Lisa Santos

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
North Dartmouth, Massachusetts

Describe your artistic style.
Hmmm, not sure I really can, I am all over the place with ideas and inspiration I guess I would say I lean toward Bali and Boho and then, because I own a shop where we sell our jewelry, I can stay traditional and simple to appeal to a wider audience.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Nature is my biggest inspiration but sometimes I like to just peruse the Fire Mountain Gems catalog and see what objects etc appeal to me and what comes to mind when I look at them.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Seed beads have become a new passion for me. My mom works with them and makes incredible pieces and has piqued my interest into dabbling with them. I was just a basic stringer before and would incorporate stained glass pendants I made or some interesting found objects and I am also a BIG collector of vintage beads that I will use sparingly in a piece.

What inspired this design?
This was a piece made to donate to our local Humane Society for a fundraiser.

How did it come together?
I bought the pendant from Fire Mountain Gems because I was looking for a cat or dog-related piece to work with, and like every time I bead around something, it just sort of happens, there isn't ever really a plan heading in except for the focal piece.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
A LONG time ago! As a child I can remember having to buy all those little "kid kits," then growing up I went to UMass Dartmouth and was in their fine arts program for metalsmithing. I would take my jewelry to local craft shows at first, then it flourished into owning my own small business where I sell my work and my mom's incredible beadwork.

Who introduced you to beading?
I would have to say my mother...introduced me to the serious stuff! You know, the SMALL seed beads and BIG knots in the Fireline kind of beading...

Do you have an artistic background?
I guess so, my dad was always very artistic, he was a glass-blower for a time and my mom, before her love for beads, was an avid and fantastic knitter.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
Been a customer for so long I don't think I can even recall!

What other hobbies do you have?
I am an avid antique-er and gardener.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry-making has become a full-time job for me, the shop keeps us very busy and can't think of anything that makes us happier than the UPS truck pulling up with a fresh box of beads!

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
We have a website, we do one craft fair a year and have a Facebook page that is gaining many fans!

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
We are constantly donating our work to local causes and charity; I find this the most rewarding.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Keep at it, it's getting tougher because LOTS of people are out there trying to sell their jewelry and we are finding this is causing an "overload." I get lots of customers in the shop that attend local fairs and actually complain that there is TOO MUCH jewelry! (Personally, there can never be enough!)