She also envisioned living in Africa and realized this goal by joining the Peace Corps, landing in Cape Verde, West Africa. It was there that she began to love jewelry. In the capital city she befriended a Mauritanian man, Hasime, who ran a small shop where he sold his hand-made jewelry as well as jewelry from Mauritania and Mali. She began apprenticing with him.
Upon returning to the US Claudia began taking classes at City College in San Francisco and the Richmond Art Center.
Claudia resides in Berkeley, CA with her husband, 3 year old son, and three rescue Siamese cats.