Where do you live? Yorktown, Virginia but work in Hampton, Virginia.
Describe your artistic style. My elderly group has many different styles; all unique and special.
What inspires you as a designer-artist? To watch my group be excited about each new piece they create and to encourage them to continue making lovely pieces. I love seeing them redesign old jewelry.
What materials do you most enjoy working with? They love using the glass pendants from Fire Mountain. I only purchase assortments so they are all different. We have to keep our costs down so I tend to purchase the clearance items.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story? Beaded Blessings
What inspired this design? Many lovely people.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading? My group began as a craft group but they had a love of beading. In order to keep up with the bead demand I founded the Beaded Blessings group at Riverside PACE in Hampton. The elderly participants create the jewelry and sell it to purchase more beads and to buy things that bring enjoyment to our participants. We just purchased a $7,500 player piano! I learned the art of beading from my aunt and from your website instruction.
Who introduced you to beading? My Aunt Kaye.
Do you have an artistic background? My mother was an artist and I believe I was gifted with some creative ability from her.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®? Online surfing.
What other hobbies do you have? Walking, kayaking, shopping, visiting elderly, enjoying my children.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups? No, just my group of beaders at Beaded Blessings.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life? I enjoy beading with my group and love watching them grow as bead artists. It is a part-time job for me.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry? My group sells their jewelry at our receptionist desk. We have also attended a few craft fairs.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers? Yes. We make jewelry for the Alzheimer's memory walk and donate all the proceeds to that charity.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists? Nothing is impossible. I have many bead artists who only have use of one hand, are blind, have arthritis, and have dementia. They are all truly amazing.