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Saturday, December 14, 2013


Please contact me at 
to inquire about the latest styles and purchase Dots and Bases
to support worthy causes!

Thank you for your support!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dot Spotlight :: Pacelli Panacea

This weekend is the single largest fundraiser for the Stevens Point Area Catholic Schools :: Pacelli Panacea.

Pacelli High School in Stevens Point, Wisconsin is my alma mater. My husband and I both graduated from there in 1986. My sister graduated in 1991. My dad graduated in 1963. This weekend he is celebrating his 50th class reunion! My son is currently a sophomore with a graduation date of 2016; and my daughter will graduate there in 2019. We are clearly a house full of Pacelli pride!

Panacea is a three-day festival that was started on the Pacelli grounds in 1975. The goal of that first year was $25,000. Today, the fundraiser has grown considerably from its humble beginnings. It is held on the weekend after Labor Day every year. A great last hurrah of summer! Fun times with food, games, carnival rides, bingo, beer tents, bands and entertainment including the popular Pacelli Idol competition, new this year is a kickball tournament, farmer's market, cash and basket raffles and a silent auction...and much, much more! Oh, and in the spiritwear shop this year, I have been invited to sell my Pop-a-Dot Jewelry.

They have a major raffle for a car every year. A red car. This year the car is a Jeep Wrangler. 

With my son about to get his temps and clamoring for when he can sign up for driver's ed, winning this would be awesome. Tickets are one for $25, three for $50 and seven for $100. In addition there are cash prizes in this raffle, so even if I don't win the car, I could get some cash!I think I will be buying at least seven tickets. ;-) 

Since our mascot is the Cardinal, I got permission to use the logo to make up Dots. Lots of Dots. I also made up some inspirational Bible sayings. Over the past few weeks I have been a graphics buying fool. The cool thing about these graphics is that they are from artists all around the world. From New York to Russia and everywhere in between! Some new images that I have: fine art, art deco and art nouveau patterns, hand drawn flowers and hearts, tons of owls from realistic to cartoon, vintage Halloween, flowers, birds, hearts... you name it and I might have it! I even found some sports team images that reference not only our beloved Cardinals (Cardinals Rock!), but also our local neighbors SPASH (Stevens Point Senior High School - Panther Pride!) and Amherst (It's a Falcon Thing!). 

I am continuing to print, cut and punch out the paper to make the Dots and tonight my goal is to make up at least 500 of them to have on hand. Lofty goal, I know. I also have to prep the displays and gather all the supplies I need. Tomorrow I set it all up. In addition, I purchased some new bases for pendants including a brushed nickel, Pacelli Cardinal red, bright neon colors, printed black and white patterns, and even the cutest silver flower shape. All of them are compatible with the Pop-a-Dot system to hold the 1" Dots

So if you already have some Dots but need to add to your collection, this would be a great time to get more! And if you are new to the Pop-a-Dot Jewelry system, this is a great time to see it for yourself...and of course, help out a great cause. 

And just a note... after meeting with the Commissioner of schools and getting him excited about the possibilities, going forward I intend for the Stevens Point Area Catholic Schools (SPACS) system to be one my pet projects. That means there is the potential to do multiple fundraisers throughout the year for different groups and clubs so there will be many more opportunities to add to your growing Dot addiction collection!

Join me at Pacelli Panacea September 6-8, 2013! 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dot Spotlight :: MS Challenge Walk

My friend Anne is a beautiful soul.

We went to school together, graduating in 1986 from high school and then went off to our separate ways. But I will always remember the day that we met back up again.

I was working as a teacher at St Peter Middle School and despite my relative new-ness to the teaching profession, I was asked to be the staff representative on the hiring committee for the new principal. We were interviewing that day and in walked Anne. We chatted like it was old times until I looked up to notice that all the other committee members were staring at us. Obviously, Anne was there to apply for the job, but I just didn't recognize her married name from the list!

Anne was indeed hired to that position and it was such a pleasure to work with her. She is driven and accomplished, completing multiple educational degrees and teaching youth and adults as well as volunteering her time and talents where they are needed. Eventually, Anne moved on to teaching at the high school, and I am fortunate that my own son will have the pleasure of having Anne as a teacher in the coming years.

Anne approached me this spring at a h.s. baseball game to ask if I had any ideas for fundraisers, specifically for Multiple Sclerosis research. As it happens, I had just come up with the logo and name for my new fundraising company and I showed her the prototypes. She got excited by the possibility, so I asked if she would like to be the first of one of my fundraisers using an order form for the event. Of course, she would! You see, Anne is my guinea pig! So I am hoping that this experiment will work!

What is MS?

Per the National MS Society website:
Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. Today, new treatments and advances in research are giving new hope to people affected by the disease.

No one knows the exact causes of MS.

There are 2.1 million people who have it and more cases discovered every day.

More women get this than men, it is found in every corner of the world but is more prevalent in northern regions and farther from the equator, every ethnic background is represented and it manifests most often between 20-50 years of age. More people are diagnosed every day.

Chances are that you know someone who is affected by this disease.

