I've been chatting on and off for a few months with Linda from Bella Bead Jewelry and have really enjoyed our corespondance. I was first capitvated by her bright colors and funky lamp work style and have been enjoying reading her daily blog since.
1. I've been making beads for several years. I don't know exactly how long since I don't track time well! I'd guess about 8-10 years.
2. I did not always make beads but looking back on my life, beads have always been with me. In High School I made a pair of (heavily) beaded jeans & they were part of a school art show...I wore them for a long time but sadly they are gone somewhere! Before my current bead career I did ceramics & pastels... actually I was an art gypsy. I was a jack of many artistic things. For awhile I did stained glass too.
3. I love color. But so many people can say that. I guess if I dig deeper about myself & color I would say that color is energy and I am typically an energetic person. So color says volumes about my personality. Of course, may other things are inspiring too. Nature, different cultures, music...anything that is emotive or symbolic I find intreging. Lastly but probably most importantly....the children I work with each day inspire me. Watching them joyfully create & loving what they produce inspires me to feel the same about what I make...be it "good" or "bad". Its the process of creating.
4. Challenges....hmmmmm. Well, here it is....the biggest challenge was to learn to disregard "mean, negative" people. They're out there. Don't get rattled by rejection and as far as "copy cats"....let them. My mother always told me that there is nothing new under the sun (Barnimam Baily quote) and that is soooo true. Its how you put it together that is the original thing & people will have a tough time capturing your spirit. In addition, I would say pricing. Pricing is difficult. There are many ideas on pricing but when I started out I first checked to see what others were getting and then I took into consideration that I was "new" and unknown. So my prices to start were slightly less. Once I was "established" I matched what was competitive.
So, go check out her website, and say hello to her! She is a sweet gal and would love to hear your opinions! :)