Artist returns to lifelong passion of making jewelry

Published 11:23 pm Monday, September 10, 2007

NATCHEZ — A chain of events and a lot of faith led Melissa Vaughan on her journey into the world of jewelry making.

Vaughan started her journey early in life. As a child, she painted with her mother and worked with wood with her father. These events would create a foundation for her artistic ventures later on.

Approximately 12 years ago, Vaughan, a new mom, and her husband moved to Vail, Colo., so that he could attend culinary school. While in Vail, she discovered a small bead shop.

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“I would go and spend time there,” Vaughan said.

After a year in Colorado, the Vaughan family headed back to Yazoo City. Vaughan took a job teaching at a local elementary school. Even after working all day, she would stay up late designing and creating jewelry.

“It just blossomed from there,” Vaughan said.

“It grew until I had to make a choice between the two.”

Vaughan’s first big showing was at the Canton Flea Market. There, she met a sales representative who would market her jewelry in other cities and states.

Suddenly, Vaughan was in business.

“I was no longer a small cottage industry,” Vaughan said. “I was a manufacturer who needed employees. We would ship things out every day. It became something I had to focus on. I had to stay ahead of the game because fashion is always changing.”

Vaughan soon opened her own boutique in Yazoo City. Named after a statement her grandmother would often make her store — What’s Next — showcased jewelry and other art by Vaughan.

Then, four years ago, the Vaughan family made the decision to move to Natchez. The doors to the boutique closed and the Vaughan family started a new journey in a new town. Relying on her faith in God, she trusted him to show her the correct path to follow. Vaughan briefly returned to teaching elementary school at Cathedral before going back to jewelry making.

“Something called me back to jewelry making,” she said.

With the help of her good friend, Betsy Mosby, Vaughan had a trunk show.

“That opened the doors because people already knew about my jewelry,” Vaughan said.

Although she has not opened a store in Natchez, she works out of the studio beside her home.

“I no longer have to worry about creating the amount of jewelry I had to create before,” Vaughan said.

Along with selling jewelry out of her home, she offers a two-week summer bead camp for kids ages 7-14.

“That has been fun because they are so creative,” Vaughan said.

“I try not to influence them in any way. I just show them what to do, give them the beads and let them be creative.”

This past summer her camp hosted 24 kids.

Vaughan relies on her faith in God to show her the way. Her future, she states, is in his hands.

For now, she is content to continue making jewelry from her home.

Jewelry can be purchased by calling Vaughan, at 601-304-5311.