Shari Neal

Under The Sea
Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Stamford, Connecticut

Describe your artistic style.
Clean and sophisticated with an ethnic flair.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I am inspired by absolutely everything. I love seeing what other jewelry designers are doing, but I'm also inspired by books, magazines, nature, places I've visited, etc.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I love working with wire and unusual beads.

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

What inspired this design?
The Caribbean. My parents are from Belize and I wanted the colors to evoke the beach/ocean.

How did it come together?
A little of both. I had an idea in mind, but it changed as I began working on it and it evolved from there.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I began making jewelry a few months ago. I took a beading class a few years ago but didn't pursue it then. But lately I really just could not fight the urge to make jewelry! It literally consumed my days and dreams for a few months.

Who introduced you to beading?
I took a class at enBeadia in Chicago a few years ago. But recently to hone my skills, I bought a few books and borrowed even more from my local library as well as watching many videos online.

Do you have an artistic background?
Yes. I have previously done art direction at advertising agencies and been a web designer/developer. I also do freelance graphic design and have dabbled in drawing, painting, knitting and crocheting.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
Google search. I believe it's the first website that comes up!

What other hobbies do you have?
Photography, reading, movie watching, travel.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
It is a big part of my life now. I think about new jewelry designs daily. I believe it's my new calling. It truly makes me happy to create new pieces and be able to wear them out and show them to the world and have others do the same. It's currently my full-time career along with a graphic T-shirt business I also run.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I currently only sell my jewelry through my website (, but I plan to do fairs and reach out to retailers soon.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
No, but I plan to soon.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Yes! Practice a lot and find your own personal style, everybody has one!