Meet Your Head Elves & Projects

Meet your Head Elves, these amazing people will be teaching classes during the 2021 JJB Winter Workshop. Check them out and learn a little about their favorite holiday traditions below. Sign up here to save your spot for Winter Workshop.

Workshop Director Elf: Sarah James (Jesse James Beads)

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah James and I am so super excited to be your JJB Top Elf Director for the 2nd year in a row! We have an amazing lineup of awesome for this year's workshop, it's going to be so much fun. On a typical day you can find me dreaming up new JJB products with our design team, coordinating online tutorials, and researching new gotta-have-it trends. I love camp because it allows us to bring our community together from all across the globe for a week of learning, playing, oohing and aahing, and renewed companionship with each other.

My motto is "All Heart" - meaning live, breathe, work and thrive with 100% heart and passion. It's so good to share this moment with you. Cheers to a week of creative fun at JJB Winter Workshop 2021!

Wyatt White (Beadalon)

I have been in the Jewelry business since 1982, learned how to knot pearls within about 4 months from starting waaaay back then, and haven’t stopped for 39 years (YIKES)!!

A Favorite Holiday Tradition:
Going home to New Mexico and eating Bagna Cauda a traditional Italian hot dip containing butter, olive oil, garlic, creme and anchovies, dipped with fresh vegetables

About The Project:
I love weaving the two different sizes of snowflake forms together in the center with 26Ga wire to secure them together to form a 12 spoke snowflake ornament/sun catcher.

Brittany Chavers (Professional Designer, Turquoise Street & Brittany's Beads)

I am a bead fanatic, and I've been making jewelry for over 25 years. My passion is in teaching others, discovering new techniques, and hoarding beads! I’m the creator of Turquoise.Street on YouTube and the founder of Brittany’s Beads on Facebook.

A Favorite Holiday Tradition:
I don't know how it started, but every year, the first gift I give my dad is always cordial cherries. No matter where I am, if I see cordial cherries I instantly think of my dad and how he would open them right away and pop one in his mouth before moving onto more gifts!

About The Project:
We'll be doing a last minute gift blitz making multiple pairs of earrings!


Jem Hawkes (Professional Designer, Jem's Gem Box)

Jem Hawkes is a designer and tutor specializing in wirework and gemstone jewelry. She is driven by the natural allure of genuine gemstones and the individuality of designs made possible by the huge range of beads and accessories available.

In addition to originating her own brand of unique jewelry designs and techniques, Jem is a jewelry tutor and teaches both via project led in-person workshops and on her YouTube channel.

Jem incepted her business, Jem’s Gem Box in 2010 initially to provide charm beads and bracelets, but very quickly wanted to create her own designs. Moving into wirework in 2014 had her headhunted to work in Live Shopping TV as a technique demonstrator from 2015 to 2019.

Jem also works as an actress, live action role play artist, model, voiceover artist, barista and vegan chef so is never, ever bored

A Favorite Holiday Tradition:

Dressing the tree at Yule ... even though my son is now 17 it's still a special time of togetherness. I love to add natural hand gathered pine cones to remind me of the winter festival.

About The Project:

I am lucky enough to be bringing two projects this Winter, one will be a very wearable piece of jewelry for all year around and the other, a gorgeous keepsake bauble which can adorn your tree for generations to come.

Nealay Patel - SilverSilk and More

Nealay is the owner of SilverSilk & More. He is the author of three jewelry-making books, hosting workshops at many trade shows, making television appearances on Beads, Baubles & Jewels and also Jewel School on JTV. Nealay also is a designer of Jesse James Beads, and works full-time as an Art Director in his hometown of Tulsa, OK

A Favorite Holiday Tradition:
Spending time with family

About The Project:
Nealay will be showing us how to create a beautiful Holiday Gems necklace featuring SilverSilk and one of the bead strands included in the Winter Workshop kit. This project is perfect for spreading bright holiday cheer!

Meredith Roddy (Beadalon)

Meredith Roddy's favorite memories are from working at summer camp, and she is so excited to return to her "happy place" as a JJB camp counselor!. When she's not sipping on Bug Juice making friendship bracelets and lanyards, she is the Product Marketing Specialist and a Design Team Member for Beadalon. Note seed bead colors will vary in kit!

A Favorite Holiday Tradition:

We are a blended family, so we get to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. I love being able to share both lighting the menorah candles and decorating the tree with my family!

About the Project:

I get to teach two projects at the Winter Workshop! Both will use the peyote stitch, but with very different results. The first will be a peyote stitched bezel pendant, and the second will be a Cellini Spiral pendant. I love how the variations in one stitch can make such different projects.

Tracy Proctor (TierraCast)

Tracy Proctor lives in Northern California where she works for TierraCast. She has a degree in art and a widely varied art and design background and enjoys the challenge of finding new and beautiful ways to use a wide range of components, materials, and techniques. She also loves coming up with clear, engaging and fun ways to share that knowledge in different forums, including magazine publications, teaching at trade shows and events, and online tutorial live-streaming.

A Favorite Holiday Tradition:

A favorite gift-giving tradition is to make a piece of jewelry for each of the women in a close group of friends. I use the same design for all, but each recipient's piece is personalized to their likes and palettes.

About The Project:

This project combines simple wire-work and beads with leather cord. The cord ends can be attached with adhesive or by crimping.

May Flaum (Professional Designer / Crafter)

From sewing to scrapbooking, May Flaum has enjoyed a lifetime of crafting all kinds of projects, with a wide variety of materials. She has taught classes online and across the United States, published several books, worked with numerous manufacturers like Brother and Fisckers, and enjoys sharing her creations through her own social media as well. She loves working with all colors and when not crafting you can find her spending time with her family and three dogs.

A Favorite Holiday Tradition:

Making chocolate crinkle cookies and jam thumbprint cookies - classics created with my grandmother growing up is a favorite today. It's a way to bring her memory into my current traditions and take a walk down memory lane. 

About The Project:

Combining beads and sewing is a favorite of mine, as it is a great way to customize and add a bit of glam to my hand sewn creations.

Katie Hacker (Professional Designer. Beads, Baubles & Jewels.

You know Katie Hacker as the host of Beads, Baubles & Jewels on PBS and the editor of Beadwork magazine. She has also been on a mission to raise funds and awareness for Beads of Courage for the past decade. You can catch her Jewelry Artist podcast and bead and jewelry articles at

A Favorite Holiday Tradition:

I enjoy putting together little candies and treats in an Advent calendar for my kids to open each morning until Christmas.

About The Project:

We're going to make a quick kumihimo 4-strand braid with lots of beaded dangles using a Beads of Courage Carry a Bead set. You'll make one beaded ring to keep one to encourage a Beads of Courage member.

Join us at Winter Workshop! Sign up here.


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