Hello designers, and welcome to this month's spotlight!
Halcraft Collection is excited to announce our February 2022 Spotlight Designer is, LaLa Dickinson of Isle Of Bohemia. Her jewelry is a magical mix of color and texture.
Read on to learn more about LaLa and her stunning designs featuring Bead Gallery® beads by HalcraftCollection.com
When did you first start beading? Tell us about yourself.
I started beading in 2018, shortly after a disabling car accident. Beading became my therapy while I was healing and learning to walk again. It became an outlet for the depression and anger that I experienced because I felt like I had lost myself and who I was. I could no longer compete in bodybuilding, modeling, or use my athletic abilities. Walking was a task in itself; I spent months in bed healing. Eight months before the accident, my baby brother unexpectedly passed away. A few months later, my stepbrother passed away as well. There was so much pain and grief in my life. My creations are a reflection of the beauty in the world that I wanted to see in myself again and the beauty I saw in all women.
I would always pass the bead aisle, trying to figure out how to use beads or even make jewelry. I noticed waist beads had become a part of the jewelry trend during that time. So on one of my visits to Michaels, I purchased seed beads, Halcraft Collection gemstones, and stringing wire to create my own waist beads. Friends and followers took notice on social media and requested strands. Instead of selling them, I kindly accepted donations to buy supplies, and that’s how it all began. I became a bead enthusiast and wanted to learn everything about jewelry making. Months later, I found myself creating bangles and wrap bracelets. I researched everything that had to do with beading and jewelry design until I found my niche. I developed my signature style of design and use of color.
Tell us about your jewelry business.
I am the owner of Isle of Bohemia and the sister company Isle of Clay. Isle of Bohemia is our signature jewelry brand, and Isle of Clay is our clay earring brand. I launched Isle of Bohemia in 2020. After receiving large orders for waist beads and my signature grand wrap bracelets and bangles, I decided to make my jewelry making business official. My youngest daughter, who was 14 at the time, designed my first logo as a Mother’s Day gift. She created it with my favorite plant, a Monstera leaf, and placed one of my waist bead strands atop the leaf. It was the perfect representation of my brand. Both my daughters assisted in stringing orders daily. I wanted to make it a family business because my daughters are talented and creative. My oldest daughter’s interest was clay jewelry making. That interest blossomed into our sister brand Isle of Clay. I handed my youngest daughter gold wire and some tools one day and asked her to learn how to wrap a ring. The next day she had made several rings and had caught the design bug. I am amazed and proud of her wire wrap ability because I am not that good at it. London’s wire rings and Miracle’s clay earrings instantly became a huge hit during our outdoor markets, and that’s how our family business was born.
What is your favorite project that you've recently finished and why is it your favorite?
Creating the Pink is Golden & Amethyst Collection for this feature is my favorite collection thus far. These collections are meaningful because my favorite color is pink, and my birthstone is Amethyst (born February 23.) So, it was an honor to be the February Spotlight Designer for Halcraft Collection.
Designing both collections, I combined the earthiness of Amethyst & Amazonite gemstones, the elegance of gold, and the romanticism of pink tones to suit the mood of February. Both collections tested my creative abilities. Using only what I ordered from Halcraftcollection.com and Halcraft beads in my bead stash challenged me to think outside the box. The use of color and color theory is my strength. I challenged myself to combine pinks, greens, and purple in two different collections that fit together cohesively so they could be worn as a set.
What are your favorite beading techniques and materials?
Some of my favorite beading techniques include stretch bracelets and crimping beading wire. In addition, I adore gemstones, metals, and beads with colorful coatings.
What are some of your favorite beads or components on the Halcraft Collection website?
My favorite beads on halcraftcollection.com are the large selection of authentic gemstone, semiprecious, quartz crystals, and pendants.
Where do you get your beading inspiration? What most inspires you?
The diverse femininity of women inspires my designs. The free-spirited bohemian culture inspired my brand. I want women to feel free and confident to be who they are when wearing my designs. I began creating bracelets and necklaces because I could not find the jewelry I wanted when shopping. Bohemian jewelry is not something you can readily find in retail stores. I would buy rare pieces at yard sales, thrift shops, artisan markets, and resale stores. I soon realized the only way to find exactly what I wanted that represented my feminine, bohemian, eclectic style was to create it. Like many women, I’m a bit of everything, glitzy, a gold lover, modern, classic, vintage, earthy, beachy, etc. I combine all those elements in my designs. That’s how I developed my signature style. My pieces are designed to be worn to the office, an evening date, the beach, a wedding, Prom, or Sunday mass. They transition flawlessly from casual to evening wear. I want the Isle of Bohemia woman to feel beautiful, feminine, and confident in herself.
Do you have any tips for the readers regarding building their social media reach?
The biggest misconception is that a high number of followers validates how great you are as a designer, how well someone’s business is thriving, or how much they are selling. Don’t pay a lot of attention to other creators’ followers. Just because they have a million followers doesn’t mean they are successful. Do not become discouraged by numbers. Numbers are important in business, not social media. Also, there is a customer and market for every creator. Every interested buyer or onlooker will not be your customer. Everyone will not be converted to a buyer, and that’s ok. Being a creator is more than making things. You must learn the basics of business and marketing to develop your brand. Believe in yourself, your brand, and your creative efforts will work for you.
What jewelry trends are you excited to incorporate into your beadwork?
I am excited to incorporate colorful beads, gems, crystals, cabochons with no holes in my bracelet designs, and knotting techniques.
What jewelry techniques would you like to learn?
I would like to learn more about inlaying cabochons and intricate wire wrapping. I also love the fantastic details in seed bead tassel earrings. I am amazed by the gorgeous designs created in so much detail. I honestly don’t have the patience to use 11 & 15 size seed beads. I applaud all the talented creators I see on social media that have such patience. Their skills are unbelievable.
LaLa is a Southern girl with the accent and charm to prove it.
She was born and raised in Columbus, GA.
The State of Georgia and the great city of Atlanta have her heart.
Her passion is art. She longed to be an architect and art professor at a young age.
She is crafty! LaLa enjoys painting murals, sketching, and sewing. She once took a course in dressmaking to design sheaths and bohemian-inspired dresses.
Fitness is key! She is a bodybuilding coach at AestheticX.
Beautiful inside and out! LaLa is a model and a pageantry coach!
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 and content creator 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