Hi! I'm Leslie, and I’m soooo happy to see you here in my world of seed bead bliss!
First I want to say that I love jewelry. I love designing it, making it, looking at it, wearing it, and thinking about it. I love seeing what other people are making and wearing too.
Love of Jewelry
When I was a teenager growing up in Indiana, I collected vintage costume jewelry from flea markets and loved how the colorful rhinestones and sparkles always got a lot of compliments. I started designing and making jewelry in my 20s and worked for both costume and fine jewelry manufacturers in Boston and New York. When I went to graduate school, I just couldn’t get away from jewelry! I specialized in silver and jewelry history, and later I worked for an antique silver and jewelry dealer.
For my own jewelry, I have always liked chunky colored stones and great-looking pieces that could be worn every day. I never want my jewelry to sit in my jewelry box waiting for special occasions! I want to enjoy it all the time.
I started working with seed beads in the late 1990s. My mom, a lifelong artist and art teacher, suggested the craft when I was looking for a creative outlet. She taught me my first couple of stitches and how to weave on a loom. I took to it right away! I loved the tiny colorful materials, the meditative aspect of it, and designing my own projects, although I didn’t make much jewelry in those days.
Starting my own business
After my son was born, I needed to stay home with him since he had multiple medical issues. I hadn’t planned on being a stay-at-home mom, and the transition was truly challenging. I felt pretty frumpy in those days! After a couple of years, I decided I needed to put my skills to use to create some jewelry to help me feel more like myself. I wanted:
- Jewelry I could wear and look at every day.
- Jewelry that made me feel confident and beautiful, even fabulous sometimes.
- Jewelry that couldn’t be bought at any store.
- Jewelry that got a lot of compliments but wasn’t expensive, just really unique.
Designing again felt so good it planted a seed in my heart. I wanted to create for other women too! I believe in the power of a fabulous pair of earrings or a cool bracelet to brighten your day. The urge to adorn is ancient and deeply human. So I started showing at craft fairs and in a few shops, and sharing my designs with other beautiful women. Over the last decade I have gradually applied to better craft fairs and to having an online shop. I’ve discovered that my customers like interesting, unique, artist-made jewelry as much as I do! I hope to keep serving you and creating more fabulous beaded designs going forward.
I’m still a one-person operation, which means I am in charge of merchandising, photography, my website, packaging, mailing and everything else that goes into running a business. I put my whole heart into it! It also means that I am here to listen. If you see an item here that is out of stock, or if you want something special that you don’t see, reach out to me! I’m here for you and would love to help.
It’s fun! Every day is different, and I love thinking about what makes you feel amazing every step of the way.
Design is like putting together a puzzle, and seed beads are my creative rocket fuel. Sometimes I am inspired by beautiful materials—a juicy Swarovski crystal, freshwater pearl, or semi-precious cabochon for instance. Other times it’s a particularly lovely color of seed bead that will get my juices flowing. Sometimes it’s a photo in a magazine or something in nature like a flower. I have learned to trust the creative process as it goes!
To see more about how I think about design, click to see this blog post about my work.
I live in the Litchfield Hills of rural Connecticut with my husband of 24 years and our son David. He remains a very special young man who needs a lot of care, and he’s a real sweetheart.
For more photos and information, please check out my Facebook and Instagram pages and my YouTube Channel for tutorials (links below).
Photo credit: Marsden Epworth