To live life in the moment, to embrace one’s own sense of beauty and sensuality: this is the heart of Joy by Carlé.
Hello! My name is Sylvia Carlé (she/her) and I would like to share with you how I started Joy by Carlé over 25 years ago. First, I had no idea how to bead. I simply knew I wanted to create my own necklaces and earrings to complement the Guatemalan and southern Mexican huipiles that I had started to collect and wear in my daily life. I slowly taught myself by analyzing how necklaces were made. I had no time to attend classes on jewelry making because of my work and family life. I did not want to be influenced by other jewelry designers because my vision was unique and powerful. So on my own, I learned about clasps and findings; I learned about the semi-precious stone beads that attracted me so powerfully. I struggled to learn simple wiring until I could achieve the effects I sought. As a result, I started to make fantastical necklaces, buying the beads and tools from various bead shows.
During those early years, I wore my creations with the huipiles to my job, first as a case manager and then, as a shelter director for a domestic violence shelter. Wearing them countered the emotional toll of working with victims through so many years. I am positive my distinct presence in Uptown Whittier, California, wearing my gorgeous huipiles with my dramatic jewelry, was a cause for a lot of talk! Soon, friends and colleagues started to ask me to create pieces for them. And so it began.
If I had to explain from where my designs emerge, I would say that from almost the very beginning of my jewelry making, the majority emerged from memories. But not memories of this lifetime. Rather, they emerge from deep within my psyche, from visions of ancient people in ancient lands. For a successful necklace, I "see" the design with my inner eye. Those pieces simply fly out of my heart and memory, with no thought whether it would please others. I feel compelled to bring the ancient to the world of today, to bring forth the power of the human spirit that transcends time and space; to create no matter what. This is my joy.
So I continue to create, using the beautiful stones that call to me psychically. I continue to create using the pure silver of the Hill Tribe people of Northern Thailand. I continue to create using my own ancient memories. It is my dream that these manifested memories bring beauty to those who choose to adorn themselves with my jewelry. This is why I named my shop Joy by Carlé.
[Image Description: Photo portrait of Sylvia, designer and owner of Joy By Carlé wearing a vibrant purple silk rebozo from Mexico over a black scoop neck maxi dress, a hand beaded amethyst collar from her personal collection in her signature style, centered with a silver Yalalag cross pendant from Southern Mexico, and intricate sterling silver hoop earrings from Zacatecas. Her hair is all white and cut into a short pixie style. She is smiling and has on bright red lipstick and a thin line of black eyeliner all around her eyes.]