Gift in creativity: Artisans offer unique gift options, easy way to support local small businesses

November 2020 Posted in Arts, Culture & History
Employee Kaitlyn Maley at Apples to Oranges, Silverton's yarn shop. Photo by Melissa Wagoner

Employee Kaitlyn Maley at Apples to Oranges, Silverton’s yarn shop. Photo by Melissa Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

“Artists are really struggling with the restrictions due to COVID-19,” photographer Vivienne Frankel said. “Art shows and fairs have closed; galleries are open fewer hours and people have less disposable income. As the time has passed, artists are feeling the brunt. Most of us were not eligible for small business loans being sole proprietors and also did not receive unemployment as business owners.”

There is something the community can do: purchase gifts locally this holiday season.

“When you buy locally 68 cents on the dollar stays in your community,” jewelry designer Dawn Hemstreet said. “When you buy outside of your community only 43 cents on the dollar stays in your community. That money adds up! Shopping locally is a great way to show your love for the community you live in.”

 

A Many Feathered Thing
Facebook @LisaGerlitsAuthor or Twitter @LisaGerlits

Silverton author Lisa Gerlits, 44, has been writing stories since she could pick up a pencil. Her latest, A Many Feathered Thing is now available at Books-N-Time in Silverton, at www.indiebound.org or personally signed from the source for $16.95.

“It is set in a town inspired by Silverton,” Gerlits said. “[The] perfect read for a cozy season. Good for any kid eight to 13 or to read together with younger children. Especially good for budding artists and introverts.”

 

Silver Falls Engraving
silver-falls-engraving.square.site

When Erica Rumpca opened Silver Falls Engraving out of her Silverton home, she was only looking for a hobby and way to teach Jagger, her 16-year-old son, about business. What she got was a new passion.

“It’s been really good,” she said. Adding, “Everybody likes their names on things. And if somebody has an idea, we try our best to do it.”

Engraving everything from Apple Watch bands to water bottles and even cake pans – a recent best-seller – Rumpca is looking forward to a busy holiday season.

“Last year we had quite a few businesses that ordered for their whole team,” she recalled. “This year I have a couple of family ornaments I’m working on.”

Although Rumpca said she can create engravings of just about anything, those creations take time. She suggests customers place orders by Dec. 15 through her website or Facebook page.

“If you find it, I can probably make it,” she said.

 

My Copper Heart
mycopperheart.indiemade.com

Christine Terhaar, 54, creates copper jewelry as well as sterling and bronze items using vintage objects.

“I make pieces that are not found in big box stores, preferring that my pieces retain hammer and texture marks, as the metal takes life, becoming a work of art, as original as we all are,” Terhaar said. “People of all ages have purchased my work. It’s raw, real and edgy.”

Her work retails for between $35 and $45 on the Copper Heart website as well as Etsy and social media. It should be ordered no later than Dec. 11 if being shipped.

“I feel that home is now more important than ever,” Terhaar said. “We’ve shown that this year especially, how people have supported one another locally, and I hope that trend continues.”

 

Brush Creek Soap Company. Submitted Photo.

Brush Creek Soap Company. Submitted Photo.

Brush Creek Soap Company
www.brushcreeksoapcompany.com

Amidst raising four kids on a farm during a pandemic, Emma Dettwyler, 38, found time to launch a soap-making business.

“These soaps are super simple – made with just a few simple ingredients, but they are crafted with a whole lot of love,” she said of her small-batch line. “These gifts are perfect for that person that likes locally made handcrafted items, those that like good smelling soaps, or just nice thoughtful simple gifts.”

At $5 a bar, Dettwyler’s soaps can be ordered from her website or on social media. They are also at the Saturday Silverton Winter Market located at the Silverton Friends Church on Eureka Avenue.

 

Hawk Hummingbird Moon Studio
www.hawkhummingbirdmoon.com

When 52-year-old Dawn Hemstreet began crafting jewelry in her Silverton home, she made sure that her personal beliefs were a part of the process, using metal clay – the reclaimed product of the fine metals used in electronics such as cellphones – and locally sourced stones.

“Each piece uses hand-drawn textures and original artwork that you will find nowhere else on the market,” Hemstreet said. Her creations retail for between $50 and $350 on her website as well as Silverton’s Lunaria Gallery.

“2020 has been an incredibly rough year,” she said, “the pandemic has been tough on local businesses and every citizen. One way of making sure the shops you love, the community you live in and the people who own those businesses survive is to support local business.”

 

Nostalgic Notions

Andrea Redinger, 69, has been sewing since she was eight.

“I make aprons, shopping bags, bowl cozies, lavender eye pillows, and felt Christmas ornaments,” she said. She sells on Facebook, Instagram and out of her home in Silverton. “Also, primitive-style ornaments.”

Though she has an eclectic repertoire, she is known best for her aprons, which are made from quilt-quality fabric and are reversible.

