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Artist Story: Pam of Streetcat Designs

Artist Story: Pam of Streetcat Designs

Where did the name of your business come from?
My company name is derived from a sweet black cat named Brutus that I adopted after he'd spent his entire life living on the street. It is also a nod to myself, who as a teenager, lived for a brief time on the streets. There was a bead store in the area where I hung out during the day. The lady who owned it taught me some basic wire wrapping techniques, gave me some tools, beads and wire and asked me to make some earrings and bring them back to her. She paid me a bit of money for the earrings which I used for food. I use these same techniques, along with the knitting and crocheting skills my grandmother taught me, to make my jewelry now. There are easier ways of doing things, but this is my legacy, my passion, and my saviour, both the skills and the cat. 

What's the story behind why you started your business?
In 2003, I lost my two best friends within months of each other, to breast cancer. On the day my second friend died, my daughter and my sister took me out for lunch. We got off the bus right in front of a bead store. The most colorful thing that day were the glass mason jars full of tiny seed beads in the store window. A few days after Suzanne's funeral, I was in need of something to do with my hands, that would soothe my soul. I remembered that glorious rainbow of beads and went back and bought just about all of them. As I started working with them, the techniques I had learned as that little street kid back in the 1970's came rushing back. I have now exchanged the glass beads for gemstones and the nylon thread was replaced with gold and silver, but I haven't stopped since!  

What are you most proud of about your business? 
I think what I'm most proud of is the ability to make jewelry that makes people happy. I am also proud that my husband and my daughter are proud of what I do.

How have you grown as a person as a result of your business?
Every stage of my life has brought forth growth. Living on the street brought survival skills and the recognition that even the smallest of comforts are a gift. Being a single parent showed me how to prioritize in the moment...when you're at work, focus only on work, when you're at home be with your child 100%. Owning my own business has taught me tenacity, (more) patience, confidence without arrogance, and the ability to put myself into a situation that is out of my comfort zone and adapt to it. 

What difference does your art make in your life? And your family's life?
Since I've started my business, I've found a sense peace that I never had before. I'm not sure if it's the joy I get in creating beautiful things, the soothing qualities of the gemstones I work with, or simply the serenity of working by myself, that has brought such calmness into my life. It could very possibly be all three. Working to make a living can be hectic and soul sucking. Making a living creating gives you soul. 

And when mom is happy, everyone is happy!

If you could say something to the person who buy/enjoys your art, what would it be?Thank you! Thank you for loving my work so much that you would spend your hard earned money on it! Thank you for wearing it with panache. Thank you for feeling the love and happiness that goes into making each piece!

Why we love having Pam's jewelry at Giving Gifts: 

Pam creates the most delicate, intricate and unique jewelry I have ever seen. I have heard that crocheting with gold and silver is the hardest thing to do and I can only imagine the skill and concentration and attention to detail it takes! I have a pair of Pam's earrings and I get so many compliments on them. They are a joy to wear as they are so light, I barely feel them on my ears. We also love that she uses only gold and silver and gems and crystals and pearls in her jewelry. They are truly beautifully designed and exceptional quality. You'll feel the love that goes into each one-of-a-kind piece. To see the full collection of Streetcar Designs please stop by the store. Click here to view our small online selection. Please note that all earrings are available to order online. Get in touch with Lisa at if there is a particular pair you'd like to see in more detail. 

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