Hello designers, and welcome to this month's Spotlight!
Halcraft Collection is excited to announce our August Spotlight Designer is Alice Honeywell of Earth Accents Jewelry. She is a master at stringing, and her designs are a delightful mixture of textures, unique shapes, and colors. Alice has the BEST "How I started beading story!"
Read on to learn more about Alice and her earthy delights featuring Bead Gallery® beads, pendants, and charms by Halcraft Collection.
When did you first start beading? Tell us about yourself.
I love to tell the story of how my passion was revealed to me because it reminds me that we can frequently find it right under our noses! A few years back, I was at my day job when an associate, who I barely knew, approached me to say that she was winding down her jewelry-making business. She handed me a massive jar of beautiful beads and told me that on the previous evening, she dreamed that I would love the beads and make beautiful jewelry out of them. Mind you, I had never made a piece of jewelry in my life… but I embraced the idea just the same!
Within a few months, I learned A LOT about beading. I took classes, but more importantly, I studied the work of jewelry designers who I admired. I looked at every detail – how they finished pieces and the materials they used. It drew me in even deeper.
I hadn’t seen the associate who introduced me to jewelry design for a couple years. When we finally met up, she had 4 words for me, “I told you so!” The nudge that she gave me led to a lifelong love of designing and crafting jewelry. It’s become an income maker too!
Tell us about your jewelry business.
I started Earth Accents Jewelry about 4 years ago. Luckily the domain name was available. I saw that as a good sign of future success!
I actually don’t remember a time after I started making jewelry that I didn’t sell. I didn’t think twice about it, but I honestly can’t tell you why I started selling early on. It just felt like a normal thing to do.
I’ve had an online presence for about 2 years now at www.EarthAccentsJewelry.com. There’s a lot more that goes into it than I initially thought, such as photography, marketing, branding, organization, budgeting, website design, etc.. Still, I decided early to look at all of these tasks as part of the creative process. With that mindset, they don’t feel like laborious tasks.
What is your favorite project that you've recently finished and why is it your favorite?
My favorite is usually the last one I finished! There’s always a sense of pride, whether it’s because of a particular challenge that I had to overcome or if it’s a design element that finally works out. If it’s not something that I love, I take it apart and start over until I’m pleased.
The challenge that I had with this bracelet is that I didn’t have any silver beads that were right for this bracelet. BUT, I had enough Halcraft jump rings of varying sizes! They add just the right character to the bracelet that I was looking for.
What are your favorite beading techniques and materials?
I usually bead jewelry using a simple stringing technique. I like the beauty of the beads to be the first thing to notice. The combination of different bead textures, colors, and sizes can be found in most of my work. You’ll almost always find irregularly shaped beads in my pieces, as well. That’s one of the reasons that I love HalcraftCollection.com. There’s a large selection of a variety of different types of beads.
I also adore creating dangling earrings. After designing the earrings, I’ll often make ear wires to compliment them. Making the ear wires is as much fun as beading the earrings!
What are some of your favorite beads or components on the Halcraft Collection website?
I LOVE all of the different styles and colors of pearls and shells, including mother of pearl, freshwater, nuggets, glass, and simulated pearls. You can find what you need for almost any project at HalcraftCollection.com. The bracelet featured on the left is created using glass pearls from Bead Gallery®. This design is one of my best sellers, and the cost to create is pretty low. It's simple and elegant and can be worn every day.
HalcraftCollection.com is my go-to website for semi-precious stones. There's an excellent selection of quartz, jasper, and amazonite. Halcraft's website is updated weekly, so there is always something new to add to my collection. Currently, I am obsessed with the new mystic moonstone collection. There are so many different gorgeous shapes, styles, and sizes of beads to choose from... so I decided to purchase them all!
Where do you get your beading inspiration? What most inspires you?
I really enjoy looking at the work of other beaded jewelry designers. There are so many talented crafters in the world. Many of their designs are awe-inspiring! This type of inspiration gets my creative juices flowing! When I first started beading, I didn’t have the confidence to create my own designs. All it took for me to start designing my own unique pieces was for me to realize that there are so many, many possibilities that a few beautiful beads can create. My customers also inspire me to keep designing and creating. So far, they have been delighted with my jewelry.
I enjoy browsing the Design Inspiration Library on HalcraftCollection.com. Looking at pretty beads gets me thinking about what I can create with these little lovelies.
Do you have any tips for the readers regarding building their social media reach?
I’m relatively new at the social media game, but I’ve discovered that having good images is the best way to showcase your beautiful wearable art. Spend time, be sure to comment back, and your followers will respond. Also, share a slice of your life with your audience or a video. Followers like connecting with real people, not just jewelry. So it’s essential to engage them. One way to do this is to ask people to participate in a poll.
If you had room for only two tools in your bead kit, what would they be?
Since I make a lot of bracelets, I would want to have something that measures bracelets' inner circumference -- especially stretch bracelets. The size you initially measure out changes based on the size of the beads you use. Since I personally have a tiny, tiny wrist, it's difficult for me to gauge an 'average' size. That's why I rely on a bracelet size gauger cone or mandrel.
A crimping tool is also handy since, frequently, the crimp is what holds my pieces together. Now that I'm thinking about it, I can't gnaw the string, so cutters are essential too! (I know...I snuck a third tool in!)
What jewelry trends are you excited to incorporate into your beadwork?
Quite honestly, I don’t pay attention to trends. I like vintage, old-world jewelry as much as I usually like the latest trend. Who knows, I might be an old soul with a contemporary vibe!
What jewelry techniques would you like to learn?
I'm really excited to take my wire skills to the next level. Wire working will be fun to incorporate into my jewelry designs.
Alice lives outside of Philadelphia, PA.
She has a green thumb... gardening is one of her favorite hobbies. She loves to unwind, appreciate nature, care for something, and see it thrive!
The dining room is now a greenhouse! It has been taken over by houseplants.
Her day job is helping make health care accessible to people who live in vulnerable communities.
She loves her day job and carries that same energy and passion into designing jewelry.
Alice is a late bloomer... She was always crafty, but did not find her creative outlet until she was in her 60's!
This artisan can't wait to see what's in store for her in the next chapter of life.
Are you interested in being in our Designer Spotlight?
Join our Beaded Jewelry Facebook group today and tag us in your projects on Instagram with @halcraftcollectionbeads, #Halcraftcollection #beadgallery #halcraftprettypalette #prettypalette!
We choose a new designer to spotlight each month and would love to celebrate you!
Denise Yezbak Moore is a self-taught artisan. She is a senior jewelry designer for Halcraft Collection and loves to create jewelry with bohemian flair. Denise resides in Orange County, California, and enjoys hearing from fellow beaders worldwide. Be sure to follow her on Instagram @deniseyezbakmoore