As well as being a full-time European History student, I make and sell necklaces on Etsy. My shop’s title is “OrganzaExtravaganza”–I started out by selling Tudor portraits set in cameo pendants that were attached to organza ribbon necklaces. These days the only thing that I am selling is my handmade replica of Anne Boleyn’s B necklace.
Of course, I am not complaining about this. I have been quite successful and my version of the necklace is what is being sold on THE Anne Boleyn Files website (A great place to learn about Anne and Tudor history–check it out!).
I started making my own version of the necklace because, like many fans of Anne, I wanted one, and it is surprisingly difficult to find a version that I actually wanted to buy. There are several out there–some made of clay that I had tried that broke easily, some strung with plastic pearls on clear plastic thread that also broke easily…and none of the Bs looked right. I wanted something beautiful that lasted.
I decided that my version was going to start with durable white string, and I was going to hand-knot it between each pearl so that *if* it ever broke, the pearls would not end up rolling around on the floor, as had happened to me before. The pearls were not going to be plastic, but glass, and I was going to also offer a luxury version made of the highest grade cultured freshwater pearls (soon to be in stock!). The B was going to be gold-plated, but most importantly, it was going to look like the Bs in the various portraits of Anne that show her wearing the necklace.
I made one for myself, but I had enough supplies to make five more. I decided to list them in my Etsy shop.
They were sold within a few days.
I ordered more supplies and kept making them because people kept buying them. I am still surprised at my own success.