Diakonos Designs – Located in a spacious retail studio in South Central Wisconsin, inside a 125 year old historic building, Diakonos Designs is an assembly of artists – paid and volunteer – that seek to glorify God with their work. At the core of this group is the Guzman family and founder Becky Guzman. Listed below is a brief bio and/or artist statement from our current team members. In addition, we have also been blessed with several dozen volunteers and supporters, past and present, to whom we collectively give thanks for their time and treasure.
Becky Guzman– Founder, CEO, COO, Director of Design, Potter, Jewelry Designer
In 1999, after a 20 year career as an Information Technology Executive (the last 13 years at John Deere Credit), I took some time out from paid work to raise my two children. In 2005, I started making faith inspired jewelry gifts for MOPs caregivers using Jasper and Carnelian to symbolize the “Face of God” as noted in REV 4:3. The inspiration to make jewelry with clay beads came from IS 64:8 (God is the potter, we are the clay…), and the idea to make biblically-based beads & charms that express personal, faith-filled messages began to form. In 2007, I sold $300 worth of clay beads to a bead shop in Door County, and Diakonos Designs was born (the inspiration for the name came from Precepts Bible studies I was doing at the time). In 2008, we moved from the kitchen table to a downtown studio, and by 2009 we had a full-time retail operation. My family joined in along the way. In 2011, we launched www.shop.diakonosdesigns.com. Our team has informally adopted John Deere’s motto of “I will never put my name on a product that does not have in it the best that is in me”. We strive for excellence and quality with each piece of jewelry, and more importantly, we give the glory to God for each design.
Ed Guzman– CFO, CIO, Marketing, New Business Development, Jewelry Designer
In February 2011, after 22 years in bank equipment sales, and with a new desire to serve in ministry, I felt called to join my wife’s business/ministry. Becky & I met working together 25 years earlier at John Deere Credit, and we have complementary skills and interests, with a history of working well together. I joined to help with accounting, sales, marketing, wholesale growth and firing-up our e-commerce site. Along the way, I took a jewelry making class, and now find myself making custom jewelry, designing the prototypes we make for direct sales to businesses and ministries. Thanks to the internet and missionary partners, our jewelry is already being worn on every continent except Antarctica.
Hank Guzman– Metal Smith, Jewelry Designer
Now spending most of the year at Cornell College, Hank is our CPO (Chief Pounding Officer). Already a master at free-hand metal stamping, doming, and texturing, we trust Hank with our most intricate projects, including a recent large order where he struck 900 characters in a row without a mistake. If you purchase a design with stamped metal from Diakonos Designs, it is highly likely that it was made by “Hammerin’ Hank”.
Artist statement: I have enjoyed hammering out a niche’ at the studio by working with multiple metal components in various ways – expressing my creativity in a masculine art form. The metal pounding station is where I feel I can do God’s work by helping His people to express meaningful personal sentiments through the hammered word.
Alyssa Guzman– Volunteer, Jewelry Designer
Alyssa began making jewelry at age 10. Now, as a teenager, Alyssa has designed jewelry for many friends and relatives, and volunteers on our retail floor as well as completing production work, packaging and labeling/pricing of products.
Carol Nauman– Potter, Jewelry Designer
Carol has worked side by side with Becky for many years, designing and making clay beads, and clay focal pendants. Carol has her own line of clay focal pendants and finished jewelry available in our Stoughton Studio.
Kim Robinson a mother of three, Kim is a teacher assistant in the McFarland School District. In addition to retail experience, Kim is helping us organize our inventory and ordering systems.
Gloria Kay-Schoeberl - Jewelry Designer, Production Specialist, "Wrap Star"
Gloria and her husband Jim live in the Stoughton area, and have three children and seven grandchildren spread across the country. A retired Human Resources professional, Gloria has been creating jewelry for over ten years and donating pieces in silent auctions for charity.
Gloria has already contributed to our design portfolio with the Rivioli Bracelet, and because she is also a motorcycle enthusiast, Gloria is working on some new leather & chain designs for upcoming rallies.
Cullen Link - We learned that a young man in the Stoughton High School Transition & Job Development Program, Cullen Link had shown an aptitude for stringing beads, so we worked with his teachers in order to have him string most of the 10 Good Deeds bracelets for a 200 bracelet event. Shortly thereafter, we decided to hire Cully, and he works 3 days a week (Mon-Wed) from 930am-11am. As he cannot go up our stairs, Cheesers has graciously granted him and his helper a place to work on the main floor.
Kathie Kellom- Jewelry Designer, Potter, Seasonal Support, Special Projects
From fall 2008 thru 2011, retail operations were mainly just Kathie and Becky. As a volunteer and later a staff member, Kathie poured a tremendous amount of time and effort into helping get our new business/ministry up and running, as well as her own line of jewelry - Fish Face Designs. Starting in 2012, Kathie secured other employment, but stays on our team as trade show support, vacation fill-in, and peak-time seasonal staffing as she is able.
Volunteers - Our current list of volunteers and "pop up" staff includes Lin, Julie, Tina, Cindy, Kelly, Laura, Barb, Robin and Seren.