely thank you note from the bride which hangs in my office.

Do you sell outside of Zibbet? If so, Where?

Bellagems61 has three locations Zibbet,Etsy and Bonanza. Each shop has unique stones just for that site plus a core group of stones that they all carry.

Any sales coming up?

As for sales coming up I usually have a sale around Valentines Day so stop by and see what I come up with.

Any last words for the reading audience? (ie, words of wisdom for a new crafter/seller, anything you want to say about your products)

What I think is important for anyone new starting out is to be patient. It took many years for Bellagems61 to expand to the three shops I have now. Building a client base for each venue was also a choice I made that I'm happy with. I never compare one venue to another. I treat each site as a stand alone. It's served me well over the years.

Thank you for stopping by, Kristin. As you can see, I've found lots of pretty stones to feature. And she has so many more! Please feel free to stop by her shop and take a peek for yourself. 

If you would like to be a featured artisan on my blog, please drop me a line. My featured seller spot is a regular feature on Fridays. 


  1. Jen,
    Thank you so much for featuring Bellagems61. It's a wonderful blog and I appreciate your including my shop.

  2. Jen, I think this is an excellent write up on Bellagems61. The questions were great and they led to great answers. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Jen, I really enjoyed reading your interview with Bellagems61. I think you asked some great questions which led to great answers.

  4. Love your interview, beautiful! I really enjoy your blog!