Carole Grant was working as an interior decorator when something happened that changed her life completely. At first, it must have seemed to her as if her life as she knew it was over, but during her recovery, she discovered a new passion that changed her life again -- but this time, in a good way.
Introducing Carole Grant of CG Studio Jewelry
Tell us everything we need to know about you in 2 sentences.
Carole: I love to design and create beautiful things, things that make people happy! My dream is to be able to teach and inspire creativity in young people, so the techniques I've been fortunate enough to learn continue on in the future.
What kinds of items do you design and sell?
Carole: I design much of my jewelry with centuries old techniques such as Chainmaille, which is the joining of many tiny individual rings of sterling silver or 14k gold filled, which I cut and polish myself. I also use Viking Knit, another timeless technique of weaving with silver or gold filled wire to create a necklace or bracelet. I am always searching for vintage brooches that I [use to create] unusual, one-of-a-kind chokers and pendant. Pearls are another of my favorites. [I love using them] to create beautiful jewelry for beautiful brides.
Why did you choose that field or did it choose you?
Carole: I do believe jewelry making found me. I had always been involved one way or another in arts & crafts, but in my 40's suffered a stroke. Of course, there was much rehab to go through to strengthen my hand/eye coordination. So I took a jewelry class. And I was HOOKED!! It allowed me to rehabilitate and let my inner creative side loose! I then began to learn all kinds of techniques in jewelry making; beading, wire wrapping, metal work, but when I discovered Art Clay....that is the medium I knew I wanted to create in.
Tell us about your favorite piece either currently in your store or in the past.
Carole: Wow! That's a difficult decision! I would have to say it's a pair of sterling silver woven earrings that I was lucky enough to have worn by an actress on the Hallmark Channel TV show "Cedar Cove". How exciting to be watching TV and see jewelry YOU ACTUALLY DESIGNED AND MADE being worn on the show!!!
Talk about the decision to start selling your work? Was it a difficult decision to make? What, if anything, was holding you back?
Carole: The decision to start selling my work was an easy one. I am fortunate to have supportive family and friends who loved my jewelry (they all have pieces, for sure). The excitement of being able to create jewelry for so many new people, and build a successful business, was an opportunity that I was happy to move forward with.
How do you market your business?
Carole: I have an Indiemade website. I began with a WordPress site and found it was so hard to maintain, and I am not in the least a computer techie! An Indiemade site was so easy to set up. There are so many different themes available and the support is awesome!
What inspires you?
Carole: I love to find vintage focal pieces, mostly rhinestone brooches, many of which are signed pieces. I love to add my pearls, or silver enhancements to them to create one-of-a-kind items. I love color, texture, and just being able to dream it....and then create it..
What frustrates you?
Carole: I used to get extremely frustrated learning a new technique. However, I came to understand that without making the mistakes, I wouldn't be able to teach someone else! Mistakes are how you learn something new, at any point in your life, and it becomes a valuable lesson.
What’s something you’ve kept since you were a child?
Carole: I kept a pair of gold earrings from when my ears were pierced at the age of 11 months. After 50+ years, I was able to give them to my niece, who is also my Goddaughter on the eve of her wedding.
If you could get up tomorrow and do anything at all, what would you do?
Carole: Having been so close with a health issue, I would be happy and content that I had yet another day to just BE! Be with my family. Be with my friends. Be able to keep doing what is my passion.
Your friend is going to sign up with IndieMade tomorrow (while you’re off doing whatever you wanted to do). What advice do you have that will help her be successful?
Carole: I think I would say, setting up the site isn't hard at all. As I said, you have the support of all the Indiemade people to help you along the way. Make sure you have enough product to create an interesting and welcoming site. Be fair with your pricing, both to yourself, and your future customer. You want your customer to be happy and to look forward to what you will have in the future.
Is there anything else you’d like to add or say to our audience of creative people? Feel free:
Carole: Dream! Imagine! And then create! Nothing is impossible. Use you heart and your hands and do what makes you happy!
You can see - and buy - Carole's work at http://www.cgstudiojewelry.com/content/home