November 11, 2015

Wholesale Customer Requirements :: State Resale Information

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , @ 9:00 am

If you’re thinking about becoming a wholesale customer, or you already are and haven’t placed your first wholesale order with us yet, this post is full of valuable information about the resale documentation we need to help you set up of your wholesale account. In order to be as helpful as possible, we are providing information from every US state on the documents needed to re-sell merchandise.  This state document is what we need to establish your wholesale account. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We wish you the best of luck, and success with your new jewelry business!


Find your state below to locate the information that will pertain to you (states are in alphabetical order).


Nina Designs researched the unique information for each of these states and verified that the links worked at the time of research, completed in 2014.  Please contact us if links are broken, and we will do our best to update them.

This is not in any way meant to be legal advice.  Please contact your state directly if you have any questions about how to obtain your resale license.

If you are interested in seeing visual examples of your state issued documents, please open a search engine and do an image search for your state name and the document name, such as “Alabama Sales Tax License”.


Alabama’s state issued resale license is called a Sales Tax License.

The instructions for applying online include a list of materials to collect.

Instructions for Applying Online

To apply online for a Sales Tax Account Number, and then be sent a Sales Tax License:

Alabama Business Tax Online Registration System

You can receive a Sales Tax Account Number and Sales Tax License within 2-3 days of filing your free application if you choose to be notified by email rather than snail mail.

Alabama Sales and Use Tax FAQ


Alaska does not collect sales and use tax.

To sign up for a wholesale Nina Designs account, we require a state-issued business license or other proof of established business or customer base from our Alaskan customers.  An example is an Alaska Business License issued by the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.

Alaska Department of Revenue


Arizona’s state issued resale license is called a Transaction Privilege Tax License.  Nina Designs will accept either your Arizona state or city issued Transaction Privilege Tax License.

Arizona typically requires resellers to have a Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) license from both the state of Arizona, and the city you are based in.  Links to apply are provided on the page linked below.

Arizona’s Department of Revenue TPT Page

Arizona Joint Tax Application (State of Arizona TPT Application)

Go to the Arizona Commerce Authority’s webpage to check if your city requires its’ own TPT License.  Click on the “Checklist Program” link under the “Start, Operate, and Grow a Business in Arizona” heading.

Arizona Commerce Authority

Arizona TPT FAQ


Arkansas’ state issued resale license is called the Sales and Use Tax Permit.

Arkansas’ online information is limited until you register for a taxpayer account.

Click on the link below and sign in to create a Sales and Use Tax account, and to pay your Sales and Use Tax online.

Arkansas Taxpayer Access Points


Nina Designs is based in California and the state government requires a copy of the form BOE-230 to be on file for each of our Californian wholesale customers.  We will provide this document to you, and will keep it on file as your resale license.

In California, you must register for a Seller’s Permit with the Board of Equalization (BOE) and have a valid permit number.   Nina Designs will then email you a simple form called the BOE – 230 to fill out and return to us.  Our company is based in California so there are strict requirements set by the state government regarding the documentation that our California customers must provide.

To apply for a free Seller’s Permit online:

California State Board of Equalization – Online Services Overview

Information Needed to Get Started


Colorado’s resale license is called the Sales Tax License.

Most licenses are valid for a two-year period and expire at the end of odd-numbered years.  Filing for a Standard Sales Tax License requires a $50 deposit which is refunded after $50 in taxes is paid.

Two ways to apply:

  1. Colorado Business Express


  1. Colorado Sales Tax Withholding Account Application

For general information:

Colorado Department of Revenue Taxation Division Webpage


Connecticut’s resale license is called the Sales and Use Tax Permit.

The Sales and Use Tax Permit is valid for five years.

Applying for a Sales Tax Permit (Resale Number) Information

Complete Form REG-1 (link found on the Sales and Use Tax Permit Registration Webpage below) and pay a $100 permit fee.

Sales and Use Tax Permit Registration Webpage

Registration Information


Delaware does not collect sales and use tax.

To sign up for a wholesale Nina Designs account, we require a state-issued business license or other proof of established business or customer base from our Delaware customers.  An example is a Business License issued by the State of Delaware Division of Revenue.

Delaware Exemption and Resellers Certificates


Florida issues each registered dealer a Certificate of Registration and an Annual Resale Certificate for Sales Tax at the same time. Nina Designs will accept either document.

The certificates expire annually on December 31, but as long as you are a registered dealer and are conducting business, your certificates renew automatically.

Annual Resale Certificate for Sales Tax Brochure

To apply, go to the page below and scroll down to “Register Online”.  The page shows a variety of Tax Certificates but you should be able to apply for the specific Sales Tax certificate when you register.

