I didn't really hesitate with fabricated modesty—I've finally learned to identify creativity as one of my strengths in interviews and personal statements—I just said, “Yeah, I am.” She responded by pulling out some newly-designed beads and explained that the beads are great, but they need a solid design for a set of jewelry using them. Beading! I couldn't believe my great fortune! Sometime during 6th grade, I picked up beading as my niche hobby. Since then I've vacillated between an avid and an occasional jewelry maker; with all due modesty, I've learned a thing or two about the assembly and craft-person-ship of beaded jewelry.
So in the first three days of my internship, I have spent a great deal of time creating beaded items. It began with that great new set of beads, and they're such a great material I have to describe them. One of Global Mamas' beadmakers recently discovered that she could make these almost-iridescent tube-beads by cutting, coloring, and rolling recycled water bottles. The result are electric teal and indigo blue beads roughly a half an inch in length. My first jewelry designs caught the attention of my immediate supervisor as well as the other three deciding voices (in Minneapolis, Michigan, and Spain), but the designs were pretty plain and conservative and they encouraged me to keep working with the beads. So today (Thursday) I tried again and this is what I came up with—a wrap-around bracelet and some matching earrings. Tomorrow morning I'll get to work on a necklace!
What's even more exciting is that all of these beads (even the glass ones) are hand-made AND RECYCLED. And... what's BEST about this project is that my supervisor said, verbatim, “I am so glad you're working on this. This just means that the women can start earning money a whole year sooner.” Wow, what an amazing feeling I had as I continued stringing beads! I've worked on some other creative projects this week such as re-designing the 'Sister to Sister' ornament, 'Eco' ornament, and developing a new ornament design. The pressure is on this month because all the photos, measurements, and descriptions of merchandise need to go to the catalog to be printed before the end of January. I also had the chance to write creatively. See if these descriptions make you want to buy the products without even seeing them? ;)
This bold jewelry will stand out on your wrist for its rich shade of teal and for the mesmerizing shape of these elliptical beads.
The beads on this ornament tell a story of Sisters Uniting and Transforming to Prosper in a New Day. This hand-crafted item makes a meaningful gift or keepsake.
You'll really feel down-to-earth with a necklace of African bauxite stones and hand-made blue glass beads.
In case you get the feeling that my internship is illegitimate or un-academic, (which I don't really expect many of you to think, nonetheless...) I have also been reading the last few annual reports for Global Mamas and a collection of documents from a previous intern who interviewed many women who work within Global Mamas, and wrote about their opinions and experiences with the organization. During my time here, I will also be a part of developing the 2010 Annual Report and potentially compiling the important findings of the previous intern.
Basically, so far, I love my internship! I've been putting in much more than 8 hours of work; honestly, I'm mentally engaged as intensely as I am at Olaf! But it doesn't feel like it! At the end of every day I feel tired and accomplished. The fact is, I know that what I'm doing supports the hard work of so many women who have to be responsible for their families' and their own livelihoods. It also helps to have a supportive supervisor who is encouraging me to do what I do best... to be creative!