This week we are featuring Debby Arem of ForeverInStyle! Debby makes beautiful beaded jewelry from exotic and unique beads, combining them in new and fresh ways, so old favorites can become new ones again! Check out her story:
“I know how lucky I am because I’m one of those people who always knew what they wanted to do ‘ When I grow up ‘ .
Plain and simple, I always wanted to be an artist. And I was lucky enough to be able to take Saturday morning art lessons as a child at the Rhode Island School of Design which only fueled this desire.
A family friend who was an artist herself encouraged me as well but also told me never to just give my art away but to sell it . My art had value. What a powerful lesson.
Honore was also the impetus behind me marching into a jewelry shop in Provincetown, MA at the young age of 14 years old , bag of beaded earrings under my arm, and exiting soon after – proud as a peacock – with a check made out to me!
I had made my first sale and I was smitten.
I majored in Fine Arts in college and discovered the art of silk screen printing which tapped into my love of color and texture and confirmed what I had always known – my total inability to ever draw anything to save my life but my confidence and talent to combine nuances of color.
Upon graduation, I landed a job as an Exhibits Specialist at the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries museum and later became the Matter/Framer for the Print Dept. of the National Gallery of Art. Both very cool jobs but I wasn’t my own boss and I wasn’t able to be very creative.
My career as a jewelry designer evolved much later in my life when I married my husband Joel, a gemologist and mineralogist who taught me that to really feel fulfilled, you need to follow your dreams.
If you’re a creative person you must be creative.
My dream of being an artist became a reality when I began designing hand knotted beaded necklaces, earrings and bracelets for friends.
Encouragement is a priceless gift and because of Joel’s support and my tenacity to never give up, I became a jewelry designer for the Smithsonian’s mail order catalogs and museum shops.
This led to numerous buying trips to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Europe, Africa and even Pakistan – always searching for unusual beads which I could use in my design work.
Many of these vintage beads are found in the jewelry that I sell in this shop.
I always used to wonder how people who worked for themselves could stay focused and know what to do every day. I had only ever worked for someone else. But I soon found out that if you truly LOVE what you’re doing, there’s no question as to what to do each day – if anything, there aren’t enough hours in any day to do it all !
And now with the internet, I find this lack of enough time in each day is even more the case. I work every day but don’t consider it work.
How can your passion be considered a job?”