Today's featured artist is Nicole Fuhrman. The is the very creative woman behind "Eva M. Designs." Here you will find creative crafting with beach glass, ribbon, pearls and paint. Nicole is also generously sponsoring a giveaway for one of her items! At the end of her interview you can see this beauty and enter to win!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you sell in Eva M Designs?
I am the creator of Eva M Designs, a shop that features a little bit of everything. I've always loved crafting but didn't get into the business end of it until I started making jewelry. Needing a way to fund this addiction, I started a shop on Etsy. Eva M Designs is named after my grandmother, Eva Manko, who passed on her crafty-gene to me. I think she also passed on an entrepreneurial spirit -- I remember hearing stories of her and my grandfather running all sorts of ventures, from an ice cream shop to selling eggs to clothing alterations. Having recently decided to leave a career in teaching (and a decent salary) to manage a non-profit animal shelter in Olean, NY, I could use a little extra cash, and I’d like to turn Eva M Designs into that supplemental income!
As for me -- I am soon-to-be a former middle school teacher. Finding teaching not to my liking, I have accepted a position with the SPCA in Cattaraugus County, managing their animal shelter. This is fitting, because I am quite an adoptaholic! I started adopting dogs when I brought home Molly from a summer course I took in Mexico after my freshman year of college and have found homes (generally within my friends and family group) for 5 other dogs since. It's practically an addiction. The great thing is, I will soon be paid to do it!
Were you always interested in jewelry design? What sparked your interest?
I've always been crafty -- I got into scrapbooking in high school, and I did a lot of sewing. For a few years I participated in Civil War reenactments (haha, yes, I'm a geek), so I sewed all my 1860s-era dresses myself. I also made a number of quilts and my prom dress. After I began college, my time was swallowed up with school and work, so it was just within the last few years I've gotten back into my creative endeavors. I started making jewelry in 2010 -- first, for myself, and then as Christmas presents. I briefly ventured into Etsy at that point, but my time was again taken up with graduate school and I abandoned that first try. I got back on to Etsy late this fall, utilizing the little time I have after work (when I'm not planning, grading, calling parents, etc.) to create! Not exactly happy with my current position as a teacher, I have found crafting a way to cope with this stressful year. I'm looking forward to my move to Olean, finally getting into a career that I love, and I hope all that positive energy will flow back into my creative work!
I see you work with a lot of beautiful beach glass! Where do you find them?
All of the beach glass I work with I found personally on the beaches of Lake Erie – primarily in Erie (my hometown) and North East, Pennsylvania. I remember first seeing beach glass at the Mother-Daughter Weekend at Camp Notre Dame when I was still in elementary school, and then rediscovering it on the family vacations at Dohler's Cottages in North East, PA in high school. I really got into it at that point and started dragging friends and boyfriends on my searches. For years I kept all my special finds in old coke bottles and mason jars in my bedroom, but when I started making jewelry, I decided to incorporate that glass into my creations.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I’m always browsing jewelry sections, flipping through Etsy pages, and noticing accessories on others – and then making note of it! I find that seeing what others are doing or wearing is a good jumping off point for me – I might see a style I like, but then I incorporate my own twists to make it uniquely Eva M Designs! I also have created some pieces based on requests from family and friends for certain styles. When I’m looking for other fun projects, though, Pinterest is generally my go-to. It’s really addicting. I love seeing what other people are creating, and it generally sparks some ideas for my own creations!
Do you wear any of your own pieces?
It’s funny, but I generally don’t. I have always had shorter hair, so I feel funny wearing dangling earrings – no matter how much I love them. I always just wear my little white gold crystal studs. Along those same lines, while I do like simple jewelry and occasionally wear designs like the one I sold here: (https://img2.etsystatic.com/008/0/6855491/il_fullxfull.403827358_rieh.jpg) I really don’t wear too much of anyone’s jewelry!
Do you have any goals for your shop for the new year?
I am not sure these count as goals but I have a lot of plans! I want to start incorporating beach glass into multistrand chain necklaces (the first of these designs: https://www.etsy.com/listing/120385644/multi-strand-sterling-silver-cobalt-blue). I rarely see beach glass interspersed throughout chain-necklaces (unless it is a necklace of linked pieces), and since I absolutely LOVE that style (I was kind of sad to see that teal beaded necklace sell), I think it would be a great niche to fill! I also want to get back into sewing – pillows, quilts, plush toys, etc. and include those in my shop. I love to try new projects, so the hodge-podge mix of items in my shop is a reflection of that!
What do you like to do in your free time?
Lately, the majority of my free time has been spent crafting, blogging, trying to market my shop, and hanging out with my dogs! I have two puppymill rescue Pomeranians. I adopted Izzy last May – when she came to me, she had been at the shelter for 3 years after being surrendered by a “breeder” at the age of 3. She was terrified of people, shook when anyone got near her, and hid in her crate for 4 months. While she started to come out of her shell toward the end of summer, the real turning point was when I started fostering (and eventually adopted) Nalla, a heartworm-positive Pom who needed fostered during her treatment. All of a sudden Izzy was fighting with Nalla for attention, sitting on the couch with me, running around, even playing! They are best friends now and are constantly together -- they practically sit on top of each other, like you would see gerbils or mice do.
Anyway, dogs aside, I have also enjoyed exploring Charlotte, NC. While I am excited for my new job in Olean, NY, I will definitely miss Charlotte. It is an amazing city, and the surrounding area has some great places! If you or any of your readers have a chance to visit, I definitely recommend a few places:
- Visit NoDa (the North Davidson area of Charlotte) and check out: Amelie’s French Bakery, The Crepe Cellar, Cabo Fish Taco, and Ruby’s Gifts
- Birkdale Village in Huntersville has a lot of neat shops and a good selection of restaurants, among them Baja Soul Taqueria and JD Rockers Subs and Salads
- SweetCakes Bakery in Mooresville (25 min. north of Charlotte) has DELICIOUS cupcakes!
Enter to win this Sterling Silver Wire Wrapped Aqua Blue Beach Glass Sea Glass Necklace Pendant!
For all your web and print design needs visit www.kellystahleydesigns.com and see how we can help!