Jade's Fall Afternoon
|Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
I live just outside of Detroit, Michigan in the cute little town of Shelby Township.
Describe your artistic style.
My artistic style honestly varies from day to day. I see pieces and think about what best will make that bead come alive. I tend to make pieces for the girly girl with lots of sparkle and glam, as well as pieces for the older modern woman that will complement any outfit from day to night. I like to make pieces that are "in" and what is in demand. I am continually growing and learning to see what type of style I am really good at creating.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
What inspires me is color and what is right outside my window. Even a walk through our gorgeous maintained walking and biking path inspires me as I am getting a work-out in.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I really, really enjoy working with Swarovski crystals because I love creating things that add a bit of sparkle. And, like any other beader, I also enjoy working with semi precious stones and glass beads.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Jade's Fall Afternoon
What inspired this design?
The crisp fall air that was moving through Michigan. We had such a hot summer, and the first smell of autumn in the air completely inspired me to make this piece.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
This piece just strictly defined itself as I was wire wrapping these beads together. I knew I wanted to create something dangly and sparkly to wear this fall.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I started to dabble into the jewelry making world when I was on the hunt to find bridal jewelry for my bridal attendants for my wedding this past summer. I searched high and low at so many bridal stores, regular stores and even Etsy but just could not find what I was looking for, and, with time dwindling now, I had no other choice than to find the stones I liked and make my girls something they could treasure for years to come. After hunting for beads and playing around, it became more than just something to accomplish for my wedding, I felt I had a hidden talent that needed to be unveiled. So that is what started my obsession with finding beads and putting them to good wearing use.
Who introduced you to beading?
I was introduced to beading by a close friend of mine who had actually made me a pair of earrings to wear at her wedding. After already being on the hunt for my stones, it literally just solidified that if she can do this, so can I.
Do you have an artistic background?
My artistic background spans back to when I was just a child. I first spent countless hours with an aunt painting wood and turning them into treasures of art. I would make flower boxes, plant holder sticks and bird houses. Eventually, that faded, and I then got heavily into scrapbooking. That same aunt had a basement full of crafts that only someone with a passion for making and creating things would love and appreciate. My mother and I would go over to her house almost every weekend, and we would just scrapbook and make cards for others to enjoy. So I have always been into crafting something or another.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I discovered Fire Mountain Gems and Beads by doing some research online for a good supplier to start my home office jewelry business.
What other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy cooking, gardening, interior decorating and walking.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Not at the moment.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry making has now become my full-time job. I was laid off from my marketing/advertising position at an agency last year and had a very hard time trying to find anything in the field. The unemployment numbers in Michigan are terrible, and I knew I had to find something to occupy my time and somehow bring back our income to what my husband and I were used to seeing on a monthly basis until I could find something else. Emotionally, beading took away the stress of daily life. It made me much happier to work from home and to create things people appreciate. I am able to set my own schedule, have fun shopping for beads and findings and still use my creative marketing tactics to get people to visit my site. So, now I am focusing all my creative energies into making my jewelry-making passion into a full-time career.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
To bring in the income, I have set up a shop on Etsy (www.kaliahdesigns.etsy.com), as well as set up a business page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/kaliahdesigns). I attend local craft shows throughout the metro Detroit area and will expand next summer to our neighboring states. I also value word-of-mouth advertising, so I create many pieces for my family and friends to wear and when people ask about them they direct them to me. It's worked great so far!
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Not at this time, but, in the future, I definitely plan to. I have a lot of family and friends involved in so many causes that I am willing and ready to jump on board and help make a difference through my works of art.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
The advice that I can give to other aspiring jewelry artists is to just follow your passion. If you are skilled in an area such as wire wrapping then continue to make beautiful pieces of jewelry doing just that. Make what inspires you and then go out there and sell, sell, sell. Put yourself out there and just have a fun time doing so!