My very first job was at the local bead store by my home in California when I was 14. I immediately fell in love with beading and haven’t stopped since! I consider myself a SUPER crafter, since I dabble in quilting, sewing, crocheting, knitting, felting, and all sorts of other crafts. I guess I just love to make things! As far as beading goes, I love it all! Wire wrapping, bead weaving, stamping, bead crocheting – I’ll try any technique. I almost always have a project on me for whenever I can find a free moment; usually it’s a bead crochet, since it’s so nice and portable once you have all your beads strung up! My go-to favorite projects are usually in right angle weave, but I really do just love playing with beads and seeing what happens. I also love incorporating lots of different techniques or products into a single piece – the more, the merrier!
I started working for Fusion Beads in 1998 after I moved up to Seattle. I’m so lucky that I get to work for a great company with such an amazing team of people and get to be creative every day! I have an amazing dog, Gus, who comes to work with me every day and hangs out at the office. You’ll even see his cute face on our Facebook or Instagram every once in a while! Besides beading and all the other crafts that keep me busy, I spend my time cooking, kayaking around the Puget Sound area, walking, and traveling as much as I can.
I love absolutely anything that sparkles! When I was younger, I was always entranced by my mom’s diamond rings. I remember loving to watch the rainbows that they would cast when the sun hit them just right. Today, I still have that same love for the rainbows that my jewelry makes; it always makes me happy, even if my jewelry is made with crystals instead of diamonds. I try to impart that same excitement for sparkle that I had as a little kid on my two girls. They are 7 and 2 and love to play with my jewelry! My eldest daughter knows that I’ve been making jewelry since I was about 8 years old and that I’ve been working for Fusion Beads for a long time (since 2000!), so she knows that most of my jewelry is handmade. This is great, except that now she assumes that most people make all their own jewelry!
I’ve played around with almost every technique out there, from peyote stitch to right angle weave and wire wrapping to resin. My main go-to technique is always wire wrapping with sterling silver, and whenever possible, I try to use Fuchsia Swarovski Crystals in my designs! Lately, however, I’ve been enjoying creating some fun loomed pieces, which is totally outside of my normal style of jewelry. Playing with different techniques keeps my creative juices flowing!
Sharing creative ideas and collaborating on jewelry is definitely one of the most exciting aspects of beading for me! I love seeing other people create amazing works of wearable art. Plus, I love to see my friends keep and wear the jewelry I have made for them for years and years!
I hope to share my design ideas, inspire creativity, and most of all, add a bit of sparkle to everything!
Where do I begin? I moved from South Africa to the United States in 2004, and it was only after I moved here that I fell in love with beading. Even though I have always been extremely creative and pretty crafty, it was my inability to work while waiting for my visa that got me into beads. I remember going into the Fusion Beads retail store when it was still at the old Ballard location and thinking, “Gosh, I really want to work there!” Lo and behold, only a couple of years later I happened to be looking for work when the retail store had an opening that I jumped on! I guess it was meant to be! I started working part time at the retail store and part time in the warehouse shipping dept in 2007. After going full time at the retail store, I also started to teach jewelry making classes there, and still do today. It was only in 2008 that I officially started working for the website in the Creative Department as the site organizer extraordinaire! A couple years and a lot of hard work later, I was offered the position as Creative Supervisor which I still have and love every day. It may sound cheesy and overboard, but I do really love my job and everyone I work with. I feel incredibly lucky to work for a small creative company with a group of exceptionally talented humans in a city I adore living in. I dabble in a lot of arts and crafts projects ranging from the obvious – jewelry making – to painting, book making, photography, sewing, baking, calligraphy, printing, design, and drawing. I practice yoga, run, and cycle, and you can occasionally catch me shaking my booty on a dance floor around town. I love to read, travel, eat good food, and I do really enjoy music, so you may see me at a show or two. I have a mad/crazy/adorable/awesome cat who adopted me a couple years ago and I couldn’t picture my life without. I live in a really sweet old craftsman apartment building with my best friend as my neighbor and my yoga studio a few streets away.
I came to Fusion Beads in 2009 and am one of the jewelry designers/creative team members responsible for making the awesome jewelry we have on our Inspiration page! I have dabbled in many jewelry making techniques, but my go-to techniques are wire wrapping, riveting, and dapping. I also teach classes in riveting and dapping at our retail store in Seattle. If you have ever read any of my previous blogs, then you already know that I absolutely love enameled beads; really, anything enameled puts a smile on my face! I hope to learn how to enamel my own beads and pendants one day, but until then, I will continue keeping C-Koop in business by buying up all their pieces. I have had my jewelry designs featured in Jewelry Stringing, Wirework, and Bead-it Today magazines, just to name a few. I currently call Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood my home, and I share it with a very funny black cat named Fred.
I’m Allie and I was born and raised in Seattle. I’ve loved beading and anything crafty since I was a little girl! One of my grandmothers had beads and fun found objects to play with all the time, while my other grandmother had paper dolls and a ton of fabric; she was the one who taught me how to sew. Now I try and keep those same supplies and creative outlets around for my two children who, at 9 and 4, have so much creativity pouring out of them! I especially love it when they draw and paint with me!
My creative journey took another big step back in 2005 when I got the opportunity to work in the fun, inspiring environment at Fusion Beads! I’ve dabbled in a ton of different beading styles and techniques over the years, though one of my favorites will always be our Covering a Component technique. It adds such a fun look to any jewelry design! I’m a sucker for anything mustard, chartreuse, and seafoam green, and you’ll usually see a lot of those colors pop up in my jewelry! I also love creating statement pieces and incorporating upcycled items into my designs. Check out this fun cuff bracelet and necklace I made for one of our past bead challenges!
I have been with Fusion Beads since September 2010. I began seriously beading in 2006 when I moved to California to work on my master’s degree and took a job at a local bead store in Berkeley. I took as many classes as I could, from Pearl Knotting to Soldering, and tried to learn as many new techniques as possible. I work primarily with seed beads, chain maille, mixed metals, PMC, and high end stone, though I try to incorporate as many different products and techniques as I can into my work so I don’t get stuck in a rut. My most influential creative inspiration is my hometown of Detroit, the most beautiful city in the world; whether I’m making sports jewelry or dreaming Detroit’s architecture into beadwoven structures, a little bit of the city shows up in every piece I make. My newest obsessive long-term project is mixing working electronic elements into beadwoven pieces; I don’t know yet how I’m going to incorporate a Soviet-era Nixie tube into a seed beaded design, but I will figure it out eventually! You can look for lots of bead weaving, chain maille, and military and sports jewelry designs in my blog posts, along with any other beaded madness that my brain conjures up! When I’m not beading, I’m playing bingo, watching my beloved Detroit sports teams, baking, bowling, playing darts, or travelling any and everywhere with my pal Norm the Gnome. You can find me always in transit between Seattle, Detroit, and any number of military bases that my dad and siblings are at, but I always come back home to my sneaky little Russian Blue kitty friend, Noodles, who loves to eat anything I am working on, be it beads or crossword puzzles or anything else in between.