Noelle Kostraba

Noelle Kostraba

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads 2009 Beading Contest


Meet the Designer-Artist

Describe your artistic style.
I would describe my artistic style as bold and intricate. I love combining the two. I am always on the lookout for base patterns that I can modify to suit my taste. My clients will show me pictures of necklaces and say, "I want that part of that necklace and this part of this one. I would really like this pearl to be here. Can you do that?" Blending two or three elements of different patterns to create something totally different is a great challenge. If you think about it, every bead pattern there ever could be has probably already been created. People have been beading for thousands of years. Sometimes I make something that I think is new and really unique, and then I see someone wearing something very similar. So, it is the puzzle of finding a new way around the pattern, adding to, taking away from, combining them and making it my own that inspires me.

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

What inspired this design?
The Carissa design that I'm submitting is a design that came about out of the frustration of trying to find the perfect necklace for my own wedding. Everything out there looked the same and I wanted something totally unique. I found Lana May in Phoenix who is an incredible bead instructor. I took a class from her and poof! My wedding necklace was born! After that class I knew I wanted to work exclusively with crystals, pearls and seed beads and making wedding jewelry. The design potions are endless.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I owned a nail salon in Phoenix for 12 years and I made pieces for my clients' special occasions. I displayed the pieces in my front window, that's how it all started! I am a nail tech by trade which takes about the same type and amount of artistic ability, perfectionism and patience as beading, the career change wasn't too much of a leap for me. After I sold my shop (to move to Colorado to get married) I started Two Be Wed Jewelry.

Who introduced you to beading?
My grandmother introduced me to beading when I was about 6. She would take me to her friend's bead store. We would spend hours in there picking out just the right beads. I was in awe of all the beads, how sparkly they were. As a child I would have dreams of a treasure chest filled with beads and me practically swimming in it surrounded by beads.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry-making used to be just a hobby but now it's my part-time job. I do have to get massages every other week because it's heck on my body, but to see the face of a bride that loves her necklace is worth it.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
If I could give advice to other artists who want to get their work out there the two things that have worked for me. Take as many classes as you can from as many different people as you can; even if you just learn one thing it can save you hours. The other is, wear your work! Make your pieces in colors to match your outfits. It gives you the best opportunity to hand out a business card when someone notices your jewelry.

View all of Noelle's designs in the Gallery of Designs.