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A Hobby Turned Career

Shawna Bannerman Spent Stone Jewellery YEG Biz

By Eryn Pinksen

Supplied photo.

This NAIT alumna has a unique connection to The Nugget. Shawna Bannerman, who graduated from the Graphic Communications program in 2018, is the newspaper’s Production Designer. She also runs her own jewellery company: Spent + Stone.

“I’ve always been a very creative person. I’ve had the regular nine to five job and I know it doesn’t fulfill me,” said Bannerman.

She started making jewellery when she was eight or nine and for years used her creativity as a hobby.

“I have no idea how I learned how to make jewellery,” said Bannerman. “YouTube tutorials weren’t a thing then and I just taught myself.”

Her advice to new students is to get involved in something, anything. The connections and friendships she made at NAIT encouraged her to start her own business and she is now at several Edmonton-area farmers markets and runs an online store.

“When I went to NAIT, I got involved and worked at the Nugget and I met so many people,” said Bannerman.

In her program, she learned the value of charging for creative work and it has encouraged her in her craft as a designer.

“I did learn to value your work, to value yourself and to recognize you are worth charging a fair amount,” said Bannerman. “Don’t undercut yourself, and that applies to all fields, but especially if you work for yourself doing something creative.”

Bannerman explains the Graphics Communications program is a quick and intense one-year program. With nothing but praise for her instructors, Bannerman said they were genuine about their interest in their students.

“When you put a lot of effort into something and really apply yourself, it feels extremely rewarding,” said Bannerman. “I think that’s why I liked the program so much.”

Now Bannerman is back at NAIT working for the Nugget while running her business full time.

“I get to be creative in every aspect of my life, which I love.”

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