I create one of a kind handmade jewelry from semi-precious stones, crystals and metals in one store and I create vegan, detergent free, sodium laurel sulfate free handmade soaps. The philosophy for both of my shops is to create high quality handmade items at the lowest price for my customers and I’m proud to say I belong to the Deadhead Art Alliance as well as the Working Artists Promotion Team.
My creative process always starts with inspiration, usually from the stones themselves, either a beautiful focal bead or pendant or the beads themselves. I’m a Graduate Gemologist and Jeweler for over thirty five years and my first loves are stones and designing, so it’s usually some really unique stones or focal beads or pendants that set my imagination going. I make all my pieces here at my home by hand. Each bead is selected individually to create exactly the look I want.
I’ve been a rockhound ever since I can remember….picking up stones and rocks and saving them since I was a little girl, so I guess I had a natural affinity for them. I began beading at the age of eleven and by twelve years old I had procured myself a booth at the Yonkers (NY) Raceway Flea Market every week and was selling on my own at twelve years old. Beading was always my first love and I continued to make jewelry and do bead work through school. When I was in college I used one particular supplier, a Japanese pearl importer in NY and she came to know me from being her customer and one day she asked me to come work for her so I did. I obtained some great education from her in Japanese pearls and silk stringing and knotting techniques, as well as becoming her buyer. As her buyer I would take buying trips into New York City (I lived about fifteen minutes outside of the city at the time) to some of the largest pearl and bead import houses in the world. I was like a little kid in a candy store!
Working with that Japanese pearl importer I also was lucky enough to work some of the largest gem and jewelry shows in the world at the Javitz Center in NYC.
I worked my way through college (I have a B.S. In English) with my jewelry and after college I decided to take the turn into the jewelry field as a career. I went to the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.) in NYC and graduated with a G.G. (Graduate Gemology) degree and also as a diamontologist (Diamontology is a branch of gemology that deals specifically with diamonds) While I was in school at the G.I.A. I also apprenticed with a silver and goldsmith in Hastings-On-Hudson, NY. She became a wonderful friend and a terrific teacher who I’m grateful for to this day. I also signed up for some classes in Lapidary work at the Westchester Art Workshop, but I discovered that lapidary work wasn’t really my thing. I moved on to work for two different jewelers in Scarsdale, NY, both high end designers of fine jewelry, where I worked in design and repair, as well as sales.
As time went on, I was offered a job with Sterling Inc, owner of Kay Jewelers, Jared, Whitehall and a few others, and I worked with Sterling Inc for a number of years. I was their top seller in the United States one year and won an award (and some great jewelry!) and from there I headed up their Estate Division, which I was thrilled about, as I love Estate Jewelry.
I decided to move from NY to Arizona after a few years and was offered to transfer with Sterling Inc, but I wanted to see what Arizona had to offer me, so I declined. I did find a job managing a designer fine jewelry store in Scottsdale, Arizona called Scott Allen Jewelers and worked for them and helped them start up their manufacturing company as well.
Then at one point I became burned out on the jewelry industry…I had gotten away from what I really loved….creating the jewelry; and I had ended up in the sales and management end of it (that’s where the money was) and so I felt unhappy and decided to take a break from jewelry for a few years.
Now I’m disabled and unable to work in the workplace these days, so now I simply do my bead work at home, back to doing what I love.
Now What inspires me most to create are the stones and beads themselves and What makes my job interesting is finding unusual stones or beads, it’s like going on a treasure hunt. I also love doing custom orders, it’s fun to take what’s in someone else’s mind and create it for them to make them something they love. When times get hard My dogs get me through everything! I love my two rescue dogs, they’re my joy. When sales are tight, I keep my hope that things will get better and Of course, my wonderful friends always keep me going too! In my down time I love to spend time with my best friend, my dogs, taking short road trips, I love to read, be out in the desert, listen to lots of music! I have many stories about music shows but I’m afraid they’d be too long to tell here, but Grateful Dead shows were always an event.
“An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.” – Mae West
We’ll leave you with this….. When asked Is there something as an artist that you would like the world to know? she says this
“Be kind to each other, always.”
Artist Contact info:
Ivy Starshine on Facebook
Social Media Links:
My Etsy Shop
Starshine Beads – https://www.etsy.com/shop/StarshineBeads
My Facebook Fan Page for Starshine Beads –
My Etsy shop Southwest Soaps –
My Facebook Fan Page for Southwest Soaps –
Sales happening: I’m having a huge 25% off sale at Starshine Beads through December 23rd and 10% off at Southwest Soaps with coupon code HAPPYHOLIDAYS10 at checkout, through December 23.
Forever Grateful, Deadhead Art Alliance Team