Here's a little secret about me: I often do not wear jewelry. I own a lot, of which about 98% was made by me, and I have this wonderful custom jewelry box my husband commissioned in Korea when he was stationed there. But I often do not wear it.
So how does someone who does not wear jewelry become obsessed with making it--even so far as getting a license (we will get into the merits of getting a business license later.) and going to wholesale and retail shows? Two words: My mother.
Nope, she is not a big designer, she does not own her own jewelry retail show, she rarely even makes jewelry with the gems she buys at shows and retail locations. (one of our personal favorites is Fusion Beads in Seattle--best customer service ever, I sure hope I don't get in trouble for putting that there, I should have asked, lol.) But here is the story-which trust me is funny.
Mom lived about 10 minutes from me in Washington State. One weekend I found out I was super sick with some horrible form of Bronchitis. Meanwhile my husband was deployed to the middle east and I had three small children. So I went to my mother's house, so that someone could watch the kids. I gave her my atm card to order delivery each night I was there because I could only get up and take the kids to school and go get them in the evenings.
As the sickness wore on, I got a little loopy and delirious. Well she lived around the corner from Shipwreck Beads (shipwreckbeads.com). So she did what any mother/grandmother would do: She convinced me I needed to buy something to entertain the kids as I lay in her bed--she was gracious enough to give me her bed while she slept on the couch.
So, we went. And she had a wonderful time spending my husband's money--and I did not stop her, I wanted to make it as easy as possible on her with the three kids in a one bedroom apartment. I must have shelled out over 300 bucks that weekend alone. then I sat in her bed and played. It just felt right, holding the stones and findings.
When I was well, I wore some of my jewelry, and a friend stopped me and sent me to the Post Exchange at Fort Lewis to show the jewelry retailer there my stuff. Suddenly I had a buyer and commission work--and no training at all. I started having enough money in my account each week to a) buy more supplies and b) get gas for my car. And the jewelry? It was all mine. I worked on commission yes, but I had a knack for what people wanted and would wear--and how to create something when only seen, either on a person or in a magazine. I don't know where it came from, just that a person who never wears jewelry can suddenly make high-end stuff people want.
Then I found the shows. But that's another story.