My name is Wanda Epps - full-time worker bee, part-time jewelry artist and website publisher.
And making beaded jewelry is my passion.
Several years ago my beading obsession was born when I discovered beads.
And lots of them. I just can't have too many!
I love exploring new techniques for making jewelry with beads.
I'm originally from the South in the USA, the state of Virginia.
In the early 90s I moved to Los Angeles and began to explore Southern California. I work for a government entity that allows internal transfers. So, I've had a few different job titles. The one I love most is human resources trainer. I love teaching others.
In the summer of 1994 I started taking flower arranging classes. I bought and read books; and taught myself by going to the Los Angeles Flower Mart, buying lots of flowers and making arrangements.
Besides flower arranging, I learned to paint floor cloths and sell ready made jewelry. I tried needle point, but didn't have the patience for it. I also do a little sewing and crocheting. (Currently, I'm trying to learn to knit when I take breaks from making jewelry.)
I just love crafts and learning about them!
In 2002, I was looking for a new hobby and discovered beads.
One day a couple of friends and I were waiting for a movie to start. So, we by checked out a nearby bookstore.
I headed to the craft section to browse. A jewelry making book on beaded jewelry caught my eye. I flipped through it and thought, "I can make this stuff". So, I bought the book.
Back at home I browsed the pages and decided to make a project. I bought some beads and supplies and made a simple, single strand glass bead necklace. (I have since disassembled it to reuse the beads.) Not a great design, but I learned a few things.
Some time later on a lazy afternoon at home, I was browsing the Los Angeles Times and saw a discount coupon for an entry ticket to a bead show in Santa Monica, CA.
I attended and was hooked! I've since become addicted to buying beads, going to bead shows and making jewelry. I love making beaded jewelry because of the beads. I love most beads, but especially beads of natural materials like gemstones, coral bone and wood.
Eventually, I took a beginner's jewelry making class at a local craft store and made my goddaughter a bead bracelet using alphabet beads that spelled "cheerleader".
I began to experiment with different, simple jewelry making techniques - stringing, wireworking and knotting - that I learned from jewelry books. I love jewelry making books and magazines as much as I love beads!
Sometimes I would make a piece of jewelry and show it to my co-workers. They would ooh and aah, and ask me to make jewelry for them.
I began to think that maybe I had a knack for this jewelry making thing. So, I decided to start a jewelry making business to support my habit of buying beads, supplies and taking classes. A hobby can be addictive and expensive!
I've sold my jewelry in many ways - one-on-one to friends and co-workers, home jewelry parties, small fair-like events, as a vendor at fund raisers and allowing others to sell my jewelry for me. I've investigated even more ways.
Soon, it became more and more difficult to make jewelry, to sell it at a profit and work full-time.
I needed to find a different way. I'd always wondered about how I could use the internet to start a business.
A friend had loaned me a book about selling handmade jewelry. I read through it again and checked out more of the information and its many resources.
This time, I ran across a website about how to succeed in the home jewelry business. The lady who ran it, a mom, was able to do what she loved and stay at home with her son. I thought that was incredible and was intrigued.
Though I didn't take heed right away, I was lead to SBI! and its resources for building niche website businesses based on the owners personal knowledge and talents.
Almost two years later, I signed up and began my SBI! journey, which lead me to building Making-Beaded-Jewelry.com in April 2009.
My dream is to retire (early if possible) from my full-time job and pursue my passion for beads and jewelry making full-time.
And, if I can help others to begin or develop their love of jewelry and jewelry making then all the better! I like to teach. That's why my website is about teaching others how to make beaded jewelry.
I hope to one day soon say, "Yes, I did it. My SBI! site is in the top 1% of all websites."
So, join me on a fantastic journey into making jewelry. Explore Making-Beaded-Jewelry.com and learn to make and sell exquisite beaded jewelry!
P.S. I'll keep you posted on my SBI! journey. So, far it's been a fantastic learning experience, which has required a lot of hard work. But, I couldn't be more pleased and happy to have finally found my niche. It's a great feeling!