Hi, my name is Gloria and I am the one woman CEO of MorninGloria’s! I was born in Zacatecas, Mexico… but came to the U.S. as a baby. I grew up in Central California and now live in Northern California wine country ~ just north of San Francisco. I got interested and started making jewelry when I was a little girl by watching family members make jewelry, and began more seriously creating when I was in college. I would spend long gaps between classes at the bead store, and I was known for always having my “bead box” on me. Any chance I had, I was making things! I began my beadwork journey by first making mostly beaded hair flowers. At the time, I was majoring in dance and would often wear my hair flowers to class… and before long, my dancer friends would ask me to make things for them too! In fact, my very first customer was a well known modern dance choreographer when I was taking their workshop! That was summer of 2009, and later that year I participated in my very first craft fair! It was a tiny church craft fair that was hardly attended because it was pouring rain and I barely made any sales, but I FREAKING LOVED IT… and ever since I’ve been hooked.
From that point on, I continued to build my jewelry skills through classes, online tutorials, and while working at a bead store I learned about all sorts of tools, techniques, bead types, and the overall beading world. After graduating college, I began my professional career working in administration at arts based organizations, but continued selling at craft fairs periodically … and slowly learning the ins and outs of selling my work. I continued to sell very part-time for the next several years… and in 2015 I started to get a little more serious in putting my business out there. I began to make connections with retail stories to carry my work, attended bigger selling and networking events, and started marketing online.
Throughout this time I also began a PhD program in clinical psychology to became a movement and art therapist, and I also moved from working at an arts nonprofit, to working in local government for an arts division that gave professional support to arts businesses. To say that the arts are important in my life is an understatement… the arts for me are like oxygen. 💕 Still, after 11 years of collegiate learning in the arts I was burning out.. and I realized that I preferred to make jewelry over reading grad texts 😂 and that I didn’t actually want to be a therapist … so I walked away from my doctoral program.
Then in 2018, I was working in a contract position that was ending close to the start of the holiday season.. so I decided to take a professional break and solely dive into selling my work at holiday events. I told myself “there’s so many holiday shows and this is the most profitable time of the year.. that I will be okay for a few months and I’ll look for a job in my field in January”.. but when January came, I did not want to go back! 😅 I LOVED the connection of meeting new people at different events, the flexibility of working my own hours (even if it meant working three times as many hours), and I loved getting to make little extensions of me that others enjoyed. My jewelry creations were my little babies! So I decided to become a full-time jewelry artist in 2019.
I worked my tail off and hardly had any time to myself, I was tired all of the time, working 3 to 6 events a week to afford living in California wine country… But it was AMAZING! At this point, all of my education and professional training gave me so many tools, and so much confidence to be able to do this… I was ready, and I was getting recognized in publications and in maker communities, starting teaching jewelry making and creative business classes… And it was so validating. I was soooo proud that I was able to support myself by making and selling jewelry considering jewelry is one of the most congested maker categories and it is SO HARD to stand out… and I had so many plans for the new year.
And then 2020 happened.
😬 I know.. I know.. the irony of becoming a full-time artist the year before a pandemic is still wild to me. Even more ironic was that I got pregnant in mid 2019… and was due in March 2020. So I was actually lucky in a way because for nine months I was working extra hard to build up a little bit of a cushion because I knew I was gonna be going on “maternity leave” starting March 2020 😅. So imagine my shock when I’m in my recovery room at the hospital with my new baby, and I’m watching the news and they are talking about this setting up isolation areas in hospitals for this virus… and the person is reporting outside my hospital. 😳
The next few months/years are honestly a blur. I could go in-depth about the struggles of being a new parent during a pandemic… but that’s for another time and place… but as far as my jewelry life goes, I really was forced to go from full-time artist to taking a HUGE break. My work was mostly event based… both from selling events and selling items to people who are attending their own life events… so with everything shut down, there was nobody interested in buying jewelry. I also had to completely reimagine my way of working because I went from having ALL kinds of free time… to only having tiny windows of pockets when I wasn’t taking care of my new baby.
It has taken a few years to slowly get back into my jewelry business… And really, it’s not been until the last year that my daughter is old enough to handle me working larger chunks of time and I’ve been able to dedicate more time to my business. So, even though I’ve been making and selling since 2009… with all of the starts and stops and life factors… it almost feels sometimes like I’m still a newbie, especially when it comes to growing and building my business. And soooooo much has changed in the last 15 years in the maker/selling world…that I have to learn and relearn new things all the time. I know sometimes I sound like a dinosaur when I’m talking about the early Etsy days to the new Gen Z creators. 🙈
In 2024, I hope to do all the things I had planned to do in 2020, and more. 🙏🏽💜 I’m going to manifest growth and sales, I want teach workshops again, travel more… and I also want to make authentic connections! And if you have read this entire intro, I can’t thank you enough for being with me through this journey. I LOVE meeting people at events who have been following me online… I sometimes feel like I already know you. And I also really love making new virtual buddies! As a toddler mom that hardly gets time to herself 😅 my creativity and crafty community is really where I feel most like my myself and can have some much needed time just for me.
So, again and always, THANK YOU for being here. 🏼💕