Hey!! Only one week until The Big Thaw – we are so excited! Plans are being finalized, vendor spaces at Mayo Street are being figured out, and look: the sun’s shining! Today we feature Nancy Leavitt of Jewelry A La Carte. Her work is unique, because as you shop with her you determine what you want your jewelry to look like.
“I offer the unique opportunity for customers to customize their own piece of jewelry. First, they choose from handmade pendants, usually of gemstone or crystal. Next, they pick from over 40 options of necklaces + bracelets. Then I put it together on the spot. Voila! One-of-a-kind.”
We asked Nancy about how her own mother influenced her work – the response we got told a story of a post-surgery nightmare with the silver lining of motherly love. We’d like to share some of it here, it seems that the mothers of the Big Thaw vendors have no end of influence in their childrens’ lives:
“…I had to have surgery. The anesthesia didn’t agree with me and I woke up with ‘cognitive difficulties.’ Toss in some post-surgical narcotics and you have the mess my elderly mother cared for this past summer.
As I came out of the haze, all I knew was that apparently my mom had taught me how to make jewelry, and that many large boxes of jewelry making supplies kept arriving in a brown truck. When I called her up to let her know her stuff had arrived, she said, “Oh…no, Dear, … YOU ordered all those supplies. Don’t you remember starting a business?”
The anesthesia and narcotics had left me in an emotionally vulnerable state, my usual defences, walls and filters non-existant. I was completely exposed. But what I saw as a vulnerability, my mother saw as an opportunity. She ran a brainwashing campaign that any decent Propaganda Machine would be proud of. While I was unconscious she played self esteem tapes. While barely conscious, we made jewelry and spoke over and over of how fun and profitable it could be. I have vague memories of learning why crystal is superior to plastic, and how to gauge the lead content. She signed me up for 6 shows, one every other weekend, as Christmas was approaching. I went with my stuff and, much to my amazement, did pretty well.
I’m on the other side of the Christmas season now. I still sit on the couch too much, but at least I’m making jewelry. As I look back I see how one of the most under-appreciated people in my life saw an opportunity and knew what I needed for me to get back on my feet.
My mom is a saint. And I’m going to go call her and tell her that.”
An impressive story, and beautiful jewelry. We’ll see you all at the Big Thaw arts, crafts and vintage sale ONE WEEK FROM TODAY on Saturday, May 12 at the Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo St. 10am-4pm – yahoo!