Meet Our Customer Support Team!

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Jess

MEET JESSICA
I spent a lot of time in the Redwoods and dramatic Northern California coast growing up. The textures and light helped shape my artistic eye and I’ve spent my entire life expanding a creative skill set as well as sharing my experience with others as they grow in their own creativity. Beading began for me at a very young age, but really took off once I discovered sewing and wanted to start adding layers of patterned fringe or complementary jewelry to my designs as a preteen. I’ve been beading ever since and have worked in a variety of creative jobs and projects. I joined the Fusion family in 2009 and now lead the Customer Support Team where we deliver the best service possible to our customers and friends. Empowering people to do what they’ve envisioned or feel inspired to do is absolutely my favorite aspect of this position!
My current favorite techniques to use are Brick Stitch on a Component because of the eye-catching possibilities and geometric shapes that appear, Making an Ear Wire since this provides drama and an artisan element to any earring design, and Using ICE Resin with an Open Back Bezel because of the strong creative flexibility available with shapes, objects and light.
Choosing my favorite inspiration projects is SO hard, since there are so many amazing designs around me all the time! I love the Cherry Blossom Lattice pattern which is amazing in many colorways, the Peacock Earrings are an elegant delight, and the Calliope Earrings are not only named after my cat, but are so fun for sunny weather or getting yourself out of a funky mood! I also adore some of our more whimsical designs such as the Mr. Roboto Necklace and the Ghostess with the Mostest Earrings. These have so much character I can just imagine the stories that happen in the inspiration display at night.
In line with my attraction to whimsy, my two favorite lines currently carried by Fusion Beads are the Green Girl Studios items with their fanciful designs reminiscent of my own special encounters with magic in nature and the bright bold hues of the C-Koop line.
Every Tuesday we post a Tips & Tricks blog. These are my favorite posts overall because they are just so helpful to our customers and others in the beading community. They’re quick and casual snips of valuable information based on experience that will save you time, money and a lot of frustration!

Gretchen

MEET GRETCHEN
I was lucky enough to join Fusion’s Customer Support Team in the summer of 2011 and couldn’t be happier! I spend my days here at Fusion answering questions about everything from how to use our website to how to design a beading project. I started learning to make jewelry at my grandfather’s basement workbench and have been expanding those skills and growing as a crafter ever since. I’m a native of St. Louis, but have lived in Seattle long enough to appreciate a well-brewed coffee and a good pair of waterproof boots!

I didn’t know anything about bead weaving before starting my job here at Fusion, but now I can’t get enough! Our Crimson Feather Bracelet and Sparkling Nights Earrings are two of projects I couldn’t wait to make my own versions of. Lately I’ve been learning more about beading on a loom and have been having fun experimenting with Jewel Loom and Ricks Beading Loom. I’ve also fallen in love with bead crochet. After I made our Posh Necklace it wasn’t long before I got hooked on crocheting everything from necklaces and bracelets to hats and scarves! And since using them for crochet, I can’t get enough of our Pearl Cottons. This rainbow of silky cords having been finding their way quite a few of my projects!

One of my favorite parts of this job is getting to write the Tuesday Tips and Tricks posts for our blog! Writing these posts has helped me expand my own knowledge and it’s always satisfying to think I’ve helped another beader solve a problem or grow their skill set. Our blog is so jam-packed with great information that it’s hard to take it all in! I’ve found the Tuesday Tips and Tricks Special Photography Edition to be one of the most helpful. This post’s handy step-by-step guide has definitely improved my jewelry photos!

