Hello designers, and welcome to this month's spotlight!
Halcraft Collection is excited to announce our July 2021 Spotlight Designer is Suzanne White of Rock 'n' Leather Wrist Wraps. This rocker chick creates edgy, unique jewelry and is a master at mixing stones!
Read on to learn more about Suzanne and her rockin' designs featuring Bead Gallery® beads, pendants, and charms by HalcraftCollection.com
When did you first start beading? Tell us about yourself.
Many years ago, I fell in love with wrap bracelets after buying one from a local artisan at a craft fair. Unfortunately, it was way too big for my tiny wrist, so I decided to attempt to make one for myself. I really got the hang of it and enjoyed making them for family and friends. Then, my friends started asking me to make special designs for gifts or for special occasions, and the word spread! My friend had a great idea to bring my beads and leather to do a little trunk show. At the show, her friends could see my bracelets and choose their own colors and styles. After getting several orders for custom wrap bracelets, I decided to add other styles of bracelets to coordinate with the wraps. My creativity and passion just kept evolving from there. My custom designs were a hit with many friends, especially those with small or larger wrists. Before I realized it, I had a little business going!
Tell us about your jewelry business.
I first started selling my jewelry at a local holiday bazaar. Then, after a couple of years, I started hosting open house events twice a year as a little fundraiser for charitable organizations. That is when my passion turned into an actual labor of love. In 2005, our son-in-law was diagnosed with MS at a very young age. So I decided to donate profits to Multiple Sclerosis Research to help find a cure. Then in 2016, our daughter-in-law was diagnosed with Stage 3+ Breast Cancer, and I added Breast Cancer Research to my Causes, as well. Since then, I’ve added St. Jude Children’s Hospital to the list and made jewelry to sponsor Lung Cancer Awareness.
When the pandemic hit last year, I decided to go public on Instagram to help with sales and find online customers. I also started an Etsy shop and just started Pinterest, as well. I’ve had a Facebook page for a while, too!
What is your favorite project that you've recently finished and why is it your favorite?
I honestly don’t have a favorite! That’s my problem…. I love them all!! Sometimes it’s tough to let go of some designs! If I had to choose a style, I would say any combination that got me interested in beading. That would be a triple wrap bracelet with matching stretch bracelets to be worn as a stack with a matching necklace or pendant. You can see a fantastic “Patriotic Set” that I’ve made using Halcraft Collection Beads in this feature!
What are your favorite beading techniques and materials?
As my passion for beading grew, I started taking several classes at a local bead store. Bead embroidery was the first since I’ve always loved to sew. But, once I got a needle in my hand, I started teaching myself different bead weaving patterns. I did this for a while since they were small projects that I could just throw in my purse and go! It’s still my favorite thing to take on long trips or vacations! I also took an introductory wiring class and created a few copper pieces. Overall, it’s the eclectic mix of beads, fiber, stones, metals, and leather that excite me the most!!! Seeing all the mediums come together to form a bracelet stack or a complete set in all its splendor? That’s what I truly love!
What are some of your favorite beads or components on the Halcraft Collection website?
Oh, my goodness… where do I begin??? Gemstones were my first purchase from Halcraft Collection, then the variety of silver-plated spacers was added to my searches. But, this month, it was all about red, white, and blue and summer-themed pieces! Shells, coral, figural ceramics, wood, seeds, nut beads, and so much more!
Where do you get your beading inspiration? What most inspires you?
Color!!! I have a passion for combining colors! Although I’m quite monotone by nature, combining coordinating colors in different beads, textures, fibers, shapes, and materials is infectious! I can walk into a bead store, fall in love with a strand of stones, and the hunt begins to find matching beads! Online it’s even more fun! So many options to search for! I could spend all day on the Halcraft Collection website finding everything I could possibly need for a project… and I literally have done so!
Do you have any tips for the readers regarding building their social media reach?
I first created my Facebook page so my friends and family could see my work. Last spring, I was hesitant to go public on social media but took a leap of faith and publicized my Instagram account. It was the best decision I could have made! I have learned so much about social media and have received wonderful information from a few crafting groups. The best of all? There are many incredible artisans that I have met through Instagram! So many of them are now my friends! Some I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person! The support and encouragement I’ve received from fellow artisans and followers have been incredible! I am so grateful to all of them for encouraging me to jump right in and not just get my feet wet! I say, go for it!!!
Lastly, I am truly humbled and honored to have been selected by Halcraft Collection for this incredible feature and opportunity to share my story. I hope to meet many more wonderful artisans and make lots of new friends this coming year. “Community over Competition” really is a gift if you open your hearts to it. I, for one, feel truly blessed!
If you had room for only two tools in your bead kit, what would they be?
All tools are necessary for beading, especially a good pair of flush cutters and pliers! But, in reality, the two tools that I couldn’t live without are my hands and my eyes. What my eyes see and my hands create cannot be replaced. Everything starts with a vision… and it becomes a reality by creating that vision with my hands.
What jewelry trends are you excited to incorporate into your beadwork?
I don’t really follow trends. I think we each have our own unique style, and although we may create things that are trending at the time, we always go back to designing what we love. I do enjoy creating seasonal pieces, but it’s really more about making your designs your own. I am excited to add some seed beads and woven pieces to my bracelet stacks to change things up a bit. I’m in the process of working on that this month, as well!
What jewelry techniques would you like to learn?
I’m amazed at the intricacy and detailed work involved in some wire-wrapped pendants that I see from other artisans. That is something I would like to learn someday!
Suzanne has resided in Davie, Florida, for 34 years. She grew up in Miami and lived in Cuba for 5 years as a little girl.
She is fluent in 3 languages and would love to learn more!
Miami-Dade Community College and The University of Miami are her Alma Maters. She majored in Applied Voice and Musical Theater.
What a kick! A former dance teacher, musical choreographer, and dance team coach!
She was an NCA cheerleading coach, a member of the NFL's American All-star Dance Team, and performed in several Super Bowls.
Other dance-related fun facts... She was a member of the Bellydance Tribe, made all her own costumes and her daughter's dance costumes.
A world traveler and loves to go antiquing - especially for antique irons and pressing devices.
Her hands have never been idle. Before she would read or write, her amazing grandmother taught her sewing, crocheting, and knitting.
Other hobbies include cross-stitch, needlepoint, embroidery, candle-wicking, holiday decorations, and window treatments.
She has created countless afghans, macrame, wood and paper characters, latch-hooked rugs, and quilts by hand.
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