Florida Dept. of Revenue Account Registration

Florida’s Sales and Use Tax Webpage


Georgia’s resale certificate is called the Certificate of Registration or Sales Tax Certificate of Registration.

Georgia limits the amount of available online information to those who are signing up for permits.  Please let us know if you have helpful information about your experience obtaining a Certificate of Registration with the state of Georgia.

Information about Sales and Use Tax in Georgia (click on the Register for a Sales and Use Tax Number link on the page below):

Georgia’s Department of Revenue Tax Registration Webpage

How do I… FAQ about Sales Tax

The permit is free to obtain and does not expire.


Hawaii’s resale license is called the General Excise Tax License.

There is a one-time fee of $20 to obtain a General Excise Tax License.  Click on the BB1-Packet link under the heading “How can I apply for a GET License?” to complete your State of Hawaii Basic Business Application and receive a General Excise Tax License:

General Excise Tax Information


Idaho’s resale license is called the Seller’s Permit.

Fill out the IBR-1 (Idaho Business Registration) application for a Seller’s Permit.

The application link is under “New Businesses” and “To Apply”.  They recommend reading the webpage before applying so that you have your materials prepared.

Idaho Business Registration Information

Businesses Sales and Use Tax Information


Illinois’ resale license is called the Certificate of Registration.

You must request an application for a Certificate of Registration from the Department of Revenue in order to apply.  You can call them or go to an office (follow the second link).

Pdf on General Information for Obtaining a Certificate of Registration

How to contact the Illinois Department of Revenue


Indiana’s resale license is called the Registered Retail Merchant Certificate.

Fill out the Business Tax Application to receive a Registered Retail Merchant Certificate.  Follow the link below to find the Business Tax Application button under the video player.  The Certificate automatically renews every two years, unless you have delinquent payments, at which point you will have to fill out a form and pay a $25 fee to get your Certificate renewed.

Indiana Department of Revenue – Sales Tax

Indiana’s Sales Tax and Registered Retail Merchant Certificate FAQ


Iowa’s resale license is called a Retail Sales Tax Permit.

The Iowa Department of Revenue webpage lists all of the action to take for receiving a Sales Tax Permit.

Iowa Department of Revenue

First, Iowa recommends watching a short video presentation to be prepared to register your business.

Video Center – Find the “Starting A Business? This Video Can Help” video on the right side of the page.

Then, register your business and specify the permits you would like to sign up for, including the Sales Tax permit.  This permit is free.

Register Your Business Online


Kansas’ resale license is called the Retailers’ Sales Tax Registration Certificate

Fill out the Business Tax Application, Form CR-16, via the “Business Registration Online” link on Kansas’ Department of Revenue website to receive a Sales Tax Registration Certificate.

Business Registration Online

Kansas’ Department of Revenue Business Tax page

PDF for Kansas’ Sales Tax and Compensating Tax Use Guide


Kentucky’s resale license is called a Sales and Use Tax Permit.

Kentucky Sales and Use Tax FAQ

If you are starting a new business in Kentucky or beginning a new taxable activity, you may need to register with the Department of Revenue by completing Form 10A100, Kentucky Tax Registration Application.

Kentucky Tax Registration Application and Instructions

You can apply for a Sales and Use Tax permit using the Online Business Registration Portal.

Kentucky Online Business Registration


Louisiana’s resale license is called a Sales Tax Registration Certificate.

You must register for a LaTAP account before applying for a resale license.

Louisiana Department of Revenue – FAQ – How to register to use LaTAP

There is a guide for how to apply for a sales tax registration certificate using Louisiana’s Department of Revenue’s online system, called LaTAP.  This walks you through the process with step by step screen shots of what to click on.  Click on the link below and find the “Requesting a Louisiana Sales Tax Resale Certificate in LaTAP” tutorial link in the first section headed “Print Resale Certificates”.

Louisiana Resale Certificate Information

Louisiana Resale Certificate FAQ


Maine’s resale license is called a Resale Certificate.

It is free to apply for a resale certificate, but read the FAQ first to find out if you qualify for a resale license.

Maine Revenue Services Sales and Use, Withholding, and Service Provider Tax Registration FAQ

Go here to register your new Sales and Use Tax account.  Read the page and find the beginning of the registration process at the bottom of the page.

Sales & Use, Withholding and Service Provider Tax Registration Service


Maryland’s resale license is called a Sales and Use Tax License.

Complete a Combined Registration Application to apply for a Sales and Use Tax License.  Find the “Begin Registration” button at the bottom of the page.

