Marilyn Case has been designing jewelry for 15 years. A fan of Supernatural, she was inspired by Mary's hunter bracelet and that sent her on her own hunt to find charms that symbolized the important icons from the show. She had intended to make one just for herself, but ended up donating two to fan-run charity auctions. So many people saw them and loved them that she decided to start making and selling them on a regular basis.
This week, Marilyn takes the crafty seat to talk about her love of Supernatural, her jewelry and her fannish biz.
Marilyn Case of Jewelry By Marilyn
Website: Jewelry by Marilyn
Etsy Store: Jewelry by Marilyn
How did you get into fandom in the first place?
: Been a fan of Supernatural since the pilot. I was a fan of X-Files, Buffy, Firefly, all kinds of genre TV and movies.
You're obviously a Supernatural fan – what's one of your favorite episodes or moments from the show?
: Love the serious shows, but some of the comedic ones are among my favorites. "French Mistake", "Mystery Spot", and "Changing Channels" to name a few. "Heart", "All Hell Breaks Loose" and "Swan Song" are the episodes that always make me tear up. "Sacrifice" has joined that list as well.
Gotta ask – are you a Sam girl or Dean girl?
Sam! But I love Dean as well.
Let's talk jewelry. What inspired you to create fannish jewelry?
Over the summer of 2010, I was watching some old "Supernatural" episodes. In the episode "In The Beginning", where Dean goes back in time and meets his parents before they were married, young Mary Winchester is wearing a "protection" charm bracelet which contained several demon protection symbols. I liked the bracelet, and looked around online for it. I discovered that it was available, but didn't rush right out to buy one.
When the 6th season rolled around, I started thinking about all of the icons that are of importance in the "Supernatural" universe, and decided to make myself a charm bracelet composed of those icons. The item I thought would be the easiest to find, and is also arguably the most important, the Impala, turned out to be the most difficult to track down. I finally found what I thought would be all of the charms I would want, and I put together a bracelet. While later looking for other charms, I discovered some additional items that I thought would be great additions to the bracelet. By mid-winter of 2010-2011, the final product was born.
When @SammWinchester on Twitter started looking for donations to his Supernatural Finale Twitter Party, which he ran to benefit Hope to Haiti, I sent him a picture of my bracelet and asked if he would like one as a donation. He agreed, as did @PamelaLove74, who was also running a Supernatural finale fundraising project. Her project benefited Random Acts and A Dog's Life Rescue. When they posted pictures of my bracelet for their followers, many people began to ask me to make one for them as well. I ended up having to create a web site and track down places where I could buy the charms wholesale. As time went on, I began to make necklaces and earrings as well. I continue to donate my jewelry to Supernatural-related charitable causes.
What led you to sell your works on Etsy?
I wanted to make sure my jewelry was as visible as possible. I also have a Facebook page
. I sell the majority of my jewelry on my web site, though.
Some people worry that making a living (or making money) with their fandom might take the fun out of it. Your thoughts?
I would LOVE to do this full time. I enjoy making the jewelry, but right now I have a full-time job (I'm a teacher, so I make a lot of product on school vacations. I can barely keep up with the orders I get now.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about selling their fannish handiwork?
Talk to people who have done it successfully. I kind of fell into this, but I have always been crafty. I under-priced my stuff at first, afraid it wouldn't sell, while my husband kept encouraging me to raise my prices. Now I make enough to pay for my convention trips!
I'd love to hear about your favorite or strangest or funniest fandom experience.
My first con, which I thought was going to be my one and only, I went all out. Gold ticket, VIP, the works. I had so much fun that I of course had to do it again! While Jared Padalecki continues to rule my heart, I also fell in love with Richard Speight at the convention. He was so freaking sweet! I was in the hotel bar at one point and turned around and saw him sitting in a booth behind me. I fangirled, and tweeted that he was in the bar. I immediately got a reply to my tweet, from Richard, along the lines of "Wow! You're fast! I just got here!" I sheepishly turned around and waved at him. He invited me to sit with him while he waited for his lunch. He even remembers me now when I see him at conventions (but not just from that chance encounter).
At that same conventions (the one and only in Boston, in 2011), the VIPs were first in line for photo ops. Mt fellow VIPs did not want to go first to see Jared, and I ended up first in line. I was a nervous wreck, to say the least! I had gotten a bad sunburn earlier in the summer and was peeling badly. I told him that I needed to be on the other side of him than where they told me to stand, because one of my arms was peeling worse than the other. He told me to use sunscreen next time, called me "sweetie" and winked at me. It is amazing to me that I didn't melt right there and then.
If you'd like to own one of Marilyn's jewelry pieces, visit her website: Jewelry by Marilyn