How my passion to create Wearable Art became a Reality.
I am originally from Detroit, Michigan where I resided until I was 23. I moved to Houston, Texas where I started my career as a Project Coordinator for a commercial building contractor. In 1989 I went to work for a multi-family building contractor and in 1990 I accepted a position as Office Manager in their Orlando, Florida office. My career has led to becoming proficient in performing duties as an Executive Assistant, including Office Management, and Construction Accounting for several large general contractors in the greater Orlando area.
I meet my husband Jack in 1990 and we married in 1994. I have told many friends and family members, if I had not met Jack, I probably would have moved back to Houston when the company I originally moved here with closed in 1993.
Late 2000 my husband became ill and it continued for many years and kept him from working. I started working two jobs and it was tough because I was never home when Jack needed me, so I kept trying to think of other ways to make money. Then I thought about something I had always wanted to do; make jewelry. I love to wear it, love to buy it, so why not make it? I registered the company name J&M Jewelry Designs, and did just that, but of course buying all the parts and pieces was not cheap. So I gradually started to purchase the findings from the extra money I made working at my 2nd job and started making my own jewelry. It wasn't my way out of debt? Not hardly. I should have stopped, probably, but I didn't. I continued making and selling jewelry because I enjoyed it, and it was my outlet to sanity. Seeing a clients face light up when they find a piece that I designed was so much more rewarding than the money.
In early 2004, Jack began to have periods during the day when he was feeling a little better and I would beg him to let me teach him how to make jewelry to give him something to do when he was feeling good. He would always respond, “Okay, maybe this weekend.” That went on for months with him telling me "yeah, maybe next weekend." We went to see his family in Miami for Thanksgiving, which was a rough trip for him, but he realized there was more to life and he found himself again. When we returned home, he finally said, “Okay, teach me”, teach me how to make jewelry. This was the beginning of his “new life” as a fine jewelry and glass designer. After his “creative drought” over the years past, he said he could finally “unleash his creativity again” and that made me extremely happy!
I started doing Art Shows close to home, which I enjoyed immensely, but after awhile it just became too much for me to do on my own and I stopped for about a year or so. Then I met my glass friends, yeah, and then there was GLASS! Oh boy I was in trouble. I got Jack involved too, and this is how Classy Art Glass was created... through our new passion in glass. Jack is now known as the glass junky and I am the tool junky; yep, I really like all the tools, go figure.
So with our history, we can honestly say, that each piece we design is a reflection of our individual impressions of life, emotion and experience. What makes our jewelry different is our design process. Every item begins with an inspiration, based on color or form. Each bead, clasp, and section of chain is then hand selected and assembled to support that idea. The end result is a unique creation that we can be proud to offer our clients. We use only the finest quality materials in our handcrafted jewelry including: our own Lampwork glass beads, .925 Sterling Silver Findings, Swarovski Crystals, Balinese Sterling Silver, Genuine Semi-Precious Stones and more.