Archive for November 8, 2010

RAM Jewelry Designs….How it All Began

I have loved jewelry since I can remember. The first piece of jewelry I remember receiving was a pair of silver bangles from my older sister when I was six years old. She told me never to take them off. I promised I wouldn’t but was afraid of ruining them when I took a bath, so I took them off. Those bracelets were never to be found again. My mother and I knew, however, that my sister had reclaimed them because I took them off.

In spite of my sister’s taking back her gift to me, I seemed to have the good fortune of having gifts of jewelry bestowed upon me: there were my high school sweethearts who gave me sterling silver bangles (I guess I was making up for the ones I “lost” some 11 years earlier) which I wear to this day. One of my high school beaus gave me a beautiful venetian glass and trade bead necklace with a nut seed pendant. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this necklace would prove auspicious in terms of my love affair with West African recycled glass beads.

My work in international development also contributed greatly to my appreciation of handcrafted goods and beads in particular. I have worked with village cooperatives and community groups for over 20 years and some of the most fascinating work I’ve seen is the making of recycled glass beads in West Africa. The combination of supporting economic development in
Africa and of witnessing what a little capital and skill can do has gone a long way in inspiring me to engage in my own income-generating activity of which I am passionate.

I had collected beads for years, but didn’t know what to do with them until I took a class at a neighborhood bead supply store. Using the beads I had amassed, I started applying the techniques that I had learned. The result was a flood of orders from friends and associates who were drawn to my personal spin on combining the traditional with a modern touch.

In addition to my own story, please check out how my other EtsyCrest team members got their beginning:
Sandi Volpe Designs
Birch Tree Jewelry
Sew Artsy
Collage and Clover
{Life as we live it}
The Twisted Cow
Turquoise Angels
Crazy Mokes
The Dragon Nthly
The Planet Geek Chronicles
What Belongs to a Fripperie
Of Cats and Crafts

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