In most of my social profile pages, when asked about myself, I always put “Purple with a dash of red.” Purple is for the creative, introspective, loving and stable side of me and red is for the dash of spirited, playful, sassy side of me, which actually, pops up more and more as I get older and care less what people think of me. I’ve been married to my Biology Lab Partner for almost 18 years and we have two boys, 16 and 12. I grew up in NC, had a kid in IL, had a kid in NJ, then moved us all back to NC.
One day I was staring at an empty corner in my living room and thought that a mobile would look really cool there. I was thinking stained glass but then thought about the enormous sculpture/stabile hanging in the Levine Children’s Hospital and wanted to do something similar (but smaller, of course.) I had been a bead weaver for several years so had plenty of beads to work with, but wanted to learn how to work with wire. I signed up for a class to learn how to make bracelets from wire. During the class, I completely forgot about making a mobile. I came home and started making more bracelets. The first week, I made about 20 bracelets; couldn’t stop. I didn’t know what to do with them except show them off to my friends, who asked if they could buy them. My friends started asking for earrings, then necklaces, and I kind of had a business.
When I was five, I found a four-leaf clover on the playground at school and my teacher showed me how to preserve it with clear tape. Since then I can look down and see them, without even realizing I’m looking. Our family photo albums are full of clovers!
After I had kids, we would sit outside on a blanket in our little backyard. It was full of clover and I realized that they smell really nice. I thought to myself, if I ever have a business, I will use the word Cloverleaf.
Just FYI, to be able to really smell a clover flower, you have to almost put it up your nose…
Though I am a business owner, I am very interested in creating community and relationships. I have a business facebook page because Ilike to see who’s wearing my jewelry. I enjoy interacting with my customers at shows. Several customers and business contacts have become friends through these interactions! I really enjoy my business and the opportunity that it gives me to be a part of my community.
Until recently, I had never made any jewelry specifically for myself (though sometimes, I might think “ooh pretty” and keep something.) I began working with silver metal clay this year and made myself a dainty charm bracelet. It has a ‘T’ and a tiny cross charm but also Tanzanite beads, which are my most favorite gemstone. They’re a beautiful purple-y blue and can only be found one place in the world, Tanzania, Africa. I will soon add initial charms and birthstones for my boys.
It is incredibly important to give oneself away. I spend a lot of time volunteering and the place I spend the most time doing that is at my church, Next Level Church. I work with the K-3rd grade kids on Sunday mornings along with being a greeter. I also co-lead a teenage group on Sunday nights. I’ve done other various jobs there, but that’s what I’m doing right now.
Mint Hill Arts is another place that I enjoy volunteering. It’s a community art center that has a gallery, gift shop and art classes. It’s 100% volunteer operated and plays a huge roll in bringing the arts to what is mostly a rural community.
Answering this question is like asking me which child is my favorite! I look back at most of the jewelry that I’ve made and can, mostly, remember when I first came up with the idea, the design time and that ‘this is it!’ moment. It’s very hard to choose, but I was pretty impressed with myself when I first created my kitschy kats design. I wasn’t trying to make a cat, but as I a made a loop, I thought, “That looks like a cat face,” then made a body. The original design looks much different from what I sell today, but it’s that evolutionary process that makes art what it is.
Thanks Tammy! And since Tammy loves you guys (and so do we...) she's offering a pair of her tassel earrings, pictured at the top of the page. If you'd like to snag yourself a cute pair of earrings, enter through our Rafflecopter giveaway below.
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