Moose Spotlight: Beautiful and Artisan Jewelry Creations

Meet San Jose, CA-based jewelry artist Laura Thompson of @beadzillajewelry on Instagram. She started making jewelry at the tender age of eight and started selling jewelry when she was fourteen years old. She opened her own business back in 2014, after years of working up to what is now Beadzilla Jewelry. That is a total of forty-one years of making jewelry!

Jewelry Artist Laura Thompson of @beadzillajewelry on Instagram

@beadzillajewelry on Instagram

One of the things that inspired Laura to start creating jewelry is her parents. She shared with us that she was discouraged from becoming an artist and said that her inclination toward jewelry was ‘genetic,’ which Laura assumed meant her parents thought she was born attracted to all things jewelry.

She mentioned how she certainly tried other things over the years but has always been simultaneously working with the jewelry arts as well. To Laura, she -never- could not do it!

Laura is also inspired by the materials themselves when she makes jewelry. Sincere love and appreciation for adornment with stones and metals are present whenever she designs and works with her craft. She states, “When I am with my jewelry, I feel centered; [and feels] a certain type of peace.”

As an artist, Laura is also faced with challenges. For her, the most challenging is having to make a living from the Arts. She expounded, “It is most times >80% administration, marketing, selling, business skills, taxes, computer, procurement, inventory, finances, customer service, shipping, wrangling service providers (Apple, Verizon, PayPal) and etc.”

She continued explaining that creativity often gets relegated to whatever time is left from making the business viable. Adding that it definitely changes an artist and often, the artwork. Laura said that a professional compared to a hobbyist is a very real difference, which is the most extreme challenge as she said.

When we inquired if she had memorable pieces, Laura said she has many memorable pieces. However, a piece she can never forget about is the one that she is just about to make next. For now, it will be in her internal vision until she creates it. If she’s around the materials, as mentioned earlier, the vision for it recurs stronger over time until she has to make it.

Inspiration-wise, nature plays a big part when it comes to Laura’s creation. To her, nature is the ultimate inspiration. All of her materials are sourced as naturally as possible. Laura declares how she is very conscious of our effect on our environment and how we are dependent on it for our survival.

She isn’t particularly drawn to replicating nature themes in her designs such as leaves, bees, feathers, etc, but she does like to choose stones that highlight natural variations and diversity. The 1% perfect stones interest her less than the diversity and characteristics of millions of tumbled beach stones on any given shore.

As turquoise enthusiasts, we had to ask why she works with them. Laura explained that she’s very influenced by color in her mood. Since she spends so much time with the materials from start to finish of her work, the color absolutely affects her. Moreover, It's cumulative and over time, the colors, and characteristics of turquoise have been her favorite mood.

Laura expounded that she likes how much she enjoys all of the turquoise’s diverse natural characteristics and tendencies. She appreciates that good quality enjoyable turquoise is generally affordable. Furthermore, she likes that turquoise has a deeply spiritual and historical connection with people being among the first cultivated stones for personal enjoyment.

She continued that for whatever reason, and there are many, turquoise "speaks to" people; “people are attracted to/by it and want it to be with/near them. I like this about it. I've worked with materials that are unknown or newly discovered and it's an entirely different experience than working with / providing the turquoise experience for people,” she added.

Take a look at some of her amazing work!

Turquoise Jewelry by Laura Thompson of @beadzillajewelry on Instagram


Her number one tip she wants to share with her fellow creators is to not quit! “Take a break if you have to; study and work on tangential skills, but don't ever give up. The jewelry arts and especially the jewelry business are difficult, competitive, expensive, and vigorous. But if you persist ... you will find there is space enough for us all to be creative together and there is a place for us each to plant our roots and grow our art <3 *Peace” We love seeing creators encourage each other!

Follow her on Instagram:

Check out her Etsy shop:

What do you like most about working with Turquoise Moose?

“Quality. The stones are exceptional. Availability; if I need a similar size/shape/type of turquoise eventually I might find something similar in the supply line. One of a kind is great but also; people predictably want what they see has been made before ... it's a Catch-22 conflict. And (see above running a business) I want to be able to deliver "similar" things sometimes to people who desire them from me/my process and creativity. Locality; I'm dedicated to sourcing local whenever possible; direct whenever possible; and in support of women-owned business whenever possible. So working with Turquoise Moose helps me achieve some of my underlying business commitments.”

- Laura Thompson

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