Comptroller of Maryland – Entrance

There are links to more categories about Sales and Use Tax at the bottom of the Sales and Use Tax Information for Maryland page.

Sales and Use Tax information for Maryland


Massachusetts’ resale license is called the Sales and Use Tax Registration Certificate.

The following link has a lot of great information regarding how and where to get started.

Department of Revenue – Getting Started in Massachusetts

Register online with the Department of Revenue to obtain a certificate.

Department of Revenue Web File for Business – Registration

Sales and Use Tax Resources


Michigan’s resale license is called a Sales Tax License.

Complete the Online Business Registration and Form 518 to receive your Sales Tax License.  Find Form 518 under the question “How do I obtain a sales tax license?” in the Sales and Use Tax FAQ.

Online Business Registration

Sales and Use Tax FAQs


Minnesota’s resale license is issued as a Minnesota Tax Identification (ID) Number.  We will require a copy of your confirmation letter from Minnesota, which states “Please keep this letter as proof of registration”.

Registering online renders an instantly usable valid ID number.

Information about the ID number registration requirements and more

Register for an ID number here


Mississippi’s resale license document states that it is a “State of Mississippi Permit to engage in business of selling tangible personal property or services taxable under the sales tax law”.  For briefness’ sake, we’re calling it the Sales Permit.

Register for your Sales Permit online:

Mississippi’s Taxpayer Access Point

Information on registering taxes as a business in Mississippi


Missouri’s resale license is called the Retail Sales License.

Register your business online to receive a Retail Sales License.

Business Tax Registration FAQ

Online Business Registration for Sales Tax and more


Montana does not collect sales and use tax.

To sign up for a wholesale Nina Designs account, we require a state-issued business license or other proof of established business or customer base from our Montana customers.  One example is an Assumed Business Name (ABN) Registration confirmation letter from the State of Montana Secretary of State.  Another example is a city issued Business License that specifies that your business is in jewelry. Sales Tax Page


Nebraska’s resale license is called a Sales Tax Permit.

Fill out Form 20, the Nebraska Tax Application, and indicate that you will be collecting sales tax to receive a Sales Tax Permit.  This permit does not expire.  Mail or fax the completed application to the address specified on the form.

Form 20

Information on starting a business in Nebraska


Nevada’s resale license is called the Sales (or Use) Tax Permit.  “Use” is not always included in the title.

Click on the “New Registration” button next to the first blue arrow in the Nevada Tax Center to register for a new Sales or Use Tax Permit.

Nevada Tax Center

New Hampshire

New Hampshire does not collect sales and use tax.

To sign up for a wholesale Nina Designs account, we require a state-issued business license or other proof of established business or customer base from our New Hampshire customers.  One example is a Certificate of Formation from the State of New Hampshire Secretary of State.  Another example is a Certificate of Registered Trade Name from the State of New Hampshire Department of State that specifies that the nature of the business is related to jewelry.

New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration

New Jersey

New Jersey’s resale license is called the Certificate of Authority.

File a Business Registration Application (Form NJ-REG) to receive a Certificate of Authority.

New Jersey Department of the Treasury Form Fees and Instructions

You can either file online using the link below, or by printing the form and mailing it in.  The link to the Form NJ-REG is the first in the list at the bottom, “Business (tax and employer) Registration form, NJ-REG”.

When you click on “Business (tax and employer) Registration form, NJ-REG”, it brings you to a page named “PRINT FORMS” where you can choose the Form NJ-REG from the top of the list.

State of New Jersey Online Tax/Employer Registration

New Mexico

New Mexico’s resale license is called a Registration Certificate.

New Mexico collects a Gross Receipts Tax rather than a Sales or Use Tax.  Register your business to receive a Combined Reporting System (CRS) Identification Number and Registration Certificate from the Taxation and Revenue Department.

To file online, find the link in the “How to apply for a CRS Identification Number” paragraph on the site below.  There is also info on how to apply in person in locations around the state, and you can receive a number immediately.

New Mexico – Taxation and Revenue

Printable Application for Business Tax Identification Number (same as CRS Identification Number)

New York

New York’s resale license is called the Certificate of Authority.

An overview of registering with the state:

How to Register for New York State Sales Tax

Obtain a User ID before applying for a Certificate of Authority License:

My Online Services

Step by step instructions for how to apply for your Certificate of Authority License:

How do I apply online for my license?

The instructions guide you to go to the License Center home page, here’s a link.

New York License Center Home Page

North Carolina

North Carolina’s resale license is called the Merchant’s Certificate of Registration.

