The Artbeads crew is an amazing cast of characters. Each person, from the inventory team to product fillers and customer service members, all contribute to the ultimate goal of providing high-quality pieces to our customers. We want to introduce you to one of our star employees.
Ryan Messinger is one of the outstanding employees at Artbeads who has discovered a passion for jewelry making since being here. Ryan, who has helped in filling orders and in shipping for four years, caught the eye of co-owner Cynthia when she noticed other employees wearing his amazing designs. When she asked them who made their jewelry they told her it was Ryan. His raw talent has blossomed from a chance experience at a beading party into intricate, detailed designs. We recently had the chance to ask Ryan about his jewelry-making journey and what he has planned for the future.
When did you first start beading?
Two years ago I went to my first beading party. Cynthia taught me how to wire wrap earrings and how to make bails. It was nice to have her teach me right away…the right way. I like the wire wrap. On my first day of the beading party I picked all the dichroic out of the boxes and a lot of Swarovski. I made 7 pairs of earrings and saved them until Christmas time, and then gave them to my best girl friends at work. I also made one-strand bracelets with TOHO [seed beads] and gave them as Christmas gifts to the rest of the girls I work with. I never thought that I would enjoy beading as much as I did. And since [the beading party], I look at the beads a lot closer when I’m filling orders.
Where do you go to bead?
At home I have my own beading table, like a dining room table. My roommate Colleen and I have a ton of beads and we just add it together and now after work we sit and bead together. The dining room table is now covered in beads! I use a tray to put my beads in when I sit and watch TV.
Where do you eat?
On our laps!
Do you sell your jewelry anywhere?
I sold some of it to a consignment store in Ocean Shores. But I recently went back and got the rest of my stuff because they have a time limit of [how long you can keep your stuff there.] Whatever of yours they don’t sell they donate it so I got my stuff before they donated it. I’m gearing up to start selling online using ShopHandmade.
So would you and Colleen sell online together?
We make our own things, but if we ever did get a store we’d probably do it together. She makes wind chimes. She takes old driftwood to use for the tops, and puts floating beads on clear fishing line…the Venetian glass beads that look really nice. She also uses old brooches with broken backs in the wind chimes.
What are your favorite beads?
Dichroic beads. NASA invented it for the reflection on their satellites and now they’re beads. Dichroic beads are popular. I love TOHO’s, too. The silver-lined or color-lined especially.
I really like Swarovski—pretty much all Swarovski! I love the sew-on ones. I want to try and make a top with sew-on crystals. I’m actually supposed to make a veil for a friend and I was thinking of using Swarovski flatbacks. I’m also supposed to make a couple of wedding gifts for friends.
I got my ears pierced about 6 months ago, and ever since we got those glue-on earring posts I’ve made earrings [for myself]. I use the Swarovski enhanced flatbacks.
What are your favorite colors of flatbacks?
My favorite color for flatbacks is Bermuda Blue. I like the ones that change colors, like Crystal Volcano and Tabac.
Do you have any summer projects planned?
I want to get some leather and get something that a guy would wear that would go with leather. Eventually I’ll be able to learn make more elaborate stuff and make more guy stuff.
Anything you want to add?
I never thought I’d have so much fun with jewelry and it’s a great hobby; it helps calm me. It helped me bond with everyone I work with, too. I love working at Artbeads.com, my favorite place to shop. Their great selection is helping to feed my hobby!
The next time you open up your Artbeads order, unwrap the purple tissue paper to reveal your delicately wrapped beads, remember that Ryan was there. Each shipper signs the invoice so you know your order was checked. Look to see if Ryan’s signature is on your next order! Remember that he and so many others at Artbeads are always keeping a keen eye what cool new ideas can be created, and dedicate their time to ensuring your products are the best—they know what a designer wants because they’re designers themselves.