Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Jewelry Designer Interview: Shari Bonnin of Bonnin Designs

I recently interviewed designer Shari Bonnin about her jewelry business. I have known Shari for some time through various business forums in the Indie craft community, so I was pleased to get to know her a little more with this list of questions. Enjoy!
What is your personal name, business name, website and location?

Shari Bonnin, Bonnin Designs, , Orange, CA

What kind of jewelry do you make? What types of materials do you prefer? what kinds of art beads do you use?

Wow, where to start…. I don’t have a personal or signature style because I’m always getting new ideas and like to explore many different mediums. It probably would be easier, but it’s impossible to limit myself. My jewelry designs range from hand bead-woven pieces to semi-precious stone stringing to hand forged silver pieces. The ties that bind all of them together are that I have original designs and I’m crazy combining out of the ordinary colors.

How did you get into jewelry design? What are some of the important things you do for your business?
I have always made jewelry but didn’t really think about making some kind of income from it until I went from a full time Occupational Therapist to a 3 day a week one. From there I was able to retire from OT and continue making jewelry over 7 years ago. I really got inspired when HGTV first started airing Carol Duvall. She had a beaded jewelry designer on that did beadweaving with seed beads into amulet necklaces. I just loved that look so I started doing research on the internet and taught myself. I’ve found that by learning different techniques of many different craft mediums, it’s possible to create jewelry using modified versions of these techniques. I’m really into crocheting right now and I’ve been making crocheted felted purses with detachable crocheted and beaded brooches; two items in one that incorporate many different techniques.

What is your workspace like and how do you work in your studio? What is a typical day like?

Studio? What’s that? I am fortunate that I have an abundance of closet and cupboard space to store my jewelry supplies, but my ‘studio’ right now is my kitchen table. I must put everything away at the end of the day. I’m usually working between my jewelry and my computer. When I need a stretch brake, it’s off to the computer to do research, check orders, or what not.

How do you stay inspired and motivated?

Just until recently, my motivation was completely depleted. That was for a 3 month period or so. During that time, I took up crocheting. This led to some inspiration for jewelry pieces. So it’s important to me not to be idle. I need to always be doing something and that seems to light a fire to keep my motivation and inspiration burning.

What kinds of art beads do you look for?

I’m all into quirky things. I believe humor can be worn around your neck and hung from your earlobes. Of course not all of my ideas sell, but they make me happy. I’ve found that style with Earthenwood Studio beads and charms because they bring out the fun for me. I’m just now exploring art beads so I haven’t figured out really all that is out there.

What beady plans do you have for the future? Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring ?

I just got a shipment of really fun charms from Earthenwood Studio that I plan on using for some garden themed jewelry. I can’t think too far in the future or I become overwhelmed. So, for summer we will have additions to my Floral Collection.

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1 comment:

Shari said...

Thanks for posting my interview. No need to use a coupon at this time on my site though because I am currently clearing out inventory and offering everything at 50% off. To make room for new, fresh ideas.