How did your business get its start?
I always loved rocks as a child. My mom says that as soon as I could walk, I used to bring rocks in the front door and she’d take them out the back door. I grew up being encouraged to create, but it wasn’t until I lived in Tucson (the site of the world’s largest gem and mineral show) that I was finally able to actualize what I envisioned.
What sparks your creativity most?
What sparks my creativity varies day to day based on my mood and experiences. Beautiful flowers or natural scenes usually inspire me to draw or paint. Finding new rocks sets me dreaming about how to bring out the best in it and to create lovely jewelry around it. Some times it can be a simple phrase from a friend that can spark an idea. And at times I’ve dreamt about designs.
What's the best thing about running your own business? The worst?
The best aspect of running my own business is knowing other people appreciate what I create enough to give me money for it! The worst is the business aspects. I’m not the best at knowing how to set prices or promoting myself. I’d rather be in my workshop creating.
Share a funny story about your business.
A really funny experience happened last Christmas. As part of the Black Forest Arts and Crafts Guild, I partipate in a group show where our products are displayed by category and the artists work shifts. I was working as a cashier when I overheard another customer talking about the necklace they were buying and was asking about who was the artist. When I spoke up that it was my work, they asked me to sign their receipt!
What kind of music do you listen to while you create?
I usually don’t listen to music while I work, although sometimes I have the TV on in the background. If I’m using heavy equipment, I usually wear ear protection. Other times, I can get caught up in music and lose focus on what I’m doing. I can ignore TV just enough to not lose focus.
How has your business most helped you and/or your family grow?
I think my business has helped my family in realizing that creativity is something within and that it is achievable. Plus, it has helped teach my children about entrepreneurship.
Of all the products you create, which is your very favorite? Which is a customer favorite?
My favorite thing is to take rocks that I find and bring them fully to a point where they become wearable art. I prefer the ones I find because often they don’t have a particular trade name and are truly unique. As part of my educational outreach I try to have low-cost mineral specimens available for the kids, but even the adults love them as little gifts or stocking stuffers for budding rockhounds. And the kids are often thrilled to find something that they can afford at a show.