Congratulations to Christian Rodriguez, who won our Cuff Challenge with her stunning “Reina” design! We had a little chat with Christian to get to know her a little better. Check it out!
Crowd Jewel: Tell us about yourself and how you started designing jewelry.
Christian Rodriguez: I am a mama, jewelry designer, and smile master :) I used to have a difficult time walking into a shop and finding a piece of jewelry that called to me, so, I decided to create pieces that were unique and spoke to my own style. I have been designing strung jewelry for about a decade and moved onto more elaborate, bead embroidered pieces within the last 4 years.
I originally began creating strung jewelry, focusing on the healing properties of the gemstones incorporated in my designs. From there I needed to challenge myself a bit more, thus the embroidered works came to be. I draw my inspiration from the gemstone beads themselves. I have always considered what I do a form of personal therapy, a way of relaxing. I come from an artistic family, with life and ethnicity that shake the rafters. There is no doubt that my upbringing influenced my drive to create.
CJ: What was your inspiration for this design?
CR: With this design I wanted something that felt commanding. I have always thought that cuffs were small masterpieces. But then something crossed my mind, why does a cuff need to be small? So, I started creating the form this piece encases. Some days, I just feel like a warrior and this piece tells that story.
CJ: Who are your style icons?
CR: I have always been inspired by my sister, Jaxie Oo. She is a performance artist, clothing designer, and engages in so many other forms of expression. She just knows how to wear everything. She has such an incredibly unique style and amazing confidence. I also greatly admire Anjelica Huston. As a tall and powerful woman, I have always found she carried herself with such grace. And she sure could show off a neckline.
CJ: How would you describe your personal style?
CR: I am quite eclectic with my clothing and jewelry, however, I do love big and bold (as portrayed by my cuff). I have always been drawn to large ethnic pieces. I tend to dress how the mood strikes. Sometimes I can’t see myself in anything other than jeans, a tee, a fedora, and some daring earrings. Other moments a dress and a knock-out collar I have designed are just what the occasion calls for.
CJ: What interested you in joining Crowd Jewel and submitting your design to our contest?
CR: I am usually floating in circles filled with very talented bead embroidery artists, so it was a nice change of pace to have so many different mediums represented. Crowd Jewel has been a wonderful avenue for other artists and thought it would be inspiring and a great resource. Since most of my creations have come to fruition with my own wardrobe in mind, it is nice to have others show appreciation as well. It was fun to join in the contest and read the comments people left.
CJ: Where can we find more of your designs?
CR: You can find me on Etsy and Facebook, and any questions can be directed to my email address.
Facebook: Christian V Rodriguez - Bead Embroidery Artisan