Describe your artistic style. Native American designs.
What inspires you as a designer-artist? Getting compliments on the jewelry I make, and all the orders I get.
What materials do you most enjoy working with? Seed beads. I enjoy it more just seeing something small turn into something so beautiful.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story? Beaded Headband
What inspired this design? A lady at my clinic who worked in dental always told me that I should make something for those who have short hair. At the time I only made hairsticks, which younger women wore with their hair up. It makes me feel good that I gave women a chance to look beautiful even if they don't have a lot of hair.
How did it come together? My first one I started working out was just basic. Then my ideas became more of what ladies wanted in our area.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading? My mother said I started beading when I was 2 years old. I remember making necklaces and bracelets out of pine nuts when I was younger, then my dad taught me to bead on the loom. From there I started peyote stitch, and then my imagination took off.
Who introduced you to beading? My parents showed me the works, but mostly it was my mom. She would be sitting beading and as a little kid I probably annoyed her asking questions of what she was doing. From there she decided to teach me.
Do you have an artistic background? Yes. My father made regalia from our Yurok culture. He made the men's regalia. Before I was born he knew he wanted a daughter that danced in our ceremonies, and that's when he started working on my regalia. My mother made dance regalia for the pow-wow dance. So I would think I have a pretty good artistic background from seeing it all my life.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®? My mother had the catalogs as a wish list.
What other hobbies do you have? The day to day everyday life is pretty much what I enjoy. My kids and family keep me occupied. Beading is a hobby but then sometimes it turns into work, but it sure keeps me feeling at peace.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups? Nope but many of my local friends that are Native American have wanted me to start a bead group or a class so they can learn how too.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life? I am always busy. When I'm not mixed up on orders I try to create new ideas. But I enjoy making the same jewelry that I have been making. When I make something that I'm proud of I get super excited to share it with everyone. While I am at work I bead on break and when I am home I bead. Everyone knows I am always packing my beads with me. It's part of my life and its part of my culture.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry? Show and tell. I actually wear a lot of the stuff I make and then the word gets out. Lately I have been posting my jewelry on Facebook and I get a lot of messages to make something for them. I go to different Native American craft fairs and that's the biggest way I have gotten myself out there.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers? I have not, just because nobody has asked me or I find out too late.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists? Give yourself time and don't rush yourself.