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Paula Nettleship, Bead Artist

Eight years ago, stay at home mom Paula Nettleship got tired of waiting for her sister to make promised jewelry from beads Paula had specially purchased. She decided to try it herself, and fell in love.

What started as a whim quickly moved through the hobby stage and has become a fulltime, successful business.  Paula’s beadwork is exquisite, honed by a childhood of sewing and embroidering by her mother’s side.  It flies off the shelf at the eight or so major art shows she participates in every year.  Her work is featured at the gallery store at the Chautauqua Institute, at H Baskins Clothier in the Galleria, and at Kool Kat Designs in Mt Lebanon.

“Beads have texture, shape, and sheen and it is fun to play with all those on a wire,” she says, trying to explain her passion. “I also love color.”  Paula takes inspiration from things all around her, including other artists, the Royal Family (she is a long time Anglophile who even married a Brit), and high end jewelers like Bugari.  “They are Italian, and their designs are just an explosion of color!”

Nettleship is constantly thinking of original designs and creating new inventory, and is careful to provide “something for everyone.”  Her work ranges from simple earrings for $23 to intricate necklaces for $500 or more. She feels the secret to success is finding the outlets where she can reach clients who appreciate the artistry in her work, and are willing to pay for it.  One particular show at Chautauqua she claims “is the most profitable four hours of my entire year!”

It took Nettleship a few years before she embraced the self-description of artist. She is now proud of where she has taken her journey to self expression, both on the artistic and the business side, but she doesn’t think she is unique.

“Art is being creative.  Someone who does a garden their own way is also an artist. We are all creative – we don’t probably acknowledge it enough.”

Editor’s Note:  You can follow Paula on Facebook at facebook.com/pages/designs2c.  Anyone looking for unique holiday gifts would do well to check out Kool Kat Design in Mt Lebanon.  We feature founder  Kate McGrady oh so long ago in one of our early WW issues. Since then the quality and selection of unique artists Kate represents has only gotten better.  https://www.facebook.com/koolkatdesigns

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