Marine Biologist to Jewelry Designer
I have always been a maker. These days, I am lucky enough to call myself a “jewelry designer” even though I don’t really design in the traditional sense. I start to make and that’s when the design emerges. Even when I try to design first and then make a piece (which is how most designers do it!) it doesn’t turn out as planned. It’s as if the piece already exists and the only way I can bring it into being is to just start making it.
I didn’t always fall under the label of “Jewelry designer” though. Before I started a full-time jewelry business I had the very different label and a very different life. For 15 plus years I was a marine biologist. And if you told my former self that I would give up that dream job to make jewelry and be a business owner, I would have said you were crazy! For most of my life I wanted nothing more than to be a marine biologist. It
Thats me at the back of the boat in 2013 taking photos for identification of the Southern Resident Killer Whales
The truth is I was always both, but I didn’t know it.
For at least half of those 15 years, I was living my dream. I was researching and conserving the endangered population of Southern Resident killer whales in Washington state. The whales are the reason I ended up on San Juan Island in the first place, and at 25 years old, I couldn’t have imagined anything cooler than killer whales.
There I am standing on the bow photographing a spyhoping.
But here’s the thing, we change.
Our dreams change.
Life is always changing.
The only thing we can do is be brave enough accept and move with the changes.
I loved the whales so much, still do. I know each one of them by sight, know their ages and relationships to one another better than I know my own family.
My best and most favorite photo of a mother and daughter surfacing right next to the boat.
But at some point there was this part of me that felt unlived, unseen and unexpressed.
I realized that what I had wanted for so long came to define me and my life in way that no longer aligned with how I felt and who I was. And slowly but surely, my dream job became more like a box I kept that part of myself locked up in. Eventually her voice became too loud to ignore.
So, in 2018 I left one life, one version of myself, and took a chance on my ability to create.
Not everyone needs to make such a dramatic change, but we all have that part of ourselves that has been shut in a box. The box can be your job, your relationships, your family, your expectations of yourself…. or more often, others expectations of you. The truth is we all have an unlived version of ourselves that is craving expression.
I am here to invite you to open the box. Join me on this creative journey and get inspired to reveal versions of yourself that you thought would stay hidden forever.
Like you, I let my box define me, while other parts of me suffered and withered. You are so much more than what people can see from the outside. It’s time to release a glimpse of your inner light and let everyone know that you are spectacular.
Comments on this post (2)
Was a pleasure meeting you & viewing your special jewerly creations!! I bought several pieces & will in the future as well!! i loved how unique they were! I have already received several compliments 😊
— Tami Carpenter
Was at San Juan Iland last Sunday loved your jewelry and also purchased cologne Am I able to purchase more cologne from you?
— barb martin