Designer of the Week - Pink Papillon

This week get to know Mary Ann of Pink Papillon She lives in Historic Crosswicks, New Jersey with Noah is 5 and Hope is 3.5 (And my husband, Nick~~ does he count? )

See her current eBay auctions: Pink Papillon

JM: When did you get started sewing and creating?

MARY ANN: It's so hard to say as I think I've always been interested in creating jewelry off and on since I was a little girl. One of the first "pieces" I remember creating was made from colorful bubble gum wrappers that involved an elaborate folding and tucking method that ended up with the wrappers being in long, almost braided chains. They were all the rage in my elementary school! Then, in high school I remember my friends and I making earrings out of anything we could find~~ Lego people being a favorite! Looking back I see that I would leave jewelry making for awhile for other "crafty" pursuits, but I would always come back to it in the end. I'm self taught! I've always had a knack for figuring out things. Through much trail and error, I figured out all the beading basics on my own by researching and a little help from some EBay friends!

JM: When did you start selling your designs on eBay?

MARY ANN:I have bought and sold things on eBay almost since the beginning of the site! But, I did not start selling my own jewelry pieces on eBay in any type of serious fashion until 2003. My jewelry can be found on my own website,, as well as many other boutique websites. I am also lucky enough to be in quite a few brick and mortar boutiques throughout the United States. I am proud to say my pieces are carried in the major retail chain of Blue Tulip here on the east coast! I started with this company before the first store was even open~~~ and they now have 20 with more on the way!

JM: Do you remember the first outfit you sold on eBay?

MARY ANN: Yes! It was a simple baby bracelet made with leading brand Austrian crystals in a variety of blues. I called it "Sweet as Sugar". The funny thing about it is, I just recently heard from the buyer! It is still one of my best sellers in my retail locations. I really can't remember how much it went for~~ I think around $20.00.

JM: How did come up with your name, Pink Papillon?

MARY ANN: "Papillon" means butterfly in French. It's pronounced pap - ee - on. I took many, many years of French and with a French accent it is just the most beautiful sounding word. I've always loved to say it! And pink is just so girly, as is butterfly. It was a perfect match!

JM: Do you belong to any boutique group?

MARY ANN: I am a busy girl in the member department! I belong to four different groups that are each so incredibly different that I get to be challenged everyday! The first group I joined was Boutique Sage. This group welcomed me back when I was an unknown designer, and I can't thank them enough! They are a wonderful group of woman that are truly like sisters to me. Since we at BSAGE have decided to become a group that only launches a few times a year, I've had time to join and work the the funky and retro group, The Little Darlas, as well as the lovely and sophisticated design group, DollyLane. As a designer, I love to be able to mix it up and be creative in totally different ways, and that's what I get with these two groups. And finally, I belong to the fabulous design group exclusive to jewelry makers~~ Boutique Icing I had followed this group and the extremely talented designers in it for a long time and was completely amazed and honored when they asked me to join them!

JM: Do you have a favorite item to create?

MARY ANN: My big favorite recently has been metal, particularly hand stamping on sterling silver. I'm addicted! There's something wonderful about being able to take a sheet or strip of sterling silver and whack away with a hammer, bend it around, file and turn it into a beautiful, solid piece of jewelry. Okay, I just made that sound really easy~~ it's not! I think that's part of what makes it so satisfying~~ you really have to work to get to that end result!

JM: If you could learn some new skills, what would they be?

MARY ANN: That's part of my problem~~ I want to learn EVERYTHING! I have so many things I am interested in trying. Jewelry wise, I would LOVE to learn metal smithing. And chain maille. And lamp working. (You see what I mean?) Outside of jewelry, I'd really like to be better at html. I have a friend that is a master at this. She creates templates for her auctions that are just amazing. I'd love to be able to do that!

JM: If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

MARY ANN: I'd go back to the little island of Kauai in a second! My husband and I are always scheming and trying to think of ways we could actually swing living there! What we've come up with so far is I'll sell jewelry to the tourists, and he'll learn to fly a helicopter! I've never been to LA.......but I'm fairly sure if I went to visit, I'd never leave!

JM: What other things do you enjoy besides sewing?

MARY ANN: Well, I love to run. I started last summer and try to run a few miles everyday. I'm thinking about running my first 5K~~ but I may chicken out! I'm a shopaholic, and it's rubbing off on my three year old. Don't ask me how many Coach bags I own! I love taking the kids to gymnastics, hanging out down the shore, listening to Bon Jovi, and drinking coffee!

JM: Anything else you would like to add?

MARY ANN: Thank you SO MUCH Amy for this fabulous opportunity! I was quite shocked, but totally flattered! I am always truly amazed when people tell me they know who I am! I'd like to thank ALL of the girls in my design groups, my past and present customers, and of course, my husband and children for putting up with me when I am trying to meet a deadline! OH~~ I'm writing an article for Soft Flex Wire Company's website. Look for that on their site in May!

Do you have a question that you are dying to ask ? Comment about something she said or designed? Post it here and she will answer it!

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Richelle | Friday, March 2, 2007 5:47 PM | flag
Wonderful interview! Your things are so beautiful. Congrats!! :)

| Thursday, March 1, 2007 10:43 PM | flag
Thank you SO MUCH G, Ash, Miss Tomato, Heather, JenJen, Pam, & Kirsten! I really appreciate all of your support and kind words! :O)

Gina (fortune*cookiez) | Thursday, March 1, 2007 10:36 PM | flag
Awesome interview MA! You are a true gem & an incredible jewelry designer. I am truly honored to be your Icing sister :)! HUGS!!

ash/In.Full.Bloom | Thursday, March 1, 2007 7:45 PM | flag
Great jewels! Great interview! :) ~Ash

teri | Wednesday, February 28, 2007 9:41 AM | flag
Mary Ann! great interview. love your designs. Sweet lady, too!! xoxox

Heather of liliputians NYC | Wednesday, February 28, 2007 9:14 AM | flag
Congrats MA on the great feature! No surprise though. Your designs are innovative, unique, well made, and professionally packaged and photographed. Lily and I love her Pink Papillon hand-stamped bracelet. It's a keepsake and heirloom that she wears almost every day. Heather

Jen(bella-bee*boutique) | Tuesday, February 27, 2007 3:29 PM | flag
MA, you totally rock your designs to the fullest extent! Miss Bella LOVES to wear all your bracelets as often as she can...this interview was totally deserved by you love and you keep rockin' them jewels BIG HUGS! Jen

Pam (blacksheepdesigns) | Tuesday, February 27, 2007 11:54 AM | flag
I'm so glad to see you featured, MA! Your work is delightful - pure perfection - and I love seeing all of your new creations. ((hugs))

Kirsten Slichter | Tuesday, February 27, 2007 10:40 AM | flag
Great interview, MA. Beautiful jewelry!!! I love your work. I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

| Tuesday, February 27, 2007 8:39 AM | flag
I think the interview should be corrected since her name isn't Traci and her company name is spelled in-correctly. Mary Ann is a wonderful designer and we own several of her pieces. Great interview regardless and we all know who you are!;) XOXO

Some past Pink Papillon

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