What is your craft / art / creative endeavor?
I am a jewelry designer and creator with a passion for unrefined stones and other elements that inspire me to create jewelry that is designed with an organic feeling to it: a bit unrefined, beautifully irregular and suggestive of the spiritual. Some of the elements I am most drawn to are organic and unrefined stones, vintage buttons, Tibetan mala beads, and ethnic additions.
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
Some years ago I found myself really wanting to breath some fresh air into my creative lungs. I learned how to knit, took some pottery courses and dove into making jewelry. I had been creating jewelry for myself and others for many years but suddenly found myself spotting stones and beads everywhere! I’d collect them up and notice that there were some stones that just felt compelled to share the same future in an earring or necklace design!
Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
Certainly not an interesting one! I was eager to open my first shop at Etsy and needed to create a name so I impulsively picked ‘Mannybeads’ thinking I could change it in the next few weeks without confusing buyers…but at Etsy once you’ve got a name it’s yours for life! And…I’ve settled right into it quite nicely.
Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
Well, my day job is not jewelry making so I feel privileged to be able to create without the pressures of paying the mortgage. That truly frees me up to follow the ebb and flow of creative energy and excitement without getting in the way. Creating jewelry is very much a part of having a life for me…I’m a bit of an introvert so working alone when I feel inspired and energized is very meditative and so satisfying…
Where do you sell your work? Which venues are your favorites? Do you prefer selling online or in person? Do you attend shows or fairs? Is your work in a gallery or brick-and-mortar store?
I participate in just a few seasonal shows and really enjoy that. I think if I participated in more I’m afraid it might start to feel tedious! The preparation and set up is quite something and I really admire folks who do it full time.
Hmmm…favorite venue…I must say 1000Markets is a beautiful site. Just first rate. In terms of exposure and sales I’d have to say Etsy continues to be the Gold Standard for me.
Do you have any favorite handmade shops or sellers?
I do! I have many so these three represent, perhaps hundreds! but here they are…
Desert Talismans (crazy-beautiful, inspired work…)
Artsy (my favorite in assemblage art)
Artquirk (just love this artist and the beautiful rendering of place and time…)
What inspires and motivates you?
I am most inspired by stones and beads that are very earthy, organic and natural in feel. The stone or bead leads me in design rather than having a design in mind that I’m then looking for just the right stones to complete it.
It’s a bit like finding a treasure that you just can’t keep to yourself…and waiting to find the design or arrangement that best supports the essential nature of each stone.
I am also very passionate about working with Tibetan Mala beads. The ones that I am most drawn to are very hard to find so I treasure them when they find their way to me.
Thanks Manny! And if you would like to be interviewed next, just stop by DIY Interview.