A brief story of what you do and why you do it.
My daughter, Jessica and I have made a variety of fashion jewellery but now specialize in sea glass jewellery. We hunt for sea glass on the beaches of Atlantic Canada. Jessica wire wraps the sea glass or drills tiny holes in it and we both use it to make jewellery. In addition I make glass beads in a process called lampworking and these combined with the sea glass create our own unique style of jewellery. We do it because we both love to create with our hands and we hope to supplement our incomes this way. In addition we have both taken up the challenge of finding a market for our work which has led us to having an online store at craftgifts.com, developing our own website and attending craft shows.
How did you get into jewelry design?
For me it was almost by accident! When I retired I took up water colour painting to fill in my new found spare time. I had always been interested in the arts and creating. I really enjoyed the painting and became acquainted with the owner of a frame shop who also sold jewellery beads and findings. I decided to start taking apart some of my old jewellery and make new pieces using supplies from her shop. The results were surprising and I was hooked. With Jessica's fashion background it was a natural fit for us to work together. Our interest turned to sea glass jewellery when my husband and I started vacationing on the east coast of Canada and she moved there with her family.
What makes your collection unique?
I think that the combination of sea glass and lampwork beads makes our pieces unique. We experiment a lot with different types of wire and have recently added Kumihimo weaving and viking knitting to the mix to enable us to make complimentary chains and cords for our pieces. We are also moving away from purchased findings and making more of our own with wire.
What are your inspirations?
Our inspiration at present is the natural beauty of the sea glass that we find. The subtlety of the frosting colours, etched by the sea, always sparks our imaginations. We both love anything natural and I think that this is why we work so well together. The endless possibilities that I find in making my own glass beads adds even more inspiration to the mix. Also our travels in Canada have provided us with seasonal panoramas of colour that inspire us in creating new pieces.
How are you making a difference in your life?
Well, I no longer have a problem knowing what to do with my time. My retirement so far has been very exciting and, for both my daughter and myself, being able to work at something together has been very rewarding.
What’s something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
I guess that what is unusual about me is that as a “life long learner” I am naturally inquisitive and interested in trying new things. This applies equally to my love of cooking and eating interesting foods and my new creative interests. Why else would I be pursuing the challenge of a new career after retirement?
What’s the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business?
Our biggest struggle has been the distance that separates my daughter and I physically. We make good use of the Internet, texting, and visits to keep ourselves connected. It has taught us both to be organized and to make the most of the time that we are together. Fortunately we have the same vision for the business and what direction it should take. For me personally, I have struggled with the transition from hobby to business and disciplining myself to treat my jewellery making, and marketing my business as I would a job.
Janis Evans enjoyed a long career in Dietetics while living on a busy hobby farm with our two children Kiah and Jessica who both now have families of their own. My husband and I, both retired, are moving to Newfoundland in eastern Canada where we plan to open a cafe/gallery. Our daughter Jessica, who has a background in fashion design, lives in New Brunswick with her husband and two daughters and works with me in our jewellery making venture which we call JaJeJems.