Welcome to Nature Beads. 🌈 Trading things I love, create and gather from around the world!
Olá! Hello… Hola! Namaste.
I’m Lilly, owner, curator, photographer, color loving, shipper, explorer and hoarder of NatureBeads. I’m Brazilian, born in the heat of the Amazon rainforest, living the American dream with my loved family which includes two amazing German shepherds.
“NatureBeads” is a hodgepodge of everything I love. Beads from artisans in South America, things we find in our trips all over the world, pieces we create ourselves.
Being from Brazil, especially the Amazon is a gift that makes you feel like an explorer. I grew up seeing nature, crazy colors, animals of all kinds and loving-happy people. My childhood was full of myths and legends, colors and folklore. As I grew up, the admiration by the natives, nature, animals, colors and the world as a whole grew as well.
I was in my teens when I started making jewelry, an attempt to put back together a bracelet I had bought years before. It was made with Acai beads and braided in a very special way. I tried to fix it for several days and when I finally figured it out, I knew I was into something! The need of extra money made me work hard and seek beyond my knowledge. I scoured the streets and I started to hang out around the native marked searching for interesting things to use on my own creations. While I was there, I used to help the natives with the tourists passing by and became friends with “Caramuru”, a native from the tribe “Sateré-Mawé”.
During my college time, I was blessed to be part of great research projects, to meet people from different countries, to travel and see the world at large. I spent time in the jungle for weeks at a time doing research and teaching the locals. I was often gifted with bark, seeds, scales and other things I used for my creations. In early 2006, I traveled to a small village in the middle of the Rio Negro for a month teaching assignment. That’s how I met David, I was teaching and he was fishing for Peacock bass (Tucunaré fish). Well, we were spot on and never left each other from the beginning.
I finally moved to the USA and we got married. I brought along my bad pliers, some beads, strings and handmade native jewelry. No friends or family around gave me plenty of time to do something and I decided to start a website. Now, that was the tricky part since I barely spoke English. David helped me as he could and I got myself English books and a huge dictionary. It was difficult to get it going, I did not understand business or photography, my English was a disaster and I was not even able to answer the phone afraid to speak to people. I just did not know what I was doing.
I was lucky to sell something from time to time and I happily run to the closet to dig out a dusty box with all my goods. In March of 2008, my beads landed the cover of BeadStyle Magazine and the business grew overnight! I went back to South America, met great artisans and started developing a line of natural beads. “Tagua nut Beads” were not very popular back then, but after the magazine the demand was so great we could not fulfill our orders. Our artisans and I continued testing, cutting and dyeing pieces until we finally got the science of making beads figured out.
It took me a while to get it going, but thanks to Google translate I was able to list my products. It made me so happy, I felt I could rule the world with my broken English. We have been featured in different magazines, our Etsy shop never stops growing and it has become my full-time job. Etsy has given me the opportunity to learn from my cough, to get inspired, to grow and see things differently. The world has so much to give and I hope to be able to share as much as I can in this lifetime. In our journey, David has discovered his artistic side as well. He is truly a magician and is able to provide our shop with cabochons, rocks, and leather straps. He cuts, tool, dye, and polish all the rocks and leather straps by hand.
I hope you can delight your eyes in the things we create and have gathered along our journey.
Thank you for stopping by and wish you an amazing day!
Lilly & Nature Beads Team
P.S. We have a little bundle of joy that is keeping us busy, melting our hearts and adding a little extra love to our studio. Welcome to the team baby Andrew. 🙂