How This CNM Grad Is Helping Others Break Into the Jewelry Industry

Shannon Sweet says CNM helped her start a successful jewelry business so she’s now found a way to give back
January 17, 2023

Ever since middle school Shannon Sweet has made jewelry as a hobby. But thanks to CNM, she was able to turn her hobby into a successful career. 

She first attended Ithaca College in New York where she studied art with an emphasis in metal sculpture work. After graduating she moved to New Mexico at the urging of her sister and saw that CNM had one spot left in its bench jewelry courses. She immediately enrolled and she’s glad she did.  

“I wanted to add more technical experience to my resume and jewelry making is much more marketable than sculpture work,” she says. 

Shortly after enrolling Shannon was hired as the CNM jewelry studio tech. This position allowed her to support herself and complete her certification. 

“Having the opportunity to learn in an affordable way and finding out what worked for me was invaluable,” Shannon explains. 

Now, Shannon works as an Instructional Support Technician at CNM and runs her business, Desert Moonshine Jewelry. To get her business going, she also turned to CNM, which helped her with all the necessary business paperwork. 

“It was great to have CNM be part of my training and an integral part of getting my business off the ground,” she says. 

Shannon loves giving back to CNM students as the Instructional Support Technician. She also serves as the Vice President and Treasurer of the New Mexico Jewelry Association, which was recently revived with the help of Harley McDaniel, Chair of Fine Arts, Film & Digital Media at CNM. 

This past October, Shannon celebrated five years of owning her jewelry business. As she reflects on the determination it took to get where she is now, she is grateful for the continued support and encouragement she finds at CNM.

“None of this would have happened without CNM and the help of Harley,” she says.