Complete the Business Registration Application, Form NC-BR, online or mail it in to receive a Certificate of Registration.

The NC-BR form is the third one listed on the following link.  You have to choose whether to file online or to fill in a pdf that you can print out.

Sales and Use Tax Forms and Certificates

North Carolina Department of Revenue Sales and Use Tax FAQ

North Dakota

North Dakota’s resale license is called the Sales and Use Tax Permit.

Be forewarned that there are a lot of old and broken links within North Dakota’s online resources.  The one we provide works best.

Apply online for a Sales and Use Tax Permit:

North Dakota Taxpayer Access Point

Printable application (in pdf style) that you can send in to the address specified on the form:

Application for Income Tax Withholding and Sales and Use Tax Permit


Ohio’s resale license is called the Vendor’s License.  We will also accept the Transient Vendor’s License.

Complete and submit the form ST-1 to receive a Vendor’s License.  Complete the form ST-1T to receive a Transient Vendor’s License.  The following link has links to both forms, and describes the differences between the two licenses.  When you click on the ST-1 form, you’ll receive a page recommending that you file online with a link to the online portal, and a link to the printable form at the very bottom of the page.

Ohio Department of Taxation – Sales and Use Tax License and Filing Requirements

ST-1 Form (online or paper options)

ST-1T Form (paper option)


Oklahoma’s resale license is called a Sales Tax Permit.

Register your business online to receive a Sales Tax Permit.  You must complete the Business Registration Packet (Packet A).  Follow the link below and click on “Enter the Online Business Registration System” at the bottom of the page.

Oklahoma Tax Commission Online Business Registration System


Oklahoma Business Registration Application

There are hints that there are registration fees but they are not listed on the pages prior to entering the system.


Oregon does not collect sales and use tax.

To sign up for a wholesale Nina Designs account, we require a state-issued business license or other proof of established business or customer base from our Oregon customers.  One example is an E-filed Assumed Business Name Registration confirmation from the Oregon Secretary of State Corporation Division. A second example is a current Application for Renewal of Assumed Business Name from the Oregon Secretary of State.


Pennsylvania’s resale license is called the Certificate of Registration Sales Tax License.

To apply for a Sales Tax License, fill out form PA-100 and follow the instructions on the page below.

Application for a Sales Tax License

Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s resale license is called the Permit to Make Sales at Retail.

Register your business online to receive the Permit to Make Sales at Retail.  There are fees to register, but they are not listed at the entrance to the online portal.

RI Division of Taxation Combined Online Registration Service

Pdf copy of the Business Registration and Application

South Carolina

South Carolina’s resale license is called a Retail (Sales Tax) License.  The license issued says “Retail License”.

Checklist of items needed to register for your Retail Sales Tax License

The South Carolina Business One Stop (SCBOS) website says that form SCDOR-111 is the form needed to file for a Sales Tax License, and that SCBOS has a “Start New Business” tool to use instead of filling out the form directly.

South Carolina Business One Stop – Start New Business

South Dakota

South Dakota’s resale license is called the Sales (and/or Use) Tax License, but this title is not listed on the document itself.  It does specify “Sales Tax” under “License Type” on the left hand side, above the human name and address of who the license is issued to.

You can use the Tax Application Website to apply for a Tax License without creating an account, but you have to fill out the application in its entirety at one time.  If you create an account, you can save the application and come back to it another time.

South Dakota’s Department of Revenue Tax Application Website


Tennessee’s resale license is called a Certificate of Registration.

In Tennessee, you must register your business in order to receive a Certificate of Registration resale license.  Follow the instructions for registering your business online – click on “How to set up and manage your account”.

SALES Instructions

The link below is a pdf of Tennessee’s application to register your business and receive a Certificate of Registration.  Instructions on how to fill out the application are included at the bottom of the pdf.

Application for Registration

Tennessee’s Department of Revenue Sales and Use Tax page:

Sales and Use Tax Forms


Texas’ resale license is called a Sales and Use Tax Permit.

It is free to apply for a Sales and Use Tax Permit.

You can apply online but must print the signature page and mail or fax it in to the Comptroller of Public Accounts office in order to receive your Sales and Use Tax Permit.  The page below lists the information you need to apply, and the button to begin the application is near the bottom of the page.

Begin the Texas Online Tax Registration Application

Pdf for the Texas Sales and/or Use Tax Permit


Utah’s resale license is called the Sales Tax License and/or Use Tax Certificate of Registration.

You must register your business online to receive a Sales Tax License and/or Use Tax Certificate of Registration.

Utah’s One Stop Business Registration System

Utah Sales and Use Tax Information


Vermont’s resale license is called the Sales and Use Tax Registration.

