Introduction- Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Amanda and I'm an Environmental Scientist by day, and the jewelry artisan behind Chloe Boutique by night! I currently reside in West Monroe with my wonderful Husband and my two furbabies...Chloe the Pug (my baby!) and Ellie the Beagle. I'm originally from northern West Virginia...the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. I moved to Louisiana in January 2003 when I began my Graduate studies at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. I landed my current position immediately after I graduated and haven't left!
How did you get started making handmade items?
I started making jewelry in the spring of 2007 when I found myself annoyed because I couldn't find quality, chic accessories for outfits. It continues to amaze me the lack of quality in basic jewelry you find in every day stores. Not only is my jewelry carefully hand-crafted with attention to detail, I feel my prices are very reasonable considering I use real gemstones and pearls, artisan-made beads, Swarovski crystals, and quality metals. Women like inexpensive REAL jewelry...and prefer unique over "cheaply mass-produced"!
My pieces are perfect for everyday wearing. One piece can be casual enough to be worn with your favorite pair of jeans, or dressy enough to be worn with your business attire, or even a nice evening out!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Very routine. I get up at 5:30 am and work 4- 10 hour days Monday through Thursday. I work on jewelry at night and on weekends or as time allows. The jewelry side is typically busier in spring (weddings) and late summer/fall (shows and Holiday orders).
If you could tell someone anything about Louisiana, what would you tell them?
The food is phenomenal. You won't find food like Louisiana cuisine anywhere! "I guarantee!" (as in Louisiana-Native, Justin Wilson's famous line). And, it's HOT down here (coming from a born and raised northerner)!
This is hard for me to decide on! I love working with Brides...they are some of my favorite customers. There is something so rewarding and fulfilling about creating jewelry for a girl's "Big Day"! I also love creating fall-inspired pieces as it's my most favorite time of year (again, I'm born and raised northern and we have spectacular autumns back home!)
What is your favorite food from Louisiana?
This is another tough answer...probably seafood/duck gumbo!
Any other information you'd like us to know?
I love the great outdoors...my undergraduate degree is in Wildlife Ecology and my Master's Degree is in Biology/Ornithology. I get most of my creative inspiration from nature. I love gemstones! They're ‘handmade’ by Mother Nature! I take what Earth has provided and I add flair to it.
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/wildlifer78
Chloe Boutique even has a cool blog!! Show her some love!!
The winner of last week's giveaway is Susanmeep! Congrats to you!! :-)