Tarela Francis

Button up Bead
Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
I am Nigerian and I live in Nigeria.

Describe your artistic style.
When I start beading, sometimes I don't feel like stopping.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
When I make a project and I admire it, it makes me want to do some more.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Wire, chains, gizmo, metals. I want to go into mixed media, clay designs and metals. I sent some of my photos to Roy (GIZMO) and he encouraged me to get into metals. He showed me some of his projects and they are really great.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Button up Bead

What inspired this design?
I always give my mum something different on her birthday. I got the button from a tailors shop, it was supposed to be used on a gown for my mum and I imagined what it would look like if I used them for earrings.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
My plan was to make a pair of earrings, but by the time I laid the buttons on a bead board, it was obvious that it would come out beautifully if used for a necklace and bracelet set.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I started keeping beads in 2000, though I didn't know much about beading, a friend went to Ghana and bought some beads for me. I started beading in April 2005 after college. I wasn't working yet, so I decided to bead.

Who introduced you to beading?
A friend.

Do you have an artistic background?

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
Through the internet.

What other hobbies do you have?
I love sewing, knitting, reading and dancing.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
For now, it's part-time. I work, so I bead after work and sell during the day.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
That is the challenge I am facing. Lots of people tell me my projects are great, but I am finding it hard to market them. I don't have a website, I've not entered a contest.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I have not done that. I desire it. I am planning to do it especially with Nigeria's independence coming. Please, I need ideas.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Yes, your heart must be in it.