Interview with Kristi Sagrillo of Bugaboo Jewelry, Part Two

Kristi Sagrillo

Bugaboo Jewelry Specializes in Miscarriage, Stillbirth, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Jewelry


In Part Two of my interview with Kristi Sagrillo she explains the technical aspects of her memorial jewelry designs, her best loved items and her Etsy store's far reaching success to date.

Kristi's Toolkit: Tools of the Trade

Kristi's Toolkit: Stamp Letters

Part Two

Nicole: I'd like to ask some technical questions about your jewelry, which I love for its unique and modern designs. Some of your pieces are hand stamped to allow for customization. How is this process done?

Kristi: I purchase the sterling silver supplies and then hand polish each piece before I begin to stamp them out. Then I select the font and line up each letter on the sterling silver piece one at a time. I use a 2 pound hammer and will strike the end of each letter about 2 to 3 times or until I get the indentation that I like.

After I have finished stamping the piece I will oxidize it (this makes the marks dark) and put it in a polishing tumbler for 6-8 hours or until the piece is polished smooth.

Nicole: Do the stamps have each individual letter raised, like on an ink stamp?

Kristi: Yes, very similar. The letter is raised and is on a long metal shaft. You place the end with the letter on the metal and then hit the opposite side with a hammer.

Glass Memorial Pendant

Dragonfly Locket: Outside

Dragonfly Locket: Inside

Nicole: I also love your glass photo pendants, customized with a baby's photo, name and due or birth date printed on the glass. I imagine this is a very popular item for grieving parents. What is the process for transferring the photo image and customized words? Did you learn to do this in an online course?

Kristi: Yes, these are very popular. I wanted to have something on my site that was affordable to everyone. I was very conscious of the fact that a loss can really affect a family's financial situation and did not want to add to that burden.

I print the image with the photo and the text on high quality paper and then apply a thin layer of glaze to the back of the glass tile and then flip it over and place it on top of the image.

Nicole: What are your most popular pieces to date? Which design or item is your personal favorite?

Kristi: I would have to say that my lockets are my most popular pieces followed by the eternity washers. I love them all but my favorite one right now is the copper and sterling silver dragonfly locket. Followed closely by the Footprints on My Heart necklace.

Nicole: You opened Bugaboo Jewelry just over two years ago and have had over 1000 sales to date. How have your store and your work evolved over the past two years?

Kristi: When I first opened I only sold five bracelets and as I gained more confidence and realized that there was a need for what I do I began creating new pieces that were personalized for each individual. Just as every child and every woman’s story are different, so is each piece that I design.

Nicole: Have you had orders from all over the world? Are you ever surprised by how far reaching demand for your work is?

Kristi: Yes, absolutely!!! Bugaboo is not only popular in the US but very popular in Canada, the UK and Australia. I recently shipped an order to South Africa.

Nicole: I'm so glad to hear of the success of your work.

Kristi: Thank you.

Nicole: You mentioned that you create new pieces that are personalized for each individual. Do your customers ever give you ideas for new pieces of jewelry?

Kristi: Yes, all of the time. That is what is so amazing about this job. I have some very creative clients! I also have clients that will like several designs but can't decide on which one so that's where I can recommend a blend of the pieces which ultimately leads to a new design and is customized for their unique situation.

Nicole: It sounds like a very organic process. I imagine it must be rewarding to share a focus and work out an idea. And satisfying for the customer who can have input in the outcome. I think this makes your work and process very unique.

Are you able to work with customers this way online, over email? Or is this more for customers you see in person?

Kristi: Yes, it is very much an organic process. It has been very easy doing this exercise online. Usually customers will send me links to something they like or describe it and I will create a mockup for them to review and approve before I start the work.

I Can Make Life: Poems About Infertility and Miscarriage, Pregnancy and Birth

I Can Make Life addresses the impact of fertility treatments, pregnancy, miscarriage and birth as it re-traces the poet's long journey to her son -- and finally, to peace.
I Can Make Life addresses the impact of fertility treatments, pregnancy, miscarriage and birth as it re-traces the poet's long journey to her son -- and finally, to peace. | Source

About Nicole Breit

Nicole Breit is a published author and poet. Her debut poetry collection, I Can Make Life, explores the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual impact of fertility treatments, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, and birth. I Can Make Life was a finalist for the 2012 Mary Ballard Poetry competition. Her essay, “For Tristan: A Meditation on Loss, Grief and Healing” was published in The Sound of Silence: Journeys Through Miscarriage (Wombat Books, 2011). She is also the author of a number of online pregnancy loss resources. Follow her writing journey on her blog, Writing for my Life, or on twitter @NicoleBreit.

Continue Reading This Interview

In Part One of my interview with Kristi Sagrillo of Bugaboo Jewelry, we discuss the background and beginnings of her Etsy store specializing in miscarriage, stillbirth, pregnancy and infant loss jewelry.

In Part Three, we discuss Kristi's memorial Christmas ornaments, the nature of perinatal grief and how Kristi works with her clients to create unique and one of a kind customized memorial jewelry.

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