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Designer Profile | Cheryl Finnegan

Friday, May 29, 2015

Dear Diary,

A few years ago I was given a lovely necklace from a dear friend of mine, it was a beautifully layered necklace with beads that emmulated the design of a Catholic rosary.  Tiny sacred hearts were imprinted on the backs of each jem setting and an intricate cross hung down the center, I fell in love instantly!   Fast foward to Spring 2015, a box arrives in the mail, it's black (my favorite color), on the lid printed in gold foil it reads "Wear it & Believe!"  I can say at this point "I Believe!" even before opening the box!  

Cheryl Finnegan, owner and designer of the jewelry line Virgin Saints &Angels, was kind enough to let us play with her fabulous designs in our Bewitching styled shoot and the combination was divine!  I had a little Q & A with Cheryl to discuss VSA Designs, her inspiration and even her challenges as a designer and entrepreneur.  Here's a little of the conversation-


TR: When did you know that you wanted to be a jewelry designer and how did you get started in the business?

CF:My story is not as simple as a life long desire.  It was sort of accidental.  I moved to Mexico and I needed to figure out a way to stay a float – I started making a woven plastic bag with ring for a keychain.  Started selling more keychains than bags…then that key chain concept turned into a belt buckle which turned into a necklace etc……and voila!  I am a jewelry designer and I love it. 


TR:How did you get started with Virgin Saints & Angels?

CF: VSA was a kitschy key chain that transpired into a belt buckle and then onto a line of jewelry.  Virgin Saints & Angels was a name that just came out of my mouth one day and I never went back to even think it through.  I love the inspiration I get from Mexican artifacts and religion and it just stuck.  I love working with a theme….and once I came to terms with the theme – I decided I would make the best crosses in the world!  Done.


TR:Where do you find inspiration when designing your jewelry?

CF: Just walking around the beautiful towns in Mexico – watching the people – going to the churches and seeing the iron work and architecture.


TR:What do you find to be most rewarding about being a designer/business owner?

CF: For me – it’s about my independence – but it’s also about giving work to women.  Some are single mothers, mothers on a second career, or VSA is their first job and they didn’t finish highschool.  I want everyone to feel wanted and to feel that they make a diffrence.


TR: What do you find to be most challenging about being a designer/business owner?

CF: I can’t lie….it’s cash flow!  There is a lot of responsibility with payroll, vendors, etc…  I’m self funded and have no interest in taking on investors.


TR: What is your morning routine like, how do you like to start your day?

CF: My guilty pleasure is taking an hour or more to get ready in the morning .  I like to do some yoga or go for a walk – eat a hearty breakfast with a vegetable juice and then about an hour into work I usually breakdown and drink a coffee.   I prefer to make phone calls in the morning….or run off to the workshop before my office arrives and get in some creative time.


TR: Do you have an inspirational quote or poem?

CF: I have several.  But since I am a pisces….I relate to my “finned friends”.  One of my favorite quotes:   "I must be a Mermaid. I have no fear of  Depths, and a great fear of shallow Living." words by Anais Nin


TR: If you could leave the world with only one book, what book would it be?

CF: Oh dear – these are always difficult questions.  I would take the book that I have been keeping of my daughter Tallulah’s life.  Filled with quotes and stories of her birth and advetures ..  and if I was given one more it would be “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.


TR: What is the one movie you can watch over and over?

CF: “Mary Poppins” by Walt Disney


TR: If you could go back ten years in time, what advice would you give your younger self?

CF: Be frugal – grow slowly – and stay focused on what you do best.


To see more incredible jewelry visit their website- www.vsadesigns.com 


Thank you Cheryl and the VSA team for collaborating with Teresa Romero Atelier!

 We ♥ VSA!  

{Photography by Crystal Sims}

{Hair and Makeup Artist Genica Lee}

{Jewelry provided by Virgin Saints and Angels}

{Dresses provided by Teresa Romero Atelier}

{Modeled by Melinda Walsh and Sarah Tafoya}


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