It is free to register for a Sales and Use Tax Registration license.

Register online or fill out Form BR-400 to receive a Vermont business tax account and a Sales and Use Tax Registration Certificate.  The following link provides an introduction for what to expect tax-wise when starting a business in Vermont.

Vermont’s Department of Taxes – Starting a Business Page

Register your business tax account online to receive a Sales and Use Tax Registration Certificate.

VTBizFile Business Taxes Online

Alternatively, to register by paper, print and mail or fax the application (Form BR-400) in when complete.  The contact information is on page 3 of the pdf.

Pdf for Form BR-400


Virginia’s resale license is called the Certificate of Registration for the Collection of Virginia Sales and Use Tax.

It is free to register for a Certificate of Registration.

Register your business either online or by mail or fax to receive a Certificate of Registration.

Register online with the abilities to save and come back to your application later.  In the “New Users” box, click on “Are you a new business?  Register Here”:

VATAX Online Services for Businesses

Alternatively, fill in Form R-1 and print to mail or fax your registration:

Pdf for Form R-1

For a general overview:

Virginia Department of Taxation

Washington State

Washington’s resale license is called a Reseller Permit.

A link for Washington’s Department of Revenue overview for Reseller Permits follows below.  There is a section for “How to get a Reseller Permit” a few paragraphs down the webpage.

Using and accepting reseller permits

You can apply online for a Reseller Permit.  Log in to My Account, choose “Manage Business Account” on the left, choose “Get Reseller Permit Information”, and follow the instructions.

Department of Revenue Log On

Alternatively, you can print and fax or mail your application in for a Reseller Permit.

Pdf Application for a Washington State Reseller Permit

Reseller Permit FAQ

Washington DC

Washington DC’s resale license is called the Certificate of Registration.

To receive a Certificate of Registration from the Government of District of Colombia’s Office of Tax and Revenue, you must register your business using the blanket form FR-500 – the Combined Business Tax Registration Application.

Combined Business Tax Registration Application Form FR-500

Form FR-500 includes the following sections:

-          General Information (Part I)

-          Franchise Tax Registration (Part II)

-          Employer’s D.C. Withholding Tax Registration (Part III)

-          Sales and Use Tax Registration (Part IV)

-          Personal Property Tax Registration (Part V1)

-          Miscellaneous Tax (Part V2)

-          Unemployment Compensation Tax Registration (Part VI)

The Washington DC website ( is very comprehensive and says that licensing your business with form FR-500 should be one of the last things you do when building your business.  More information:

Business Licensing and Corporate Registration

West Virginia

West Virginia’s resale license is called the Business Registration Certificate.

Registering your business with the state of West Virginia will provide you with a Business Registration Certificate.  Register using the online portal.  You must log in to access more information, and it looks like there may be a fee for registering.

Business for West Virginia Online Portal

You can access more forms related to registering your business on the West Virginia State Tax Department homepage.  These include forms for getting your Business License Registration Fee refunded (form BRT-814) and getting a permanent Business Registration Certificate (form BRT801A).

West Virginia State Tax Department Business Registration Forms


We accept either the Business Tax Registration Certificate or the Seller’s Permit as valid Wisconsin resale licenses.

Wisconsin has an FAQ with the parameters of applying for a Seller’s Permit clearly outlined.  The biggest stipulations are that you should apply at least three weeks before you open your business, and that if you have been delinquent on any tax payments in the past, the Department of Revenue may require you to make a $15,000 deposit.  Yes, $15,000!

Wisconsin Department of Revenue Sales and Use Tax Permits FAQ

There are two ways to apply for a Seller’s Permit.  Register online by following the link below and then clicking on “Register for Wisconsin tax permit (withholding, seller’s permit)”.

Wisconsin Business Tax Registration

Register via mail by printing out form BTR-101 and mailing it to the PO Box address at the top of the application, or faxing it to the number listed below the PO Box address.

Form BTR-101


Wyoming’s resale license is called the Sales/Use Tax License.

Fill out the application and mail, email, or fax it in, or apply online at the following secure site.  Wyoming has a one-time application fee of $60.00. Your application will be processed within 10 business days of receipt.

Wyoming Internet Filing System for Business

Find the application as a printable pdf at the Department of Revenue’s website.  The address to mail it to is at the top of the application.

Sales/Use Tax Application

Wyoming’s Sales/Use Tax vendor manual, which functions as their FAQ:

Vendor Manual

Extra Materials

A fantastic resource from!  This is an article from August 2014 that lists contact information for how to talk about sales tax to a live person in every state.

