The accidental bijouterie
As a reporter, I loved being out on the street. In corporate work, I did everything I could to to avoid being being chained to a desk. But in my studio, I have to set my watch to remind me to get up and stretch every few hours.
I've had a more varied and adventurous professional path than most, but no chapter has been as unexpected and exciting as this one.
An UNLIKELY PAIRING
Our Boho Bijouterie is a Mom and Pop shop -- and Pop is a very patient partner. I like to mix up media, colors, and textures in my work. My creative process often spills out of my studio and looks like the path of a cyclone in its wake.
That a former reporter/corporate flack and retired Fed could peacefully co-exist in the first place is a wonderment to some -- and that 20 years into our marriage we are creating and selling jewelry together is a magnificent surprise to even us.
Charlie deals with the details of the shows, shipping and other essential operations allowing me to gift of getting lost in my work.
LONE STAR BEGINNINGS
I made jewelry for an escape from high-pressure corporate work. I gave it as gifts, wore it myself and gave it away to strangers who were nice enough to say something about a piece I made. I had no idea what I was doing, but for the first several years, I went for quantity.
Ridiculously patient local bead shop instructors, as well as an occasional national teaching star, gave me real tools and techniques over several years of learning the ropes and wholesaling my work anonymously to buy more beads, wire metal and buttons.
It was the discovery of the amazing artistry of Czech Buttons that set my imagination on fire -- and demanded I figure out a way to pay for my artistic addiction. We did our first show at a church Fall Festival in Houston in 2014 -- and in spite of ourselves made enough money to start talking to people who worked directly with the artisans in Jablonec.
Even the worst choices for shows seemed to deliver at least one angel - a customer who encouraged my work and continued to buy from me directly -- in spite of my complete inability to get my own website up and stocked.
BRINGING IT HOME
For the last several years we have taken the summer off for our little Lake Erie cottage south of my hometown. This September, we brought it all back to Buffalo. My Bfloboho.com site takes you along our urban adventures living downtown in an incredible and emerging place. The whole process was a dozen years in the making, with all variety of fits, starts and life interruptions.
But we're home now doing what I was meant to do all along --- even if it took a little while to figure it out.