Hi there! My name is Shanna Steele and I am the creative mind behind Steele Magnolia Designs.
After working as a high school teacher and social worker, I went to work for a bead and jewelry supply company called Auntie's Beads in 2006. It was a part-time job working in the warehouse filling orders and within a few months, I was promoted to a position as an instructional designer. A few years later, I became their purchasing and product manager. It was during my Auntie's Beads years that I had my first piece published in a beading magazine (it was a 2007 issue of the now defunct Step By Step Beads). Since then, I have had approximately two dozen pieces published. Two of those pieces have been on the cover of Beadwork magazine. I was even named Designer of the Year by Beadwork in 2018!
In 2014, my son was born and I decided to take a little bit of time off from the bead biz. As time went on, I decided not to return to Auntie's Beads, but instead to take a chance on showing and selling my work. I did my first art show in 2016 when I was recruited by an organization called RAW. I went to that event with some of my favorite pieces as well as some brand new handwoven goodies I'd created recently using Czech glass beads called SuperDuos. Since then, I have not stopped showing and selling my work - and I have become even more addicted to using glass beads along with materials not typically found in beadweaving projects (i.e., crystals, gemstones, metal beads, etc).
In 2019, I was thrilled to be an Emerging Artist at the very prestigious Main Street Arts Festival in Fort Worth. This was a full circle moment for me; I grew up in Dallas and attended college at TCU in Fort Worth and have been going to - and dreaming of being part of - this festival for as long as I can remember. This show is ranked #1 in Texas and # 3 in the US and each year, they see thousands of applicants to fill hundreds of spots. So I was ecstatic when not only was I selected to participate, but I won Best of Show in my category AND The People's Choice Award.