"I think I was born artistic," said Singer, a lifelong North Bergen resident. "As a child, I got a lot of my artistic talent from my mother. But I always had a love of drawing and creating. I would draw jewelry and stones. I was always beading at home. It's always been my focus."
At the same time, Singer was also interested in another aspect of her life - figure skating. From the time she was 3, Singer was constantly on the ice. She aspired to become a figure skating champion. She studied skating with famed British champion Glyn Watts at the South Mountain Arena in West Orange and competed for many years.
"I absolutely had Olympic aspirations," Singer said. "When I was 13 years old, Dorothy Hamill was the main champion, and I was told I even looked like her. I had two things in my life: art and skating."
But when the Olympic dreams died, the pursuit of artistry remained.
So it was only natural that Singer would pursue a world of art and jewelry after graduating from North Bergen High School.
"I took all the art classes I could when I was in high school," Singer said. "I also loved to work with calligraphy. I was constantly making signs for stores, if they would put my sign in their windows."
Singer went to work in the diamond industry as an importer for a Manhattan firm and studied diamonds and gemology.
"I learned about the real things and real settings, but I knew I wanted to study fine jewelry design," Singer said.
Incorporate it all One day, Singer had the idea that she wanted to incorporate all the creative things in her life that she adored, namely making jewelry and doing calligraphy, focusing on fine details. She didn't want to work for anyone. She wanted to do it on her own.
"I was already doing it all on the side," Singer said. "I just needed to have some focus."
So Singer went to the New School in New York to study jewelry design. She also attended the School for Calligraphic Arts, where she studied with some of the best calligraphers in the country, including Pat Blair, who has been the calligrapher for the White House and is the personal calligrapher for Vice President Dick Cheney.
"I wanted to encompass calligraphy with jewelry design," Singer said. "After a year and a half, I decided I wanted to have my own business and was going into it full blast."
The result is Singer's own company, called Social Butterfly Design, based out of North Bergen, which creates an array of items that enhance every special occasion, especially weddings.
Social Butterfly Calligraphy offers fine hand calligraphy and custom made place cards for romantic weddings. Singer personally does the calligraphy for elaborate and beautiful place cards, every last one by hand, in her North Bergen studio.
Singer also does what she calls "sparkling place cards," complete with a sugar border detail and using personalized color schemes to coordinate with and fit the patterns specifically requested by the bride-to-be. She also offers an array of colors and paper colors for the place cards.
Her sparkling place cards have become so popular that they are currently featured in the latest edition of New Jersey Bride Magazine (Fall/Winter 2005).
By hand "It was unbelievable," Singer said. "Soon after I started on my own (in August of 2004), one of my place cards was spotted by an editor for New Jersey Bride and they called me and said they wanted to feature my work. It was wonderful."
Not stopping there, Singer also personally makes personalized crystal compacts for women. They are described as ultra-slim dual mirror compacts, beaded and hand-set with either one or two Swarovski crystal colors of choice, personalized with either initials or the recipient's first name. They are also custom made to match the wedding colors, as well as birthstones. Singer signs and dates each compact to insure its uniqueness and authenticity.
Singer also designs and creates Swarovski crystal earrings and bracelets, as well as specific jewelry just for the bride-to-be.
"Everything is mine, designed and hand-made by me," Singer said. "It's all very intricate and all made from crystals. They're all multi-faceted crystals and shine like diamonds, sparkling like the real thing."
Every item Singer makes, from the place cards down to the jewelry, is hand made and custom made, with the color schemes and patterns of the wedding in mind.
However, she has been receiving orders recently for anniversaries, bat mitzvahs and other special occasions.
"The response has been terrific, really fabulous," Singer said. "People are telling me that I'm doing a good job. Some are telling me that they're crazy for it. I guess that's good. I had been creating jewelry part-time, but now, with the response, it's been a full-time business."
All of Singer's creations can be found and purchased online at www.socialbutterflycalligraphy.com. The prices are reasonable and affordable, especially with brides working on a tight budget.
Whenever Singer has free time, she still hits the ice to work on her moves.
"I do teach figure skating when I have time, but now, with the new business, I haven't had much time," Singer said. "It's been absolutely fabulous to see your work in a major market, like the New Jersey Bride magazine or on television (Singer's work has been featured on some Cablevision broadcasts). It's all been a huge thrill."
For more information about Singer's work, log on to www.socialbutterflycalligraphy.com or call (201) 861-5799.