October 20, 2015

Jewelry Photography – Part One: The Right Camera for You

Lately at Nina Designs we have been getting more and more questions about how to photograph jewelry. It’s been a while since we tackled this tough topic so we thought it was a good time to review the basics: Equipment, Lighting, and Composition. We will give you tips and tricks to make your images beautiful as well as links to equipment suppliers and other helpful info.  This is a deep subject with many different approaches so this will be an ongoing series. Ready? Let’s Go!

Part One of Three : Which Camera is Right for You?

There are many options for cameras on the market and each has pros and cons. The following is an overview of Smartphone, Point and Shoot and DSLR Cameras. Choose what is best for your budget and experiment with it to get the best results.

DSLR with Kit Lens 18-55mm

Taken with a DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Kit Lens Using a Flashpoint Light Box


For more control over your photos, it is best to invest in a DSLR Camera. At Nina Designs we use a Nikon D5100. This is an older model but still does a fantastic job. In the world of DSLRs there are Professional Level cameras and Photo Enthusiasts cameras. The prices vary accordingly. Our camera is considered a less expensive, “Enthusiast” model.  DSLR cameras have the best image quality of the three camera options discussed because they have the biggest sensors – up to 25 times bigger. The bigger the sensor, the less “noise” your image will have (Noise is that grainy quality you sometimes see on photos) making the DSLR the best choice for professional use and print work. The best thing about DSLR cameras is that they are built with “reflex mirrors” which means that you are actually looking through the camera lens instead of looking through a “viewfinder hole” like in the P&S Camera or Smartphone. What you see is what you shoot! You also have full control over a DSLR camera. You can always shoot in auto mode but you have full control all of the settings when you want it and they are relatively easy to access. Learning to use all of the controls can be intimidating at first but it gets easier with practice. But one of the biggest advantages of this type of camera, especially for jewelry photography is that you can change the lens on it. Image quality is impacted greatly by the quality of the lens you use. Since the majority of our photography is of petite products such as charms, ear wires and pendants, we use a Nikon Micro 85mm lens. This amount of zoom is more than what is needed to shoot your finished jewelry. A smaller 60mm or 40mm Micro Lens would be more than sufficient. I have even achieved great success with just using the regular 18-55mm kit lens that came with the camera. (Micro and other specialty lens are sold separately.)

PROS: Versatile, Able to Change Lens, Full Manual Control, and Superior Image Quality

CONS: Cost, Learning Curve, Weight and Size, Maintenance

Point and Shoot Camera

Taken with a Point and Shoot Camera Using a Soft Box and Lights

Point and Shoot Camera

Another great option for your jewelry photos is a compact digital Point and Shoot Camera. They are small, lightweight, typically inexpensive and very easy to use.  Just as their name implies, they are designed for you to point and shoot! These cameras are mainly meant to be used in “auto” mode, letting the camera make all of the decisions for you. There are basic manual controls that can be changed but quite often they are hidden in menu systems and are not easily accessible. Some come with a Macro setting which is great for close up shots of jewelry. Many of the affordable Point and Shoots only come with a fixed lens, which means it is a Digital Zoom. Newer, more expensive Point and Shoot models have an Optical Zoom Lens. Another point worth mentioning is that most P &S Cameras have a massive depth of field, meaning that they typically cannot separate foreground from background. This means everything is in focus…which is great….except when you want to create a little “bokeh.” (Bokeh is that beautiful blur quality produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image.) Similar to Smart Phones, Point and Shoot Cameras also have a smaller sensor than DSLR cameras and therefore do not take as high of quality images. They are fine for everyday use and posting things online but not the best option for print work or professional publications. The newest generation of Point and Shoot Cameras are equipped with Super Zoom Optical Lenses and larger Image Sensors. These newer models are fairly expensive compared to more basic compact models.

PROS: Ease of Use, Affordable, Light Weight

CONS: Zoom Restrictions, Small Image Sensor, Manual Controls Limited

Smart Phone

Taken with a Smartphone Using Outdoor Sunlight

Smartphone Camera

Newer smartphones have amazing photographic capabilities. And because of their ability to access the internet, they are great for “shooting and sharing. “ One can easily go from taking a picture to uploading it to a website or social media.  Some phones have photo editing tools built in, which allow you to crop, adjust brightness and select filters to create cool effects. If yours doesn’t, there are great Photo Apps (link below) available such as Snapseed, Afterlight, Darkroom and Flickr. While these tools save you the step of having to upload your photos to a computer for editing, when photographing small items such as jewelry, it is always best to upload your images and view them on a larger screen to make any adjustments. Smartphone cameras are fully automatic, meaning all decisions are made within the camera for you such as Exposure, Focus, and Shutter Speed. There are small adjustments that can be made to the camera settings but they are very limited. While it’s true that Smartphone Cameras take great pictures, most on the market have a much smaller Sensor than DSLR cameras and therefore do not take as high of quality images. They are fine for everyday use and posting things online but not a good option for print work or professional publications. Smart Phone Cameras are incredibly easy to use, making them a popular option for most artists.

