I have loved my journey...
My name is Nicole and my whole life I have been creative; dabbling in everything from sketching, jewelry making, scrapbooking, floral arranging, painting and especially graphic design – I LOVE mixing mediums.
In High School, I opted to take Mechanical Drafting and Woodshop. I learned to draw 3D objects and blueprints by hand using T-squares, protractors, compasses and other tools. These skills taught me how to create designs to scale and plan spatially. Computer Animated Design (CAD) is where I took my ideas to the next level and I could create multifaceted projects with moving parts. In Woodshop, I would use my blueprints, along with table saws, jigs, routers, sanders and other power tools, to bring my projects to life.
I started out college as an Art History Major and I was lucky to get a job at The Baltimore Museum of Industry, where I multi tasked as a Counter Clerk, a Maritime Actor and an Assistant Event Coordinator. I loved my experience but I realized I was not going to run a museum anytime soon. So I switched my major and in 2005 I graduated from the University of Baltimore with a degree in Business Management / Finance.
As I went into the real world, I was lucky I could function “right” brained successfully but my “left” brain needed an outlet. I have had a successful career serving in administrative / management / finance capacities. I have been able to incorporate my creativity with event coordinating / fundraising. I learned how to use various Graphic Design softwares to create flyers, brochures, programs, newsletters, as well as website and e-commerce layout .
I can trace my “professional” start to Jewelry in 2007. I started out by repairing jewelry, then revamping and eventually creating. My niche was customizing with themes and charms. When I couldn’t find a charm, I figured out how to make them – hence the introduction of utilizing graphic design. And with that, because I am type A, I couldn’t just have a hobby, I had to start a licensed business… Sweetie Beads.
I opened an Etsy Shop in 2009 and listed my jewelry and accessories. It was great for a while, but I got into Art Shows it was hard to keep up with inventory (good problem to have).
By 2013 I discovered that my talents were very digital and wanted to explore my freelance options and am lucky to be employed as an independent graphic designer for global e-commerce company. My Etsy shop became primarily design and print options shipped directly from the printer and not handmade goods from my studio.
2015 I was hired as the Business Manager at The Art League of Ocean City and was delighted to literally merge my college degree with my passion for art. At this time, I also began teaching monthly Beading Classes, sharing my experience with new people over the last few years.
So I have a full art studio full of various materials and tools… and then I bought a Cricut Machine. Now I can use my extensive collection of graphics and hand make fun and whimsical goods.
But some of these items required prepping or painting. So I dragged out my supplies and started painting anything that would stick - signs, chalkboards, boats, boxes… Well if I’m going to paint, I might as well go big - here comes the furniture. I started out years ago when Shabby Chic was a thing and Milk Paint ruled the world, now its Chalk Paint.
2019 I decided I need to update my website to include my new ventures and realized I also had to rebrand Sweetie Beads. Looking back, I am proud that I have had over 12 years to share my passion for creating unique items - thousands of gifts for hundreds of people. And I look forward to making thousands more!