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On Valentine’s Day, 2006, I was deployed to Iraq, during my 10-year tour as a Military Police Officer in the US Army, when my vehicle was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device. My leg was instantly severed, and I suffered a movement disorder, traumatic brain injury, 3rd-degree burns, multiple back injuries, and PTSD. Recovery from my injuries was a long and dark road, and I fell into a severe depression. During recovery, my occupational therapist suggested that I find a hobby that used my fine motor skills. In the beginning, my motor skills were incredibly compromised, and stringing a large wooden bead with a leather rope proved near impossible. My grit and tenacity kept me moving, and I learned everything I could about the craft while practicing every day. Jewelry-making became my glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Amazingly, within a year, my movement disorder had almost disappeared! My new hobby turned into an insatiable passion, and now, a business. I'm so grateful for the opportunities I have to tell my story. I've been featured on the CNN Morning Show, Dr. Oz Show, Cosmopolitan and Glamour and Woman's World magazines among others. I am a member of Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA), as well as the South Texas BBB and the Women's Jewelry Association (WJA). I am also the recipient of the 2016 Veteran's Grant from the WJA.

Tara Hutchinson
San Antonio, TX

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