Mod Meets Vintage
||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Describe your artistic style.
I like to use interesting, colored freshwater pearls and unique gemstones. I like to make free-form pieces mostly, with a simple yet unique pattern. I LOVE coming up with new, adventurous color combinations.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Usually its nature--most of my color combinations are nature inspired.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystals, gemstones.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
It's not exactly jewelry--it's a takeoff of my original Mod Meets Vintage bracelet, necklace, and ring--it's the headband version, which is my favorite. I've also made it in white for brides.
What inspired this design?
I was making a cell phone charm for a friend, stringing beads in the shape of a heart. It needed more support so I wrapped it. It came out so good, I had the idea to do it as a bracelet. That later graduated into this headband.
How did it come together?
My best designs usually come to me without major planning.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I began in High School. I loved the idea of being able to make it my style. I loved costume jewelry, though there was always something with what I bought that I wanted to change, and so I did--using my teeth and nails. The idea of having tools to help me fascinated me.
Who introduced you to beading?
Mostly Michaels, A.C. Moore and other craft stores--and the Public Library. I was fascinated by all the supplies available, and wanted to get my hands on them.
Do you have an artistic background?
Yes, I paint, and use a few kinds of media. I am also a hobbyist photographer.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
A friend gave me a catalog.
What other hobbies do you have?
Photography, drawing, painting, basketball.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I belong to a few groups on etsy.com.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Well, I'm trying to make it into a part-time career, although as I've recently done a big move, I have to start from scratch building it up. I give jewelry-making classes and workshops--they are very successful and I love it! So it's mostly a hobby with hopes for a career. I find it therapeutic, and energizing--my best and only diversion from the stress of day to day life.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I'm trying to get accepted to fairs around here--though there are lots of people who make jewelry here and it's hard to get in. Mostly I sell to friends, family and on my etsy shop--www.menuchachic.etsy.com--to support my hobby.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I recently was asked to do a workshop at a fundraiser.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Wear your jewelry--it'll boost your confidence when people compliment you on it, and it may even encourage sales.
Try to create your own look, style, and specialty.
Within your style, cater to the people around you (if someone mentions they like something, do it!)
Social networking--Facebook, Twitter, etc--they really help!
NEVER get discouraged!