My name is Rebecca and I’m an artist with a passion for helping people. I started creating memorial jewelry in 2016 and started writing a grief support blog the following year. Since the majority of the work I do is online, I wanted to share some things about myself so you can get to know me better. I want your experience with Craft Love Craft Life to be more than a blog read or a computer-click-purchase. Plus isn’t it always nice to be able to put a face to a name and the work someone does?
Here are 20 things to get to know me better as a memorial jewelry artist:
1. My business started because I missed my dog
I moved away from home for university and really missed having my dog close by me every day. Two years into my degree I decided to experiment and create a necklace with his hair. It was such a magical experience holding this pendant filled within Max’s hair. Later that year he passed away and I felt like I held the most treasured thing in the world. At that moment I realized that I needed to explore this idea of creating custom keepsakes for others as I understood the comfort it brought me during this difficult time.
2. One of my favourite ways to learn is through trial and error
I am a self-taught jewelry artist and I love working with resin. Perfecting the techniques I use to create my jewelry has been a process and I have learned so much about the material through trial and error. I like the challenge of constantly finding ways to improve my skills.
3. I am passionate about what I do
For as long as I can remember I’ve loved creating art. I always knew that I wanted to be an artist and was going to do everything to make that possible. I knew that art could help people and I am forever grateful to be guided towards the work that I do. Being able to provide comfort and an outlet for the healing process means the world to me, it really does. Making connections with others before, throughout, and after the process helps fulfill my need to help people.
4. I love stories
The digital world allows us to connect with people all around the world. Connecting is just the beginning. I love reading stories and seeing pictures of loved ones and pets. Hearing you share your favourite memories allows me to get to know more about you and your loved one, making the creative process a lot more special.
5. One of my biggest inspirations is the ocean
I find the ocean a very relaxing place filled with a lot of mysteries. The waves are breathtaking and always different. I often see life like waves, sometimes our days can be all over the place and other days at bay. We just have to learn how to ride with the waves.
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6. I am a very emotional person
I have always been very emotional but I find it helps me connect with people through my work. The opportunity to create pieces of work that others will treasure warms my heart to the fullest.
7. I take emotional breaks from work each day
Due to the nature of the work I do, I can easily get emotionally drained. To manage my emotions and stress I take daily breaks just to cuddle my dog. This helps me recharge my batteries, reconnect with myself, and appreciate the moments I have with my dog.
8. My biggest fear is death
For as long as I can remember I have feared death. I love life and the experience too much, that I’m scared for when that is gone. If someone told me that I was going to create a career surrounding my biggest fear I wouldn’t have believed them. With time I hope that the work I do with help me face my fear and accept that this is part of life.
9. Working from home can be very isolating
I have been working from home every day since I started my business in 2016 which can get lonely. Whenever I am working on blog posts I tend to write in public places and surround myself with others. The act of getting outside helps to re-energize my brain and prevents studio fever.
10. My rescue dog is my world
I adopted Sadie in 2017 and since one day we had a special bond. She is my rock and I can’t imagine my life without her. I treasure each moment I have with her and I’m beyond happy to have her in my life.
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11. I immigrated from Northern Ireland to Canada when I was 15
At the time I didn’t realize that all the experiences surrounding our immigration were building towards my future career in my subconscious. The experience of being far from home and family, leaving people, and not knowing if you were going to see them again was a major challenge. The experience of starting a new life in the unknown helped fuel my choice to focus my work on connecting people through art.
12. My boxer dog, Max, helped me through the most difficult time in my life
For the few months after immigrating, I experienced depression from the culture shock and the move in general. Max was there for me. He got me out of bed and sat with me just to keep me company. Max was a great dog and I connected with on a deeper level through these months. He listened to my thoughts and was my best friend. I am forever grateful he made the move with us.
13. I have a tattoo of a tree of life that is a memorial for my dog Max
During a difficult time in my life, I spent a lot of time sitting under a tree with Max. This experience was a positive one during this rough time. When Max passed I got a tree of life tattoo on my back reminding me to never forget my roots and treasure the moments I had with Max.
14. I was studying textile design at art college when I came up with my business idea
I studied for 4 years in a program that I didn’t pursue as a career. Do I regret it? No. The time I spent at school give me a lot of experiences that led me to where I am today. I experience a number of losses during my degree and that’s when I realized I needed to explore memorial jewelry and grief support. Of course, I didn’t have much time to put into my idea but I could feel it growing in the back of my mind. Whenever I graduated, I started working full time towards my career goals as a self-employed artist.
15. I want to create a community through my work
I’ve always wanted to do more than make and sell products. I want to create a safe space for grieving and a community of people sharing their experiences to help others.
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16. I’m family focused
I have a very close relationship with my family but live really far away. Living across the country, weekly video call sessions are always my favourite. I love being at home and when the opportunity arises to travel home, I go. Family is very important to me and sharing moments with people you are completely yourself around.
17. My tattoos are daily reminders
I have a Never Give Up tattoo in my parents handwriting and another one with Audaciter (my family clan motto). Both are huge reminders for me each day both in life and with my business, never to give up and to do things boldly without fear.
18. I find hair and ashes very beautiful
There is something so beautiful about each strand of hair and fragmented cremains. There was life connected to them and they were loved. Each strand of hair and fragment of ash were filled with so much life and shared memories with those they loved. I am so honoured to be part of the journey in continuing their life in a unique way.
19. I love my work, but I also love time away from my work
Whenever I close my studio door in the evenings or on the weekends you can find me spending time with my family or taking long walks through the park. I love spending my downtime with animals and people that love animals. My favourite conversations are those that happen out of the blue and deep conversations about life.
20. My main goal in life is to make memories matter
My life is created from and with memories. My Granda suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for 5 years and it was hard coming to terms with the fact he had lost all his memories. I want to embrace the moments, and create memories that matter. Treasure these moments for a lifetime.
Preserve a memory through a custom silhouette print
Thank you for taking the time to get to know me and I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little bit more about me. If you ever want to talk, feel free to reach out to me, I’d love to chat.
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