We had the good fortune of connecting with Cathy Judy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cathy, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
I began making jewelry in high school and have always been attracted to arts, crafts, and various forms of media. In my 20s and 30s I delved into knitting, crocheting, sewing, needlepoint, embroidery, and action-still rock ‘n roll photography. It wasn’t until a major heartbreak and discovering I had Stage 3 cancer that I started reading about the therapeutic properties of gemstones and designing jewelry again for the purpose of self-healing ….and this is where & when I started my favorite quote/affirmation to all my clients that have bought from me…”please wear in good health!”
Giving away my jewelry as gifts back in my high school years so that others can wear it in good health has always been immensely rewarding. I have been making and designing jewelry for some 32 plus years…26 of those years as an art show vendor in southern California, amassing a loyal base of customers who trust my artistic instinct and who share my passion for exotic and rare gemstones. In 2009, I was diagnosed with an internal Melanoma tumor that pushed me into Stage 4 cancer. When I found the world of Etsy, I discovered a way to scale back on various physical rigors while continuing to share my passion for jewelry making on a global scale for many years to come. My last physical art show was in 2016 and I started exclusively selling on Etsy at the end of 2015…and every order gets a personal note from me and ALWAYS gets my “please wear in good health!”
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Within every work of art, I incorporate only the purest materials from around the world including precious metals (sterling silver, Hill Tribe silver, 14k gold, gold-filled and vermeil; I never use base metals in my designs), fresh and saltwater pearls, crystals, hand-blown lamp-work art glass, leather, precious and semi-precious gemstones, as well as other fascinating vintage and ethnic elements to create designs that are both classic and contemporary. Likewise, you will find the healing properties alongside each piece of jewelry found inside my shop. Techniques on necklaces, earrings and bracelets consist of stringing, wire-wrapping, weaving and silk-thread knotting. I pride myself on meticulous craftsmanship and a signature flair for combining rich harmonies of color so that each piece transforms into a wearable work of art. I started selling my jewelry 32 years ago so I could continue to buy more and more beautiful gemstones that allows me to continue to make jewelry. I love the hunt for gemstones…my problem is that there is just not enough time in my daily life to make it all…but I will give it my all! And I have learned that you have to do what you love at all costs….buying gemstones and making jewelry is more important to me than going on vacations or out to dinner…it’s my joy. Do what you love and it’s not a job…it’s just you.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite sites are of course a Jewelry Show…so I would take them to one of these and let them pick out something they really like/want and then make it for them….I love the beach…so that would be where I would take my friend….as nothing is better than the feel on sand between your toes and then onto a my Mexican restaurant (Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks) for Margaritas and great food…also a great place to see celebrities! I also love Baja California…La Mision…and would take them there to experience the people and place I have spent so much time visiting. But while in the LA area…I would love to take them to the Greek Theatre (during the summertime) for a wonderful outdoor concert. And I would take them around the LA area to see the murals painted by locals…my favorite by bumblebeelovesyou….as his murals bring me much joy and he spreads love.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have my family and friends that have supported me throughout all my years…without their help I couldn’t have done my Art shows….as it takes a village to set up all my pieces for a show and then break it all down….my nieces (Vanessa and Megan) were my first helpers/work crew…along with 2 guys throughout my 26 years of shows (Jon and Michael) that were my roadies. Then my neighbor’s two daughters (Austin and Bailey and even their mom Kandi) became my crew…again with my for mentioned roadies….and last but NOT least is my niece Stephanie that became my final crew member and my current assistant who moved and pushed me into the NOW era of selling online (via Etsy). She is everything to me…she’s does our photo shoots, she models my jewelry, she edits the listings and generally helps me with everything technical as I am a dinosaur in this world. I can’t thank her enough….she allows me to continue to be able to get to hunt for gemstones and to make and sell my jewelry online. I, also thank my biggest cheerleaders…my sis Linda, my brother Scott and his wife, Dorothy…who are always in my corner and keeping me going!