This week's Indie Business Shout Out to goes to Charlene Sevier, The Bead Dreamer! Last week while opening the mail, I noticed a box. I wasn't expecting anything, so I saved it for last because I like surprises. Boy, was I surprised! Tucked inside was a handmade ear ring and jewelry set customized for me by Charlene, and spotlighting the Indie logo.
What a lovely set, don't you agree!? Just look at the detail.! Hand smoothed silver formed into and a perfect circle secured by the Indie leaf, which represents the harmonic balance of the Indie lifestyle. Then, there are the beautiful green Swarovski crystals (yes, Swarovski — the cream of the crystal crop!) signifying the lasting and powerful freshness we experience as Indie Business owners. I have purchased some of Charlene's pieces previously, like this beautiful African trade bead bracelet. (I also purchased this set! And because I'm officially addicted, I just purchased more stuff this morning!) Here is a little more about Charlene and what she's up to these days in her exciting artisan jewelry business
- dM: What's new with The Bead Dreamer these days?
- Charlene: One of my goals this year is to further explore ethnic jewelry. Two things influenced me in this work. One is the love I have always had for African beads and jewelry components. Some of these beads are quite old, and even in their worn state, are just so beautiful. The other is my trip to Haiti last summer. The sails on the fishing boats, made from whatever fabric people could piece together, tattered and worn by time and the elements, were beautiful, and spoke eloquently to me of human resilience. Here's a picture of one of the boats that inspired me.
- dM: What new mediums are you working with?
- Charlene: I am exploring is the use of “found” objects like broken glass and rocks, and other non-traditional materials that can be used to make jewelry. I like bringing old elements — keys for example — to new pieces, or taking something headed for the trash bin and turning it into something of value. I love the idea of challenging what is considered “precious.” And I am enjoying this exploration.
- dM: You also think it's important to give back, yes?
- Charlene: This summer, I will teach jewelry making to girls in my hometown. I’m excited to give what I can to girls from my community, and hope this can be something that I can build upon. I’ve been pulling materials together and thinking about how I want to do more than teach them the technical skills needed to make jewelry. I also want to expose them to notions of inspiration, creativity, observation, and voice.
I am constantly invigorated by the creativity and tenacity of Indies like Charlene. What can surpass the pure pleasure of supporting yourself and pursuing the desires of your heart simply by doing the things you love? I can hardly imagine living any other way, and neither can Charlene — and it shows!
You can visit Charlene's website at The Bead Dreamer, and her blog. You can also connect with her at the Indie social networking site, where you can also peruse and comment on the beauty of her work. You'll find Charlene on Twitter too.
The Bead Dreamer Is Addictive!
The one thing to be careful of with Charlene is that both she and her jewelry are addictive. She has a delightful personality and is fun to talk to. She has helped my accessory-challenged self experiment with new colors, shapes and textures that reflect my personality. I have been enjoying displaying different colors around my face lately. I am discovering that the best colors for me are richly textured jewel tones with a bit of shine to them. Mattes don't work well on me. Because of the yellow undertones of my skin, I need some sparkle and shine. This is one reason why the Swarovski crystals in the pieces Charlene made for me work so well.
If you see something you like at Charlene's site, it's definitely one-of-a-kind so you should snap it up while you can. For example, if you'd been eying the Lynette ear rings and matching necklace, but you can't find them at the site anymore, it's because I bought them. Sorry! Now go and get your favorites before someone else (or me) snaps them up!
Be warned! Right now, I've got my eye on the Lola bracelet and the Nadia bracelet. But you'd better hurry! My trigger finger is pretty happy right now!
Dreams Do Come True
A little post script. It's amazing to me what can happen when you put something out there in the universe. Charlene and I had a brief conversation last year when I expressed how wonderful it would be to have Indie-inspired jewelry customized just for me. She listened politely, and when we hung up the phone, the idea sort of left me. But I put it out there, and look what happened. My dream has come true, thanks to Charlene!
I hope to one day commission Charlene to create more Indie-inspired pieces for me. In the meantime, there's enough newness coming out of her studio on a regular basis to feed my habit quite perfectly.
Question: Are you as moved by Charlene's work as I am? Would you like to have symbolic jewelry created in honor of the meaning of your business logo?