Interview with Megan's beaded designs

I can't say that I've ever been any good at jewelry making so looking at what people create has always fascinated me a little. Megan is a prime example of that, I love how her story started when she was five simply by receiving some seed beads, a passion was born! Megan creates a wide range of jewelery from necklaces, rings, hair pieces and more!

Can you tell us a little bit about Megan's Beaded Designs and how you got started, what was it about beading and making jewelry that interested you?
My grandfather gave me some seed beads and a few how-to beading books when I was not much older than 5. After teaching myself some of the basic stitches through these materials, I was hooked. Even before I was 10, I was selling handmade jewelry with my sister at craft shows and barter fairs. I picked up jewelry making again after I got out of college, where I was able to apply all of the concepts I had learned through my arts education to my jewelery design. Ultimately, the goal with the pieces you'll find at Megan's Beaded Designs is to serve as artistic personal expressions that women can actually wear. 

Being a quiet person myself and often feeling invisible, I love that you've given yourself a 'voice' through your jewelery, what advice would you offer to other people in a similar situation?
There is so much beautiful individuality in every single person, and the world deserves to see you for YOU. When you find yourself hiding, realize that you are depriving everyone of the benefit they could glean from what you have to offer them. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, you almost need to get over yourself in order to express yourself more fully. And by that I mean, to get over the fear of putting yourself out there by realizing how much it could inspire others. I encourage everyone to find their voice in the way that suits them, and to show themselves off exactly how they feel comfortable and at their most authentic. 

  
You have created a Wedding collection, how does it feel knowing that your jewelry will be part of someone special day?
I absolutely ADORE working with bride-to-bes. Knowing that a one of my handmade hair pieces or jewelry sets is what will tie their look together is beyond awe-inspiring. I strive to create expressive pieces that they will love showing off, getting complimented on, and admiring in their photographs for years to come. It's a challenge, but one I find gloriously stimulating.

I also offer custom pieces to not only brides, but to anyone interested in helping me create something they have envisioned. The collaboration of this sort of creativity can yield magical results.

Do you have a creative process that you go through when coming up with new ideas? How do you tackle a creative block?
The simplest way I've found to come up with the solution to the "what do I make next?" is to set up imaginary barriers. For example, now that my wedding collection is out, I could barrier myself to requiring that my next collection to be something suitable for fall, and only using metallic colors. Or I may go in a different direction and assign my next to collection to draw inspiration from the last book I read or a radio song I'm currently obsessed with. The list of possibilities to draw from is endless.

How important is handmade to you?My work is all about using what you wear as a means of expressing yourself. To me, the handmade part of that plays a huge role. Handmade means no two items are going to be exactly alike, and that each piece is significantly more personal. Because I create most of my work by stitching together one tiny bead at-a-time, it all truly represents a labor of love.
 
Victorian Portrait Barette
Other than making jewelery are there any other crafts you love to do or any you would like to learn?
I'm actually a graphic designer for my "regular" day job, so I get to experience a rounded mix of digital creativity with the hands-on nature of jewelry making. In addition to these activities, I also like to paint and draw, but only as a personal hobby than anything I'm exploring to do commercially. I think that even when handmade creatives head in the direction of selling their work, it's vital to still create uninhibited pieces for purely personal reasons--if only to stretch your creative muscles.

I love hearing about people’s workspace, what is yours like/ what would your dream workspace be like?
Oh, goodness. My workspace is generally a disaster. I'm very much a type B personality, so organizing my studio space is only a priority when it starts getting to the point where my creativity is taking a toll. I keep my supplies organized enough so I can find things (most of the time), but I'm not yet to a point where I'll be sharing my craft studio on Pinterest. It works for me though, and I suppose my DREAM workspace would just have to include a robot that cleaned after me once I get into one of my creative frenzies--but something tells me that's a ways off.
 

You have such a wide and beautiful range of jewelry pieces, how do you come up with unique ideas/inspiration for you pieces? Can you remember the first ever jewelry piece you made, was it a success?
It's hard to remember the EXACT first piece of jewelry I made because I started so young, but I do believe I started out with basic brick stitch earrings, which I still occasionally make today. As for my inspiration, it's a never ending flow. The challenge is starting to be less about coming up with ideas and more about figuring out which ideas to reject in order to tailor the offerings of my brand.
Pink Butterfly Brooch
 
Describe your perfect morning or night:
Tea gets me through my day, morning til night. Being as incredibly introverted as I am, I love a peaceful (yet productive) morning and evening time sandwiching my time at the day job. I love spending a laser-focused hour or two working on my business, and coming away feeling like I just conquered the world. 
What is the best advice you have ever been given? Do you have any advice to those wanting to start their own business?
I love the advice Steven Pressfield gives in his book, The War of Art. I'm paraphrasing here, but the gist is that creative professionals need to think of themselves as both an employer, as well as an employee. Even when you work for yourself, you are still working for yourself, and therefore you need to show up and do your work just like you would at any other job. There are going to be days when you're tired or don't feel "inspired" or would rather see what's on TV. Ignore those urges (they come from the Resistance) and press on like a professional. It's not always fun. It can get messy. But the work will make it all worth it in the end.


Isn't Megan's work so beautiful? You can find Megan's shop here.

If you would like to have an interview on Dainty and Ivory about your company etc. please email me at daintyandivory@yahoo.co.uk

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