Spotlight On - Nealay Patel

9:00 AM

I started making jewelry during my freshman year of high school. I took a class called Business Technology, and we were asked to develop and market an actual product. I happened to be the "CEO" of our fictitious company, and it was my teammate's idea to market jewelry to other high school students. I was sold on that idea, so after gathering the materials to make the jewelry, I decided to put together our products and have my teammates would take care of the paperwork. I really enjoyed making simple jewelry for my class project, and I decided to continue making it with the remaining supplies after the school year ended. The following summer, I remember watching a craft show that featured a brilliant designer who created wearable art, and I was completely inspired by it. I found various patterns online and put together my first collection of beadwork. Eventually, I began to learn the various stitches for bead weaving and learned how to compose my own designs.

I participated in various arts and craft shows, but found no satisfaction in selling my work. It wasn't until 2005 that I began to submit my work to various beading magazines, who then asked to publish my beading patterns. I also began to teach beading part time at various avenues, and I realized recently what I truly enjoyed about creating beaded jewelry: I love problem solving and creating something that is beautiful, very wearable, and easy for others to make themselves. Each piece I design is like solving a puzzle. Sometimes I see the finished design in my head, and then it suddenly shatters into a thousand pieces. I pick up those pieces and put them back together as I design. Often, many beaders run into problems and need a creative solution, which is what I try to solve with each design I create.

In November 2011, I released my first jewelry design book, titled Jewelry for the New Romantic, and it was an amazing experience creating the designs and writing the instructions on how to create my line. I've met so many wonderful people and had the privilege to learn something new every step of the way.

Alongside the book, I've been published in many bead magazines; such as Bead & Button, Bead Style Magazine, Bead Unique, and Bead design Studio.

Nealay Patel

Blog contributor Thomas Soles is the Trade Show Coordinator for Soft Flex Company. His favorite stones are Lapis and Pietersite. His favorite hobby is day dreaming. And his favorite mustache is Tom Selleck's. As you can see, he has a healthy (or possibly unhealthy) sense of humor. You can write to him at

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1 fabulous thoughts ...

  1. Such a talent! Great article, I enjoyed getting to know you and your designs better Nealay.


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