by Janine Gerade.
When I was little, I would pick wildflowers in my yard, press them or dissect the petals to see how they work, or make daisy chains.
I was fascinated with their color, fragrance and shape. I thought of them as free gifts from Mother Nature much the same as shells on the beach.
A few years later at age 14 I would find myself immersed in the world of handcrafted jewelry. I took courses at summer camp for photography, film, clay-mation and pottery. At camp I met my good friend Laura and we have been friends ever since.
That summer we went to Cape Cod and I went into my first bead store. My love of beads started there.
We can all recall the awe and loss of breath when entering a store filled with sparkling jewels that seem to go on and on. I only wished I knew how to use the tools and hardware.
Soon after I bought some fimo clay and played around. I loved that you could make something and bake it. No kiln!
I took some beginning jewelry making courses at the Decordova Museum in Massachusetts, USA and some at the Danforth Museum in Massachusetts.
Even courses towards my graphic design degree such as color theory and painting helped me in my eye for color in both jewelry and floral design.
I also did further research into polymer clay design and created more intricate designs, using better tools and different types of clay.
Years later Laura and I have shared friends, laughter and many a memory. One friend in particular helped me out during my last year of college by giving me part-time work at her flower shop.
I loved the design work and didn’t even mind the grunt work of emptying buckets and carrying boxes. She noticed my efforts (and also being a friend), offered to sell the store to me.
I did everything I could to scrape together what I needed to take over and thankfully she worked with me for a while to make the transition easy for my customers.
I added my jewelry at the shop and people were really noticing and started purchasing! They liked how it was not only beads strung but also I had created some of the beads and it was totally unique.
Owning a flower business was the best experience I ever had. I have since closed the shop due to rent increases but I still have the expertise of running my own business and the floral training under my belt.
As for my jewelry I have a pretty web site that does well, home parties booked and I am currently looking into putting my work into retail stores.
I am expecting my first child, a baby girl in the spring and I hope she will have the love for jewelry, as do I.
A Journey Shared with Friends is Sweeter
I love your story, and how the threads of friends, nature, flowers, and creativity run through it.
Thank you so much for taking time to share this lovely story!
I love to hear how others ended up making jewelry—isn’t it funny that we all seem to find something that draws us to this! Great job! Teri http://www.sandtcreations.com/wordpress