It all started in 2001, during my first pregnancy with my eldest daughter. When I was out and about one day in Ocean Beach, I walked into the Black Bead and was instantly hooked just by the sight of all the pretty beads hanging on the walls. Walking into that store and I think by being pregnant, it was taking me back to my memories as a kid. My mom would take us to the beach all the time and teach us about the ocean and sea life (this is where I’m mainly inspired by the ocean). We would pick seashells off the beach, bring them home and use the ones with holes so we could make jewelry with them. Mom would then take us to the bead shop to pick some beads to go with our new little hobby. So, making that first purchase of jewelry making supplies instantly took me back! After that, I pretty much-made jewelry for myself, friends and family. Friends of friends got wind of what I did and started asking me to do jewelry parties at their homes and make wedding jewelry. I was so stoked that everyone liked my jewelry! One day, my best friend Jen had said to me, “you need to sell it for real!” I got excited than nervous thinking “Where would I start?”. I started with what I needed to be legal, LOL! Business license and a sellers permit. From there, a website because Etsy wasn’t a thing yet. But still, I just sold to friends and family. I really didn’t know how to market myself, that part came later and is still my challenge!
It wasn’t until I took up a metalworking class with Anne Wolf several years later 2010 that I really started to get out there and market myself. Metalworking challenged me but yet I was determined to make anything and everything that popped into my head! When you are able to take a sheet of metal, learn the basics of fabrication, the possibilities are endless! Yes, I was scared of lighting the torch, burning myself or hitting my finger with the hammer… but I loved it and stuck with it. The end results are so rewarding
Shortly after taking my initial metalworking class, I started collaborating with fashion designers here in San Diego. They would send me their sketches, mood boards, colors and swatches and I’d make jewelry to go with what their visions were seeking. I love to collaborate, it’s a challenge to step outside my comfort zone of what I usually make and stretch my artistry and creativity. Collaborating has also brought me many opportunities such as fashion shows in Las Vegas, New York Fashion Week and Miami Fashion Week. I’ve met so many designers, makeup and hair artists, photographers and models. It’s such a big network! And everyone is always just trying to get their name out there like I was. I still do collaborate!
After breaking into some fashion shows I also wanted to start selling at markets and craft shows. So, my very first selling event was in the parking lot of a bead store. I only sold to my friends and family, again, LOL! What can I say, they are my biggest fans, thank god for their support! I loved selling for the first time, it’s cool to hear what people have to say about my work and also to talk to them about what I do. They ask questions as to how I was able to cut the metal with a tiny jewelers saw to how I got the texture onto the metal. Some people want a material list so they can start doing it themselves! And, I love to show and teach too, so maybe I’ll be able to get a small class going in the future.
Currently, I am an artist juried in metal-worked jewelry at The Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park. That was another great opportunity I was able to get into. Was not easy! Took me a couple tries before I got accepted in. Sometimes, I’ll set up my pop-up shop on the colorful courtyard patio they have. As of at the moment, my husband and I restored a 1954 Empire travel trailer as my jewelry mobile boutique! San Diego’s first mobile jewelry boutique trailer! It's filled with all of my jewelry, like a moving jewelry box!