||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Panama City, Panama
Describe your artistic style.
Classic, also like vintage, eclectic style I would say. I take from each style what I find suits better for my idea and work it on the project.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I love nature, landscapes, flower, all the color combination in it, it is very rich, and that feeds my inspiration.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Among the metals I like silver, also work with copper, and brass. Among beads, I prefer stones, but also work with pearls.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
I wanted a piece that would evoke elegance, and fantasy at the same time, the fantasy of finding a pearl inside a shell. So I believe the sea is very romantic. I like walking at the beach at sunset. So I took the shells and I assembled them in a way that are facing each other like an open shell, and put a pearl in-between, not in each one of them not to overpower the necklace, but to have a nice delicate beautiful piece, that would out-stand from the classic design.
How did it come together?
I had the idea the moment I saw the shell. I thought I could do a beautiful piece with it, but once I started working on beading the shell, the ideas started to flow, what if ... ? What if is like that ... ? So I tried and I liked the way it looked.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
One day my husband and I made a trip to Guadalajara, Mexico, where all the artisans are, and I was fascinated. I wanted to start a business importing these pieces. One day, we were at the hotel, and I was sharing these interests with one of the hotel staff, and he said to me, why don't you do it yourself? I replied: Me? I was like in disbelief, that I could really do jewelry. So he gave me some tips on where to find information on how to train myself to do jewelry. I went and I was like in a dream, walking on the clouds. I went to a bookstore and found hundreds of magazines that train you on how to do your own jewelry. I picked up like 10 of those and brought them back home with me. I had a major surgery coming so I thought it was the perfect moment for me to practice, since I needed up to 2 months recovery. I had my first order 3 years ago, and voilá! I made my first creations that ended up as gifts among family and friends. Later my sister said to me, why don't you sell them? So, officially I began my jewelry business 2 years ago while I was living in France.
Who introduced you to beading?
An employee of the hotel where I was staying in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Do you have an artistic background?
Since my childhood I was very much inclined to the artistic side. I remember when I was 5 I had a small piano toy, but I started taking classes not until I was 12 of age. But, I was dedicating almost my entire time to piano and not attending my school work, that my parents stopped the piano classes, so I could dedicate my time to school work. I remember I spent time drawing landscapes, very raw, nothing sophisticated, and colored them, I liked that, but I was not really good in drawing. I like to play with the colors, draw flowers, mountains, birds, etc. And after that I colored them. As an adult, I dedicated myself to businesses that did not really satisfy me, I felt incomplete, no joy in what I was doing.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I discovered you guys through a magazine I bought in Guadalajara, Mexico. I saw the ad and I looked it up in the internet. I was so excited to have found you, and I must say you are my best ally.
What other hobbies do you have?
I like photography, on nature, sunsets, landscapes, flowers.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
It is a full time career for me, and it really soothes me, is relaxing, and a very satisfying job, although I don't see it as a job, because I do enjoy what I do, at the end I feel complete.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I do have a website www.eradesignstore.com also, I attend craft shows. There is one every month in my city, also I send out mailings. I wear my own creations too, and people do not believe I make them. But I do see the reaction on people, and after they have made their purchase, I get very nice compliments. While I was living in France, I manage to sell with Amazon France, in a matter of 3 months I sold to Monaco, Belgium and almost all France, getting a 5 star review from all customers. That was a wonderful experience. But I had to come back to Panama for family matters, so the Amazon France experience is a good memory now.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Follow your dream never quit, the dream dies when the dreamer is dead. Some people may say to you, no you can't do it, I don't think you have it in you. Don't listen to these voices, trust your heart and go for it, nothing is impossible, if you have the passion for it, you will see it blossom.