Howdy to you! I hope you’re having an awesome day. I just wanted to take a moment to talk about something that was on my mind. People have been asking me why I decided to start making and designing handmade jewelry since I launched The Dazzled Diva. To be honest, I just laughed it off at first and said “why not?” As I thought about it later, I didn’t have a great answer to give. In my head, I was thinking that I should come up with this elaborate explanation to intrigue them. Ha! I guess I failed miserably! My reasons are not profound or even that elaborate. I can give you a million and six reasons why I should have ran away from the thought of having a jewelry business, but instead here are my reasons for pressing forward. Firstly, I just love jewelry! I like things that sparkle and bling. I like jewelry with different textures and shapes. I like very unique and different styled pieces. It seemed like every time that I needed something to accessorize or give life to a rather boring outfit, I couldn’t find it. I had to search high and low to find something that might work for me. After visiting store after store, the result was usually the same. Instead of making a purchase that I really liked, I usually settled for the piece that I could deal with for the night. I did this so often that I had unknowingly made a little stash for my less than desirable pieces. These pieces were later used to salvage or fix pieces that I really liked and wore all the time. Since I had a few pieces to break, I decided to try to repair them myself. Sometimes that was the worst thing I could do! Other times, I would look at all the beading and jewels and try to rearrange them to see if I could create a different look. It was so funny because I had never even attempted to make jewelry before then. I guess curiosity got the best of me and why not? Everything was already there in its original form! From there, I started taking other damaged jewelry and piecing things together to see what I could do. Some of my ideas were so different that I wouldn’t even wear them, but they sure looked fun! Lastly, I was urged to go ahead and take a chance on myself. I took that encouragement and manifested it in the form of being an affiliate for an online jewelry company. The inventory was ok. It wasn’t exciting to me. Honestly, I thought the pieces were pricey and decent looking at best. It was free to become an entry level affiliate and it included a free website that you could customize slightly. LOL!! Slightly was putting it in a nice way. I got to pick 15 pieces to add to my website and feature for the week and all I was required to do was pay $15 per month for the website. I would also receive a percentage of each sale that I made from the selected pieces I featured on my page. After 2 months, I finally gave up. I walked away with no money. Let’s fast forward to 2014. I had been looking at some books in the library and jewelry making peaked my interest again. I told my husband and he encouraged me again, so I checked out some books and tried to study some techniques. I started repairing my jewelry again, but nothing more than that. That summer ur family went on our annual summer vacation and one of my aunts came along. I noticed that she was asking what kind of jewelry my daughters and I liked and then the next day she would give us stuff. At first I thought that she must have been selling jewelry or re-gifting some that she didn’t like. That was so not the case! I decided to ask her where she was getting all this jewelry from. Well, to my surprise, I found out that she was making handmade jewelry! Are you serious!? That was such a coincidence! I started picking her brain and asking questions. We talked about difficulty and costs, etc. She encouraged me to go ahead and do it. That was all it took. I had two people who believed in me to push me to give it a try. I was excited again. I began to be inspired by different shapes and materials. I started researching jewelry making and looking for classes to take. I talked to my husband one last time, and he told me to find out how much everything was going to cost and then purchase my tools. I went online, ordered a starter kit, and here I am 2 years later! I’m finally doing what I enjoy and I’m proud of my work.