Things are made beautiful when they’re put through fire: Tara's story is proof of that. 

TARA CERTAINLY DIDN’T SET OUT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER: SHE GREW UP IN ANCHORAGE ALASKA PLAYING ARMY WITH HER OLDER BROTHER. AS IT TURNED OUT, THIS PREPARED HER FOR THE REAL THING: TARA'S TEN-YEAR SERVICE AS A MILITARY POLICE OFFICER IN THE ARMY.

ON VALENTINE'S DAY 2006, WHILE ON DEPLOYMENT TO BAGHDAD, IRAQ, TARA'S TRUCK WAS HIT BY AN IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE, CAUSING THE TRAUMATIC AMPUTATION OF HER RIGHT LEG ABOVE THE KNEE. 

THE INCREDIBLE BLOOD LOSS CAUSED TARA'S HEART TO STOP FOR ALMOST 20 MINUTES, RESULTING IN A BRAIN INJURY THAT MANIFESTED AS A MOVEMENT DISORDER. IN THE BEGINNING, TARA'S MOTOR SKILLS WERE SO COMPROMISED THAT SHE COULDN'T HOLD A FORK TO FEED HERSELF. THE LOSS OF HER INDEPENDENCE WAS MORE TRAUMATIC THAN THE PHYSICAL INJURIES SHE SUFFERED, INEVITABLY CAUSING SEVERE DEPRESSION TO SET IN. DURING THIS TIME, TARA CONTEMPLATED SUICIDE MORE THAN ONCE.

IN THE THICK OF IT, A THERAPIST SUGGESTED THAT TARA FIND A HOBBY THAT USED HER FINE MOTOR SKILLS. SHE CHOSE TO TRY JEWELRY. THROUGHOUT THE MULTI-YEAR PROCESS OF RECOVERY, HER GRIT AND TENACITY KEPT HER MOVING, AND SHE LEARNED EVERYTHING POSSIBLE ABOUT THE CRAFT WHILE PRACTICING EVERYDAY. CREATING JEWELRY BECAME TARA'S GLIMMER OF LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL, AND IT GAVE HER PURPOSE, AND HOPE; PRINCIPLES SHE MISSED DEARLY.

TARA IS INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL FOR ANY OPPORTUNITY TO TELL HER STORY. 

SHE HAS BEEN FEATURED ON THE CNN MORNING SHOW, THE DR. OZ SHOW, COSMOPOLITAN, AND WOMEN'S WORLD MAGAZINE, AMONG OTHERS. 

TARA HAS WON MANY AWARDS FOR HER WORK: IN 2016 SHE RECEIVED THE WOMEN’S JEWELRY ASSOCIATION VETERAN GRANT, AS WELL AS PLACED IN THE TOP TEN IN THE HALSTEAD GRANT FOR DESIGN EXCELLENCE AND BUSINESS STRATEGY. IN 2017, SHE PLACED SECOND in THE STREETSHARES VETERAN SMALL BUSINESS AWARD. IN 2018, TARA WAS CHOSEN IN to be in THE TOP THREE EMERGING DESIGNERs at the centurion jewelry show.