The Artbeads team sure is an amazing crew. 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.
Teri McCamish shines bright as one of our superstar jewelry designers in the Craft Room. Co-Owner and Chief Jewelry Designer Cynthia had always admired Teri’s jewelry, and loved the unique ways Teri used some of the newest Artbeads products. When the Craft Room was in need of a new designer, Cynthia knew without a doubt that Teri would be a perfect choice. “Not only is she a great designer, but she is also a wonderful and sweet person. She is always smiling, caring and everyone in the company knows her.”
Here’s what Teri had to say about the journey of jewelry making:
“I really think the most interesting thing about my beading life is that I didn’t know anything about beading before I came to Artbeads in 2008. I loved beads. I shopped for them, hoarded them, but didn’t make anything with them. I’ve always loved jewelry and collecting beaded pieces. I applied [for Artbeads] at a temp agency not knowing what the job was, and when they told me I got it and it was for a bead company I was thrilled! To find a job in a creative field after doing many things that weren’t meant the world to me. It’s every bit as wonderful as you imagine to be surrounded by beautiful and shiny things.
I learned everything I know from the Learning Center and my favorite TV show, Beads, Baubles and Jewels. While filling orders, my head would be swimming with ideas of things to make. My interest was so intense that I’d go home and pour over the web site, so when the other fulfillment folks would ask ‘What the heck do you do with this?’ I could tell them how it was used. For three years I worked in fulfillment and shipping before I was asked to join the design team in the Craft Room. Every night when I get home I pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. I love helping people, learning new techniques, working with new products and creating all the lovely shiny things!”
So what is Teri’s favorite tool?
“It has to be my Tronex round nose pliers. The taper is so small on the ends I can make any size loop I need. That’s my only fancy tool everything else is fairly basic. One very basic tool that I have mad love for is the narrow bead scoop. So simple and yet so perfect for getting tiny things back into their bag. I may not have a pen handy but my bead scoop is always in my back pocket.”
Besides beading, Teri is also very interested in plants and organic gardening. She hopes to one day become a Master Gardener and be able to devote time to teaching others what she has learned. She claims that music has a huge influence on your creativity, too: “It can really set a mood. I listen to all kinds but prefer instrumentals while I’m working so the words don’t occupy my brain. Plus, I tend to sing along—which is bad form in an office setting.”
What does Teri advise for new beaders?
“Practice. Don’t be afraid to take things apart and start over—just chalk it up to a learning experience. It’s a common tendency to think what you’ve made is going to make a wonderful gift but if that strand falls apart while your friend is in church, you won’t be remembered fondly for your great design. Wear test things, too. Better it break while you’re wearing it [than whomever you give it to]. That and be patient. It’s a relaxing craft, so don’t become frustrated and spoil the fun. Put it aside and start over!”
We think that’s great advice for beginners and professionals alike! Teri admits that there are a few things she has been intimidated by: “I’m learning different bead weaving stitches now and really enjoying conquering what I’d previously thought was so hard. Honestly, I feel that anyone can do this at some level and that’s what makes working in the Learning Center such fun. Not everyone is going to take to bead embroidery like the work of Sherry Serafini. Not everyone has the budget to layer strands of precious metal and Swarovski beads. It’s our mission to inspire people to make what pleases them and help them with the details to make that happen.”
The next time you see a beautiful new jewelry or craft idea displayed in our Learning Center, that piece may have come from the skillful hands of Teri. Remember that she and so many others at Artbeads are always keeping a keen eye on 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.