Erin

MEET ERIN
My journey with Fusion began in 2012, and I’ve been relishing my time here ever since! I work as a part of the Customer Support Team here at Fusion, helping customers with product questions and the like.
I first fell in love with making jewelry as a young girl. Coming from a very crafty mom and an artistic father, I was fortunate to be given the environment to explore my creative side. Growing up here in Seattle, my mom used to take me to craft stores, garage sales, and antique malls where I would pick up odds-and-ends of various beads, necklaces, and whatever sparkly things I could get my hands on. With these treasures I would then restring and create my own new pieces, which very quickly became one of my favorite pastimes. To this day, one of my favorite ways to create jewelry is to refashion something old with something new!
One of the fantastic benefits of working at Fusion has been all of the new jewelry making techniques I have learned! Something I knew very little about when I started here was how to work with seed beads! It wasn’t long before I fell in love with bead embroidery, especially after learning to create a beaded peyote stitch bezel. We have a really helpful technique for making these, which is what I used to learn. After learning to bezel, I knew what I needed next: fringe! I’m obsessed with it on vintage shawls, so once I discovered how to create beaded fringe with our Straight Fringe technique I knew that I had to create a massive, fringed bead embroidery piece! If you’d like to take a peek at my first bead embroidery piece, my awesome coworker blogged about my adventure. Also, if you love fringe as much as I do, you’ve got to check out one of my favorite inspiration pieces, the Summer of Love Necklace!
Speaking of seed beads, one of the most helpful blogs I find myself still referencing is our All About Seed Bead Finishes Blog. This is such a great reference since there are so many types of seed beads! After figuring out my favorite finishes, I went straight over and made up my own version of our adorable Free Spirit Bracelet. Since I play a lot of with bead weaving and bead embroidery these days, I would be lost without my Tulip Beading Needles! These needles are so sturdy that I’ve never broken one! The other necessity for my bead weaving and bead embroidery projects is FireLine. I go through this stuff like crazy! That said, I’ve recently come to love our new One-G Beading Thread, and have found myself using this stuff quite a bit as well.
As you can imagine, working at Fusion is both inspiring and creatively challenging! However, my favorite thing about my job is getting to help our customers see their creative visions come to life. There is nothing more gratifying than hearing about how fabulous a piece turned out, or receiving an email from a customer with a photo of a piece made with items I helped a customer find on our site. It’s a great feeling to be able to share creative journeys with folks from all over the world!

Rebecca

MEET REBECCA
I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. After college, I decided to move to Washington, DC, for change of scenery, but have recently returned to be closer to my family and love rediscovering Seattle! I have been into jewelry since high school, ever since my sister first exposed me to Victorian jewelry. Since that time, I’ve been exploring the endless creative possibilities that beading provides. As a Customer Support representative at Fusion, I have the pleasure of talking with our wonderful customers – people who are just as excited and obsessed with beading, beauty and creativity as I am – and I get the wonderful opportunity to be a small part of their artistic endeavors.

Since I adore Edwardian and Art Nouveau jewelry, I have always had a special regard for designs made with brass filigree beads and pendants because they evoke the splendor of that time. This why I really enjoy the Forming Filigree techniques, such as Forming Filigree – Option 2. My favorite inspiration project is the Floradora Necklace. Another technique I especially enjoy is the Right Angle Weave Stitch Bezel. Not only is this an elegant way to form a bezel for a stone or special cabochon, it also lends itself perfectly to working with Swarovski bicones. It’s no surprise that my other two favorite inspiration pieces use right angle weave with Swarovski bicones. I drool over the Sparkling Nights Earrings and the Lady Grantham Necklace for their elegance and gorgeous sparkle!

It’s really difficult to pick a few favorite products on the website, but if I was stranded on a desert island and could only take two beads with me to treasure, they would be the 18x13mm Padparadscha Swarovski Elements Crystal Pear Shaped Stone and 4mm Jet AB2x Swarovski Elements Crystal Bicone Beads.

Our website is filled with so much wonderful inspiration, free tutorials and resources that it’s hard to choose a favorite, but I have to say I really enjoy the Bead Challenge Bee Cuff featured in our blog. This project is simply wonderful and it makes me smile whenever I see it. Plus, it uses some of my favorite beads and techniques – brass components painted and antiqued with Vintaj Patina Kits!

2 comments to Meet Our Customer Support Team!

  • Ellen Valley

    Thank you so much for introducing yourselves! It makes it so much fun to be able to picture [real], specific people and get some great ideas and product suggestions!

  • Please cancel the bugle beads on my order 1603633. I have noticed that they are not the right size. And you do not seem to have the size I need. The rest of the order is good. So you can call me at 757 288 8953 if you need to speak with me. I have left a message on your answering phone as well. The site will not allow an email to be sent to you so I am using this to relay the message. The site states the order has not been filled as of yet. So please delete the gold bugle beads prior to shipping the remainder of the order. Many Thanks for your help. Paula J. Strickland

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