When I started making earrings many, many years ago, it was as gifts for the womenfolk in my life. It was a nice little hobby and the recipients seemed to like them. But it was a sporadic practice - usually just in time for a birthday or Christmas. I was busy working as a paralegal, being a wife, daughter, cat mom. Making jewelry wasn't a big priority - or even a regular creative outlet.
Eventually I quit my job at the law firm and started a pet-sitting and dog-walking business. I was amazed at how busy I was, but so grateful to spend my time taking care of all kinds of furbabies. And I loved them as I loved my own.
Fast forward to March 2020. We all know what happened. Obviously, my little business went away practically overnight without so much as a whimper. Like many people, all I had was time on my hands - to fret and worry and stay the hell home as much as possible.
What to do with all this time? My husband and I tried some Lego projects (see our Haunted House photo). That was fun. But it didn't last very long. So, I pulled out my plastic organizer full of inexpensive beads and what I had left of earring components and made a few pair. But I needed something different. Thank the Universe for the internet, and for my friend Julie for her support and enthusiasm!
I ordered some gemstone beads from a craft store - I remember distinctly getting Amazonite and Rose Quartz as some of my first strands. I wanted to concentrate on crystals because I really felt that part of it speaking to me. That's all it took. I got some stretch cord and a few silver accents, set up shop on our dining room table and spent hours putting together different combinations.
A few months later I decided to launch my Etsy shop and I signed up to be a vendor at an outdoor show to see if someone other than my friends and family would like my designs.
Fast forward to present day. Well, I have over 150 different stones in stock, and I'm constantly browsing my suppliers for new stuff! I've created nearly 700 bracelets and over 200 necklaces. My workshop is full of organizers with gorgeous gemstone beads and findings, and I look forward to getting in there as often as possible to create beautiful pieces to share with the world.
Yes, I'm tired of the pandemic. So very tired. But the situation gave rise to a job I love. One where I can fuel my creativity and work with customers to craft a special piece, just for them. So I try to fill my heart with gratitude every morning for the opportunities I've been given, and the love and support I receive.
I am one very lucky person, indeed.