As a teenager I worked for a friend at a local gift store called Turandot. I enjoyed the store-the silly books, journals, candles, and gift cards, but most of all I loved the jewelry. By learning about the designers who made the jewelry and understanding their inspiration, I felt connected to their creative process. I also loved the way the jewelry made me feel. It was means of self expression; It made me feel different, unique, and special. Working for the store started my love affair with jewels.
In high school I heard about a class at a local bead shop. It was for making lamp work beads. I signed up and spent a 6 hour seminar learning to make beads. At the end of the class I was totally discouraged. I had never worked with both of my hands in that capacity before and it was hard! I walked away with all the tools and none of the motivation to keep practicing. About a month after I took the class I spent a weekend locked in my bedroom with my torch and a whole lot of determination to figure it out. After a whole weekend I started to get the hang of it. In high school I had my first show. I made tons of little beads and invited all of my friends and my parents friends over to look at the jewels and place orders. It was a small selection of jewelry, but I was so so proud of what I had done.
In College I pursued a degree in Fine Art. My degree gave me the tools to market and promote my work while teaching me great skills about the creative process. I could shoot my work and design print material, catalogs, business cards and brochures. College also introduced me to the world of stone shows. The Gem Show came to San Diego every six months and I had never seen anything like it!
The next step was really learning the craft. I enrolled at GIA during my senior year in school and started taking classes at night...I was learning the book side of the trade, but it wasn't until I left GIA and started my apprenticeship with William Travis Jewelry that I truly learned the ins and outs. It was another huge step when I moved to Colorado and went out on my own. I have had loads of bumps along the way, but one thing remains my passion to create and my love affair with jewelry....