When did you start your Etsy shop?
I opened it in 2010 but did not get active with it until 2013 when I joined the Promo Oasis team. Meredith joined me last June.
What is the story behind your business name?
People told me that my necklaces were works of art and BJ is my nickname, I couldn't think of anything else but BJ's Wearable Art.
What do you sell?
Bead Embroidered Jewelry. I did mostly necklaces and bracelets before this year. Now I am doing more smaller pieces like earrings, brooches and barrettes.My granddaughter inspired me to do the barrettes.
How did you get into your craft?
I was in a bead store one day and the owner said "You have got to get this book" It was the Art of Bead Embroidery by Heidi Kummli and Sherry Serafini. It was like an angel whispering in my ear. I bought it, but put it aside since I was still working and didn't have time for it. When I retired to St Louis with my son, he encourage me to get into it and has supported me 100%. He was the one who got me interested in Etsy. I am enclosing a couple of pictures of my first pieces. It is now my passion.
Anything else you would like to share?
My partner Meredith was my first customer at a Craft fair. She became so enthralled with the Bead Embroidery that she asked me to teach her. Our styles are very different which lends some variety to the necklaces we feature.She is the wild one while I am more sedate.
I was a nurse for 50+years working in Intensive Care and Dialysis. My art is such a change for me. I never dreamed I could produce such creative things.
Meredith is also a nurse and still practicing. We have a weekly Bead Spa where she comes to unwind from her very busy days. She had never done anything crafty before,but took to this like a duck to water. I have done Needlepoint, Crewel Embroidery and Cross Stitch so this was natural for me. I just added beads.