Hello designers, and welcome to this month's Spotlight!
Halcraft Collection is excited to announce our May Spotlight Designer is Tiffany Chin of Knotty By Choice (isn't that a clever name?) She has beading since she was a baby with her mother as her guide. Tiffany has never met a craft that she didn't like. She dives in headfirst, teaches herself various techniques, and masters the task at hand. Her bohemian vibe macrame' designs are unique and are sure to make you swoon.
Read on to learn more about Tiffany and her knotty designs featuring Bead Gallery® beads by Halcraft Collection.
When did you first start beading? Tell us about yourself.
I originally started beading with my mom when I was very young. She is an avid crafter, and I absolutely inherited my skills from her. Crafting and beading were something we always did together and had a blast doing it. I was incredibly drawn to her collection of craft supplies, especially her bead boxes. Going through the glimmering strands was like searching through a treasure trove. Being creative with my mom is one of my fondest memories of my childhood. That connection and love we shared drew me further into beading and eventually led to my future jewelry endeavors.
Tell us about your jewelry business.
My business is named Knotty By Choice. I create unique and colorful macramé jewelry. Currently, I am selling my designs through Etsy. When I was younger, I created many stretchy bracelets and earrings featuring wire & glass beads. However, in 2012 I started making macramé jewelry. Searching and purchasing macramé jewelry at fashion stores was fun, but I was frustrated with the quality. Loving the laid back, natural look of macramé, I took it upon myself to learn this technique. I started making bracelets for myself, and soon everywhere I went, people asked about the pieces I was wearing. Creating gifts and occasionally selling to friends lead me to take the plunge and open an Etsy shop. It was slow to start, but over time it has grown and blossomed. Honestly, I never expected my crafting to flourish. Every day, I am very thankful that creating for a living is my job. I'm very blessed, and my heart is genuinely filled with gratitude every time I see someone wearing my work. Nothing is better than a satisfied customer.
What is your favorite project that you've recently finished and why is it your favorite?
It is so hard to narrow it down to just one. If I had to choose, I would say my succulent garden necklaces. I am a succulent hoarder and inspired by nature, gardens, and whimsical terrariums. It was fun to incorporate these natural aspects into a jewelry design. Working with various types of preserved moss, little fake succulents, and crystals gave rise to my succulent garden necklaces. These boho baubles have become an exceedingly popular item in my shop.
What are your favorite beading techniques and materials?
Anything knotted! Square knots, hitches, loop knots, all of it. It's seriously therapeutic to zone out and knot for hours. Some materials I enjoy working with are cotton cord, hemp, and gemstone beads. In contrast to macramé, I also enjoy wire wrapping. I am not incredibly skilled at it yet, but I enjoy the process and bending wire to any shape you desire.
What are some of your favorite beads or components on the Halcraft Collection website?
Wow, can I say all of it?! It is impossible NOT to find something you need (or really want) while shopping on HalcraftCollection.com I am obsessed with all the Bead Gallery® genuine gemstone beads. Halcraft's beads are of high quality with tons of different styles, colors, and shapes to choose from! Beading inspiration is found easily on HalcraftCollection.com! I adore the gorgeous shells, especially the abalone beads (perfect for summer!) I find myself coming back again and again for charms. You can find specific shapes, quotes, animals, and so much more! Halcraft Collection has it all!
Where do you get your beading inspiration? What most inspires you?
I would say much of my inspiration comes from nature. The vibrant colors, beautiful shapes, textures, and the energy that nature brings is very inspirational to me. Also inspiring are crystals and gemstones for this same reason (energy.) These stones are little gifts from the earth, and I love incorporating them into my designs. I'm constantly inspired by my loved ones and customers. Many customers come to me with the most thoughtful ideas. Once we get to chatting, we start bouncing ideas off each other. It is so fun to collaborate and design something unique together. This process can sometimes be challenging (in a good way), but bringing their vision to life is so rewarding.
Do you have any tips for the readers regarding building their social media reach?
Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. – Absolutely, I think social media is such a valuable tool and a great way to market your business. Instagram has been huge for my business. It's always the first platform I mention to new companies. I would recommend posting clear photos with great lighting. Eye-catching images grab their attention while scrolling through an endless number of photos. Also, research relevant but not "overused" hashtags. When I say overused, I mean hashtags that have millions of posts on it. Your post will not be seen if a million other people are posting with that same hashtag, it is too saturated. You can find a lot of information on hashtags and effective ways of using them by searching Google. The best thing about social media is making connections. Being social allows you to interact with your customers, friends, family, and artists. The artisan community on Instagram is full of amazing and supportive people. Work with others and collab!
What jewelry trends are you excited to incorporate into your beadwork?
Micro macramé! I would love to start incorporating this technique into more of my work. Some macramé knots are basic, micro macramé is a little more intricate. The process is similar, but it gives a different look to your projects. I am excited to dive into the micro world. It seems to be up-trending at the moment. Let's not forget macramé wall hangings!
What jewelry techniques would you like to learn?
I have always dreamed of learning metalsmithing and soldering. Smithing looks like dirty and difficult work but SO rewarding. Working with metal is a big goal for me in the future. Someday, I would love to take a class locally.
Tiffany is 29 years old and was born/raised in the Bay Area of California. She lives in Sonoma County (about 1 hour north of San Francisco.)
Tiff hasn't given up her day job yet... She is an office manager and insurance billing specialist.
High school sweethearts! Tiffany has been with her boyfriend since their sophomore year of high school (that's 14 years with her amazing best friend!)
She enjoys the outdoors... hiking, camping, gardening, and cooking!
Loves all things crafty! Grew up painting, drawing, sculpting, felting, beading... You name it, she has done it!
She still does needle felting. Enjoys turning a ball of wool into an object with just a needle. It is very relaxing.
Her biggest supporters are her family, boyfriend, friends, and her puppy Rogue.
Always willing to dive in headfirst and try any craft. Tiffany is entirely self-taught (has never taken a class!)
Tiffany has 65.2K followers on Instagram!
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