PROS: Ease of use, Lightweight

CONS: Manual Controls Very Limited, Cost, Small Sensor, Digital Zoom Only (see explanation in below)

Learn more about the best phone apps for editing photos!

Optical Zoom VS. Digital Zoom

Optical Zoom:  When we “zoom in” on a subject with a camera, we are actually changing the focal length of the lens.  Therefore, we are truly bringing our subject closer or further away in our visual frame. Optical Zoom always produces better-quality images than Digital Zoom.

Digital Zoom: One of the drawbacks of using a Smartphone and many Point and Shoot Cameras is that they are equipped with a Digital Zoom. This means that their zoom capability is computer generated. Their actual lens is “fixed” at a set focal length. So when you use the zoom on your smart phone it isn’t actually bringing the subject closer by moving the lens, it is actually “resampling” the focal area – creating the illusion of zoom. It crops a portion of the image and then enlarges it back to size, which enlarges the pixels and reduces the image resolution and quality. Always move the camera closer to your subject rather than zooming in when using a Fixed Lens Camera. IPhone and a few other companies are working on an Optical Lens for their Smartphone Cameras and new advancements are happening daily!


Lastly, it is always best to shoot your jewelry photos using a tripod. Even when using a Smartphone Camera. It makes a big difference in the focus and clarity of an image. There are Smartphone Brackets/Tripods available that easily attach to a tripod.

I hope this information was helpful for you. Next time we will dive into the deep topic of lighting. To learn more about photo equipment options visit your local camera shop. Many have classes available for all experience levels as well as courses on macro photography.

We’d love to hear your experiences with photographing your work. Let’s get the conversation rolling!

What Camera do you use? Let us know in the comments!

Coming Soon: Part Two – Jewelry Photography Lighting and Equipment!

October 14, 2015

Turn One Earring into Three Beautiful and Unique Designs!

Jewelry charms, jewelry links, earrings, and more can all be used in numerous ways to create pieces that fit your style. A great example of turning one jewelry piece into three completely different designs is our series of openwork hook earring frames. Although these styles are beautiful, simple, and modern on their own, they can be easily transformed into unique designs using different jewelry techniques. You can go as simple as adding a small dangle to create a slightly dressed up pair in minutes. Put your wire wrapping skills to the test with two other designs. Use a contrasting wire color to create a woven look for an earthy feel. To make a more dressy pair, wire wrap tiny gemstones along the frame, and finish with a simple jewelry dangle. Think of all the design possibilities with just one simple piece to start! Browse our jewelry design idea gallery for even more jewelry inspiration!

Which pair is your favorite?

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October 6, 2015

Wickedly Fun Halloween Jewelry Designs

It’s finally the season of holidays, and what better way to kick it off than with Halloween jewelry designs? We have jewelry supplies, gemstone beads, and jewelry charms to help you create memorable and festive jewelry designs. Scary cats, bright white moons, flying bats, and more come together to create a wickedly fun Halloween collection. Create something to liven up your costume, or pair any of these designs with a simple black or white top to create a fun ensemble for you Hallow’s Eve bash!

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Whatever look you choose, our Halloween collection and jewelry design ideas are sure to turn up the freight factor. Make any or all of these designs for a spook-tacular look!

September 22, 2015

Colorful Inspiration from the Pantone Fall Color Lineup

Pump up the color in your fall designs with inspiration from the Pantone Fall 2015 Color Palette. Natural, earthy tones are the theme for the fall season, with colors that mimic the changing seasons. Everything from clothes, bags, shoes and jewelry will be featuring this beautiful selection of colors. These rich, fall colors are just waiting for you to use in your jewelry designs.

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We have a wonderfully diverse collection of colorful gemstone beads, leather cord, and even tassels that can add the perfect touch of color to your fall jewelry designs. Add a simple briolette bead to accent a pair or earrings, make earthy leather wrap bracelets, or make statement jewelry with colorful tassels. Embrace these elegant tones during this festive time of year! Which color is your favorite? We’re having a hard time picking just one!

