As the youngest of seven children in an Air Force family, I think that I have always searched for my own voice.
My mom was a stay at home mom and is the most creative person I think that I have ever met. I am in awe of everything she managed to do - long before the days of the internet.
I was creative as a child, but never considered that I could build a career or make a living on being creative or artistic.
After graduating with an English major from UCLA, I became an auditor for KPMG. I really had no idea what I was getting into. Yes, I had taken an audit class in college, but I was still pretty clueless. I just new that it paid a living wage salary and that was what you were supposed to do when you graduated, right?
I moved from public audit into corporate America with a roll as Financial Analyst at a High Tech firm in the Silicon Valley. While I enjoyed my job, it was my time after work when my true passion bloomed.
My jewelry making began as a hobby - crafting for friends, acquaintances, and my own pieces.
I made my first piece of jewelry back in 1995 after seeing a necklace at Nordstrom that I loved, but couldn’t justify buying. I found a bead shop in Palo Alto that showed me some basic stringing techniques and I was on my way!
Years later when I made the change from corporate life to stay at home mom, travel became a large part of my life. I sought out unique pieces from each of the countries I visited and incorporated those into home design and jewelry. Murano glass was my favorite.
I used one of a kind pieces from Murano to create unique pieces sold through art galleries in California and Hawaii. Word-of-mouth has served me well, and my following grew.
I am now an established Interior Designer in the San Francisco Bay Area. My firm is named Haven Designs and my tagline is "Making Your Home Your Haven". I feel blessed and grateful to have a career that I love and to be able to pursue this passion that I have for creating jewelry.
Spirituality and integrity are important to me. I am driven by my gift of creativity. My fascination with colors and textures is no accident.
So, why the new jewelry line? I love making jewelry – I just can’t give it up. I made a few pieces – grand overscale necklaces and belt buckles – over the last year and I was overwhelmed with the response. It was as if the universe was telling me that I had to get back to this love that I had given up years ago.
I enjoy this new medium. It allows me to integrate my love of jewelry design with my fascination for stones, love of painting, and the ability to create whatever I can dream up. I am no longer afraid of people liking my things – that is one beautiful thing that has come with age. My work isn’t for everyone. My pieces are for people that appreciate art and want something that stands out. My jewelry isn’t “in” – so it won’t be “out” – something I learned long ago after owning a woman’s boutique. My pieces aren’t for everyone – they resonate with my tribe.
When I was trying to land on a name for the business, I considered using my name. Pretty obvious choice, right? But I wanted it to be bigger than me and I have experienced several name changes throughout my life where marriages didn't exactly end as planned. I landed on the name Kind Rocks because it gives me a platform for giving back and donating a portion of sales to various charities. My heart is drawn to giving to groups that help women, children and animals. I know how hard it can be to be a survivor of domestic violence, I can't imagine how devastating it would be to have a sick child, and animals are a huge part of my happiness and sanity. They provide absolutely unconditional love. Whatever I can do to help out those causes close to my heart, I do. If you have a charity that you would like me to consider, please shoot me an email.
Putting yourself out there is scary - especially when it is something you create. It becomes very personal. The fear of rejection or failing will keep the majority of people from ever trying. If you have failed once, you might even be less likely to try again. Here's the thing: That "failure" was not a failure at all. It was the universe redirecting you. I guarantee that if you take a step back, you will realize that you learned a lot from that experience.
I have failed so many times it is tempting to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head and say "Not today, adulthood! Not today!" But I don't. Because life truly is beautiful and if we are trying, truly giving it our best, we as women can be an incredible inspiration to another woman that might be thinking of starting her own business AND to our children that see what can happen when we follow our dreams.
There are days I think I must be nuts for not going back into Corporate and getting a fat paycheck. But I would always feel like I had given up. I would be making the money, but I wouldn't be working out of my home office with my 3 dogs, cat, rabbit and fish. I wouldn't be home most days when my kids get home from school. Everything is a trade off I suppose, but I love the idea of doing what I love and bringing others joy.
The most powerful thing I can share with other people out there considering what to do with their life is to consider what David Ravetch, my Accounting Professor at UCLA said, “If you don’t get what you want out of life, nobody will be sorrier than you”. He was an awesome professor.