About Our Makers
"The Desire to Create is One of the Deepest Yearnings of the Human Soul." ― Dieter F. Uchtdorf
We thought a lot about what kinds of products we wanted, and who we wanted making them. Not wanting to participate in if not slave labor then poorly treated labor, we decided NOT to source mass-produced products made cheaply overseas. It seemed only right to look for our products from people making their own things.
You can see a little taste below of what our artisans make along with their thoughts about what they make.
Cathy Zhang from SeeWhyZhang Design
Cathy Zhang says she loved drawing when she was young, but eventually grew out of her creative endeavors, giving them up for the "real world." At least she thought she did.
Ms. Zhang graduated with an undergraduate degree in psychology, and at age 24 pursued an MBA. She says she dabbled her way through various roles in online marketing, analytics, and product development. However, she was unfulfilled in spite of her professional success.
After moving to Portland, Oregon for a "dream job" Ms. Zhang says she picked up a paintbrush for the first time in more than a decade, painting at night after work. SeeWhyZhang Design was born. She quit her full time corporate job in 2016 for her art business. Ms, Zhang says, "I'm thankful everyday that I get to exercise my creative and analytical muscles while facing the challenges of growing a creative business."
We are thankful too!
Cori Dantini makes
Cori Dantini says she hopes to "...fill others hearts with small slices of truth that will help them feel joy, and remind them that life, (even when it is difficult) is filled with a deep and pure goodness..."
Ms. Dantini eared a BFA in painting from Washington State University and spent two decades working with brushes, ink, pencils, markers, and recently, the mouse attached to her computer. She says she thinks of her work as "visual poems," and adds that she never starts a project with a message in mind but finds the meaning in the process.
Cori Dantini lives in Pullman, Washington, and says, "Fueled by coffee, muffins, and good black licorice, I go in search of epiphany, in hopes of finding moments that I can share with the world."
Kristiana Parn describes the process she uses to create the original paintings from which the prints are made, saying, "Each piece starts with a bare wood panel, complete with random grain patterns and variations. This natural surface is then saturated with paint, both accentuating and obscuring these marks, in the process creating an atmosphere that is only partly my doing."
Kristiana Pärn was born in Estonia, and now works and lives in New York City. She launched her career in art at the age of seventeen, and studied with Estonian painter Marje Berlokko.
After she graduated from her art studies in Estonia, Kristiana moved to New York City to study animation, attending The School of Visual Arts. In 2006, Kristiana established her own studio in Brooklyn, where she continues to work. Her work is shown throughout the United States as well as abroad.
A Pocket of Posies
Meet Becca, from A Pocket of Posies, who says she is inspired by nature and romance..She lives in Northern Canada, and with the long winters and short summers says, "...my 'posies' are my 'getaway' to beautiful gardens and fresh nature alive with enchantment and whimsy!"
Gem Lounge Handcrafted Jewelry, LLC
Melissa Evans began her handmade jewelry line in the summer of 2009. She says, "Creativity is in my blood thanks to my amazing mentor and grandmother, Shirley." Melissa creates all of her pieces by hand in her studio on beautiful Little Sebago Lake in Maine.
Ms. Evans has been growing Gem Lounge Handcrafted full time since 2012. She added that, "My goal is to create an eco-friendly and unique line of jewelry that women find versatile and easy to transition in every day life whether it be a casual day at the beach or a romantic night on the town."
Erin from Heartsabustin says she began in 2008 when her mom and she opened a shop on Etsy. In 2010 Erin took over Heartsabustin and began working with precious metal clay. She says, "The medium is so flexible and incredibly fun to play with. I was able to begin setting stones, and I fell in love with the infinite possibilities of silver and gemstones."
In 2013, Erin transitioned into more traditional metalsmithing skills in addition to precious metal clay. She says, "I have greatly enjoyed the process of watching myself grow as a metal artist. I still have so much to learn that I will always be learning, and I can not wait. I love this adventure that I am on."
Paulette Hill, Paulette’s by Design
Rose Water Designs
Lauren Stehouwer from Rose Water Designs says that, "Jewelry has been my passion well...since birth (we don't need to discuss how long ago that was, do we?!?)." She has grown from making and selling simple jewelry as a child to creating prom and wedding looks for friends and family and from there to owning her own jewelry company.
Rose Water Designs has evolved quite naturally into the shop it is today, located in Spring Lake, Michigan.
The artisan known as Sequim Artisan did not want her name out to the public, so we are respecting her wishes. We will say she does beautiful and artistic wire wrapping among other techniques that enhance the stones with which she works.
The Sequim Artisan lives in Sequim, Washington and enjoys working with various stones as well as with seaglass and even driftwood. She is exploring different techniques and looking forward to seeing what comes next.
Welcome to Laurie LaBar from Spirit House Jewelry. Art has been a part of Laurie LaBar's life since she was a little girl. Her life also included science and history, and a family whose travels brought her all around the world. She became an archaeologist, but never stopped creating. When a 'soft money' job ended in 1992, she joined her brother and sister-in-law's jewelry business, and later struck out on her own.
Over time, Laurie returned to archaeology, then attended grad school at Winterthur. Mild mannered museum curator by day and torch-wielding silversmith by night, Laurie shapes her jewelry to reflect her love of nature, her interest in the healing power of gemstones, as well as her desire to create.
Celeste from Crickets' Creations says she is largely self taught since the age of 8, and "went professional" in 2007. Her first sale was 6 scarves to a local gift boutique, and Celeste says, "I've been hooked ever since on celebrating color and texture with buyers everywhere."
Celeste (Crickets is her nickname) has grown from there, and has even designed for Stevie Nicks!
Celeste says, "When I'm not creating five or more scarves daily--often on our back porch in Kanab, Utah overlooking untamed land, red cliffs and huge skies--I can be found tending to our adopted burros, Donny and Chocolate Bear."