About Me

About Me

Hello! My name is Randee Brown. I am a North Dakota Native currently residing in Minnesota. My significant other and I recently bought our first home with our three fur babies: Lilly, Mr. Bunson, and Winter. If you've spent any time on my YouTube channel, I'm sure you've seen and heard all about them!

My beading journey began when I was about six years old, helping my mom and grandma make dance outfits for my brother's pow wows. We mostly used seed beads, wood, and shell beads. It wasn't until I started my graduate degree at Hazelden Betty Ford in Center City, Minnesota, that I discovered a whole new world of beads. My friend Laura took me to a nearby bead store, and I was amazed by the variety! I fell in love and have been beading ever since.

I worked as a drug addiction counselor for about nine years in Minneapolis and surrounding areas. Beading became my way to destress and express my artistic talents. When I wasn't working, I was beading. One day, my significant other asked, “What are you going to do with all these jewelry pieces?” That question led to the creation of my Etsy store, THUNDERHORSE DESCENDANT, in 2015. I named my company after my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thunderhorse, to honor and show my love for my stepfather, reflecting the importance of namesakes in Native American tradition. Initially, Thunderhorse Descendant was a hobby, but as I began to sell more online and at local boutiques, it quickly grew into something more.

By 2018, I decided to take the plunge and became a full-time jewelry maker, leaving my counseling job. I started participating in craft shows and hosting Facebook live videos. With no startup money, I made a necklace, sold it, bought more beads, and repeated the process. My significant other suggested starting a YouTube channel, and though I was initially focused on craft shows, he set it up for me. Surprisingly, I began receiving requests for supplies I was using in my videos, which led to a partnership with Taylors Falls Bead Store and expanded my online shop to include beading supplies.

When the pandemic hit in late 2019 and into 2020, I fully embraced the YouTube channel my significant other started for me. Sheltering in place gave me the time to explore new opportunities, like designing for Jesse James Beads and increasing my sales of beading supplies. This period also marked the beginning of our live bead sales on YouTube, which continue every Monday at 9 am CST.

In 2021, I hired my super, amazing, spectacular assistant, Shannon, to help run my online store. I am incredibly grateful for the wonderful people who support my dreams. In 2022, we transitioned from Etsy to our own website, www.thunderhorsedescendant.biz, where I sell handmade jewelry and beading supplies. In 2024, I hired my amazing assistant Phyllis, who helps us run the beading side of things as well.

Shannon, Phyllis, and I continue to run Thunderhorse Descendant with the help of my significant other and our fur babies.

My long-term goal is to save enough money to buy a warehouse with a small front area for in-store sales, creating a space where jewelry makers can find inspiration, connect with other beaders, and create beautiful things. I envision a YouTube studio room and a space to hold in-person beading classes. One day, one necklace at a time.

We have created several fun initiatives, including:

  • The Morning Coffee Club on YouTube, Monday through Friday at 9 am CST, where I connect with wonderful people who love beads and jewelry making.
  • Our Facebook Group, filled with helpful and knowledgeable members who support each other.
  • The #FoundObjectsChallenge, a monthly beading challenge where we upcycle found items, share our journeys, try new things, and support one another.
  • Mini-series project videos on YouTube, featuring different boxes and design kits from around the internet.

My beading journey has been the most fulfilling adventure of my life. I am continually inspired and supported by a community that loves my projects and story. I am blessed with a significant other who supports my dreams and doesn't mind hauling around fold-up tables, tents, jewelry, and rocks. I will continue to create, imagine, and learn.

Hope you have a wonderful, spectacular, amazing beading day!

-Randee Brown