My name is Amber Irsik, I am originally from Minnesota but lived in Colorado most of my life. After living all over the state of Colorado, my family settled in a small town for my high school years where I started making little seed bead necklaces and bracelets for fun and sold a few to friends and family. I graduated high school and planed on being a math teacher, that is until I took an Art for the non-artist class at the University of Northern Colorado. My professor said that I should be an art major and went and changed my major that day! I enjoyed taking art classes and even jewelry making classes in my time there. I found myself following a boy, and transferred to Western State in Gunnison, where I finished my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in graphic design. I married the boy I followed in August after graduation and we had our first daughter a couple years later. I got a job as a designer/prepress tech at a billboard printing company, in the meantime I was able to continue freelance graphic design and marketing my own business in my free time.
It was after my daughter was born that I started making jewelry again, as gifts, for fun and for a creative outlet. My mother challenged me to make enough jewelry to hold an open house party, and put together a catalog. My first open house was a success! I continued making jewelry on request and passed my catalog around. I started my website and have uploaded hundreds of different products to my site since. My son came a few years later and after a brief break in my business I picked it back up with a passion.
For several years I managed jewelry booths at various festivals and craft fairs, held many open houses and displayed at 3 shops and countless home parties. My jewelry was featured in a fashion show in Denver where I was able to accessorize models with my creations and watch them walk the runway like it was a “fashion week in Paris”! I was commissioned to design a line of jewelry for a women’s roller derby league. I have participated in many charity events donating favorite pieces for auction and learning the value they were sold for in honor of the cause.
I have discovered that custom jewelry and new challenging ideas are an area that I am pretty good at. I have custom designed everything from a simple everyday necklace to elaborate wedding jewelry for the bride and all her attendants, to a custom cuff bracelet for a mermaid at the Denver Aquarium. I have consulted women on how to accessorize jewelry with their wardrobes and even constructed new necklaces for myself on our way to an event to wear that day.
For years people have donated beads, old jewelry, estate jewelry and broken, unwanted pieces. Over the last few years I started digging into those pieces and up-cycling them into wearable pieces for today.
I eventually merged into the marketing world, having a business of my own and a graphic design background lent itself well for this conversion. I found a marketing job with a company out of Greeley, CO running the marketing department. I get to travel with this position and I enjoy the growth this company has invested in me. I continue to remain busy in my “free time” with designing logos and branding for small businesses, designing all things weddings, print/web marketing material, and even have a brewery branding I continue to work for, in addition to selling my jewelry on the side.
I enjoy exercising when I can and spending as much time as I can with my husband and kids. The one question I hear all the time is “how do you find the time to make all this jewelry?” Well the secret is…elves. No not really, unless you count my daughter stringing a couple beads for me every now and then? I look back and don’t really know how I am able to manage building jewelry, being a career woman, and Uber for my kids. I learned in high school that by keeping my schedule full, I am able to budget my time wisely. Give me a 4-5 hour chunk of time and I can rock and roll on constructing jewelry. As artists we are always more critical of our own works than anyone else, so pricing has been one of the biggest challenges. I have always thought that if I won the lottery (which I should probably start playing) than I would love to make jewelry and give it away. I choose to keep my prices very reasonable to make it easier for everyone to enjoy decorating themselves.
I consider myself very fortunate to have so many friends and family support my business, but most of all I feel blessed to be molded by the Lords hands, and be given a talent that I can use to share with people around me.