My name is Debbie Benninger. I was born and raised in London, Ontario, Canada. I've always been a creative person.
My outlet, or happy place, has always been in creating. My grandmother, Norine, got me started very young. Whether crocheting, knitting, and anything crafty, we did it together. I've been a sculptor, scrapbooked, cross stitched, and had a dollhouse miniature business—but I'd never touched jewelry.
Then I met an amazing man that moved me to a new city, so I needed a new outlet while I assimilated to my new life. As I surfed the net, I came across jewelry-making. I ran out to the store and bought a bunch of beading and stringing supplies thinking, "This is it!" I was bored within the hour. It wasn't my passion. Back to the internet. As I scoured the net for different genres of jewelry-making, wire wrapping appeared. I flipped through some pictures, and off to the hardware store I went. I sat down, started to play, and I was hooked. I realized how forgiving this genre can be. No matter what I do, I'm never wrong. There are really no rules. Miss a stitch? Keep going. It was very freeing to me. I avoided the internet for awhile, as I wanted what I produced to be mine—in MY voice.
My supportive spouse, Ian Butler, would come to bead shows with me. He nudged me, not always gently, to get out and share my work at artisan shows and to make it into a business. One show changed my life. I came in and met a woman who asked about the creator of the necklace I was wearing. I replied that it was me. She said she was looking for a wire weaving artist for a collaboration, and long story short, the woman I met that day was Mary Ann Helmond and my journey began. That first joint piece ended up in a magazine and went on to win an award at Fire Mountain Gems wire competition. Within a month, we were doing shows together.
My loving spouse came up with the logo. The business is named after him and myself. Without him, I'm not sure if or when my business would have started.
I truly hope you will come on this journey with me. Please don't hesitate to contact me about any question, big or small.
Always remember to be "InDividual by Design"
The jewelry business is a tough business to get your foot into. Everyone today has the ability to surf the web and find anything, anywhere in the world....so to have a chance at catching your attention, I have to be just a little bit more unique then other designers. It makes me strive a little bit harder, work a little bit longer and stretch my mind a little bit further. I only put out my BEST work. I have a lot of pieces that nobody sees, its either put aside for scrap or to be reevaluated another day. Only my best pieces see the light of day.
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