I had the pleasure of interviewing her and here's her journey in her own words:
"I have always loved jewelry. In college, I took a part-time job with a fine jewelry chain and was hooked. I worked in that field until my son was born in late 2010. During that time, I acquired bead and pearl stringing knowledge and was able to perform repairs for the shop I worked at.
I became a stay at home mom. I continued to do repairs for the store where I had worked and also grew my repair business to include a few other local jewelry shops and individuals. O also began to offer custom services. Before I knew it I had acquired beads and began making gifts for family and friends. They encouraged me to continue to make jewelry, and my handmade jewelry line was born.
I'm mostly self-taught when it comes to jewelry making. I watched a few videos, got the right tools, and off I went! I taught myself how to string on wire and silk, wire wrap, and work with elastic. I am currently working with a lady at the local bead store who is teaching me bead weaving.
My favorite thing to make is hand knotted pearl necklaces on silk. I find a lot of my inspiration from seeing unusual colors or shapes of pearls and beads. I find my bridal line inspiration from my friend who is a wedding planner. I'm always trying to make something that I feel is both beautiful and a little unusual.
I decided to open an Etsy shop because I was making jewelry and was unable to find an affordable local outlet for getting all of it displayed. Some of my work is at local boutiques, but Etsy allows me to display everything at a reasonable price. I also get a bigger audience!
My advice for people wanting to get into the handmade jewelry field is to make sure you know what you are in for. There is a lot of initial investment in time and money before you finally start selling."
Chaya's work can be purchased at her Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/PearlsPlusLLC?ref=ss_profile
Chaya's Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pearls-Plus-LLC/13405851335909