I grew up in Queens, N.Y. the third child of creative parents. My mother had her own millinery business when I was younger and I just loved playing with the buttons and sequins that she used, so she taught me embroidery, knitting, and how to crochet; there by developing the patience that goes along with detailed work.
My father; a full time postal worker, was trained in photography, painting, carpentry, electronics, auto mechanics, and metal work. From my parent’s background, I was encouraged and allowed to develop my creative talents. I learned to look at things with an artistic eye and I learned to think that something is possible even though I’ve never seen it done before. This became very important in mixing media and constructing parts which I couldn’t find.
I know that everyone has their own unique development and by this their expressions are also unique and highly personal. I invite you to enjoy and share in the expression in my creations.
One summer leaving the Barnes & Noble bookstore where I worked at the time, a ‘voice’ in my mind said, ‘You want to make jewelry.’ At that particular time I did not see anything that inspired me (I wasn’t window shopping). It was just the ‘voice.’ I was obedient and said okay. At that time in my life, I was playing the flute and was looking to become a famous jazz musician. While going to work the next day I ran into my girlfriend Monifa who I haven’t seen in awhile and who makes jewelry.
“Monifa, I want to learn how to make jewelry. Where do I go to learn?”
“I happen to be looking for an apprentice – I’ll teach you.”
And that is how it started.
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
“Did your mother named you that?”
I get a lot of questions about the name Shimoda. (She-mow-da)
When I was looking for a name for my business, it was during that time I was reading the book ‘Illusions’ by Richard Bach. The main character was named Donald Shimoda. The name Shimoda, resonated with me and I decided to call my business ‘Shimoda
Accessories’. My birth name is Donna, but once people knew my business name, they started calling me Shimoda. It’s a coastal city in Japan and it’s also a Japanese surname.