by Kristal Wick, Author, Designer, Instructor and SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Ambassador,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

I was born with 6 fingers instead of 10. It’s no secret–you can see this in my DVDs and TV segments. You can see when I teach a class, and you can certainly see it in person when you’re around me. But you’d never know it when you see my jewelry or read my articles, books and blogs. Each and every piece of jewelry I create takes me longer than someone with 10 fingers and is filled with challenges each step of the way, from simply holding the tools to wrapping a nice tight loop or closing a jumpring perfectly. But you’d never know that … Why? Because it’s my passion and I just go for it!”Failure” has been a part of my daily existence since birth, if you choose to look at it that way. I couldn’t tie my own shoes, I couldn’t open a jar of olives, I couldn’t blow dry my hair, all simple tasks most of us take for granted. Think of how much you use all your fingers when creating jewelry–try it with 6! My folks were extraordinary. They saw this kids’ determination and had a prosthetic post made for me when I was 5 so I could actually grasp onto things like a jump rope. My world has been whirling non-stop ever since. As a kid I was sure I must have traded in a few fingers for an extra dose of creative talent, and always thought it was worth it. Thankfully, I was raised in a home where all things were possible, and if I wanted to achieve something, I was encouraged. Well, maybe not ALL things are possible mind you, I’m still working on the concert pianist career and it’s looking rather doubtful! But at least I wasn’t afraid to try.

If I Can Do It, You Can Do It

This has been the theme of my life and it’s certainly reflected in my jewelry designs. I’m not afraid to try new colors, different techniques and explore the edges of the box from a design perspective. I ski, type, and play the guitar! I invite you to join me. If I can do it, you can do it! Jump in with both feet and try something new. Abandon all fears of failure and “not good enough-ness.” Leave the critics outside your studio door. The most important aspects of any creative endeavor are those precious moments of actually being in the passionate flow of pure unedited joy; not the end result and if your wrapped loops are perfect. No matter our age, weight, economic status, education, even physicality, everyone has equal access to their creative flow and the endless possibilities it presents every moment! This is the gift of life and the essence of who we really are.

Embracing Our Differences

One of my fave adventures is volunteering at a children’s hospital. Those little angels are a delight to be around and it’s a privilege sharing a song or making a bracelet and showing them it’s OK to be different and reach for your dreams. If I can make pretty jewelry with 6 fingers, they can do incredible things with their lives too, no matter what challenges they’re facing. Whether it’s coloring, writing, baking, beading or any other heart’s desire, I love to encourage them with my credibility; you see, I’m one of their tribe, someone who’s ‘special’ just like them. Different than everyone else … but then, aren’t we all, in one way or another?

So, That’s Why I Bead

To connect with my inner creative flow and feel good! To create beauty even if it’s simply beautifying an earlobe! To challenge myself and raise my personal bar and see if I can do it. To inspire others and most importantly, it’s fun!

So, share with me, why do you bead?


9 responses »

  1. Hi Kristal!

    I just want to say your jewelry is amazing! I told my husband about you because he too was born with only 6 fingers but that never has stopped him from anything. He’s even made jewelry with me! I really admire you as a person for your creativeness and business sense. I have just started my own online jewelry business and am trying to learn all I can about having a successful online jewelry business. I want to thank you for your inspiration! My online jewelry business is http://www.etsy.com/shop/blueranchjewelry
    Crystal Marin

  2. My son was into beading before me. He would drag me into bead shops and I would think, “How boring”. Then one DDT he left his beading stuff at my house while he was moving. I started playing around with them and next thing I knew, I was hooked!! I have been in the paralegal profession almost 20 years with no creative outlet. I have always been crafty. I sew, crochet, paint. I don’t bead per se, I am a wire worker, chainmailler, poly clay. Doing this gives me much needed stress relief and a creative outlet. I also teach jewelry making. I enjoy sharing my love for this and watching others fall in love with it too. I also love to donate pieces for charity events and give them as gifts. Make a long story short, I do it all because it makes me feel good inside. 🙂

  3. Hi, After finishing college at 39 I began a career in teaching. I had acquired 3 Masters, 17 years of teaching and nearly completed my Doctorate when I developed lumbar spinal stenosis and suffered from TIA’s and seizures. Life as I knew it came to an end. It took me 3 years to begin reading and I began looking for a hobby. I don’t know how, but I found jewelry making. I started about a year ago, very slowly. I now watch you and others on Beads Baubles and Jewels, I read books, articles on-line and magazines of ideas. I have made about 30 pieces, mostly earrings, but I don’t feel confident to share them yet. I have found polymer clay and I really like that medium. I also tried your fabric idea using paper but I’m not sure about it. Any way, I’ll be keeping at it as it is relaxing and I really enjoy the feeling of seeing my ideas take shape. You have been an inspiration to me and I want to thank you for sharing your story and your designs and ideas. God Bless You and yours – Connie

  4. You inspire me. I can’t not do beading. so I bead. I started seriously about five years ago. Now I have made so many and if I want to continue buying materials and books to bead I need to sell them…and there I am as an entreprenuer Be blessed I love watching your show in the TV. Dita


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