When I was a little girl, every time my parents drove by a bead store, my eyes lit up. Not because inside there was candy at the counter, but because there were lots of beads. I got a rush, like going to a toy store. Beads were my toys. Don’t get me wrong though, I never said no to a toy store! I can’t speak for other designers, but I know what inspires me…beads. So my parents loved to travel when I was growing up. Did I do something wrong, I wondered. I didn’t think so because there was always something special when they returned…presents! I scored every time they went on vacation. Of course I loved my hotel shower caps, who doesn’t? But my mom always sought out the local bead shops and brought me a bag of beads when she got home. I was hooked. I loved to mix and match different beads and my mom took the time to teach me basic jewelry skills, so I could make necklaces, bracelets and earrings. From then on, I learned more skills and was able to make a variety of jewelry styles. But more important than learning how to make pieces of jewelry, was having the inspiration to design a piece. Walking into a bead store gives me this overwhelming feeling of inspiration, creativity and passion. What better feeling can you have than that? What about ONE bead makes me get all giddy? I can see an entire necklace from seeing a single bead. Typically, I have other components that I want to use already in my inventory, and will purchase the rest of the pieces I need. One time, I waited 2 weeks for one stone to arrive for me to finish a necklace. But when you know what you want, you definitely won’t settle for less. And let me tell you, the necklace is exactly what I was envisioning.
Many times, I like to take small bowls and put some beads together to see what I can come up with in the mix. I usually don’t use bead boards, because for me, they are too literal. I like to mix things up and come up with something really creative and different. I can start with one piece of jewelry I have in mind, and will end up with 4-5 different pieces of jewelry with the same colors and beads, just to have different variations of the same piece. I then have a small collection, so my one piece turns into something so much more. I like to wear lots of jewelry together, so for me, this helps inspire me to create a collection. What inspires you? What do you feel when you see your favorite things in life? Do you love going to a flower shop and creating your own bouquet of flowers? Do you go to the market and immediately have a recipe in mind when you see fresh tomatoes in season? Do you go to your local nursery and have plans for your spring garden? I would love to hear what gives you passion in life.
Designer, Bency Co. Jewelry