December Featured Artist #2 - Gina Caramadre
Gina’s shining spirit is how we first met. Her amazing energy is infused to these sacred tools she creates - and they are no joke. Check out her magic and process, it truly is genius, sentimental, and absolutely powerful.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF!
Hello friends!! My name is Gina Marie Caramadre, 28 years young, figuring it all out as I go! I like to call myself an Action Visionary (I make up my own terms sometimes LOL) – someone who has visions and wants to make them real. I tend to see the bigger picture of my purpose, and it really excites me what we can do as humans with knowledge and resources at our fingertips.
I am also an Associate Project Manager at ALEX AND ANI and have been there for a memorable 6 years and counting (my anniversary is 1/2/19 I can’t believe it!) – a place I knew I was being called to ever since I learned of its mission in my hometown of Cranston, RI. Positive energy, love, consciously crafted pieces, meaning based jewelry, components of charity and giving back, working with integrity always – the values of ALEX AND ANI align so much with my own personal values that I feel like I’m on a personal mission every day advocating on this journey with ALEX AND ANI.
I like operations and efficiency and I love crafting and creating. I like tapping into both the left and right sides of my brain – it’s truly a daily flow between the two.
All of this led me to a passion project called ETERNAL, LLC – where I craft flower petals into organic jewelry to preserve the moments that mean the most to you. Flowers are a symbol of LOVE – especially the flowers that are present during the most meaningful moments of life. Like carrying flowers as you walk down the aisle at your wedding, or flowers are present to adorn someone if they have passed, or flowers are given from one person to another to communicate their love. Between friends, or people in love, a parent and child, or siblings – between any combination of people or for any kind of love. So through a sequence of natural events and some research, I found a way to make organic jewelry and beads out of flower petals so you can keep your flowers forever and preserve how those flowers made you feel, preserve the moments that mean the most to you – those moments that you hold close to your heart and will remain truly divinely eternal.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORK AND CREATIVE PROCESS // WHAT MOVES YOU THE MOST? // WHAT DOES CREATING DO FOR YOU?
Pure love. The kind of love that beams straight from your heart and with all the best intentions. ETERNAL started because of the most pure love that I have ever experienced. I received the most beautiful bouquet of red roses on Valentine's Day in 2018, from my man who is truly the love of my life. The flowers were like velvet, the petals were a deep red which I felt symbolized the deep love that him and I share. I HAD to preserve these. I wanted to keep them forever. And it wasn’t just because I received flowers on Valentine’s Day, it was because of what they represented to me – a kind of love that I always knew existed but wasn’t sure how or when and hadn’t quite experienced, until I met this man. And when I met him, I knew. So through research and finding my own process, I found a way to preserve my flowers, made organic jewelry beads from my red rose petals, strung them on a necklace, and there was magic.
I decided I wanted my piece to not just be jewelry, but to be a 108 bead mala necklace. It was meaningful to preserve my flowers in a different and trendy way as jewelry and I also wanted to bring the spirituality aspect into the piece and be able to meditate on each bead if I want to. I struggle with daily anxiety and meditating has helped me cope. So being able to meditate with a piece made of beads from the flowers given to me from the biggest love I’ve known, brings an element of healing. I wear my flower beads on most days, sometimes just because they match my outfit, but especially on the days that I need a little extra emotional support – because I know he is with me and that gives me the extra little nudge of strength I might need that day.
Creating transforms my daily moments, it allows me to make something that didn’t exist before. I love making Eternal pieces for people. It’s custom made to order, their own flower petals, their own intentions, their own reasons, their own memories they want to preserve. Every piece comes out differently. It’s handmade especially for that person and being able to give something so meaningful to someone is truly a humble honor.
DO YOU EVER FEEL VULNERABLE PUTTING YOUR WORK OUT THERE? HOW DO YOU OVERCOME IT?
Oh definitely – vulnerability is always there. And although vulnerability can be uncomfortable at times, it’s is a good thing, that’s where I believe you grow the most. Of course there’s always that fear of someone not loving what you do or being “a hater” as they say. I read somewhere that it takes courage to be creative. To put your heart and soul and literal hard work and long hours into your designs and pieces definitely takes courage. But I’m learning that giving of yourself in that way makes you stronger, wiser, and allows you to grow in what you want to create. The key is believing in yourself. Knowing that my work is done with pure love and integrity and yields something that is especially meaningful to someone helps me overcome any fear of sharing my work.
DO HAVE ANY ADVICE OR WORDS OF WISDOM FOR OTHER CREATIVES?
Keep your passion. Don’t lose sight of the fire that exists within you. There is a circle of life that can be messy but is so beautiful. All of the emotions – the happy, the not so happy, and everything in between – embrace all the parts of who you are. And do not lose your fire. It’s all part of the circle ofyour life.
WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR ART AND PRODUCTS TO DO FOR THOSE EXPERIENCING IT?
Healing. Peace. Love. And any other feeling you might need in the moment. The thing about Eternal is that you are preserving the flowers that existed in moments of time that meant something to you. What do those moments mean to you? Why do you want to preserve those moments? Let your piece be a symbol of what you felt and are still feeling. Are you preserving funeral flowers to honor a loved ones soul? Are you preserving a wedding bouquet to remember the day you said “I do”? Are you preserving anytime flowers just because they made you feel good? It could be anything. I want you to hold your piece and feel connected to those moments that once existed and meant something to you.