Trying to stand out in a crowded market AND making a living out jewelry designing takes hard work, imagination and a dash of courage.  Just ask Christina Allen Page of Sihaya Designs (update : shop no longer available !  What first caught my eye were her beautiful wire work and resin iridescent fairy wings.   I see them as gorgeous fantasy butterfly wings too.

This designer loves iridescence which features prominently in many of her designs.  From the fairy wings, to Aurora Borealis (AB) Swarovski crystals, gemstones such as labradorite and the backgrounds of her Prism collection (for e,g, the Fox bobby pins), the shifting colors add a glorious dimension to her work.

She also uses the Tiffany technique (like the stained glass soldering method) for her gemstone collection where "layers of lead-free silver alloy (tin and sterling silver) carefully worked onto a framework of copper."

Her foray into the jewelry making world was serendipitous. Christina explained, "Everybody's had a bad breakup, right? Well, after realizing I suddenly had a LOT of spare time on my hands, I found myself in the bead aisle of my local craft store."

Many of us can empathize with her next step! She said, "Eventually, I realized my bead addiction therapy at least needed to be self-sustaining, so I made the transition from Etsy buyer to Etsy seller. I would work a 9 to 5, and then come home to my beads and my wire, where I could make the designs in my head become a reality."

Two weeks after she decided to quit her day job and make Sihaya Designs her full time job, the Great Recession happened.  It took courage and hard work to ride it out and follow her dreams.  And there is a happy ending just case romantics out there want to know. Christina has a very supportive husband now!

This designer shared some awesome and delightful tips which she learned from her jewelry business :

1. Trust your gut, and success will find you.
2. It's not a mistake if you fix it before anyone sees.
3. Even if it IS a mistake, it doesn't mean you can't learn from it. Developing skill takes time and persistence.
4. Artists need to get paid, too.
5. Always have your facts straight before speaking publicly.
6. Never under-estimate the power of gratitude. A simple, but personal "thank you" goes a LONG way.
7. Write lists. Lots and lots of lists. (Hi. Virgo here, can you tell?)
8. Four cups of coffee is too much coffee.
9. If a small child asks you if you're REALLY a fairy, ALWAYS say 'yes.'
10. There is NO SUCH THING as too much glitter!

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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