things are made beautiful when they’re put through fire: my story is proof of that. 

Thank you so much for visiting my home here on the web. Whether you found me through a magazine, word-of-mouth, a show, or somewhere else -- I’m so grateful that you’re here.

It’s been a long journey. I'll share the short version:

I certainly didn’t set out to be a jewelry designer. I grew up in Anchorage Alaska playing Army with my older brother. As it turned out, this prepared me for the real thing: my service as a Military Police Officer in the Army for ten years.

a photo taken of me in 2004 while in school at ft. leonard wood, mo

a photo taken of me in 2004 while in school at ft. leonard wood, mo

In January 2006 my unit was deployed to Iraq. On Valentine's Day of that same year, my truck was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device, causing the traumatic amputation of my right leg above the knee.

Me and two other squad leaders at a live fire range in kuwait, prior to iraq

Me and two other squad leaders at a live fire range in kuwait, prior to iraq

my truck right after the blast. the grapefruit sized hole in the door is what severed my leg

The blood loss from this event caused my heart to stop for almost 20 minutes, resulting in a brain injury that manifested as a movement disorder. I was also left with 3rd-degree burns, back injuries, and PTSD. In the beginning, my motor skills were so compromised that I couldn't hold a fork to feed myself. The loss of my independence was more traumatic than the physical injuries I suffered. Recovery was a long and dark road, and I fell into a severe depression.

Me and my grandma in the hospital soon after my injury

Me and my grandma in the hospital soon after my injury

a photo taken of me in 2013 while at work

a photo taken of me in 2013 while at work

In the thick of it, a therapist suggested that I find a hobby that used my fine motor skills. I chose jewelry, because I have always been an artist and I had an affinity for beautiful things. Throughout the multi-year process of recovery, my grit and tenacity kept me moving, and I learned everything I could about the craft while practicing everyday. creating Jewelry became my glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, and it gave me a purpose, and hope; principles I missed dearly.

I'm so grateful for the opportunities I have to tell my story. I've been featured on the CNN Morning Show, Dr. Oz Show, Cosmopolitan, and Women's World, among others. 

An amazing article about my story, published in the July 2016 edition of an industry magazine, Lapidary journal jewelry artist.

An amazing article about my story, published in the July 2016 edition of an industry magazine, Lapidary journal jewelry artist.

an article about my journey published in lapidary journal jewelry artist in july of 2016. this was a very big honor for me.

an article about the near death experience i had when i died.

an article about the near death experience i had when i died.

an article about my journey published in the industry magazine the retail jeweler.

an article about my journey published in the industry magazine the retail jeweler.

I hope you'll join me on this journey of self (re)discovery.