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Rising Stars: Meet Joanne Parks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joanne Parks.

Hi Joanne, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
About 8 years ago I had visited my cousin, who, I noticed, was wearing this really cool, unique necklace. When I took a closer look, I saw that the end of a bullet was being utilized. I’d never seen anything like it and thought that it was so pretty and different. It wasn’t until we moved to Missouri 4 years ago ( I’m from Florida), that I began to think more about that necklace and thought that I could make something like that. I actually bought the end pieces of the bullet, some Swarovski crystals, and a few other items to try and create some cool earrings. From there, I was hooked!

I came up with the name BOLO Boutique to pay homage to my husband, dad, and brother who are in law enforcement. BOLO is an acronym that means, Be On The Lookout.

I know that my designs are not for everyone, and I’m completely ok with that!

I have friends that love to go shooting and will save the bullets for me so that I can cut the ends off.
I love going to local events to sell my creations. My hope is to have my jewelry in some local boutiques.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It’s not always been smooth, I absolutely LOVE going to all of the seasonal events, but it can be very time-consuming. Gaining followings on social media is a bit of a struggle as well.

However, nothing worth having comes easy!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I LOVE creating jewelry. Not only is it cathartic for me personally, I feel an immense amount of pride in the pieces I create! What sets me apart is using actual bullets to create cool and unique pieces of jewelry. I’m beginning to morph into creating other pieces without bullets, but using bullets is my 1st love.. most people don’t even realize I use bullets in my pieces. When they figure it out I love seeing their reactions!

What do you like and dislike about the city?
I absolutely LOVE my adopted state! There’s SO much to do and see! The people are friendlier and more open here. I can’t think of anything I don’t like. Except for winter. I’m still getting used to that! You literally have a little bit of everything here and it’s amazing!

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