Reading Time: 4 minutes
I’m a sucker for re-purposing. When I was younger I would take my dad’s beer bottle caps, punch holes in them, and make earrings. When it came time to plan my best friend’s baby shower, I massacred some Little Golden books rather than visit One Stop Party Shoppe. So when Sue at Comic Salvage contacted GeekMom and said “Hey check this out!”, well I couldn’t resist.
I’ve been an Etsy surfer for several years now, I helped my mother-in-law set up her shop, after being introduced to the site by a friend, then I toyed with my own store. I never did get over my fear of PayPal to make anything of it. When I saw Sue’s creations at Comic Salvage, I decided to take the plunge and make my first Etsy purchase. A few days later, one very nice delivery man, and I am in love, with the jewelry that is.
I don’t have the patience to make my own jewelry. I’ve tried, it doesn’t make me happy. Having someone else do it however — now that I can do. I bought a “POW!” necklace for myself, and a speech bubble necklace for my 16-year-old niece that I thought was more than appropriate. I’m always a bit dubious buying sight unseen, but these pieces satisfied every doubt I had about weight, length and quality. I was impressed by the craftsmanship that has gone into these pieces; the wrapping itself was a work of art. I couldn’t resist chatting a little more with owner, Sue Smith, about how she got into the comic book/jewelry business.
GeekMom: How did you get started?
Sue: This idea was floating around in my head for about two years. I never really knew how to go about starting it, so I researched a lot. I tried to figure out what kind of materials I would use, what would look best and without costing a fortune. I’m a stay-at-home mom, so I was looking for something to do that was creative, but could also bring a little money into our home. I started with an Etsy shop that had some of the comic book jewelry, fabric and vintage inspired pieces. I realized very quickly that the comic book jewelry was doing well and that I should start a shop dedicated to it!
GeekMom: What made you pick comic books?
Sue: That’s an easy one. My husband is an illustrator and has been collecting comic books since he was a kid, so I’m surrounded by them. We love collecting anything vintage, especially toys and books from our childhood. We are often scouting out garage sales and flea markets for some good finds. I’ve always noticed the excessive amounts of distressed comic books that were out there. A lot of them are missing covers or ripped and not worth much. I loved the idea of recycling them into little pieces of history that you can wear!
Sue: I love them all, but I guess my favorite are the necklaces with the dialogue balloons. I love being able to express an emotion whether it’s inspirational or funny. I also love making my “puzzle links.” They are cuff links that reveal one image when put together.
GeekMom: Do you make duplicates?
Sue: I haven’t used a duplicate yet. There are so many comic books out there, that I haven’t come across the need to use an image I’ve used before. I probably won’t for a long time. Each piece is taken from an original vintage comic book, which makes it unique. I only use comic books that are 20 years or older.
GeekMom: Do you do custom work?
Sue: Yes, I do custom pieces! There are so many characters out there and people have their favorites. I wouldn’t want to deny them that!
GeekMom: Have you had any peculiar requests?
Sue: No, I wouldn’t say I’ve had any peculiar requests. I have had one favorite so far. A customer asked me to make her cuff links for her fiance as a wedding gift. It was for Robocop, which was actually really hard for me to find. I found the perfect picture and sent her the cuff links and the comic book it came from. It’s going to be handed to him on his wedding day, which is so cool! It’s stories like this that make my job so fun!
No Superheroes were harmed in the making of this jewelry.