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Today's word on journalism

Friday, March 9, 2007

Cross-disciplinary advice for writers:

"Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end."

--Igor Stravinsky, composer (1882-1971)

Smithfield's Glitz Biz spreading diverse jewelry throughout the valley

By Arie Kirk

February 12, 2007 | SMITHFIELD -- After retiring from a 36-year career in public schools, Smithfield resident Lois Sorensen said she began making jewelry to keep her sanity during the long days at home.

"When I retired it was a huge adjustment to stay home all day. I'm not a stay at home kind of person. I started beading to help keep my sanity," Sorensen said.

Soon after she began, Sorensen said she realized she would need a larger income to support her hobby and began considering opening a business. She proposed the idea to Myra Lynch of Logan, who also made jewelry. Together, they opened Glitz Biz.

Two years and more than 2,500 creations later, Sorensen said the business is finally beginning to see profit.

Glitz Biz jewelry is sold in many businesses in Smithfield including Every Bloomin' Thing and Sue Hyer's Salon. Sorensen said they are negotiating with The Wight House in Logan to have their products sold there.

They also accept special orders from customers.

Sorensen said the majority of their profit comes from events such as November Fest, Summer Fest and the Gardener's Market.

Glitz Biz sells a number of items such as earrings, bracelets, necklaces and eyeglass holders.

"Our company has jewelry that is really diverse. We have natural stone to semiprecious stones, chunky and delicate, earrings, bracelets and wedding jewelry," Sorensen said. "We're not just stringing beads. We are using silver wire. We are using needle and thread."

Their creations are so diverse, Lynch said there is something for everyone. She also believes the variety makes Glitz Biz unique from other jewelry businesses.

"One of the pluses of our business is that Lois and I are different so there are different styles and types," Lynch said.

Prices range from $5 to $125 depending on the type of beads used, the technique and the time invested in making it. The more expensive items do not sell as well because customers believe they are overpriced. Sorensen said people do not understand how time consuming many of the pieces are and the difficulty of the design.

She is always searching for new techniques and plans to begin lamp work beading in which she will create Pyrex glass beads.

Sorensen said she does not have a good eye for color or design and is more interested in the actual construction.

Lynch, who is more involved in the selection of stones and color, said she has always had an interest in owning a small business although she never imagined it would involve jewelry. She was first intrigued by beading because it is an extension of her interest in fashion. Lynch has also enjoyed the design and hands on approach their products require.

"Doing it, you have the ability to have complete control of your product and that is what I like," she said.

Aside from helping her remain sane, Sorensen said making jewelry has helped her to slow down and perform tasks with greater care and exactness.

"I just like to hurry up and do it. It doesn't have to be good, it just has to be fast. This has taught me to take my time and perfect the technique so it's not thrown together and it looks more refined," she said.

In addition to being part owner of Glitz Biz, Sorensen said she has had to take on other part-time jobs to support what she calls an obsession. She said she loves the feeling of productivity and pride she has when making jewelry.

Sorensen said, "There is a certain satisfaction in creating things. You are doing something productive instead of just sitting in the recliner watching TV."

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