Living the Dream
I've been making and selling jewelry since fifth grade, but it wasn't until this year i thought of making a career of it.
I started making jewelry when I was 10. My dad got me some beads and a loom from while we were in Traverse City, MI on a skiing trip. I used seed beads to make daisy chain necklaces and learned how to weave beads using the loom and taught myself to peyote stitch. I made necklaces and bracelets and sold them to my teachers and friends at school. When I was a freshman in high school I started working with hemp twine, polymer clay, and blown glass beads to make my creations. I learned every macramé knot known to man :). I started making more money by creating hair wraps. I convinced the owner of the local bead shop to let me do hair wraps in her store to pay for my bead habit. She taught me how to make “y” necklaces and how to wire wrap earrings. This is where I discovered the beauty of pearls and stones. Soon I was selling my own line to local boutiques and at our local farmers’ market. I began teaching classes to youth groups, churches and adults.
I took a few metal-smith classes in college and fell in love with pounding metal. I continued doing art shows and had my items in galleries in Grand Rapids, Grand Haven and Muskegon.
I accepted a job in banking for the stable paycheck for my children. I just didn't have the passion for banking. I worked in banking for almost ten years. I always continued to make jewelry on the side for extra money and after a few years my side business grew, I decided there was no time like the present to take my business to the next level. I applied to more craft shows, met with local retailers and worked to improve my jewelry line.
I quit my banking job in August 2016 and can thankfully call myself a full time artist. I am traveling to craft shows, working to develop my wholesale business, creating a catalog, redesigned my logo and displays for events and I love everyday this is happiness.