SPOTLIGHT ON ... DESIGNER
Crystal ‘Tanzanite’ Persuasion by Diana Shiraishi
Our featured designer for this month is Diana Shiraishi
I enjoy designing beaded jewelry and find my inspiration in nature, art, and memories from my childhood.
Growing up I remember how beautiful I thought beaded jewelry was and how the women in my life sparkled when they were wearing it. They had style and grace just like a movie star. The hat, the gloves, the shoes and the matching pocket book; the look was complete!
One New Year's Eve in my early years, my Mother was dressing for a party and she had made her own dress; a shiny silver fringed slip dress. Then she put on a choker of rhinestones with matching earrings. My Mother just shined; she had the blue eye shadow and French twist to pull the whole look together too!
I kept my Mother's rhinestone set in my room and took it out every once in awhile to look at the rainbow of colors in the beads. I could have sworn the necklace was worth a million dollars...it was to me.
I started beading in the Fall of 2008.
I had purchased a silk scarf that had great tonality. After shopping for the perfect jewelry to wear with this scarf, and not being able to find exactly what I was looking for or a price I was willing to pay, I stopped into my local bead shop.
Once there, I knew I could make something myself but I needed to learn how. I wanted to be able to create beaded jewelry like I'd seen and admired at Nordstrom.
I've had years of training and experience in floral design where understanding how the use of color and texture are paramount to any beautiful and balanced arrangement. My mother taught me several types of needle work; crochet, knitting and sewing. Beading is another medium incorporating the same disciplines of both.
I took my first class; knotted cord beaded necklace, made a three piece set to wear with my scarf, and was hooked. I've taken many classes since then and continue to look for teachers that inspire me and classes that develop strong skill sets and technique. Now, I'm creating something beautiful, one piece at a time!
I started Jasmine Tea Designs in September 2009.
Jasmine Tea Designs is an intimate boutique of elegant, timeless, handcrafted beaded jewelry.
What's in a name?
Many years ago while listening to Leon Redbone's song Seduced, I hung on a line in the song; I want to hear a woman say she'll be with me tomorrow morning drinking hot jasmine tea, and would love to have taken the name Hot Jasmine Tea Designs but dropped the Hot, for now. My aspiration is to design jewelry with the tranquil feel of a cup of hot jasmine tea.
When making business decisions for Jasmine Tea Designs I want to begin with the end in mind by choosing eco friendly materials for my packaging, website and jewelry. The Jasmine Tea Designs website host is powered by the wind. Our business cards and gift boxes are made in the USA from 100% recycled box board.
In an effort to design with eco friendly materials I came across The Soft Flex® Company, located in Sonoma, California. The Extreme beading wire products from Soft Flex were just the type of material I was looking for to promote the use of green materials and green awareness.
I focus on working with materials from California and the USA. I incorporate local bead artisans and precious metal designers' materials in my work as much as possible and keep a watchful eye on quality and workmanship.
'Flex Your Creativity' is the first contest I've ever entered. I would like to thank all my, friends and family, the people who voted; that I may not even know who voted for 'Extreme Beauty', it has meant a lot to me.