My Chicken on Nest necklace has been Jewel of the Month before. You might remember the smaller-than-a-dime, sterling-silver chicken …
… that opened up to reveal three gold-plated eggs.
If you’ve always wondered, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” I have the answer. My egg locket came first, inspired by a work I saw in the Royal Treasury in Copenhagen. The 18K-gold egg opens up to show a tiny silver chicken similar to the one seen above. However, in that limited-edition, luxury design, the chicken has diamond eyes and sits on three 18K-gold (not gold-plated) eggs.
The “Hen in the Egg” locket is one of my high-end items and costs thousands of dollars to make. Of course, it sells for thousands of dollars too! So, years ago, I made the silver chicken into its own necklace, sans egg, for people who wanted to enjoy a piece of my mechanical jewelry for a more modest $150.
Before I even made the chicken, I had started developing my social-media-inspired WENDYB by Wendy Brandes diffusion line. In the past couple of years, that line has grown enormously: I have 80 styles of stud earrings alone! The WENDYB by Wendy Brandes line is mostly silver and ranges in price from $35 for a single stud earring, to $1,600 for the 18K-gold Mud Flap Jill necklace seen on Rihanna. As the line expanded, I realized I liked having my more budget-friendly work completely distinct, design-wise and inspiration-wise, from the 18K-gold high jewelry line. That line — my signature line — is inspired by queens and other powerful women and ranges from $3,000 to $30,000. I was never comfortable with trying to modify the extremely complex, luxury jewelry in order to offer a few pieces at somewhat gentler prices. Most of my luxe designs don’t convert well to silver and, even when they do, the work is so intricate that the pieces are still quite expensive. I could simplify the designs further, but that takes away the reason I did them in the first place. They lose all their meaning! Therefore, last year, I decided that the luxury line would stay luxurious — and, actually, get even more so — while the lower-priced diffusion line would have its own separate identity. There would be no more in-between. As a result, I put the silver chickens on sale over the holidays. Well! I really appreciated the love, but I got so many simultaneous orders that my website couldn’t keep up. It tried to sell more chickens than I had and I wound up feeling just awful that some chicken-loving wimmins thought they had a necklace and had to be told otherwise. I hate disappointing people — especially over the holidays! — so I promised I would look into creating a few, final chickens. Voila!
The original chickens were produced in New York City, where I like to do my manufacturing. But it’s expensive to make things here. In order to get the chickens down to $50 each (plus $6 domestic shipping), I will produce this order in Thailand, where there is a minimum order of 100 units. I’m doing a pre-order on Kickstarter because this is really for you gorgeous customers, not for me. I am firm about not doing less-expensive versions of the luxury line and do not want to carry a lot of chickens in my inventory. I would much rather continue inventing new emoji jewelry if I’m going to invest in silver. That’s why I want to have the entire minimum of 100 chickens assigned to loving homes before I place an order with the factory. (I can do more than 100, and if there is enough demand, I will.) As always, with Kickstarter, if I don’t get the full amount of my financial goal met — in this case, $5,000 — I don’t get the money, meaning no chickens. It’s either all the chickens or no chickens, so don’t chicken out if you ever pondered buying this piece! It’s now or never. The pre-order will be open for 30 days. After that, it takes Kickstarter a little while to process the money, after which I will place the order. Add in the eight to 10 weeks it will take the factory to fill that order and I expect the necklaces to arrive in October. Perfect timing for you to wrap up some necklaces and put them aside for the holidays — get your shopping for jewelry-loving/chicken-loving friends and family done in advance.
I have lots of customers overseas — hello, Australia! — but the Kickstarter pre-order is available only for the U.S. Don’t worry! If you’re not in the U.S. and would like a chicken, email me at wbjewelry at hotmail dot com and I will put your name on my waiting list. If the minimum is met, I will get back to you and take your order.
There’s a maximum of four chickens allowed per customer. The chickens measure less than 1/2″ tall and will be on 18″ chains.
Tell all your friends and family. Hell, tell total strangers who seem like they might like chickens! And feel free to email me or leave a comment on this post if you have a question or need help.