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August 26, 2015

Finding Inspiration on the Camino Frances

Filed under: Behind the Scenes,Inspiration — Tags: , @ 9:00 am

Walking across Spain may seem like an odd way to celebrate your 50th birthday, but it was the perfect trip for me. In 2015 my daughter turned 20 and my sister turned 30. Together we were 100 years old!  We walked 400 miles over four weeks on the Camino Frances, an ancient pilgrimage trail from St. Jean Pied de Port in Southern France to Santiago de Campostella in Spain. Despite the physical challenges, it was tremendously liberating to wake up every day and know that your only task was to walk through the summer landscape. We were accompanied by pilgrims from many countries including Korea, Brazil, Greenland, Mexico and many Europeans. For some, it was a traditional Christian pilgrimage, for some a personal spiritual journey, and for others a secular adventure, but there was a lovely sense of community that developed among travelers who moved along the route at a similar pace. It was fun to meet up with familiar faces and spend hours walking and talking to people from vastly different walks of life. Sleeping in municipal hostels with up to 80 beds in a room was a unique experience that I balanced with the occasional stay at a nice hotel, but I wouldn’t have skipped either.

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While traversing Roman bridges that ferry modern traffic, I could not help but wonder if anything we make or build today will still exist, let alone provide a valuable service, 2,000 years from now. I also acquired a deep respect for the Spanish lifestyle. Instead of watching TV at home, people spent their evenings and weekends in public plazas eating, drinking, and visiting with family and friends. Elders were out enjoying themselves along with toddlers who could run around freely while parents relaxed. Some of my best memories were watching the light change on the beautiful architecture while the sun set stretched out languorously past 10 pm.

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August 19, 2015

Start the Year Off Right : Back to School Jewelry

Making your teacher a special and memorable keepsake to show them how much they are appreciated is sure to make this coming school year the best yet! We’ve put together a collection of charms and jewelry to pump up the school spirit and impress your favorite teachers. Pair stamping blanks with apple charms, or school mascots with school colors to create fun and unique designs for everyone in your class, club, or on your team.

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Putting together a personalized charm necklace, charm bracelet, or pair of earrings is as easy as 1, 2, 3! Watch a quick how-to video on how to create quick and easy charm necklaces. Mix and match pieces from our collection to create one of a kind designs you can wear all year round!

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August 5, 2015

Explore the Trend : Ocean Jewelry

Ocean jewelry and beach jewelry are the perfect accessory for the summer season. Our specially curated collection of ocean, summer, and beach charms and findings are sure to inspire, and will make you want to take a day trip to the beach this weekend! Whimsical and playful designs are at your fingertips with our gallery of ocean jewelry inspiration. Whether you add a starfish, mermaid, or adorn with pearls, your new summer ocean jewelry will turn heads and add sunshine to your look!


Get inspired to make your own ocean jewelry this season, and make it summer year round! Explore the trend and make this look yours!

June 17, 2015

Celebrate the Season : Summertime Jewelry!

The sun is out, the weather is warm, and it’s time to enjoy what the summer season has to offer! Kick off summer with simple and easy season-inspired jewelry designs. You can create fun, summer jewelry by mixing and matching charms with tassels on finished chains or charm bracelets. Tassels are trending, and we offer a cheerful collection of mini cotton tassels in an array of colors. They make the perfect pair with themed charms or pendants. All you have to do is choose a charm and corresponding tassel (you could use a gemstone bead as well!), and string them onto chain, or affix them to trendy charm bracelets.

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Celebrate this fun time of year with a charming collection of pendants, tassels, and charms. We created a summer-themed collection just for you, with pendants, charms, leather, tassels, and more, to help you create fun and unique summertime looks. Check out these fun combinations below to help get you inspired:

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Take a day to beat the heat, and make playful designs that you can wear all summer long. What is your favorite summer activity? Share in the comments below!

June 11, 2015

Movie Jewelry :: Jurassic World

Television jewelry and movie jewelry are the perfect way to celebrate a new film release or TV premiere, and express how big of a fan you and your friends are. This week marks the release for the anticipated Jurassic World, a modern day sequel to the original, Jurassic Park. A few weeks ago we received a shipment of adorable little dinosaur charms, and thought it was fitting to collect charms to match the new movie’s theme! How cute would a t-rex necklace and stegosaurus earrings be? Lucky for you, we have everything you need to make Jurassic jewelry!

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Shop our mini dinosaur themed collection, and make one of a kind pieces to celebrate the action-packed Jurassic World. You can even sport prehistoric jewelry year round to show pride for being a natural history buff. Easily string charms onto finished chains for quick and easy necklaces, or use leather to make fun and trendy leather wrap bracelets. Browse our collection now!

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