And there currently is no cure.

MS Challenge Walk
Anne and her sister Nicole have done the MS Challenge Walk for seven years with this upcoming walk. The MS Challenge Walk is a three-day, 50 mile event held in Door County, WI. A beautiful place to get lost for three days! I am sure that there are MS Challenge Walks in every state in case you are interested. To participate, all you need to do is form a team, raise a minimum of $1500 and walk!

Anne is not just a kind soul and a beautiful woman, she was diagnosed with MS in 1999. Her mother, who also had MS, passed away in 2007 after a lengthy battle. As Anne says, "While my mother was not able to benefit from the disease modifying medications, the dedication and selflessness of those who walked over the years have directly affected my health. I walk to honor those who walked before me, to support those who are currently living with MS, and to help those who will be diagnosed after me."

I was actually unaware the Anne had MS until I started this journey with her. She is a youthful, vibrant woman with a stunning smile. She is an inspiration to everyone who meets her, from those friends from high school to students present and past to colleagues and more. She always seems on the go (no doubt fueled by her beloved java bean!) so I am sure that she has no intentions of ever slowing down. I have always admired Miss Anne, and I am so happy that I can do something for her.
Currently, Team Walk the Talk has raised just over $2000 of their $7500 goal. My hope is that this fundraiser can help them achieve what they are striving for.

Dot Spotlight :: MS Challenge Walk

My hope is that this special Pop-a-Dot Jewelry sale will not only benefit Anne and her sister in their fundraising efforts but might help find a cure.

The following images are an order form designed specifically this fundraiser. We selected 35 specific Dots that will be available for this specific fundraiser. Dots that are whimsical and fun... Dots that are just plain pretty... Dots that have positive messages... Dots specific to supporting those with MS. The sale of any Pop-a-Dot Jewelry through this fundraiser August 1-31, 2013 will directly benefit the Wisconsin MS Challenge Walk that Anne and Nicole are participating in coming up September 20-22, 2013.

Remember: the Dots are just magnets, so even if you don't want to wear the jewelry, or already have a Base of your own from a previous fundraiser, you can find a spot for these magnets! 

If you are interested in supporting this fundraiser by purchasing from this select group of Dots and Bases, you can email me directly at dot@popadotjewelry.com and I will set it up for you. [Note: Shipping quoted is in the U.S. If you are outside of the U.S., I will be happy to find out what the cost will be to ship to you.]

Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Welcome to Pop-a-Dot Jewelry!

 "To strengthen the muscles of your heart,
the best exercise is strengthening someone else's spirit whenever you can."


I have long been a supporter of local events and organizations. Each year I give jewelry and money to those that are important to me. In the spring, I create a limited edition piece of jewelry to commemorate the Dance Education Center (DEC) where my daughter dances as a way to give back to the studio's scholarship program with the National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NHSDA) while at the same time being a memento for the theme of the show. For this years' show 'The View,' I created kaleidoscope images and silhouettes of dancers under glass and engraved on the back with the year.

[The precursors to the Pop-a-Dot Jewelry line.]
After the fundraiser in 2013 for DEC, I was able to give them a check for $900. That far eclipses any fundraiser that I have ever done for them by almost triple! It got me thinking about what I could do to continue this tradition for DEC, but also help other local organizations or charities that I support.

For a long term fundraiser option, I knew that it had to be durable and affordable...and make people want to come back for more. I wanted it to be something quick that I could put together for various charities, whether I was setting up a booth someplace, or doing it as an order form, so it had to be interchangeable. I wanted to be able to customize the images to the different organizations so that the images would be special to their clientele, but also have broad appeal. And if I could further customize them with names and dates, etc, then that would be a bonus.

So I was sitting in my studio with a tray of the leftover necklaces from the dance fundraiser and a magnet on my table got stuck to one of the bases. That is when I got the idea of making the images magnetic tops that could be swapped out.

I am not the first person to come up with a magnetic jewelry line. At a local boutique they carried a popular line of toppers and bases. Online I follow an artist who uses recycled auto parts for her bases and gets amazing artists to contribute their unique artwork for the magnetic tops (I am still pining for one of her sets). I knew I had to set myself apart in some way but not by taking away their strides. There is room enough in this world for all of us. But I also knew that this new line of jewelry would only be for the purpose of raising funds for worthy causes. And that is what would set me apart.

And so the seed was planted for magnetic jewelry.

I set a goal for myself of coming up with a name, logo, business card and banner by the end of the night on June 4, 2013. I wanted to debut this new line of jewelry at a girls' softball tournament later that month, and I need to have hard deadlines to use my limited time the most wisely. I knew that I had to work fast.

I didn't want to call my magnets 'toppers' or 'lids' as there were others who did that. I was listening to the radio and "Popping Tags" was playing. I thought, 'Well...you just pop these dots on and off whenever you change your mind.' That was it! Pop-a-Dot! You pop a Dot on for Style That Sticks With You! Orange is my daughter's favorite color. And the logo I created played up on the dots. The name, the motto and the logo came together quickly and stuck just like the magnets they were made from!

