Well, hello there! My name is Carmen. I run this one woman show. I'm originally from Southern California, but now live in Arizona with my hubby and my needy pitbull. I'm a lover of color, quirky mystery/fantasy novels with offbeat characters, music, and red vines. I'm also a professional musician with a degree in political science and a certificate in color theory. So you're probably wondering how jewelry fits into this story. Thanks for asking. Sit down. Let me tell you a tale...
I've always loved working with my hands. As a small child, when I wasn't taking piano lessons or singing in choir, I was taking art classes and building things with my hand-me-down Legos. (Thank you to my older bros.) As I got older, anything that was art related I had to try it. You would think with such a childhood, I would have pursued something related in college. Nope. Doing things that make sense for me wasn't a concept until I was faaaar into my 20's. Like 29 & 3/4. Anyway, one day in high school, I was hanging with some friends who were making jewelry. I thought, "Hmmm, that looks fun. I bet I could do that." Plus I could never find the right earrings at Claire's so problem solved. I'll make them my-damn-self. Thus began my love for jewelry making.
Next, I went off to college to study something totally unrelated to art. I'm thankful I did because I learned a lot, but it was also a bit of a nightmare. Hardcore kinesthetic learner over here. College, in general, isn't kind to that learning style. By the time I hit senior year, I was taking over 20 units and working three jobs. Obviously, still continuing to make all the sense. I burnt out, dropped out, and turned one of those jobs into a full time position. I worked that good, but intensely demanding, job for almost 10 years while simultaneously selling jewelry on the side to family, friends, and co-workers.
Then I woke up one day and realized I was incredibly stressed. My job was draining me as evidenced by the fact that I was sick all the time and 1/4 of my head was covered in annoying white hair. White hair that wasn't there before I started that job. White hair that if I let have its way, would stick straight up shouting, "HEY! OVER HERE! LOOK AT MEEEE!!" So I decided to finish my degree and figure out some new options because I was burnt out, again. Coincidentally, around this time my hubby was offered a job in a new state. A job that enabled me to take a break from corporate America and really pursue my passions in jewelry making. So off we went on a new adventure, with a new dream, my degree in hand, and a freshly dyed head of hair.
We arrived in Arizona and I immediately began missing my So Cal friends, missing the beach, missing the intensely crowded freeways (wait, no), and thinking I was going to die multiple deaths in this otherworldly heat. Turns out, once I stopped being dramatic, I freakin loved it. Years later and I still love it. And more than that, I love (and am extremely thankful for) my journey that led me to this opportunity to be a full time creative. I so appreciate that I'm able to make a living doing what I love while maintaining a healthier life balance. And I even broke up with my hair dye!