Full disclosure in words and videos
Hi #BeautifulAndCapable! How was your quarantine? Did you discover a creative side and embraced a new opportunity of time and peace? Or did you find yourself enjoying outdoors and created a new healthy routine? No matter what your initial survivor instinct was, it found it's way back down a bit deeper under the layers of possibilities.
This video was our very last day together at the store, right before the mandatory closure. Hope it makes you smile! We did not know what was next, but embraced this moment together, and I wanted to share it unedited, silly and real.
As my store was closing and all my wholesale business at a complete stand still, I had to fight my inner fear and survival urges, and do something different. During that first 2 weeks, as I had to let go all my employees and seeing a mountain of bills and newly ordered materials, I hit a big time low. What can I do?! It brought me right back to my experiences as a 14 year old in Ukraine, finding out about Chernobyl and how we were all affected and now we had to stay in-doors and dust with wet cloth every hour, not knowing when we can be allowed back outside. It also brought back memories of empty shelves as Ukraine, in 1990, decided to separate from Russia and in a process brought the entire country to the brink of starvation and death. Lastly, it brought back my memories from my first few years in America, arriving with just 1 bag to my name holding everything I owned and having $100 to live on, while not having a place to call home.
Memories are a tricky things, they reflect your past in a way that suits the mood and moment you are in.
As I faced a deep fear, all my memories were reminding me to be more fearful, to imagine the worst, to hide away...
But I had you! I had all of you in my life, every person that had chosen to follow me on social media, to shop in my store, to be my friend. I was no longer alone, and I felt a responsibility to step-out and be a leader of positivity, even if it was just for 1 person, I had to come out of my "poor me" moment, and shine a light of strength for others, the best way I could.
And so, this is how these videos began. There have been many more, some live, some recorded, and re-recorded (because technology is not always my friend!). These videos gave me purpose and I had to get my shit together for them, make-up and positive attitude! I had to find my strong, and my memories began transforming into moments of triumph and me overcoming all past obstacles.If you have not seen these videos, here is a bit of a timeline (I may keep adding to it as I find more videos!). Watch the, laugh with me or at me - either way, I hope these videos will add some joy to your life!!!
Week 1 - Green color it is!
When my store closed on March 19, I started using 2 phones at the same time to go Live on Facebook and Instagram at the same time (!) so I could bring the soul of my store to our clients right to their home! Once or twice a week, I would go on live, looking at myself and talking to myself. Imagine you are in the store, all by yourself, just talking for 20+ minutes! I felt a bit strange doing so at first, but I loved every minute of it as well. It was a new experience that I never done before and will continue!
After becoming a live stream "expert" (haha!), I decided to share what I know with you all. And I know color and style! So, my videos easily transformed into tips and ideas about styling my jewelry. This entire experience was so out of box for me, but I managed to not allow it to stop me! That week, the themes were all about St. Patrick's day and green was so appropriate. Ironically, green is a color of Heart Chakra (see my Chakra Blogs), and what an appropriate color choice it was!
In this video I discuss how to style using Emerald Green!
Did you know how not easy it is to go live? Apparently, on multiple occasions, I was recording myself sideways! Yes, you had to tilt your head to watch me! Funny now, but after pouring your heart out for 20-30min, you get to see that it is all a big haha! Sometimes, after I went live, I would go ahead and record a video all over again, just to make sure it was positioned correctly! Talking about a commitment!!!!
I did want to cry and laugh at the same time! But, I pushed through and continued to record videos almost daily. In this video I discussed Green Amazonite in celebration for St. Patrick's Day!
Week 2 - Let's Get into styling!
After creating the first 3 videos, I noticed that questions I was receiving were about layering! People LOVED how I was layering the pieces I was showcasing. I thought, let's start teaching people how we do layering at Anna Balkan Gallery!
If you are a true Anna Balkan fan, especially if you ever visited our store in-person, you know that we LOVE to layering our jewelry to create unique individualized looks that not only look great, but work with all your jewelry.
My store offers a unique experience that can't be found anywhere else, and in this video, I am sharing some layering basics that are easy to understand and apply, even without physically being there.
Here is where my Youtube "career" launched!
Week 3 - Meet my casual side
As I recorded more videos, more questions were coming to me. In particular, people were asking "how do I dress-up my casual look, because that is the only look I been using each day!
I asked my husband to join me on that Saturday morning and I wanted to show my work-out in style look! This video is about updating your casual attire, because no matter what you are doing or wearing - you can feel beautiful!
Week 4 - your must haves
This video was my undoing! I had to record it twice! I, once again, managed to mess up! I went LIVE on my private account! I did not realized until I was finished... Then I had to go on, 30 min late (!) LIVE again on my business account. Commitment!
If you are a true Anna Balkan fan, you know that we LOVE to layer, and doing it effortlessly with multiple sizes and shapes of pieces, and in this video I explain the thought process behind it! You'll see me adding/subtracting different necklaces and showing how simple it is to transform a look with just a few key layering "must have" pieces. Everyone should own a few of these "must haves" layering pieces, which are essential elements that should be in every woman's jewelry box!
week 5 - Easy boho style
In this video I am sharing some styling ideas for your Bohemian side. In a classic boho fashion, I am mixing in form and color, showing versatile layers and dimmed metals that pop the color forward. If you are inspired by Vintage jewelry, but find what you see around a bit boring and too similar - my PopArt collectionmaybe what you been looking for. In this collection, I bridge the gap between Old World Vintage feel, with a Modern take and vibrant brave color. Casual or dressy, which ever mood you find yourself in, PopArt Collection will give you that right fix!
It is my personal go-to collection!
All these pieces are on my website and you can see how easy it is to update your simple white tee.
week 6 - Pearls and classics
These 2 videos were inspired by the upcoming Mother's Day! I wanted to make it easier to find something special and unique for Moms. And what's more perfect than giving someone one of a kind piece of wearable art with Pearls.
Pearls are the gems of Love and Piece, and always make perfect gifts for anyone. Their luster has been an added inspiration in most of my designs.
In the video below, I get to showcase my absolutely favorite pieces of art, and I had sculpted each piece with attention to every detail and each of these pieces would be an amazing gift!
week 7 - stunning larimar!
Right as this quarantine started, my custom cut gems arrived! In case you missed my from home LIVE about all new gems - it was recorded sideways! ouch!
And so, I started designing with these gems, and Larimar was worthy of the first video! (little disclaimer - I first designed with Copper Oyster Turquoise, but it sold out in 2 days with only this design available!).
In this live video, I am sharing my love for this ocean inspired smooth Blue of Larimar and all these items already found their happy forever home (but I can design more!).
Yep! Recorded LIVE sideways indeed!!!
week 8 - mixed metals
As questions were pouring in and weeks going on and on, I continued to do styling videos to keep reminding each of us that we are beautiful and answer questions from you. In this video, I wanted to share with you information about styling mixed metals. Did you know that I offer mixed metal jewelry? In a sea of color splashed all over my social media, these modern classics are easy to miss. In this video you get to see my favorite pieces!
Week 9 - bring paris home!
This was a fun video to do. The idea was, since al our travel has been suspended, we can bring the experience of Paris to our homes. My Paris collection is a truly inspiring elegance and it is a must see on! In these videos I am sharing a few styling ideas and with a help of a true French beauty! Bonjour!