Designer Spotlight: Carol Creech
A brief story of what you do and why you do it.
I make things. I love working with my hands and always have. As a child, I spent hours diligently copying nature note cards to learn how to draw and once created an entire kitchen out of cardboard shoe boxes. I made little purses with flaps and buttons for myself and bookmarks carefully “laminated” with tape and finished with yarn tassels as gifts for my family. With buttons, beads, needle and thread, scraps of cloth, or paper and pencils, I could always find something to do!
I continued creating, especially drawing, throughout college and in my spare time while working. I discovered The Guild of Natural Science Illustration (GNSI) and later the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) which put me solidly on the path to focusing on botanical and nature art in my art work.
I returned to my crafting roots a few years ago when starting my family and have found a whole new level of satisfaction creating jewelry, bookmarks, and handmade journals with elements of nature, simplicity and practicality.
How did you get into jewelry design?
My start in jewelry design came from a lifetime love of beads and buttons combined with life circumstances (starting a family, which left me little time to work on focused drawing projects) and a craving to expand my artistic pursuits into three dimensions. A lovely tin of buttons from my grandmother led me to some of the more recent trends in jewelry, including the popular wrap bracelets. I made myself a quad wrap bracelet with 4mm Mookaite jasper beads and a button from Gram's tin. I was hooked!
My shop was born out of the bracelets, but I soon added more items, including pendants and macramé bookmarks that highlight the gorgeous natural history found in the stones I use.
What makes your collection unique?
I focus on natural stones in my work, especially Michigan stones. I absolutely love learning about and finding stones native to the state and seeing how I can incorporate those, and their natural history, into my work. I look forward to expanding that aspect of my jewelry to include other stones with interesting natural and cultural histories that may not be typically found in other similar-style jewelry collections.
What are your inspirations?
Nature, botanical art and illustration, natural history, geology. Stuff of the earth. Simplicity, usability, and practicality.
How are you making a difference in your life?
I am actively pursuing my art and craft after years of just dabbling. I think this is an incredibly important thing, not only for myself (because I enjoy it), but as an example for my daughters to see as they grow up. I hope to eventually have my business make a monetary contribution to our family as well!
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
I could watch “Animal Planet” or “National Geographic Channel” all day long.
What's the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business?
I think, like many creative small business owners, that my biggest struggle is being proactive about the “business” part of it. I am a smart person, a professional researcher, for heaven’s sake! But even so, it’s easy to get caught up in creating and let the practicalities slide a bit.
However, as an optimist, I have to also include that my success is that I am actually doing this and not just dreaming about it!
I am a librarian by trade, but have been an artist as long as I can remember. Continually inspired by nature in both my drawing and my handmade pieces, I create jewelry and bookmarks (i.e., jewelry for your books!) that highlight the gorgeous natural history found in the stones that I use. My goal is to provide you with a high-quality piece made by my own hands, one that is useful, practical, and beautiful.