As Featured in Bead magazine February 2008, Beadwork magazine December 2007, Step By Step magazine May 2008, and Today's Creative Home Arts magazine July 2009
||Meet the Designer-Artist
''Love what you do. If you love it, it shows in your work.''
Expert advice from successful jewelry-artist, Lori Anderson. She loves creating jewelry and you can see it in each of her designs. As a two-time finalist in Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' beading contests, Lori found the courage to send in designs for advertising consideration. Her necklaces have been featured in Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' advertisements on the back of Beadwork Magazine and in Bead - UK.
''Beads are always on my mind.''
Lori has to read herself to sleep every night just to distract her mind from beading. She's even developed a ''bead detox'' routine, although it doesn't take long before she's back in creative mode. Most often, Lori plans her designs before she begins. ''Usually, when I see the beads, I can immediately envision what they will become.'' There are times though, when inspiration comes from two beads--slated for entirely different projects--accidentally rolling next to each other and voila!--a new vision has emerged.
Handmade lampwork beads are her favorite. She describes them as ''unique little pieces of art.'' A few years ago, Lori started a Yahoo group for trading beads. ''The bead swaps I participate in are such a great way to get a breath of fresh air into your designs!'' Beaders sign up to exchange beads with one-another. The result is a box of beads you would typically never buy, or even notice, thus opening the door to new artistic styles.
''My goal is to create a unique piece at a fair price, and to have people ask ... 'Where did you get that?'''
Lori's career path has been interesting and varied. As a translator in the Air Force, a pre-med major and an information technology sales representative, Lori learned the importance of attention to detail, marketing and exploration.
''I never thought of myself as creative,'' Lori admits, ''but after having a ton of fun creating things for my wedding, I started looking for ways to expand my new-found love of crafts.'' After a lay-off following 9/11, Lori began making greeting cards using her antique button collection. During her pregnancy, Lori spent some time on bed-rest. In order to keep her mind busy, a friend gave her a few beads and a Fire Mountain Gems and Beads catalog. ''I distinctly remember tearing out the order form from the middle of the catalog and writing and writing and writing everything I wanted. With a new baby coming, I didn't buy my entire list, but I did get some fun things that started my addiction.''
''I feel very, very fortunate that I'm able to make a living doing what I love and to have a supportive husband--he is behind me 110%.''
With her marketing background and husband's encouragement, Lori began her business. ''I jumped in with both feet,'' she recalls, ''without any basic classes, I learned as I went along.'' And she did it without shortcuts. Lori produced a professional logo, business cards, website and developed postcard mailings. When the decision came to exhibit in juried shows, she had her designs professionally photographed and put onto slides. ''My background in other industries pushed me to work hard … I never stop tweaking and making improvements.''
Lori knows what it takes to run a successful self-business. She created a mailing list of customers by asking if they wanted to be notified of future shows and/or if they would like to receive her email newsletter. ''I send out a newsletter every two to three weeks, and mail postcards every time I do a show. Return customers get a 10% discount at my booth, which promotes additional sales and is an incentive to be added to the mailing lists. I also send out press releases when I do work with various charitable organizations. And it goes without saying--always wear your jewelry and always have business cards on hand!''
As a result of her determination and passion, Lori has tutorials featured in industry magazines and books, is a featured artist on industry advertisements, teaches beading classes, runs a thriving website and blog and participates in over 15 juried art/craft shows a year.
Visit Lori's website and blog at www.lorianderson.net for more information. View her Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Beading Contest entries in the Gallery of Designs.