I grew up in rural Nevada. I have loved making art since I was a kid. I remember being so excited in 6th grade when I was finally "old enough" to take a scheduled art class at school. I was hooked- I took art every single school year from 6th-12th grade, to supplement my rigorous classes preparing me for the college walk to veterinary medicine. I had exposure to painting, sketching, and some other arts and crafts). In high school, I wanted to make jewelry- and used what was available to me in our small rural town: clay. I made huge pottery statement beads during art class (including a lifelike 3" starfish!), and my art teacher happily helped me string them on rigid brass wire to make chokers necklaces.
I spent a year attending community college after graduating high school- buying time, and taking fun classes to use up in my in-state scholarship. Ballet, acting, criminal justice (taught by an ex-LAPD officer -- man, he had some stories!), guitar....and of course, art. I took Watercolor I & II. I freaking loved it.
At the age of 19, I moved from the only place I'd ever known (Yerington, NV) to Spokane, WA to attend Whitworth University and participate in their pre-veterinary track. I took a beginner’s jewelry class that year, in 2004, and LOVED it. My instructor told me I had a home among jewelry if the veterinary field didn't turn out. I was sad when I had completed the only two jewelry classes offered (Whitworth has since completely discontinued the classes, within a year of me taking them!).. I WANTED to continue to create jewelry, but didn't have the tools available, or the space. I was also intimidated to continue on my own.
The veterinary field has tugged at my heart since I was a young child, so I continued on that path. I worked throughout college at a local Spokane animal hospital, and squeezed in art classes wherever I could. I began making high-end beaded jewelry- selling at college seasonal craft shows or taking on custom orders for friends, family, and coworkers. I graduated in 2008 with a degree in Biology, and minors in biochemistry and art. I continued working in the veterinary industry, getting my official license as a veterinary technician (LVT).
I found my forever love, and moved to Cle Elum WA to be closer to him and his wonderful young son. Arron and I married in 2014- I became a wife and a stepmom! We bought our first home, and welcomed another son in the late fall of 2016. In late February 2017 (thirteen years after my jewelry class!) while still on maternity leave, decided to reteach myself the basics on metalsmithing. We now had a double car garage -- a perfect place for a jewelers bench! I spent many late nights reading jewelry books, online forums, and quietly watching Youtube videos with earbuds in, while holding my sleeping infant. I began collecting tools and materials. I came up with a business name, a business model, and applied for a business license. I had a fire burning inside of me, and I could not keep it quiet anymore. I had made a notebook filled with business model, goals, and designs within a week flat. I began working back at the animal hospital very part time soon after having the idea of starting GTMW. Leaving me to only make jewelry when I could. I opened an online shop in May 2017 to sell what few items I had managed to make. Items sold- and quickly, to my pleasant surprise. By August 2017 I decided put my veterinary career on hold, and hung up the scrubs. The orders were coming in, and custom requests starting exploding off the charts. This decision to leave the veterinary realm has allowed me time home with my sons, while still allowing time for GTMW to continue and grow. I remained at only part-time jeweler status until February 2019. I am still continuing with a steep learning curve as a jeweler- and now use the term "goldsmith" to describe what I do. I keep my blog updated with new things I am learning, expansion of services, and other exciting tidbits along this journey. I mainly sell online, at two physical locations (see the "Where Else?" Tab), and at occasional WA markets, I have found my second calling.
I mainly set materials from 3 states that I consider extensions of the definition of "Home" for me -- Nevada, Washington State, and Montana. I am constantly learning about what gorgeous rocks and minerals these places have to offer GMTW and its clientele. My family and I have taken up an interest in finding some of these things ourselves on our visits! We've found rockhounding books are great resources for people who love fresh air, adventure, and learning.
I love seeing the parallels of my children growing, learning, getting their bearings, finding themselves amongst this world...and witnessing GTMW doing the same. Thanks for reading!
Rock On (With Love),