Hello designers, and welcome to this month's spotlight!
Halcraft Collection is excited to announce our June 2021 Spotlight Designer is Melissa Rodgers of High Vibe Beads. Her unique stacking bracelets are crafted with a bohemian flair by mixing colors and textures to create a one-of-a-kind look.
Read on to learn more about Melissa and her boholicious designs featuring Bead Gallery® beads, pendants, and charms by HalcraftCollection.com
When did you first start beading? Tell us about yourself.
I love jewelry – looking at it, buying it, and especially wearing it – but I never thought about making it. That all changed about 4 years ago when my yoga studio’s manager asked me to create a new and different way to showcase our line of essential oils. My first thought was diffuser jewelry - a perfect way to enjoy essential oils on the go – so I taught myself the basics and beaded a small batch of mostly raw wood aromatherapy mala necklaces and bracelets. They sold out immediately and started me on my path to work with meaningful gemstones and crystals and expand my reach beyond the yoga community.
Tell us about your jewelry business.
My jewelry business www.highvibebeads.com has always been an extension of my work as a yoga instructor. I created High Vibe Beads to offer my students a way to stay connected to their yoga practice off the mat with jewelry designed to empower, worn to inspire. Crystals and gemstones are energized by nature, each with a unique frequency that aligns with a specific intention. Being more pragmatic than “woo,” I admit that simply wearing High Vibe Beads will not magically provide focus and tune your energetic vibration (just as simply putting your body into yoga poses will not make you a calm person). It’s how you connect and align with intention that creates an empowered and vibrant life. The bracelet is what you’re wearing; the high vibe happens when you live on purpose.
My business grew organically through word of mouth and sales in local retail stores. I still remember the day someone first asked for a business card, which of course, I did not have. I realized I needed to get serious if this was to be more than a hobby. I designed a logo, business cards and eventually created a website with the help of my talented brother. Prior to the pandemic, my jewelry business was still very much a side hustle, as I was splitting my time between raising 3 teenagers, teaching yoga, and beading. A silver lining of Covid-19 and being stuck at home was the freedom to focus on my business. This past year has been one of tremendous growth for High Vibe Beads and me.
What is your favorite project that you've recently finished and why is it your favorite?
My favorite project is almost always the one I just finished (even more so if it was a custom order). My focus is mainly bracelets, and I most enjoy creating stacks of 3 or 5 bracelets using the play of color, texture, and shape to create a vibe. I recently designed a beautiful custom stack for a plant-loving aromatherapist who wanted the lovely pinks and greens from her rose garden in bracelet form.
What are your favorite beading techniques and materials?
One of my favorite beading techniques is hand knotting necklaces and malas. I love the meditative, rhythmic nature of it and the ability to “knot” an intention into each bead. It also reminds me of where my beading jewelry began and connects me to a sense of deep gratitude. My favorite materials are interesting focal beads that allow me to build a visually compelling piece or set with a balanced composition. I love using Tribal beads for a boho vibe, Cloisonné and pave beads to add a touch of pretty, and handmade glass and paper beads to add texture to my designs. I have also found new ways to add depth to my designs by wrapping tube beads with various fibers and chains.
What are some of your favorite beads or components on the Halcraft Collection website?
I believe the magic is in the mix! I love the variety of beads, pendants, charms, and connectors offered at www.HalcraftCollection.com. Especially love beads with a Bohemian vibe! Some of my favorites are Indian Carved Bone Beads, India Fancy Stone & Metal Mosaic Focal beads, Black and White Stripe “Tibetan” agate beads, Argyle Pattern Hamsa Hand connectors, Miyuki Beaded Evil Eye charms, and small Silver Tassels. I enjoyed creating more seasonal, summer designs using Light Aqua Sea Glass Nuggets and Glass Tassels, Natural Brazilian Amazonite semi-precious beads, Natural Bone beads, and Italian Murano Millefiori Glass beads. The variety of color, size, and shape of Czech glass beads offered at Halcraft is so inspiring! I enjoy using CZ connectors to add a touch of sparkle and shine to my designs.
Where do you get your beading inspiration? What most inspires you?
I get beading inspiration from my materials. I love the challenge of pulling together separate elements to create a piece with a visual sum greater than its parts. I also find inspiration in words and images. I am passionate about the design world at large, specifically, fashion and home decor. I am fascinated by color relationships and will never tire of playing with color.
Do you have any tips for the readers regarding building their social media reach?
I have seen steady growth on Instagram by posting at the same time every day and consistently engaging with followers. I show up authentically with what I post and developed wonderful connections as a result. Keeping up is time consuming, but as my thumbs are flying, my face is smiling. I love the banter of jokes and kind words, and I have so much gratitude for the encouragement and support shared by this lovely tribe of creative souls.
If you had room for only two tools in your bead kit, what would they be?
Total transparency: this question initially brought up feelings of “impostor syndrome.” Truth be told, I don’t have a bead kit filled with conventional jewelry making tools. I am more like the McGyver of jewelry making and figure out how to make things with whatever I have on hand (which could make for an interesting, if not funny tutorial)! The “tools” that give me the most satisfaction that I use in every single piece I create are my hands, my eye for design/color, and my problem-solving ability to figure it out. When I doubt myself, I remember this quote by Joseph Chilton Pearce, “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”
What jewelry trends are you excited to incorporate into your beadwork?
Being a romantic, bohemian hippy at heart, the notion of vintage becoming more mainstream is very exciting to me. Though more a “global movement” than a “jewelry trend,” I am very much in support of the push to reduce, reuse, recycle. As a sentimentalist, I love the idea of re-making outdated or broken jewelry and giving it a new life with meaning and purpose. I’d love to incorporate more vintage and repurposed components into my designs. I also love the trend of “jewelry for the home,” as seen in beaded light fixtures and strands of tasseled “tabletop” beads.
What jewelry techniques would you like to learn?
I am fascinated by the detailed designs created with seed beads and would love to learn how to weave them into wearable mini works of art. I would also like to learn how to incorporate macrame into my designs, as it adds so much texture and color. Lastly, I look forward to adding more wire skills to my repertoire.
Melissa has lived in Ridgefield, CT, for 23 years with her husband and 3 children.
She recently downsized and built a new home near the ocean in Rhoad Island to prepare for the empty next chapter of her life.
Fun Fact: She loves jewelry but is not an earring girl.
Melissa has worn the same tiny diamond hoops for decades.
If you can't tell from her spotlight, she adores wearing and making bracelets.
She keeps her vibration high by doing things she loves! Living a creative life, teaching Yoga, laughing, being in nature, designing, reading, practicing wellness, connecting, treasure hunting, learning, and practicing gratitude.
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