How it all began

I grew up in a home and community populated with musicians, including my mother, and fine artists who worked in a range of media. As a child, I loved to draw. In junior and high school, almost every elective was an art class. As an adult, I cannot imagine my life without appreciating music or including art participation in some, if not several, forms.

While on vacation in 2009, I noticed there was a bead store within walking distance of our rental house. I had heard a lot of talk about beading and was quite curious as to what all the fuss was about. I had been looking for a decent pink necklace and hadn’t found one to my liking. Perhaps I could make one myself, I thought. How hard could it be?

I walked into the bead store and took a look around. The store had a nice range of materials. As I scrutinized the bead options and started to imagine the possibilities and combinations that could be created, I felt an almost electric charge go through my body — the good kind. I felt myself getting more and more enthusiastic. I spent a good couple of days reviewing, choosing and starting to build my first necklace (it wasn’t pink). By the time I returned home, I felt as though I had awakened from a dream state. I had not felt this alive in ages. Don’t get me wrong — my day job was fairly fulfilling, but this was exponentially more intense. And this feeling was just from a necklace. I was a goner. Looking at that necklace today, it is not something I would wear or even sell. But it changed my life.

As I progressed with my beading hobby, my inventory grew and grew. I started to sell my work at craft shows and home parties. I invited friends and neighbors to open studio days in my home for a little shopping leading up to the winter holidays. I began to make a mental plan about retiring, which would essentially transfer my day job to full-time jewelry creation. I was beginning to itch for, and count the years until, my retirement, which was more than a decade away. Yikes.

My sweet husband, a fine artist who is a talented landscape oil painter, was interested in stained glass. He enrolled me in a fused glass class for a holiday gift. I was surprised, but happy with the idea. However, I had a fairly large beading materials inventory. The fusing class was a slightly dangerous idea, as there wasn’t room in our home for two hobbies with vastly differing materials needs. I took the class, loved it, and knew that I needed to rein in my interest because of financial and storage issues. I was an adult, after all.

Turns out, not so much.

We bought a small starter kiln for my birthday and I was off to the races. I continued taking classes and educating myself by experimenting and taking copious notes. I was, once again, hooked.

Back at the ranch, in my life personally and professionally, I had a few tough years. My fantasy life of jewelry creation and entrepreneurship was helping me to cope with the dark days. I knew that better days were on their way, and I was right, but on the way, life had a few surprises in store for me. The most profound was in separating from my job. My employer was a very intense, but rewarding, national nonprofit organization that worked diligently, and still does, to help make the world a safer place.

In leaving that job, I came to a fork in my life that required a potentially life-altering decision: spend my energy to secure a new position that would allow financial security for now and in retirement days OR take a giant — and terrifying — leap of faith to chase and face head-on my dream of starting my own business.

You guessed it — here I am today.



To view my husband's paintings, visit

Jennifer Beaudoin Moffitt