I started with the Dots.

Although I could make images myself, I knew that would take me too much time and there are great graphic artists who have already done that. The images I use are sourced from graphic designers the world over, some of which have created them just for me. They feature images that are fun, whimsical and positively reinforcing so that they feel a lot like the sort of jewelry that I make. I already have purchased hundreds of different Dot designs.

I print the images on a high end color laser printer for great color and crisp details and then they are formed into a 1" Dot with a powerful steel magnet so that they would not fall off easily. The beauty is that if you don't wear jewelry, or when you are not wearing the jewelry, you can store your Dots on any magnetic surface, like your fridge or locker. Double duty! And once you have the base, you can keep adding Dots or additional bases as you go.
[Flattened Bottlecap pendants with matching chain or optional colored wire necklace ::
silver :: gunmetal :: bronze :: copper :: $16]
[Bracelet cuff :: silver :: bronze :: gunmetal :: $14]
[Bracelet chain, adjustable to 8" :: bronze :: silver :: $12]
[Rings with adjustable filigree bases :: silver :: antique silver :: bronze :: copper :: $10]
Each Pop-a-Dot base is the same size - necklace, bracelet, ring - so that all of the Dots will fit each one. For variety, I tried to have 2-4+ different metal tones and multiple styles in each base.

Each base comes with your choice of one Dot.

As soon as I started selling these Pop-a-Dots, people were getting excited.

[Booth display.]
I made special necklaces as a gift for each of the moms of my children's traveling ball teams (softball and baseball) with the name of the player and their number. [These are what I would consider Custom Dots - and are only done at certain times of the year.] The moms loved them! They couldn't believe that I would give that to them, but I knew that they would be my best ambassadors for the Pop-a-Dot Jewelry line. And I was right. They wore them to every game and brought back more moms who wanted to have them as well.

The dilemma is that I could certainly drop everything and just do this, and lots of people have assumed that is what I am doing. If I had a dollar for every time someone suggested I go on the 'Shark Tank'... But that is not my business model. The Pop-a-Dot Jewelry is merely a side-side business, an arm of my company designed exclusively to give back. I do not wish to have this detract from the artisan jewelry that I make, nor eclipse the brand that I have built. I simply wanted a way to make a difference.

I plan to sell the Pop-a-Dot Jewelry only for select fundraisers for organizations that I have a connection to, with a limit each year from six to twelve different fundraisers. The percentage given to each organization will be at my discretion based on how close my tie is to that fundraiser. But after doing the first one for the PWYA and netting them $300, I can tell that this will be something that will have the impact on the local and national organizations that I will be helping.

I intend to use this space as a place to share with you what the next fundraiser is, links to their sites for more information, and also to share why I am supporting them. If you wish to order during a current fundraiser, it will be included in the donation.

[Bracelet display.]

I hope that I can continue to do these Pop-a-Dot Jewelry fundraisers indefinitely. I get a lot of great feedback from people who see them and offer their suggestions for Dots for the future. If you have a great idea, please feel free to use the Contact Form on the front page to send me a note with your ideas. I plan to eventually offer limited selections of Dots as either Singles or Quads [4] for sale on this site. I will also keep coming up with new Bases so that you can have a whole wardrobe of Pop-a-Dot Jewelry to change into when the mood strikes!

So far I have done one fundraiser for the Plover Whiting Youth Athletics (PWYA) as a booth at a softball tournament. I also gave the Plover 14s softball team a selection of softball Dots to gift to another team at the upcoming Nationals competition in North Dakota. The next fundraiser planned is for an MS Walk that a friend of mine is doing, and that will be done through an order form that can be sent to her friends and supporters around the country [info coming soon on how you can help!]. I am hoping to do fundraisers for our school system, the dance studio, some local sports teams as well as those funding research for diseases or supporting our youth.

[Dots displayed at the PWYA Girls Softball tournament, June 2013]

I have a lot of ideas swirling about what I can do with the Pop-a-Dot Jewelry.

How about featuring the artwork of some local artists to raise money for arts education? I have connections at Gallery Q that might get me going on that.

I will do limited runs of Custom Dots... like the personalized softballs and baseballs with the player name and number... but only at certain times of the year to make the most efficient use of my time and resources. Contact me to find out when those special orders will happen.

Wouldn't it be cool to feature artwork from local students through a design contest? Limited edition designs to support our youth.

My biggest plans are to make my own Simple Truths as magnetic inserts with a bezel that I found that will work nicely. I just have to find the right magnets. And then I can offer completely artisan Dots that will truly be one of a kind!

The possibilities are endless!

Check back here on this blog as I share about the next fundraiser, who will benefit and even a place to order to help a cause and grow your Dot collection. And if you have any suggestions or comments, I would love to hear from you! Contact me using the form on the sidebar, or directly at dot@popadotjewelry.com.

Pop-a-Dot Jewelry... for Style That Sticks With You!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Coming Soon!

New styles of Pop-a-Dot Jewelry will be popping up here in July so please check back!