Describe your artistic style. My style changes periodically but I lean toward purples, greens and things resembling nature such as flowers and butterflies.
What inspires you as a designer-artist? Anytime someone sees a purple butterfly they immediately affiliate it with me. Nature in general is my inspiration but in particular my inspiration folder consists of pictures of butterflies, flowers, fish, and ocean scenes. These are my biggest inspirations.
What materials do you most enjoy working with? Seed beads and gemstone donuts are my favorite. I also love working with Czech glass bell flowers.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story? Flower Power Bracelet
What inspired this design? When I was born my Aunt Tanya planted a special pink flower in my Mom's garden to celebrate. My parents had waited 13 years to have a child and Mom was told that she would not be able to have children. They named me Kariti because it means "By God's grace" in the Greek language. Every year on my birthday after that, Aunt Tanya would plant a similar pink flower just for me. In this bracelet I have made a pink flower to continue celebrating God's grace and mercy that he has shown to me over everything I have gone through. It is by God's grace that I am saved through faith, that I have this talent for jewelry and that I was even born. And it is by God's grace that I will continue to live my life alongside my husband depicting the beauty of His creations through beading.
How did it come together? I planned on making a bracelet with flowers; the route it took really just kind of came to me as I was working on it.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading? My story of how I got into it comes in several parts. When I was around six or maybe younger I was making pictures on the little spiky board with beads and ironing them together. I don't remember what they were called exactly. In the early 90s when so many kids were sporting the pony bead lizards and other creatures on their backpacks, I, too was making them, but I was sporting them on my shoes. This is because I was using seed beads. A little later I discovered making Christmas ornaments by putting beads on pins and sticking them into Styrofoam balls. Jump forward to about age nine and I started playing with wire and figured out how to use some of my dad's pliers to write people's names in wire and then put little decorative beads on them. For a while I went into graphic design and all forms of hands-on crafting which came to a halt while I went through teenage rebellion, my days of only wearing black and punk music. Fast forward to age 20. After getting married I suddenly decide, when walking through Jo-Ann's one day that I am going to pick up beading little lizards and other critters again. This lasted for a short while till money got tight. My husband and I both lose our jobs, and our apartment and have to move in with my parents where, while hunting for jobs we both commandeer the TV. My Mom tells me to pick a craft and she will put me in a class so that I can possibly sell my work at a later date. Remembering how much I loved beading, I chose a basic stringing class. After that class I never stopped learning and it grew into the passion I have for it today.
Who introduced you to beading? My Mom.
Do you have an artistic background? Yes I do. My parents always encouraged us to pursue whatever art we chose. It is a creative outlet that keeps us happy and that's what beading does for me.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®? When I decided to see if there was any other place to buy beads besides Jo-Anns. I Google "beads" and it is like the first thing that comes up. :)
What other hobbies do you have? Honestly, my beading takes up so much time that the other hobbies tend to get left behind. The only other one I ever really do anymore is drawing and that is because I am drawing my designs out.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups? I am in the Bead Society of Central Florida. My mentor, Ms. Darla introduced me to the group.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life? I am a bead instructor for two different places now. So, it is definitely a full-time career.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry? I have a store on Etsy, but mostly just take custom orders through friends and family at the moment. I use Facebook as my main mode of showing off my work.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers? I would definitely if I find a cause I really support.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists? Don't be afraid to try a new technique. I learned at least half of what I know from reading patterns and tutorials through Google and watching YouTube videos. Even if you don't have the equipment or supplies, do the reading or take the time to watch some of them. You never know where that little bit of knowledge that you gain can take you. One last thing, never call yourself a master. This title means that you know it all and there is nothing left for you to learn. Once you reach this stage where is the joy in discovering a new technique or a new stitch? You never stop learning because there is always something new for you to discover.