||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Maui, Hawaii, but originally I'm from Slovakia.
Describe your artistic style.
I like things nice and neat, and in certain harmony. I like keeping it real.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
It's nice to have people coming back for more pieces and asking me if I made any new items. It makes me really excited and motivates me a lot. I keep my eyes open all the time. Sometimes I see things and wonder how that would work as a pair of earrings or bracelet ... So I try it and hey, here it is! Sometimes, when I lie down in my bed and close my eyes I start creating stuff in my mind. Other times, without a plan, I will sit and just start putting different beads and materials together. I hate wasting stuff so I try to use everything.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I usually work with glass beads, gemstones and wire. But I don't like stereotype so I keep changing materials and techniques.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
I love making pieces that have a piece of nature in them. Living by the ocean I love working with shells and other nature materials.
How did it come together?
I was actually working on a bracelet and when I made the first sequence if reminded me of jelly fish so I thought maybe I could make it into earrings, and it worked.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I started to make earrings in 2008. A friend of mine showed me how to make one earring by simply putting beads on a head pin and I got hooked! It took me an hour to come up with my first pair! Now it's so different. There are times when I have ideas just running through my head and before I finish one piece I already know what my next one is going to look like. I started very simple and slowly I graduated to an advanced level. I keep "playing" and experimenting with different materials and styles and my inspiration and creativity keeps growing with every project I make, as well as my skills. I love learning new techniques and styles. The options are endless.
Who introduced you to beading?
A friend of mine.
Do you have an artistic background?
Since childhood, I have always been making something. First thing I remember making was paper models of planes, boats, houses ... As a child I learned how to knit and hack. I always enjoyed making my own decorations and I loved going through craft books, always looking for new projects. Every box at home became something and had a use for awhile. When I got older I started making clothes for me and my family members and costumes for my rollerblading hobby. I enjoy making my own cards and scrapbooking. So I have always been into crafting some way or another, but everything is very much self-taught.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
This nice lady I was showing my work to gave me your magazine and I never shop anywhere else since.
What other hobbies do you have?
I love rollerblading and roller skating. Sport has always been a part of my life. I also like gardening.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Not at the moment. Having two small children keeps me pretty busy for now ...
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Making jewelry is more of a hobby for me. Having two little children and little time for myself, I found it very relaxing and meditative. It also helps me to take my mind off things that sometimes bother me, but I can't do anything about them. It takes away the stress of daily life and brings peace back into my mind after a busy day.
I usually wait for everyone to go to sleep. Sometimes I stay up till 3am working on my new masterpieces.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I usually get together with my friends once in a while, like around holidays and stuff and I have a Facebook page, "Anela Kiai handmade jewelry on Maui," where everybody can see my work. My friend works as a manager in a bar/restaurant and she lets me bring my stuff there and do jewelry shows once in a while.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I have a few times.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Never stop playing and experimenting. If it doesn't want to come together at some point, just leave it till the next day or few, sometimes a little break is the trick.