Cristy Johnson has always been inspired by the natural world. She was raised in the mystical woods of Spuzzum, British Columbia as part of the Nlaka’pamux Tribe, and currently resides near the seashore in the charming town of Sooke, British Columbia. Cristy applies the beauty she sees in nature to many of her designs; the colours and shapes of leaves, trees, tears, and the sea have all made appearances in her designs, coupled with geometrical contours and art deco classics.
Cristy’s entrepreneurial spirit came early and naturally to her, as did her creativity—her two parents, along with many relatives, are entrepreneurs themselves. One of Cristy’s earliest and loveliest memories is of spending time with her aunt Mary who taught her traditional Nlaka’pamux beadwork. She was gifted her first book on wire-wrapping techniques by her Aunt Candy and her Aunt Judy is also an enterprising jewelry designer. Cristy’s serendipitous familial relationships have been hugely influential on her process as an artist.
Cristy’s partner Ian is an unending source of support and motivation. A fellow artist, Ian is a kindred spirit for Cristy in that he too feels compelled to design, create, and share. They work alongside each other day by day, in their home studio, provoking and motivating one another to add beauty and complexity to the world.
Cristy is consistently galvanized by the raw materials she utilizes. She adores bead-shows: Thailand, Arizona, and Seattle are some of the places she has travelled in search of beautiful elements with which to create her jewelry. The allure of the natural stones and metals speaks to Cristy as she holds them in her hands, at which point the design process has taken root and the magic has begun.
Cristy was the very first recipient of the British Columbia Achievement Foundation’s “Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award” in 2009 and she participated in the celebrity gifting lounge at the 2008 Much Music Video Awards. These experiences and others humbled Cristy early in her career, giving her the confidence and inspiration to move forward with her designs. Cristy feels incredibly fortunate for the ability to work in her chosen field as it allows for time spent with Ian and her spirited dog Akiva, usually hiking near her home or cooking delectable vegan meals.