I really admire people who are self-taught in a skill. It takes a lot of patience, time, and motivation to learn something on one’s own without needing to be pushed or taught. Some people just naturally do it whereas I feel the need to be taught or given a push first before going off on my own – I think they call me lazy… sometimes.
But that’s not even close to describing Christina Shirley from the Stella Blue Gallery. She’s a 34-year-old artist and mommy with a beautiful 7 year old girl and a supporting husband. She is self-taught all around! “Everything I have done I have taught myself. From the bare bones of cutting and shaping wire for intricate earrings. Firing my first torch to melt glass, (something I am on hiatus from but hope to pick back up in the near future-glass shards don’t mix well with a 7 year old and a home studio). All the way to purchasing my first jewelers saw, sterling silver sheet and solder so I could create my first ring.” She explains her journey further, “Each endeavor was embarked with my fingers crossed, hair pulled way back (can’t take your chances with fire) all in hopes that it would work. Thank God it did!”
Now she owns Stella Blue since 2006 and has been in the jewelry business since mid 2010 after a break from having her little one. When creating her pieces, Christina finds her inspiration everywhere, but her most recent love has been designing rings using sterling silver and raw brass as well as incorporating natural stones in her designs. “Each piece I design is an artistic representation much like a painting. No two pieces are alike, even if you use the same metal and stone.”
So how did Christina come up with the name of her business? “It’s the name of a song by the Grateful Dead. I’m a huge Dead fan and ever since I was young, I knew if I had the opportunity to own my own business I would call it Stella Blue!” Besides the beauty of working from home in her pajamas (what a perk!), her motivation is driven by her constant want and need to create something new that pushes her boundaries. “The possibilities are endless,” she says. “There just aren’t enough hours in the day!”
No, there aren’t, but it’s sure great to know you make the most of your hours! Thanks for sharing your story, Christina!
If you still haven’t, enter the Great Green GIveaway to take home a prize from EACH of these featured spotlight makers from my blog this week! Christina will be giving these golden earrings away! Look for this photo on my Instagram @lilspirations and follow the directions to win. Giveaway ends June 24, 4 pm PST/7 pm EST.