Hi all! If you follow me on Instagram, which I would hope we are good enough friends that you do… LOL, then you may have seen one of my latest posts featuring beautiful bracelets by Eliza Bean Designs (if you didn’t, click here). Now I told Liz I wanted to write a blog to go along with the bracelets I received from her. I sent her some questions just so I could get some background and good info for my post, and her answers came back so beautiful and story like, I almost teared up reading them (I think something is wrong with me lately, so sappy HAHA!). Since her responses were so great, I want to share a lot of her words, so I think I will turn this post into a sort of interview. Read on to know her story, it inspired me!
I filed for my business name in August 2018 and opened my Etsy store in October 2018. I started my Instagram and Facebook page about four months ago. That is when I really feel my business started. Prior to that I hadn’t done any posting or advertising of my designs
Why did you start your business?
Starting my business was something God put on my heart to do. I had made a handful of bracelets in July 2018 and my friends and family really liked them. At that point I wasn’t confident in my designs, but I felt the need to keep creating. After fighting with a lot of fear, I decided I had to start my own business. Making bracelets didn’t feel like just a hobby. I felt that I had finally found my passion at the age of 50. Better late than never, right? For several years prior to starting my business, I had been through a lot of stress that made me very sick physically and emotionally. I have a strong faith and prayed daily for God to give me the strength to get through each day. I woke up one morning with the thought to make a bracelet to get my mind off of the stress. This was so out of the blue and nothing I had done before. My mom had made jewelry as a hobby in the past and had beads left over. I found that when I was making a bracelet, my mind was at peace. I would put music on and create, it felt incredible! God pulled me out of darkness with something as simple as making bracelets. The thought to start my own business came pretty quickly.
Was/is beading a hobby?
If I wasn’t making a bracelet, I was thinking about making one. Ideas would come to me in the middle of the night. That pretty much confirmed passion, not hobby. I have always loved to create, but I had never made bracelets. In high school I used to make myself funky earrings with plastic beads. At the time, there was a feed supply in downtown Upland that sold plastic beads and jewelry findings along with all of the feed and animals they sold there. I was a regular there in the eighties. I always found it funny that they sold beads inside of a feed store.
How do you come up with your designs? Where do you get inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from everyday life. I enjoy being outside. Many of my designs come from the colors of nature. I love earth-tones and use matte colored gemstones and wood beads that have those colors. My beach collection came to me from staring at a picture of the beach that I have in my office. I was thinking of sitting on the beach listening to the waves, relaxing. Design ideas started coming to mind. I had not used smooth (shiny) gemstones before this collection, I would always gravitate to the matte gemstones. The colors in the smooth gemstones remind me of the water and sand, I had to use them! I still used matte gemstones for all of the white in that collection, they remind me of the clouds. I had planned to make 8 or 10 beach inspired bracelets, I ended up making over 30! Most of the time I start with an idea, then choose the gemstones. There are days I can make bracelet after bracelet, the ideas keep coming. Some days I stare at a strand of beads for what seems like hours before a design comes to mind. I make a list of gemstones needed for a design prior to going to the bead store. If I don’t have a list, I will leave with A LOT more than what I intended to. The first time I went to a bead store, I felt euphoria, okay maybe not euphoria, but pretty close! The vision of all of the beads laying on table after table was pure joy to me.
Do you make custom orders?
I love making custom orders! My favorite is when someone asks me to make something with a specific color, but no other directions. I have to determine what that particular person will like style wise. There’s always that little bit of nervousness when they pick up their order, wondering if they are going to like it. One of my favorites was for a ballerina that had just been accepted to New York City’s School of Ballet. I searched until I found the perfect 3D tutu charm for it. I have an obsession with charms, or so I’ve been told. I’ve made custom bracelets for hobbies, sports, school spirit, and military service. Custom orders are a unique challenge. I have to fit the bracelet design to the person. I’ve made orders based on being told what someone’s personality is like, then asked to make a bracelet that will fit their style. Those are really fun!
Do you want to expand into more than bracelets?
The thought of making necklaces and earrings excites me. I will be making those in the near future. I have also been asked to make anklets, so that’s something I will be doing at some point. I am going to try my hand at wire wrapping in a few weeks and making my own charms.
As I have already said, I LOVE my bracelets. I especially love the fact that she uses earth-tones. This makes them easily match and go with so many different looks and outfits. They are a fun and dainty addition whether you’re dressing up or just going casual. They are also a great quality. You can feel it in the weight of the beads, they are sturdy and well done. I really encourage you to find Liz on Instagram and on Etsy. Her story as you read is inspiring and her work is truly amazing.
“I never dreamed I would have my own jewelry business in my fifties. It’s amazing to see where life can take you if you don’t allow fear to stop you” – Elizabeth, owner of Eliza Bean Designs