A brief story of what you do and why you do it.
I quit my job as a Customs Broker/office manager to stay home when our first child was born. I started Bliss Designs when our oldest was 9, part time, with a plan of 2-3 art shows a year.It has grown since then.
I'm sure my reasons are common: I wanted flexibility, the ability to work from home around the kid's schedules, a creative outlet and some adult conversation. Now that our son is off to college and our daughter is almost a teen, I have much more time and am ready to get to the next level.
How did you get into jewelry design?
While helping a friend start her jewelry business eight years ago, I discovered the joy of using fine motor skills to create beautiful objects. I began by making bookmarks and wine charms out of memory wire, pearls and semi-precious stones. Then Buffalo Fleece and Outerwear, a local store in Buffalo’s Elmwood Village, asked me to create Buffalo-themed key chains and zipper pulls and then jewelry for their store. Through this project, I discovered my true passion, and Bliss Designs was born.
What makes your collection unique?
I wanted to create a new line and started playing with resin. I had purchased some copper bezels and they were fun. Then my husband wondered why I didn't use the copper pipe that he has laying around from remodeling our 1896 home. I patiently explained why that wouldn't work, and then realized I had an exciting challenge! It took a few months of trial and error but I finally figured it out.
I've had outstanding feedback and sales from my line of recycled copper plumbing pipe pendants filled with resin and freshwater pearls.
What are your inspirations?
I love to work with beautiful pearls. Seriously! have you looked into a good quality pearl lately? They seem almost alive with depth & colors.
I also love copper. It's a natural material that can change color in interesting ways.
How are you making a difference in your life?
I have been able to use my jewelry business to help raise and donate over $53000.00 to local Buffalo charities since 2004 by co-producing “Bliss & Bejewelled Benefit Bazaars”, craft shows where the artists donate 20% of sales.
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
I'm curious. I always love learning new things.
What's the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business? OR What is your biggest success in running your business like a business?
I do very well in my local market from art shows and boutique sales and would like to reach a larger audience and sell more online or have wholesale accounts out of this area.
I believe jewelry is more than an accessory; it’s an expression of a woman’s inner self.
Seeing women wear and love pieces that I've made is a true joy.
I'm a wife and mother and collector of handmade unique art.