It has only taken me close to 4 decades to realize my dream...to realize what I want to be when I grow up. Four decades is what I say, but really for almost half of it, I wasn't capable of accomplishing my dream.
I started designing and making jewelry 21 years ago as a hobby. I needed a hobby because my parents moved me the summer before my senior year of high school. They didn't just move me to another town, they moved me from Dallas, TX to Chandler, AZ. It was a complete shock to my system. Not only for the climate change, but for the idea that I wasn't going to graduate with the friends I had had since the 2nd grade. (The last time we switched states.)
So we go to the high school to enroll me for my last year only to find out that I simply needed Arizona History to graduate. That was all a teenager needed to hear. WooHoo! Then my voice of reason (aka, my parents) spoke up and told me to sign up for many more classes so I could make new friends. So I signed up for classes of interest... business math, business computers, jewelry making and the basics. I survived and took my first soldering class.
I wasn't able to set up a studio for soldering at home, so I made what was popular at the time. Paper earrings. I went to school, came home and made earrings into the night. My dad became my rep and sold to various stores during the day while I was in class.
Then, in 1993, it all changed.