Friday, August 9, 2013

Introducing.....Mandi Ainsworth

Mandi is the only new Maven I have actually met in person. We met at Bead & Button in Milwaukee earlier this year and after spending some time talking to Mandi I felt she was in just the right place in her beading career to be a Maven so I invited her to join us.  I'm impressed that Mandi is already doing things like "Bead Circle" and obviously is not just a beader, designer and teacher but also an organizer, one who gives back to and cares about the bead community.
Mandi Ainsworth

What did you do before beading? And what brought beading into your life?
My grandma passed down her bead loom to me when I was 12 years old. Once I found beads, I lost interest in all other crafts. I began selling my work at an early age as well.
One summer, I decided to make some bead money by selling my strung seed bead jewelry. I lived by the lake, and the busiest day is the fourth of July. There was a little store that everyone would buy ice at on their way to the boat ramp, and the owner agreed to let me sell my jewelry in front of his store. With the date set and the agreement made, I started beading up a storm.

The big day came, and I laid out my jewelry on the walkway in front of the store. My sign read bracelets $1, necklaces $2, and leather keychains $5. I ended up making $76 that day, and I felt so rich! That was the day I knew I wanted to become a bead artist.
After graduating from Texas A&M, I lasted about a year in the corporate world before I quit to work part-time at a day job and part-time on my business. 
What is your comfort zone?
Projects where there is no set pattern, such as freeform peyote, bead embroidery, and intuitive beading.
What aspect of beading do you find most challenging?
Choosing colorways for my kits. I love color, and it’s hard to narrow it down sometimes and choose what people will like.
What would you most like to bead if you had the time and supplies?
Instead of yarn bombing, I would totally crystal bomb a tree or street light with all different sizes, shapes, and colors of Swarovski Elements using RAW. Something that would make people stop and smile.

Who, if anyone, has influenced your style of beading?
The late Melanie Doerman was a wonderful influence on me. I love the way she incorporated found objects and used mixed media supplies in her beadwork, and that is something I love to do as well. I feel blessed that I was able to take some classes from her.
If you could only use one bead weaving stitch which one would you choose and why?
If I only had peyote stitch and a copy of Contemporary Geometric Beadwork, I think I would be set for life!
Do you have a favorite place to buy beads and supplies?
I would like to give a shout out to my local bead stores for being awesome sources of support and encouragement. They offer to carry the supplies I use in my designs and classes, and will stay open late when I find that I’m out of One G! Val owner of Artful Bead in Carrollton, Lori owner of Wildbeads in Arlington, and Gerry owner of Bead Crazee in Tyler. Thank you, ladies!

I also love Beyond Beadery, Whimbeads, and York Beads!
What Mandi says about herself:
I’m a right-handed, Leo born in the year of the boar. I love coffee, sticky notes, and dancing in my studio when I take a break from beading. I live in Dallas, TX with my husband Cody and our lab mix Ruby.
My partner in crime is the fabulous bead artist, Ralonda Patterson. We travel to events together, bounce ideas off each other, and we are working on a collaboration we can teach together. I feel so grateful to have her in my life!
My favorite quote right now: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

I wrote a cool eBook about how I create my beaded pens. You can download it for free by subscribing to my email newsletter at


  1. Congratulations! Your work is lovely. I live in Carrollton. I'm more of a mixed media creator than a bead, but would like to meet you and Rolanda sometime if you're interested. I don't know anyone who's as, shall I say devoted, to jewelry making as I am.

  2. Mandi, I just realized I've taken a class from you at Artful Bead. I took a wire crochet class a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. Consider me a fan.

  3. Mandi, I'm very proud of you! So that I keep it from being mushy.... YOU GO GIRL!!! Hugs.....

  4. Nice to see you are a maven and in such great company!! I've loved looking at your beadwork. Looking forward to your collaborations and more goodies from you in the future. I too admire Melanie Doerman and had an opportunity to meet her at a local bead show...very humble and sweet. I lived in Rowlett for over ten years...too bad I never met you then...

  5. Congratulations, Mandi! Well deserved!

  6. This is FANTASTIC, Mandi!!! You deserve it!

  7. I'm excited to work with you this year! What a year this will be! Congratulations!!

  8. Mandi, your designs are totally unique as are you. Enjoy your fame! Hope we stay in touch.

  9. I am looking forward to seeing your work Mandi. I too loved Melanie Doerman and was pleased to see her mentioned.