Stephany Miller

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Aurora, Nebraska

Describe your artistic style.
Southwestern with bold colors.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I live in the Midwest and my inspiration comes from my love of the Native American Indian and the American Cowboy. I love the colors that the Indians use in their clothing and headdresses. Everything about the southwest really inspires me.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I use a lot of natural materials, natural stones, I love to work with turquoise and the different jaspers--the colors are beautiful, I also use sterling silver.

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

What inspired this design?
The colors are the beautiful ocean and the blue sky in the pacific.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
I took a photo on vacation of the sea and beautiful sky--the color was breathtaking. I saw this amazonite on Fire Mountain Gems' website and it all came together when I saw the stones.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I began my first bead project about 6 years ago, when a friend took me to a bead store. It was like walking into a toy store for adults. I was hooked. We made a bracelet together.

Who introduced you to beading?
My best friend who had been beading for several years took me to a bead store.

Do you have an artistic background?
Yes. I majored in Art back in High School and I studied Art History in college. I have always loved creating with paints, working with different fabrics and colors, so designing jewelry seemed the natural thing to do.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
I was at a bead store and they sold BeadStyle magazine. I was looking through it and saw the ad for Fire Mountain Gems, so naturally I went to their website and I have been ordering from them ever since.

What other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy running; it helps me with my thought process. I have come up with beautiful ideas for jewelry while I run.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I am a member of the Grow Nebraska Association. It is a member only organization and anyone can become a member. They have three retail stores in Nebraska along with a website that the members can use to sell the items that they make.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Making jewelry for me is very spiritual. I thank God everyday for the gift he has given me. There is not a minute in the day that I do not think about colors and shapes in designs of making a piece of jewelry. I love to see different stones and silver beads come together and make a piece of jewelry; it is very rewarding. Right now my jewelry-making is part-time, I hope someday it will be full-time.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I sell my jewelry at all three Grow Nebraska retail stores and their website. I have not entered a beading contest, but maybe someday I will.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
A portion of my jewelry sales goes to help a Christian Radio Station stay on the air. I think it is very important that we keep Christ in our lives and the radio reaches a lot of people.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
It is important that you just do it. Any design idea is a good idea; if you do not try you will never know how it will look.