Stories in the beads: Carly Ferland, 29, works with glass, beads, semi-precious stones and freshwater pearls to create earrings, bracelets and necklaces. She describes her work as contemporary styled bead jewelry.
``Beads are stories in themselves. Each bead was made by someone. Like Czechoslovakian glass - that's been the No. 1 export for Czechoslovakia for 300 years,'' she said.
``I love stories. My jewelry has stones and glass, but on the cards inside I have stories about Alaska, and about how the jewelry was inspired or pertains to something I discovered in Alaska,'' she said.
65 stores: Carly Beads is the name of Ferland's business. She lives in Haines and works with Adelle Hamey, a Juneau arts distributor who wholesales her work.
``We have a really good working relationship. I stay at home and create jewelry, and she hits the streets,'' she said.
Her jewelry is sold in about 40 stores in Alaska, and another 25 in the Pacific Northwest. In Juneau, her work is available at Annie Kaill's and Caribou Crossing.
Wisconsin to Fairbanks: Ferland grew up in Wisconsin. She drove the Alaska Highway to Fairbanks in 1990 to look for a summer job. The job she found with a tour company took her to Skagway, where she said she fell in love with Southeast Alaska.
She returned to college in the Midwest and earned a business degree from the University of Wisconsin in Stout, and then moved to Haines. She worked for the Skagway Streetcar Co. for five summer seasons and pursued jewelry as a hobby.
``But then it turned into a real job,'' she said. She now works full-time making jewelry.
This winter was the first time she ever came to Juneau for the Alaska Juneau Public Market or Gallery Walk, and she said attending both arts events was a great experience.
``I loved meeting people that were buying the work, and seeing what people like and are attracted to. It was great to get feedback and talk with people who have bought my work before, as presents or for themselves,'' she said.
Rough cuts: She said many of the semiprecious gemstones she works with are prepared in small family-run shops in the countries where the stones are mined. These cutting shops use simple tools that create uneven facets and rough cuts in the hematite, amethyst, garnets and turquoise she uses.
``I like the irregular shapes of the stones that are cut this way,'' she said.