How I Got Started Making Jewelry

I am one of those rare, weird adults who can say that I have pretty much been doing what I love almost my whole life. My journey started at age 8 when I told my grandma that I wanted a seed bead set for Christmas and she totally came through with a Bead Weaving Loom Kit exactly like this one here (thanks grandma!)…

From then on, I was hooked on beads and coming up with new designs for the loom. Dreaming of being a jewelry designer, I branched out into new findings and beading techniques in middle and high school.

By my Senior year though, my heart was torn, I either wanted to be an interior designer (due to my love of HGTV) or a jewelry designer. Listening to my heart, and feeling that I’d get more artistic license from the start with designing my own jewelry, I decided that that was going to be my focus in college!

From there I moved on, taking classes at the University of Kansas, to graduate with BFA and an Emphasis in Jewelry and Metalsmithing Design in 2007.

One of my Jewelry CAD professors, Phillip Voetsch, hired me on to do Custom Design at his shop, Jewelry By Design, in Kansas City right after I graduated. I worked there for a couple of years.

Took a custom design break and learned the art of sales working part-time for Tiffany & Co. for about a year. I had already started doing Art Shows with my own jewelry during that time, and it took off from there.

I opened my shop Valerie Preston Design in downtown Los Gatos, CA in the fall of 2011, and have been blessed and having fun watching my customer base and brand grow since then! I also get to use my interior design skills designing my shop space!!!!

I just can’t even begin to say how blessed and amazed I feel that my 8 year old childhood dream has come true! Praise God! How He has blessed me!

Does anyone else have a similar story, that they have always known what they wanted to do or be when they grew up, and are now doing it? I’d love to hear inspirations and trials from others following their own childhood dreams below!

The Jewelry Diva ~ Val P.

p.s. here is a video of a recent interview ~ Valerie Preston presented by RAW:San Jose