Marybeth Johnson of Seattle, WA is MiaLena Designs.
After twenty five years in Steamboat Springs, CO, in 2004, Marybeth moved to Tucson, AZ. She started working at Miraval Resort, one of the top spas in the country. She read a book about prayer beads and was instantly inspired. "I really liked the spiritual aspect of them, the idea behind them was so personal and meaningful." She made the first prayer bead necklace for a friend at work who was going through a hard time. Soon after, other friends and co-workers were requesting prayer beads. She tried them out in the gift shop at Miraval. Guests gravitated immediately to their unique style and intimate meaning. Even at first glance, the prayer beads have a compelling presence. Whether it is their inherent significance or the rich, organic colors, shapes and textures that Marybeth chooses, her jewelry commands attention. She uses beads from all over the world that clearly convey a sense of history.
Although Marybeth is not a fundamentalist of any kind, she has a refreshing sense of reverence and irreverence for life's journey that emerges in her work. You may find surprising and interesting combinations in her beads, but all of them convey a sense of integrity and respect for their larger meaning. "You never know where your inspiration will come from, it could be something simple and exquisite in nature, or a great rock and roll song," she laughs playfully. Either way, the result of her inspiration is truly magical. "My hope is that a piece will end up resonating with a person's own spirituality and personal style, that they will find their own intention in the beads."
Marybeth continues to live an inspired gypsy life spending time in Seattle, Tucson and Colorado. Her jewelry can be found at several high end destination resorts and is worn by celebrities such as Usher, Sharon Stone, Shawn Christian, P Diddy, Heather Locklear, and has appeared in O! Magazine, More Magazine, Organic Spa Magazine, and Spiritual Health Magazine.