Posted on October 13 2016
Throwback photo of me creating the first earrings I ever launched, The Feather Hoops
The question I get asked most often is how did you start making jewelry? I have a couple quick and cute answers to this. Sometimes it all started the day my grandma and I went to the bead shop and I used my first pair of round nose pliers, I was hooked. Or I'll tell the story of the crazy feather trend, my love for fly fishing and the creation of my first feather hoops. Both stories are true but when I sit with this question it makes me a little uncomfortable because the story that follows is the most honest.
As a child, I didn’t have big dreams of becoming a jewelry designer. I'd spent most of my adult life working in restaurants and never considered myself creative. It all started when I gave up my dream of a wedding venue on my family's orchard in Hood River, OR. to follow my husbands of starting a production company in the high desert of Bend. I was cold, lonely, mourning the loss of a life I'd envisioned and in need of distraction.
Jewelry became my creative outlet when I felt like I was dying inside.
The string of nature's perfect stones, they way you could carry them with you as a talisman by manipulating another of the earth's precious resources, metal. it gave me something beautiful to cling to when my husband's brother passed and he could no longer function or work. When I had to take a string of horrible restaurant jobs to pay the bills. Jewelry gave me something to look forward to coming home to. Then it did something completely unexpected, it connected me to a community when I was at my loneliest point. Store owners, crazy entrepreneurs, creatives, others looking to bring beauty into the world by creating something larger than themselves. Customers who actually wanted to wear the things I created and became my biggest fans urging me to move forward and bring beautiful things into the world because this is important work. It took away my lonely, desolate feelings and connected me to the people that I finally felt were my tribe. Jewelry kept giving me this gift when my husband and I separated when I moved to California alone. It's continued to be my anchor, serve as a reminder and help connect me to the right places and the right people.
I never planned to be a jewelry designer, jewelry found me, became my life raft. For me jewelry is about the amazing connection it helps us create. Jewelry helps us tell our unique stories, transform outfits into art, and connect us with a time, place, person or feeling. The connections I've created is what I most cherish about this journey of creating jewelry and creative entrepreneurship. This is why I've made a big decision to create something larger that gives back and helps other creatives pursue their passions. I can't wait to tell you all about it in next week's post!
In the meantime, I'd love to hear how jewelry has helped you connect to others. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your stories with me.