March 20, 2018

Featured Maker: Sara Gardner at Charming Sarabella's

We love the reason behind her business name. She enjoys mixed media and her story may resonate with many of you. Let's meet Sara at Charming Sarabella's.

It all started out in my hometown of Chico, California where I became a regular at a little downtown shop called String Bead. I fell in love with the stones and the freedom and creativity of making my own jewelry. It seemed more meaningful and personal to have something I made myself instead of bought at the local department store. 

Fast Forward about 20 years, one college degree, one marriage, three kids later...I was looking for a mothers necklace with my children's names on them. Everything that I liked seemed to be either very expensive or mass produced and not "special" or personal enough to carry my kids names. So, I started researching jewelry supplies to do it myself.

I made one for me, then some for my friends and then for some friends of friends. Being part of a long line of entrepreneurs, I saw this as both a business opportunity and a creative outlet for myself. 

About six years ago I started my own Etsy shop, Charming Sarabellas. My Grandpa Atkin always called me Sarabella, and I always knew this would be the name of any business I ever ran. The mantra of my little business is 'meaningful and affordable".

I wanted normal, everyday people like myself to be able to afford meaningful custom jewelry to wear themselves or to give as gifts. I know it's just jewelry, but sometimes when you have a friend that is having a hard time, with an illness or losing a loved one, you want to do something but have no idea what. I absolutely love being the answer to that question. "What can I do for my friend to show them I care?" I know it's a little cheesy, but it really is special to me.

As for my style, it has definitely evolved. I started out with simple silver plated blanks and an economy alphabet. As I've continued on I have collected some AMAZING tools! They make all the difference in the world. 

I have about eight or nine letter set fonts and am always pining for more. I have probably 50 different metal design stamps. I love the Beaducation arrows, hearts and stars, they are my favorites at the moment. 

I also love mixing metals. I think my favorite and most popular necklaces are my mixed metal charm necklaces. 

The process begins with my customer just telling me a bit about themselves and what they are looking for. I then create a charm necklace using different shapes and metal with their personal information like names and dates, hobbies and birthstones. Each one is unique and I just adore them! I send pictures back and forth and make any changes that they ask me to. I really think that kind of personal customer service is paramount. 

I sometimes call this a jewelry thing a hobby gone wild but it really is more than that to me. It has become a way to help my family financially and still be a mom first. It is an incredible creative outlet for me that never stales. And, is a way for me to get to know people in the world around me. 

We thank Sara for sharing her story with us and hope that you will consider visiting her store when you are looking for a gift for family, friends, colleagues or yourself. Please follow her on Instagram and Facebook

If you would like to be considered as a Featured Maker for Beaducation, please email

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