For this month's shop feature I bring you, Andrea I Jewelry. Read on and enjoy!
1. Your name? Andrea Isom
- Your shop name?Andrea I Jewelry
- What do you make?Necklaces, earring & bracelets
- Why do you do what you do? Is it your passion? Have you created jewelry/clothes/collages, etc for a long time? I’ve always loved buying hand-made everyday jewelry from street vendors and at craft fairs. That whole idea of supporting a local artist instead of a faceless corporation appeals to me. When a friend turned me on to making my own stuff, well, the rest is history, as they say. I absolutely love browsing through rows and rows of beads andfindings at bead shows and in shops.When I go on vacation I make a pointof finding local bead shops. I’ve evendone this in Buenos Aires - I couldn’t speak the locallanguage, but that didn’t stop me!
- (kind of in the same vein as #4) What inspires you?
I’d have to say that most of my inspiration comes from the beads themselves. I’ll find something beautiful, envision it in a design, imagine someone wearing it, and head for the craft studio!
- What are some of your favorite pieces in your shop?
Blue Turquoise and White Pearl Necklace, Black, Silver and Crystal Necklace, Green and Purple Necklace and the Blue Azurite Pendant Necklace
7. How have you acquired your skills? Books/classes/college/self-taught?
After I went to my 1st Bead Show (Bay Area Bead Extravaganza) I attended some classes at Baubles and Beads and Bead Inspirations. Since then I have found several helpful on-line videos at Aunties Beads, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads and Magpie Gemstones. I also subscribe to Bead Style Magazine, which always has helpful tips and techniques.
- Do you make a living off of your art/craft?
No, not yet. So far it just keeps me in ‘bead money’, which is fine with me! That way, I don’t have to feel guilty about my ‘need to bead’.
- What is your favorite part of your crafting enterprise? Do you love selling at craft fairs? Or maybe you prefer online networking? Or maybe it’s searching for the perfect supplies at beads stores. . . it can be ANY element of running your crafty business.
You can probably tell from #4, my absolute favorite thing about this business shopping for more products! I love to browse shops, go to bead shows and stay current on the offerings at my favorite online bead sites. My craft studio is bursting at the seams with gemstones, crystals, and pearls that one of these days will find their way into a design!
- What are some new techniques and/or skills you would like to acquire in the near future?
I’ll be working to make my designs more unique and one of a kind. My philosophy is that everyone should be able to have a little glamour in their everyday jewelry so I work with pearls and Swarovski crystal a lot. I’m trying to find that perfect combination of affordability and versatility without the jewelry looking like everything else out there in the marketplace.
- Lastly, tell us anything extra you would like included in the blog post. It can be a coupon code for a discount in your shop, a funny anecdote, anything!I don’t know who wrote this, but it sums it all up perfectly:
You know you're a beader when...
- An exciting night for you means organizing your massive bead collection.
- You have more pairs of pliers than your husband does.
- The first thing you do while on vacation is flip through the yellow pages to find a bead shop to buy more beads, and you already have over 200 pounds sitting at home.
- You count beads and stitches instead of sheep to fall asleep at night.
- Beading stores know you by your FIRST name, and have your credit card number on file.
- Every conceivable surface in your home, including your pets, is covered with finished jewelry, multiple beading projects, new beads not yet put away, beads on display and beaded décor.
- Your pantry and cupboards have more beads than food in them.
- Long gone are the cute little bead storage containers. Jumbo sized Costco toolboxes that are full to overflowing, but you still have beads everywhere!
- You justify buying more beads with one-liners like, ''My beading addiction is healthier than smoking,'' or ''Beads won't ruin my diet because they don't have calories.''
- Your family can't remember the last time they ate at the kitchen table, which is known as no man's land under certain death if they dump over your bead board or cups of beads.Thanks, Andrea! And if anyone else would like their shop featured, take a look at the questionnaire in our Google group!