The Sixty Beads Story
My journey started in 2008 when I went to England to attend a concert by 2 of my favorite bands: A-ha and Savoy. We did all the fun tourist-ee stuff but I also had made a promise to bring back rosaries for friends at our parish St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in San Francisco. We headed to Westminster Abbey but sadly we got there too late for the tour, however, the bookstore was still open and to my delight they had a healthy selection of rosaries. With the Exchange Rate NOT in my favor we paid a small fortune for several beautiful rosaries but when we got home, I realized that we had a problem with all of them-
I couldn’t give these as gifts. The weakness of the chains made them seem cheap-which wasn’t at all true-the materials were top notch and even the chain was good quality but the gauge just wasn’t right and whoever made them didn’t take into account that when you use heavy beads or pearls the gauge of the wire chain has to be thick enough to make good strong links, otherwise in no time your rosary will become brittle and fall apart. Especially if you pray the rosary daily, a weak link will cause your poor rosary to literally disintegrate. This makes perfect sense now but back in 2008 I didn’t have a clue what was wrong with the rosaries and worse I didn’t know how to fix them and I couldn’t find anyone who knew how to repair rosaries. I did, however, know a thing or two about how to use tools. In my previous life I was an aircraft mechanic so hand tools were second nature to me but rosaries and airplanes are not similar. I would have to do the unthinkable and deconstruct one of the rosaries, study it closely and attempt to actually reassemble it.
I dove into jewelry books and watched videos online. I finally felt confident enough to deconstruct one of the “London rosaries” and after many hours of looking at the delicate chain links under a magnifier and reading about tensile strengths, I was finally ready to learn how to make chain. It was slow going and took quite a few months of trial and error but I got the hang of how to use the jewelry pliers to manipulate the wire. With much effort my chain got better and better. I challenged myself to make it smaller and stronger-learning various finishing techniques. I was finally ready to get to work. Going link by link I restrung the 60 beads on my own handmade chain. It took days to do one decade but I didn’t give up and over a number of weeks I had reassembled my little “London rosary” and to this day it is still going strong having endured many prayers.
I fixed all the rosaries I purchased in London and one of them actually resides in the mausoleum of a friend’s dear departed mother. I may have not have known what I was doing but I knew what I needed to do and I studied, practiced and didn’t give up until I succeeded. In 2010 I started to show my colleagues my repaired rosaries and a few that I had made from scratch and they started asking me if I was going to start a business. I decided it was worth a shot. So, on my birthday in 2010 “Sixty Beads Rosaries & More” was born.
I knew that I loved creating rosaries and was interested in branching out into other types of wire working and beading. I had the support of my family and workmates and that encouraged me to really dig in and take it seriously. I am blessed with a good imagination and the bravery to try anything once. I noticed rosary bracelets were fast becoming a popular item for women who want to have the rosary near them to pray on the go without drawing too much attention outside of church. I started making elastic bracelets and invented “The Trinity Rosary Bracelet”. I drew inspiration from my own spiritual journey and that of members of my family. My sister got an intuition that we should create a line of rosaries that celebrate life of the unborn. She dubbed them “Right To Life” rosaries in pink and blue to celebrate life and to send a message that life begins before birth and the ability to be brought to birth is a basic right given us by God. I put out a prototype of this rosary and it was bought on the spot by a mom and daughter. I knew then that we created a rosary that speaks to a universal truth and that it will attract like minded people who have come to understand the teachings of the Catholic church in regards to life and who aren’t afraid to express that in their daily devotion to our own Blessed Mother.
This is the reason why I am here bringing my creations to you. To beautify your body as well as glorify the Lord who lives in all of us. Everything I do is a testament to the grace of God in my life and it is all to His glory be it a beautiful rosary or one of my unique “Viking Weave” bangles or wire wrap earrings.
I may never get to a place where I can make my living doing jewelry but as long as you like what I do and can connect to the message the rosary gives us: Meditation on the mysteries of our Lord’s life passion and resurrection, then I have a purpose here-and that’s all that matters.
Love and Blessings To All of You. Miss Gabby Dominguez