Updated: Aug 4, 2020
I was inspired from a young age watching my family and community express themselves through their craft. Every year around the end of October, my parents, their friends and folks of all ages would set up shop in our hometown's high school for the annual holiday craft fair. Vendors from all over the county would showcase their paintings, knitting, sewing, crocheting, jewelry, metal smithing, pottery, wood working, homemade sweet treats, jams, breads and more.
My mom and dad (behind the camera) as vendors at our hometown craft fair, 1990
My fondest memories of the craft fair are saturated with the sweet smell of fresh spun cotton candy, buttery popcorn and the silly sound shoes make on thick plastic covering the polished gymnasium floor. I can still recall the youthful anticipation to explore all the treats and treasures. Once the tables and goods were set up, my sister and I had permission to go explore. Instinctively, we would scope out the scene and make a beeline to the "rock" table. Mineral specimens and gemstones from around the world mingled with handmade jewelry lining every inch of the tables.
The very first crystal collection: rose quartz, amethyst clusters, bloodstone, lapis lazuli & dyed agate slices
The couple who ran the business were always so friendly and kind. The wife would see us cautiously eyeing all the stones and would intuitively know which ones I was deliberating over. It was always a tough decision: to bring home several small tumbled stones or go all in and get the large crystal cluster. In the end, I never left the table empty handed and would guard my new precious treasures housed in their velvet bag for the remainder of the weekend.
Those memories of purchasing something special and one of a kind have always stuck around. I think back to the kindness and transparency that was bestowed to me as kid and recognize that helped shape me into the gemstone-loving, handmade jewelry artist I am today. I'm filled with gratitude for my parents taking the time to include and teach me about the process of what it looks like to be a vendor. It's our special family tradition to meet up that weekend to visit the craft fair as shoppers. It never gets old taking in all the sights, smells and sounds that remind me of where my maker journey all started.
Amethyst & aura quartz earrings featuring one of my first amethyst clusters
The experiences of my younger years have paved the way preparing me for the life of making a living through my jewelry business. With the pandemic still on the forefront of everyone's minds, I don't know the next time I'll be able to set up my booth. But I do know that this is my dream and I'm willing to bend with the winds of this life and adapt however I can to keep my dream alive.
Thanks for being here, in the beginning of my business adventure. I'm looking forward to sharing with you the inspiration behind my jewelry collections, the bigger reasons why I decided to leave the 9-5 grind, and more about my family of makers.
Top Left: My mom & dad (behind the camera) at a craft fair, 1990
Top Right: My sister, mom and myself at a small local craft fair as vendors, 2019
Bottom: Craft fair booth shared with a friend in Kennebunk, Maine, 2019