American Made Show: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you arrived where you are today.
Tara Montgomery: I grew up in a very artistic household and had a pencil and sketch book in hand from the time I can remember. If I wasn’t sketching, I was sewing or crocheting. And now that I think of it, I was always a little entrepreneur as well! I remember selling my creations door to door in our neighborhood. But as I grew up, I started to focus my energy more on school and it wasn’t until college that I looked back and realized that I had neglected my creative side. It was just before Christmas of my freshman year that I decided I was going to make bracelets for my friends and family as gifts. I had never actually made jewelry before, but I was determined to teach myself and that is where it all began. Soon I started selling jewelry to stores and online and it became a business before I knew it!
AMS: Describe the path that led to your career as an artist.
Tara Montgomery: I actually received my BSN from the University of Virginia in 2008 and have worked as an Oncology Nurse since. It’s something that I truly love and feel makes such a difference, but can be very taxing as one might imagine. Making jewelry has always been an incredibly relaxing outlet. And in the last few years, it has been a joy to prioritize Tara Montgomery Jewelry and the growing business it has become.
AMS: What does the creative process entail for you?
Tara Montgomery: I love to start with materials that I find inspiring. And once I am back in my studio, surrounded by stones and metals and wooden beads it all starts to make sense. It’s really so much fun to play around with it all and create the jewelry that I want to wear.
AMS: What inspires you to create new designs?
Tara Montgomery: New seasons inspire new designs. As the palate changes outside, it only makes sense that our accessories would follow suit!
AMS: Tell us about the technical processes you employ in your work.
Tara Montgomery: I do a lot of wire work–shaping, hammering, and wrapping. I also spend a lot of time stringing beads!
AMS: How would you describe your artistic style?
Tara Montgomery: I love clean lines and color. I keep it simple and fresh and when appropriate throw in a pop of color.
AMS: What type of customers tend to like your work?
Tara Montgomery: My customers in their mid 20’s and 30’s like to sport my brighter and bigger pieces. And then my women in their mid 50’s and beyond tend to gravitate towards my more delicate pieces.
AMS: What is your most popular product line?
Tara Montgomery: My stone product line is the biggest hit right now. There is a great range of colors and sizes and they are so easy to wear and give as gifts!