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Q&A with Chic Beads Jewelry Designer, Roxanne Fraga
It's been nearly two decades since jewelry designer Roxanne Fraga began handcrafting jewelry professionally. Her third and newest location is in the coastal community of Oceanside, California, where we sat down with her for a quick Q&A.
What inspired you to begin making jewelry?
As a child I was always fascinated by stones and shells. My mom and dad loved to fish beaches and streams, and my sister and I would go off collecting pretty rocks, glass and other unique finds. Mostly, I just liked to look at them, but as I grew older I began making things - I hesitate to call it jewelry at this point.
What is the most valuable lesson you've learned about making jewelry for others?
You can't just make it to your taste. If you want others to love it, you have to create beyond your personal style. I look for beauty, and I love when I see someone wearing something new and unexpected.
How do I begin if I've never made my own jewelry?
Take a class from a professional. I could give you so many reasons why, but in nutshell, you'll save money, time and embarrassment when you learn from someone with knowledge and experience; and make sure it's live, in person, because I've yet to see an online video respond to a spontaneous question or provide individualized attention.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you about this business?
I didn't have a whole lot of money to get started, and while everything is more expensive today, this rule still applies. I went to a local store and the owner recognized I was buying more than your average person with a seller's permit and asked why. When I told him I wanted to make and sell jewelry, I was advised to change my order. So, instead of walking out of the place with about 25 different items at volume discount pricing, I paid a slightly higher per unit cost, but walked out with about 250 different items, and that made all the difference. Now I had variety, and the more variety one can offer the customer, the easier it is for them to find what they want.
What does the future look like for you and Chic Beads?
We're growing steadily, gaining more loyal clients with each passing year. To me, it's about taking care of them as they're the ones responsible for our growth. As for me, we recently moved to coastal North County, San Diego and the area is full of new and wondrous sites. I imagine the style of this community will seep into my new designs - its people and pure coastal splendor are easy to love.