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Life & Work with Tonya McGhee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tonya McGhee.

Hi Tonya, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I studied Fashion Design at Tuskegee University, in Tuskegee, AL. It was during this time I discovered my niche for designing and making jewelry. After moving to St Louis, MO., I decided to study metalsmithing, glass bead making and glass fusing so I could take my designs to another level. I have this need to be able to actually make anything I need for my designs. I decided to launch my jewelry line “Lila Mae” which is named after my beloved grandmother who was my bestfriend and a constant inspiration throughout my life.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
No, it has not been a smooth road. Since deciding to start my jewelry business over the years, I’ve gone back and forth with stopping and starting. One of my main struggles is juggling a full-time job and giving more to my business.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I design and make contemporary jewelry and knitwear. My jewelry pieces are all handcrafted by me using sterling silver, copper and brass along with semi-precious stones in various finishes. My pieces are chunky, bold, and mostly one of a kind. What sets me apart is my designs are truly original, all metal is cut and shape by hand. I’m most proud of how far I’ve come in my business and where I’m headed.

How do you think about happiness?
My wonderful, beautiful family and creating. Creating makes me feel connected to my ancestors and when I feel my ancestors, I feel a joy and peace that is indescribable.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Carol Lara Photography

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