My mom has always told me that I was an easy child, mainly because all I required to be content and happy were a few crayons and some paper. I’ve always loved anything that allowed me to be creative. Crafting has been a passion I’ve held for a long time. However, it wasn’t until a couple of years after the tragic loss of my father to suicide in 2003 that a friend introduced me to beading. I had found my niche!
Making jewelry was my escape. Creating is therapeutic and healing for me. I put my emotions and energy into something creative and positive.
Be it happiness or sadness or something in between, emotion began to fuel my work. I didn’t realize then how much this would benefit my quality of life until years later.
It became a tremendous asset in February of 2014 when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I was suffering from what I now know as my third MS relapse of vertigo since my early twenties. Each time lasting for months. I was also tripping often, having difficulty with stairs and even walking. Then, at 29, I thought my life was over. I soon found that I was very wrong.
Although just over a year ago and now 30, I have learned so much about myself and our resilience and strength as human beings. I would no longer (at least not currently) be able to work a go to job with a set schedule. In addition to an array of seemingly never-ending symptoms that I have and that can strike at any given moment consisting nerve pain, numbness, muscle spasms, vision issues, catheters, weakness and mobility issues even requiring the use of a cane when necessary, I have moderate to severe fatigue at some point during my day, everyday, if not all day. It is the most difficult symptom in my case. Sleep doesn’t dissolve it, rest doesn’t either. It can be quite frustrating. However, I’m learning to adapt and to adapt and still have a HAPPY life despite all of these things! How? Because we’re resilient!
Working with precious metals and gemstones is where I focus most of my energy these days. I began teaching myself to solder and different metalsmithing techniques this past summer and I absolutely love it!
I’m still learning, but I hope to always remain passionate for my work and continue with my desire to learn and master new skills.
Spring will mark three years as my small business becoming my full-time job. My work is sold in shops and boutiques from my hometown in Westerm North Carolina, to my current home in Southern California. It has taken a tremendous amount of work as my business is a one woman show!
However, for myself there’s nothing more fufilling than working hard at something you love and have built all your own.