Describe your artistic style. Unique and stylish. I like things that are different and one-of-a-kind, both of which are reflected in every item I design and create. I love to mix different types of beads to create an eye catching piece of jewelry.
What inspires you as a designer-artist? I like unique styles that incorporate different textures, styles and mediums.
What materials do you most enjoy working with? I enjoy wire wrapping beads into charms, working with glass beads, crystal beads, shells and semi precious stones. I absolutely love being able to create a one-of-a-kind design that includes complementary beads in different shapes and sizes.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story? Natures Sparkle Necklace
What inspired this design? I fell in love with the shell pendant (purchased on the Fire Mountain Gems website) and wanted a way to bring out the gold tones in the design without the necklace being too flashy or overbearing. The coloring within the spiral design also reminded me of snake skin, which has been a recent trend, but I've never seen it paired with beige and a shell design. Since it was a unique mix of soft colors I figured it would be perfect for the summer, but could also be paired with dark natural colors in the fall. As I started lying out beads the design created itself and became an eye-catching yet classy piece of jewelry.
How did it come together? It definitely defined itself once I started laying out my ideas.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading? I originally started creating jewelry as a stress reliever while attending college. I had no intention of creating a business or expanding into anything beyond a hobby. After positive reinforcement from family and friends I decided to start creating jewelry to sell. Slowly over the past 9 years I have successfully grown my hobby into a small business and have expanded into beaded house wares and gifts and now my merchandise is sold via consignment at local boutiques and gift shops.
Who introduced you to beading? No one. I took my creative nature and started designing unique jewelry using a wide variety of medians and by trial and error. My very first designs were extremely simple, boring and bland. I slowly started mixing styles and medians to create unique pieces of art.
Do you have an artistic background? Yes; however I have never officially gone to school for art. I took art classes in elementary school, but nothing more than that. I self-taught myself jewelry making, but have always had an artistic eye. I am lucky enough to be able to draw literally anything I can visually see.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®? Google. I was on the hunt for specific beads and came across Fire Mountain Gems and have been ordering since.
What other hobbies do you have? I love animals. I have a saltwater fish tank and mini Holland Lop rabbit who just turned 3 years old.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life? Jewelry making is a stress reliever for me. The amount of time I spend on jewelry designing and creating varies from day to day and week to week depending on how creative I feel and if I have orders to fill.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry? Jewelry making isn't my primary source of income; however, I do have a website, I list a few items on websites such as Etsy, and I consign my merchandise at local boutiques. I used to attend craft fairs and outdoor markets, but no longer have the time. Between working a 40 hour day job and then supplying stores with merchandise, fairs and markets became more of hassle than a reward.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers? Yes. I have an awareness line, where 10% of any breast cancer awareness jewelry or house ware item sold is donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. I have also participated in charity walk fund raising events donating a certain percentage of my sales to the charity and I am frequently asked to donate items to local school fundraisers and auctions.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists? Be creative, have fun and don't give up!
What inspired you to donate your bead(s) to Circle of Hope?
Several close friends and family members of mine have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Some of these individuals have been fortunate enough to beat their cancer, others have not. Because of breast cancer and other cancers that have affected my family and friends, I always support cancer research when given the opportunity. Although I do not create beads, I was grateful Fire Mountain Gems allowed me to donate of piece of finished jewelry to help raise.