Chiara Cattaruzza

Chiara Cattaruzza

2009 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest Finalist

Introduce Yourself:
Hi, my name is Chiara.

I live in Milan, Italy. I'm only 20 years old, but I have been beading for seven years. I started by making very simple elastic bracelets and then I bought dozens of beading books and magazines. I'm just never too tired to learn new techniques!

I'm very inspired by nature. I love flowers, leaves, butterflies, ladybugs…

Sometimes I use ideas found in magazines to create some detail of my jewelry. However, I never copy an entire project. The best part of making a piece, for me, is designing it, creating step by step something special and unique! I love to work with crystals, pearls, fire-polished and glass beads. Going shopping for beads is like an explosion of ideas, looking at all those ''small treasures'' together is a constant inspiration.

I discovered Fire Mountain Gems and Beads when I was in the United States and I immediately loved the assortment of supplies they have. It was just like discovering a new world with unlimited ideas for creating new pieces every day. When I received the letter, saying I was one of the finalists for the 2009 beading contest, I just couldn't believe it! What mostly surprised me was that this was the first beading contest I have ever entered! I spent weeks creating this necklace and I had the name from the beginning, Lost in the Ocean, but what I designed was totally different than what I originally planned. I kept making, undoing and adding parts for weeks, until I looked at it and said, ''Yes, now I like it!''

I have always enjoyed any kind of craft, and I just loved to go in my mom's and grandma's rooms, look in their jewelry box, and try on their necklaces. So as soon as I had my first package of beads in my hands, I started to think about what I could make with them. From that point on, no one was able to stop me! When I have an idea for a new piece, it's just like in the comics--a light bulb turns on, and it doesn't matter if I'm in the subway, or in class, I take out the first piece of paper I can find and start drawing my creation. From then on, I'm in my ''beading world'' and I will probably miss my subway stop!

Beading Success
Beading, for now, is a hobby. My dream is to one day open a jewelry store (maybe online with my own website) and to write for beading magazines.

At the moment, I have a small shop online at, and I spend every free minute, often after dinner, designing and creating new pieces that I sometimes sell at craft shows.

Now and then my parents say I should quit, because I have to study for college and I have two jobs. They think I should concentrate more on the ''important things.'' But this is what I really enjoy. I love to see people who look at my work and say, ''ooh … did you really make this?'' Or when they stop me and ask where I bought my necklace, and I proudly answer, ''I made it!''

I do know that my parents are proud of me when they hear of my accomplishments, so I will never give up on my dream!