An Independent Artist's Dream: Good Morning America Feature

So one of the things I love about my job is when I, as an independent artist, can work with bigger companies and step up into places I never dreamed of. One of those opportunities came along this year when Smart Glass Recycled Jewelry was selected to be featured on Good Morning America’s Deals & Steals (GMA) with Tory Johnson for their Earth Day, April 21st, segment.


The GMA Deals & Steals segments are seen by millions of viewers in the US. This opportunity meant tremendous national exposure, a huge sales boost and a new customer base of loyal fans for our small, Atlanta-based, artisan studio.


I was so excited and a little bit terrified when we found out we were selected. GMA Deals & Steals does their homework before picking a product to feature! Over the past 10 years, they have tracked the purchasing patterns from this weekly segment to learn what their viewers buy and at what price points they are willing to pay. They prioritize American-made, and for Earth Day, were looking for products with a great environmental story. But being selected for GMA Deals & Steals meant I had to be prepared to ship over 3,000 pieces of jewelry in 3 days! How in the world would my little studio of handcrafted jewelry be able to take on that type of production shift?!


But one of the best things about these opportunities is that they help me stretch and grow as an artist and a business owner.


For this big opportunity, we decided to offer 3 different necklaces and 3 of our best selling gold cube rings in matching colors. The colors were based around the assortment of post-consumer bottles I knew I could get a good supply of: gin, Coca-Cola, and red wine (my personal drink of choice).




Once the jewelry and post-consumer bottlers were selected, we dove into the production.  As always, taking on a big project like this helps me hone my skills and come up with some new ways of doing things. We were cutting over 50 ring pieces a day for weeks on end. With each day, my skills got even more precise, getting better and better at cutting the glass size almost exactly right.



Our mixer was churning non-stop creating the sea glass finish, and while all this was happening I was ordering boxes and labels and ribbons and all the things we needed to complete the fulfillment.





We also had to make sure we had the right photos of these products. So I leaned on my friends to help! I am so lucky to have friends who can model jewelry and another to shoot amazing photographs.



I enlisted my friend Laura who happens to have a daughter who is a model, and a best friend who was visiting from New York. Therefore I was able to quickly get three diverse models to represent the diversity of Tory's GMA Deals & Steals followers in the same house at the same time for a photoshoot! We shot in their backyard on a sunny day and viola! 



The TV segment was so fun to watch, and somehow I managed to get all the orders out in the specified time. It was actually super fun to print hundreds of labels and pack each box thinking about the new customer and where my work was going in the country.  



And, if you missed this whole event don’t worry! Now through August 30th, we are offering the same items to our loyal customers at great discounted prices for our August Product of the Month special. Order up! And when I pack your purchases, know that your jewelry is being sent along with my well wishes and good vibes for wherever it is going in the world. 

Our best selling Gold Cube Ring in Aqua (Bombay Sapphire Gin bottles), Antique Clear (Coca-Cola Glass bottles) and Pine (post consumer red wine bottles) are only $34.00 (save $20).

Save $14 on our simple and stylish Gold Gin Necklace (on sale for $34) made from mini bar Gin bottles. 

Made from the neck of a red wine bottle, our Gold Wave Necklace in Pine makes the perfect gift! Get it now through August 30th for only $34.00.


With a sea glass matte finish, this Antique Clear Gold Necklace on sale for $34.00 will transport you to the beach every time you wear it. 


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Smart Glass Jewelry is an artist's studio based out of Atlanta, Georgia specializing in upcycling post-consumer glass bottles into wearable, beautiful jewelry. Smart Glass Jewelry reclaims glass beer, wine, saki, vodka, whiskey and gin bottles to create their colorful and sustainable designs. 


Kathleen Plate is the talented artist behind Smart Glass Jewelry. Born and raised in Cathlamet, a small town in Washington State, her small-town roots are evident in her minimalist, “keep it simple” design philosophy. Now residing in Atlanta, Georgia, you’ll find her every day in her studio, tinkering and creating, and hitting the occasional dumpster at night.