Today's guest is Sheryl Stephens from Cool Moon Creations. She has some really cool things to share about her jewelry.
PH: What was your favorite piece of jewelry when you were growing up? Why?
SS: I actually didn't really get into jewelry and beading until my mid 20's - after I'd been married a few years. BUT - as a child, there was a sunroom at my grandmothers house where she kept beautiful seashells, stones and other treasures found on beach walks and hikes. I absolutely LOVED playing with those - and organizing them as a child.
PH: What is your favorite piece of jewelry now? Why?
SS: My favorite piece is one of my most recent - a big yellow and magenta bead embroidery flower piece. Mostly because it's big and bold and draws tons of compliments, but I also love it because it was so 'off the top of my head" - it had no plan, but turned out beautiful! (Photo attached!)
PH: Who has influenced your jewelry tastes?
SS: Most of the seed bead queens - Marcia DeCoster, Sheri Serafini, Laura McCabe, Rachel Nelson Smith. Their techniques have given me wings....
PH: Do you have a favorite memory involving jewelry?
SS: Not a specific one; I just find myself reminiscing often about how I started as a bored housewife - and how far I've come with my technique, my style, my passion - and my success.
PH: When you choose jewelry, what factors do you consider? (price, fashion, emotional ties, etc?)
SS: It depends on whether I'm designing for myself - or for what I know will be a piece for sale. I take into consideration whether or not I want it to be a piece that is worthy of appearing in one of the two art galleries where I currently sell my work - or whether it needs to be lower priced for the craft markets, or my Etsy site. Trust me. There is a difference. I also have to take into consideration the AREA and customer base. In my specific area (mid-Michigan) we're still feeling that recession, and people are still belt tightening. I still create my unique, one of a kind bead embroidered cabochon pendants - but now just use a simple chain or ribbon to finish them - which greatly lowers the price that I have to charge, without taking away from the uniqueness of the piece. I have also stopped worrying about whether I'm actually 'getting what I'm worth' from my pieces. I don't give them away - but I LOVE what I do - and want people to be able to afford to love them too. It makes me feel good when my customer walks away with a piece that she has fallen in love with, and could afford to buy. That's the emotional element for me. I do still have the high price art pieces that are priced at $100's of dollars - but I'm finding new ways to design to keep the cost more affordable for many of the art fair pieces.
PH: What jewelry trends do you like?
SS: VINTAGE. I'm doing fun and successful things with skeleton keys and filigree metals right now.
SS: Steampunk. I just don't get it.
PH: If you could have any piece of jewelry in the world, what would it be?
SS: I pretty much only wear my own creations, so I suppose it would be one that I could create with ALL of the highest quality beads and findings that money could buy - Semi precious gems, Swarovski, sterling, high quality seed beads,etc. - without having to worry about what the cost was to purchase them.