4Ward Designs by Ria

Handmade Philly got the chance to interview Maria Chaney, a handmade jewelry designer from Philadelphia.  Maria runs a business called 4Ward Designs by Ria.  4Ward Designs by Ria is a handcrafted beaded jewelry business, which carries handcrafted bracelets for men and women. Maria has been crafting jewelry for many years, however, she launched her business a little over 2 years ago on April 9, 2016. Come with me to take a peek into the creative world of 4Ward Designs by Ria.



When did you first realize you wanted to design jewelry? 

I used to make earrings as gifts for friends and family in my late teens/20s.  My real passion came in my late 30s/early 40s.

What was your biggest fear when going out and starting your own line? 

Would people really want to buy the bracelets?


Where do you go for inspiration when working on new jewelry?

My inspiration comes from different things.  It could be someone’s personality/style; clothes that people wear; colors.

What is your favorite thing about being a jewelry designer?

The pleasure I see when my clients wear my jewelry.

How do you want customers to feel when wearing your jewelry?

I want them to feel satisfied and happy!

What advice would you give to those who may want to start their own business designing or creating jewelry?

Find your niche and go with it.  I started out with so many different designs and types of pieces.  I honed in on what I felt the most passion for.

Should BEADWORK and JEWELRY MAKING be considered ART or CRAFT?

I think it is both an Art and a Craft.  The art is the design and the craft is making the actual piece.


How do you decide what you want to create?

When I do custom pieces, I talk to my client and find out what colors they like…what feel they are looking for and go from there.  When I do random pieces, I just go for what speaks to me.

Anything else you we should know about you?

I love designing and crafting wristart for others…it is my therapy.

You can find 4Ward Designs on Facebook: 4WardDesignsbyRia and on Instagram: @4WardDesignsbyRia.

Be sure to check her out at next month’s West Park Arts Festival’s Handmade Marketplace.  Attendees of all ages will enjoy stages of exciting culturally diverse performances by some of the area’s best dancers, musicians, and vocalists. Some of the talent includes the popular West Philadelphia Orchestra, Badd Kitti, Gretchen Elise Music, Patrice and The Show, The Philly Clicks, Jasmin Yahne Dance Company, and many more. The event will engage attendees in dance, art making, and many other activities including guided historical trolley tours through the Centennial District. Attendees can buy unique items in the Handmade Market, browse other vendors and enjoy the offerings of diverse food vendors. 

To see more about the Arts Fest visit http://www.westparkcultural.org/west-park-arts-fest and http://www.facebook.com/westparkartsfestival.   For more information
call 215-473-7810 or email info@westparkcultural.org.



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