A celebration of the (sometimes) hidden talents of the many people of SYKES!
She has a cat with extra toes. Broken pieces of furniture become makeshift canvases for her painted art. She creates and sells her jewelry, is a native of England and once had a career as a professional opera singer.
Any one of those things on its own would make Annida Clark, a training facilitator for SYKESHome, extra-interesting. Taken all together, they make her extraordinary.
Annida has many interests, but it’s her custom-designed jewelry that occupies most of her spare time. With over 500 pieces, most of which can be found at her online store Nothing Pink by Annida, on Etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/NothingPink), Annida clearly has been very busy.
Her designs come in a wide variety. For example, they include cameos featuring roses, vampire skulls and gothic zombies; bracelets with fluorite or amazonite clusters; earrings with tourmaline chips; and bracelets with a variety of eclectic charms running the gamut from snowflakes to razor blades (the latter not looking as sinister as it sounds).
She started making jewelry with a friend from Australia in the 1990s, but their venture never took off. Fast forward several years when she saw another friend making chainmail jewelry. Annida’s creative spark flared again. Annida recalls, “I found myself buying materials and making a lot of stuff. And then I thought, ‘I don’t want to wear all this!’” So, she began showing her jewelry on Facebook. Other people did want to wear her pieces, and as the requests rolled in she opened her store on Etsy.
Today she takes orders from all over the globe. And while she still makes her own designs, she also makes jewelry to order, including a recent one featuring bees, lips and hearts.
While she spends a lot of time on her jewelry (the amazonite cluster earrings, in which she individually wrapped each bead with wiring, took her five-to-six hours) she still finds time for other creative outlets, like painting. One day a door on her desk fell off. She used it as a “canvas” to paint her oldest cat, Migett. A round table broke, and she used the tabletop to paint a ying-yang.
She also loves to sing, which is not surprising given her education studying music at the University of London at Goldsmith College and a resulting career as an opera singer in England. She had leading roles in Mozart’s Magic Flute, Dido and Aeneas, and was a soloist in Carmina Burana. One of the highlights of her career was as soloist in Alexander Nevsky, a cantata composed by the great Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. In the hall as she performed were Prokofiev’s descendants. “That was a real treat for me, I love, love loved that,” she says.
She married an American, and moved to the states. The couple settled in Phoenix, Arizona for a time before relocating outside of Athens, Georgia. Annida worked at a call center in Athens, until those jobs were outsourced to the Philippines. Tired of the long commute into Athens from her home in the country, Annida decided to try working from home, and found SYKES. Not having to commute has made space in Annida’s life for her creative endeavors.
Today she is training facilitator, flex coach and on-the-job training huddle leader. “I love training. I love teaching people new things. I love engaging with them and helping them succeed,” she says.
Most of all, she loves the people at SYKES. “There’s a type of camaraderie here at SYKES that I haven’t found in other places. We all care about each other. I’ve made some great friendships here. Everyone has a fantastic sense of humor. We all support each other.”
Annida appreciated that support when her husband passed away. Today, she lives surrounded by her art, and her four cats, which includes Tony, who is 19 years old, Migett (immortalized on a broken desk door), Billy, a giant orange tabby and Miss Cleo, who is her “dinosaur cat” (a polydactyl) because of her extra toes.
Despite Annida’s many talents and varied life story, she maintains a certain British detachment about it all. When asked to comment on her amazing experiences, she modestly says, “Well, it’s something.”
Something indeed. Check out Annida’s work at www.etsy.com/shop/NothingPink and see for yourself!