My name is Andrea McGinnis and I am a mother of three young boys and own an online jewelry business called GenDrea. I have been making jewelry for several years now and it is a passion that I am so grateful to have. I love creating colorful, rich pieces that are one of a kind.
I was raised in Arizona and when I turned 19 I joined the United States Navy. I served for 8 years where I met my husband. We were married in Hawaii and shortly after we were married he deployed to Iraq in 2004. I was pregnant with our first son, was on active duty and lived on the island of Oahu. I loved going to downtown Waikiki and browsing through the international market place at all of the artisan jewelry.
In November of 2004, I received a phone call that my husband was hit by an IED and severely wounded. He lost his left leg, vision in one eye, suffered a traumatic brain injury and had several fractures. We spent the next three years in hospitals where he made a full recovery and have since moved on into the civilian world.
He has accomplished things he was told he would never accomplish, including two masters degrees, dozens of triathlons, national motivational speaking, a handful of advisory boards and now a published author.
I on the other hand stayed with our three little guys, while he was out conquering the world. I needed to find something that gave me an identity, a purpose…a way to even relieve some stress.
In early 2007 I made keychains, yes keychains…made out of wooden beads and leather cord and I gave them away to veterans. They represented the medals and ribbons they earned while they were on active duty. I still make them today and sell them on a website (www.combatkeychains.com) as well as lanyards, necklaces, bracelets and more.
It became tedious making the same thing over and over again so I started to expand my techniques by watching videos and online tutorials, reading books and blogs and anything I could get my hands on.
I picked up on everything rather quickly and soon opened up my own etsy shop.
I truly love jewelry making, I look forward to 8pm every night. I turn the tv on, get my jewels out…turn on my favorite show and have myself a little R&R.