Arawak Inspired Necklace
Where do you live?
I live about 30 minutes outside of the city of Atlanta, Georgia.
Describe your artistic style.
My artistic style is contemporary and, what I like to call, a combination of New York style, Caribbean flavor and Southern charm.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I have been inspired by many things, but mostly my Caribbean mother who was from the island of St. Lucia and loved jewelry. I think she invented the term "layering" and applied it to all of her jewelry ensembles. I love all of the beautiful colors of the Caribbean--many of the natural earth tones, as well as vibrancy in the region.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I enjoy working with all sorts of semi-precious beads and usually combine them with a focal pendant of some sort. My favorites are abalone, aventurine, turquoise and all forms of agate.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Arawak Inspired Necklace
What inspired this design?
The Arawaks were some of the first settlers to the island of St. Lucia, and I imagined that this necklace represents the type of jewelry that they would have worn.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
It just sort of happened.
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I started making jewelry many years ago while assisting my then-husband who was in the business. He introduced me to the basics at that time. Now many years later, I have started to bead once again.
Do you have an artistic background?
My background is in fashion merchandising and product development, so this seemed a natural progression. I have also always been around other creative folks and thought, "why can't I do that?"
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I found Fire Mountain while randomly surfing the net in search of a few bead-related guides. By the way, Fire Mountain Gems is the best that I have found so far online.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I don't belong to any groups as of yet, but plan to join a few this year.
What other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy helping others with their products and creations. I am a wine consultant on the side so I have an opportunity to partner my wine tastings with selling my jewelry which makes for a perfect combination as far as I'm concerned.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry-making has just become one of the primary aspects of my life. I enjoy escaping during the process and find it very therapeutic to put on some music and see where it takes me.
If you use jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are your selling yourself and your jewelry?
I sell my jewelry at my wine tasting, other local events and via the Etsy website currently. I attend all of the craft and beads fairs in Georgia.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I recently donated one of my necklaces at a charity auction and was surprised at how much they were able to raise with the piece.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
The only advice that I have, and have learned for myself, is that there is always a customer out there for something that you create from the heart.