Growing up in Brisbane with three talented sisters, an artist mother and mechanically minded father, I learnt how to sew, cook, draw and love colour from an early age. As I grew older, I worked full time in creative jobs, but would always find ways to turn my then hobbies into extra income earning ventures.

Now, I’m a self-taught glass and creative artist and was introduced to glass bead making, known as lamp work, in 2005. Before that, I had a ceramics business for 14 years, but once I saw the process used to make lamp work, I decided it was time for a new challenge. The retired ceramics studio was re-commissioned and became the bead room.

Nearly 20 years later, I’m still making glass beads, have had teaching studios along the way and have never tired of the process of ‘playing with fire’. I hope the love that I have for this amazing craft is reflected in the pieces that I create.

When COVID came knocking in 2020 I had to close my hot glass studio, cancel all classes and stop bead making. Whilst I was at home mourning that loss, I, like a lot of other people, found a new interest, and for me that was decoupaging shells and creating little trinket dishes. I thought that these would be a really nice accompaniment to my jewellery.

Now I’ve reached a point where my shell art has taken over from my glass beads and I have to attribute that to Global Sisters and the support and exposure that they have given me.

Even though I had some business skills from running my studios, they were a bit old-school. I hadn’t kept up with the way retail was changing, how selling online and social media were key components to running a business. I loved Sister School, where I had to relearn everything I knew. The culmination of all of that information and support has brought me to where I am today.

The decision to partner with Global Sisters Marketplace exclusively to sell my products was the best decision I have made. Because of the labour and time intensive component in producing my products, it allows me the time to physically make them with Global Sisters taking care of everything else.

If I could, I’d tell my younger self to take every opportunity that comes your way. Find the one thing you love, pursue higher education and arm yourself with every creative skill you possibly can. If you have an idea, do your research.

Shop Maureen’s best selling shells on our Marketplace here

Find the one thing that separates you from everyone else and work really hard at that.

Maureen NugentBeadoire