I remember when I was in my early 20s and wanting to start a jewelry making business. I wanted a way to be creative outside of work and school. I think back and remember how excited I was about the idea and opportunity before me. I contemplated a name for a few days and it was my mom that gave me the idea for “Unique Jewelry by Monica.” That was my little business name for awhile. It really was legit. I was so excited that I remember going to our county courthouse and officially registering my business name and also to our local comptroller’s office to obtain an official tax id. Those were some great moments in life where I look back and smile because I am proud of my young brave self. Nobody asked me to do it – I just did it. I would like to believe that I took a leap of faith.
I knew from a young age that I liked to be creative. I liked to play and imagine I was in different settings or moments in time. I would make things, draw and color. I want to say that it’s in my genes. I say this in full memory of seeing my grandmother work in her homemade flower shop. Glitter everywhere, the glue gun on, ribbon, oh, the ribbon around the desk area. It all fascinated me! You see, my grandparents are immigrants from Mexico and came over with a limited education. My grandmother lost her mom at a very young age and was quickly put in survival mood to keep going in life. Which led to very limited support for her. Which I believe forces one to be creative with the limited resources they have. Once here in the states, as adults, my grandparents found work in a packing shed near their home. My grandmother taking care of a heep of kiddos and pretty much making ends meet. Years later, the flower shop comes to be. She used her creativity to supplement their income and save. Today, I can see how some of us family members really enjoy sewing, making jewelry, being creative in the kitchen and being all around crafty.
Being creative has become such a peaceful and relaxing outlet for me. I know that when I can sit down and create, it will be a good time. So, a few evenings ago I took some time to sit down and put my ideas into action. These beads were on my desk for about a week before I put this necklace together. I like to work in different ways. For example, I will plan and sketch some days or just put the pedal to the metal other days. I can’t decide which works best just yet since both have been pretty good to me. Most days it’s pedal to the medal when I make jewelry. I enjoy the element of surprise when the piece is done. As you can see from the pictures, I like to lay out the beads and see what color combinations work with each other as well as textures. I like making jewelry where there might be similar colors but different shapes or textures of beads. It makes for a super interesting piece. I also keep the size of the piece in mind. I want to make sure that I am making it to fit most if not all women. So, if you are wanting to make jewelry for yourself or men or other women ask yourself these questions to make sure that you stay true to who you are as a designer while also meeting the needs of your customers.
Questions to Ask:
1. Who am I making this for?
2. Why am I am making this piece?
3. Does this piece require anything specific? (i.e., color, size, specific material)
4. What is the budget?
5. Can I make this piece with the material I already have?
Today, 12 years later, Unique Jewelry by Monica is now Journey de Vida and is more than just jewelry making. My two year old daughter has inspired me to be a photographer, a seamstress and chef with top skills being water boiling. Really that part needs CPR but we can’t be experts in everything, so I am ok with that. However that doesn’t mean I can’t have fun trying! Right?!
Enjoy the process! It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality and the love and attention to you give to your craft. Now, let’s get out there and get making!