How many versions of the story are there?
When I'm at markets and shows, I find myself telling different versions of how the Little Craft Closet was born. They're all true and they're all valuable building blocks to how my dream formed. Here are my favorites...
When I was growing up my family had a woodcrafts business. Mom was the artist and we all helped in the woodshop, at craft shows, and on the road where Mom and Dad would sell to country décor shops. When my dream of being a mom-preneur formed, I knew what to do. I knew it would be a lot of work and I was scared to make myself vulnerable, but it was worth doing afraid. (And my family is amazingly supportive.) The only question was - what to make?
Waiting for my black coffee and sweet treat at Bud's in Interlochen, I fell in love with a soldered glass necklace holding a drawing of a little pink cupcake. For some reason it really made me smile. I couldn't justify buying it for myself but come Christmastime - guess what I put on my list? A sweet soldered cupcake necklace? No! A soldering kit! So my parents, the most supportive dream keepers EVER, got me a soldering kit for Christmas. It even had a pink soldering iron!
When I began soldering, my son was a toddler. I emptied out the little coat closet by the front door, built a table to fit in it, stocked it with supplies, and ran an extension cord for my soldering iron and air filter. My son would play with his toys in the living room next to me while I worked. We'd chat or have a kids show on. I could jump up and close the doors to the closet at any moment keeping little fingers and big dog noses safe. This is where the Little Craft Closet began.
Old magazines, locker tags, buttons, and keys! The basement was full of vintage treasures that overflowed from my antique store booth and eBay shop. My husband suggested I find a way to use them (or not bring more home), so I did! Sitting with a template for the soldered necklaces, I'd cut tiny pictures out of the magazines. To be honest, I spent more time distracted with articles guiding the 1950's bride in being a good wife than I did cutting pictures!
I don't remember when the metal stamping caught my eye but it happened like the cupcake necklace. I adopted it wholeheartedly and it has become the most distinct part of my brand. I recognized the shift when I was receiving encouragement from my dad one day. Riding back to our new house with my parents, hubby, and son after brunch, my dad said I was going to be a trendsetter. Trying to build my confidence, he said people would wait for my emails and follow my lead. I instinctively wrinkled my nose from the backseat. I was caught off-guard by my reaction, but I felt nothing but dread in my stomach at the sound of that! "But that's not what it's about!" I said to my confused family. My jewelry had become more about the meaning behind it than the fashion statement, and that was the moment I knew. I couldn't explain it, but I had felt it clearly. I had officially joined the mission to spread positivity and jewelry was my way to be a contributor.
I’m not sure where my jewelry on a mission will take me next - I’ll keep ya posted!