Everyone finds their calling in a different way and sometimes your calling finds you. When I was a little girl I was obsessed with rocks and for Christmas when I was 9, Santa brought me a rock tumbler. I tumbled those rocks for a month in our garage and once they were smooth and pretty, I started gluing them to rings and necklaces. As I grew I started stringing beads and gemstones as gifts for friends and family.
Fast forward to about 8 years ago when I started apprenticing with my friend and fellow metalsmith, Anita. The first pieces I soldered were bracelets for the bridesmaids in my wedding. Kris, at ib designs gave me the opportunity to create one-of-a-kind jewelry for their store. The first piece I ever sold was to one of my besties, Corinne. I told her I had completed my first ring and that it was for sale, she bought it behind my back. It could have looked like crap and she still would purchase it, just to support me. I can honestly say that I used to think my friends and family only wore my jewelry when they knew they were going to see me because well, that's what friends and family do, right?!
About a year later Carlo and I open, Joyia Inspirational Jewelry and I still had a hard time saying I was an artist. I'll never forget the first time I saw our jewelry on a stranger. We were hiking in St. John and a group of people passed us, one of the girls was wearing our teardrop earrings and I stopped dead in my tracks. I turned to Carlo and said, "Do you know her?" He said, "No, don't you?". We high fived in the mud on that trail, shocked that someone we didn't know was wearing our jewelry and we saw it on a different island!!!
We are 7 years in now and I still feel awe when I see people wearing our jewelry. Our clients wait for the next collection to come out and commission me to make custom pieces. I still can't believe I am an artist, entrepreneur, and business owner. In the quiet moments, I pinch myself, put my hands together in prayer and thank the universe for bringing me to my calling. Thanks to all of YOU for supporting, celebrating and loving, dare I say it....this grateful ARTIST.