B.J. Suttoni

My mom has always told me that I was an easy child, mainly because all I required to be content were a few crayons and some paper. I’ve always loved anything that allowed me to be creative. Crafting has been a passion I’ve held for a long time. However, it wasn’t until a couple of years after the tragic loss of my father to suicide in 2003 that a friend introduced me to jewelry. I had found my niche! Making jewelry was my escape.

Creating is therapeutic and healing for me. I put my emotion and energy into something creative and positive. Be it happiness or sadness or something in between, emotion began to fuel my work. I didn’t realize then just how much this would benefit my quality of life until years later. It became a tremendous asset at the end of 2013 when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I was suffering from what I now know as my third MS relapse of vertigo since my early twenties. Each time lasting for months. I was tripping often, having difficulty with stairs and even walking. At 29, I thought my life was over. I soon found that I was wrong. Although just over two years ago and now 31, I have learned so much about myself and our resilience and strength as human beings. Currently I’m unable to work a go to job with a demanding and set schedule. In addition to an array of seemingly never-ending symptoms that can strike at any given moment consisting of dizziness, nerve pain, numbness, muscle spasms, swallowing problems, tremors, vision issues, catheter use, weakness and mobility issues even requiring the use of crutches on most days, I have moderate to severe fatigue at some point during my day, everyday, if not all day. It is the most difficult symptom in my case. Sleep doesn’t dissolve it, rest doesn’t either. It can be quite frustrating. However, I’m learning to adapt and to adapt and still have a HAPPY life despite all of these things! How? Because we’re resilient!

Working with precious metals and gemstones is where I focus most of my energy these days. I began teaching myself to solder and different silversmithing techniques a few years ago and I absolutely love it! I’m still learning, but I hope to always remain passionate for my work and continue with my desire to learn and master new skills. Spring will mark four years as my small business becoming my full-time job. My work is sold in shops and boutiques from my hometown in Western North Carolina, to my current home in Southern California. It has taken a tremendous amount of work as my business is a one woman show! However, there’s nothing more fufilling than working hard at something you love and have built all on your own.

A lot of my inspiration comes from the styles and personalities of those I love as well as the places that I love. Being born and raised in Western North Carolina and currently having lived in California for several years, I’ve truly been spolied with the best of both worlds. Both are beautiful and filled with character, though vastly different. Western North Carolina never disappoints with its four seasons of warm amber colored leaves in the fall, to snow covered mountains in the winter.

Besides my jewelry, I spend my time with my husband and 3 rescue dogs. My dogs bring so much joy to my life and remind me to appreciate the simple things and to stay positive. I’m convinced that their unconditional love has played a huge part in how I’ve dealt with the changes in my life. Cuddles is my oldest and always at my side. He’s a feisty little Chihuahua who even at almost 13 years old hasn’t slowed down one bit! Next is 10 year old Sonnie, a Chihuahua and Chinese Crested mix. He’s very silly and shy. He makes me laugh daily. He’s just the sweetest little soul. Lastly, there’s 6 year old Bella. The most gentle Pit Bull you’ll ever meet. On any given day you’ll probably find me working on a new piece surrounded by my furry little trio.

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