“I love to use retro prints,” she enthused. “I have been told my fabric combinations are unique and special. I put love into each one I make and they are one of a kind. I experience joy in each stitch.”

 

Still Life with Cat Studio
www.viviennefrankel.art

“I use my creative vision to manipulate photographs and turn them into art,” Vivienne Frankel, 63, described. “I really enjoy the challenge of light, color and depth of field in my photography and the fun of editing each piece to achieve my vision.”

Specializing in one-of-a-kind pieces that showcase the Pacific Northwest, Frankel creates everything from cards to ready-to-hang fused aluminum art ranging from $4 to $200. Her work is on her website, at her Facebook store and in downtown Silverton at Bazaar Americana. Made-to-order pieces should be ordered no later than mid-November.

“Artists, makers and crafts people need the support of their local community through the holidays,” she added.

 

Shayla Lynn Jewelry

shaylalynnjewelry.etsy.com or Instagram @shaylalynnjewelry“Jewelry kind of sells itself during the holiday season,” Shayla Davis, 33, owner of Shayla Lynn Jewelry on Water Street in Silverton posed, “but handmade jewelry is even better!”That’s what you’ll find on a visit to Davis’ brick and mortar store or Etsy shop because it’s what she loves to do.“I love it for the meditative flow state,” she said, “it can be relaxing and even stress relieving, too (especially using a hammer).”Her shop carries the products of dozens of local artists.“[S]hop at the places you want to see stick around,” she urged. “Shopping local can be convenient and more eco-friendly. I hope to see the ‘shop local’ trend continue as we adapt to the times!”

 

Bob Androvich Studios
www.bobandrovich.com

When Bob Androvich is creating whimsical montages from artfully clipped images; layered-glass collages, painted wooden blocks, boxes and plaques; and hand-painted Vans shoes in his Silverton studio he isn’t trying to be serious or create a narrative.

Instead, “I prefer my art to put a smile of wonderment on a face,” he described. Adding, “I like to make my art because it is extremely meditative, yet exciting.”

Available in Silverton at Lunaria Gallery and The Lucky Leaf Cannabis Dispensary on Jersey Street as well as on his website, Androvich’s creations retail, on average, for $100.

“A small town like Silverton needs its citizens to support local business in order to remain strong,” he said. “Lunaria Gallery offers an amazing array of gifts from jewelry to clothing to all kinds of terrific art.”

 

Shine Essentials
www.shineessentials.com

Shine Essentials. Submitted Photo.

Shine Essentials. Submitted Photo.

In the seven years since Tracy Roberts launched her handmade body care line, she has worked to make her packaging as sustainable as possible. Now her deodorant, sunscreen and lip balms all come packaged in compostable containers. Her soap nuts – which clean an average of five to eight loads of laundry – are compostable.

“It’s a fun way to spoil someone with a fantastic product and educate them at the same time about using less plastic,” Roberts said. Her products range in price from $4 to $30 and can be found in Silverton at Shayla Lynn Jewelry, at White Oak Wellness on Oak Street, or at the Winter Farmer’s Market.

“This is a great way to help someone feel good about making a small change with a big impact,” she added.

 

Judy Gabriel’s Custom Jewelry

When Judy Gabriel realized many of this year’s holiday craft bazaars would be canceled due to COVID-19, she decided to do something about it.

“Friends and I have created the Hardy Girls Holiday Bazaar to give artisans and shoppers a little taste of one of the traditions we all miss,” Gabriel said. The bazaar – coined “hardy” due to its outdoor venue – will be held at 1108 Madison St. in Silverton on Nov. 21 and Dec. 5, noon to 4 p.m.

“Bazaar shopping before the holidays is a tradition in Silverton,” Gabriel pointed out.

Gabriel will be featuring her bracelets and jewelry handcrafted from natural materials as well as vintage beads from a lifetime of travel.

“My work is appreciated by women who like something unique,” she said.

 

Elder Spirit Herbals
www.elderspiritherbals.com

“There’s nothing as nice as handmade body care products made with locally available, pure ingredients,” Randi Embree said. She opened Elder Spirit Herbals on her farm outside of Silverton 25 years ago.

With a long line of herbal syrups and confections as well as household and body care products, Embree suggested that there is nothing cozier on a winter evening than “a cordial with my Jingle Bells blend cordial starter or a nice warm bath with spiced bath bombs.”

Available on her website and at the Hardy Girls Holiday.

 

Lynn’s Country Crafts

Molly Kraemer, 31, has been sewing holiday pillows, hand warmers, baby burp cloths and superhero capes and masks in her Mount Angel home for three years and is excited to share her creations this year through a Facebook page and at the Hardy Girls Holiday Bazaar.

“Shopping local this year is especially important because many families have hit hard times between COVID and our local fires,” she said.

 

Farmhouse Little’s Boutique
www.farmhouselittlesboutique.com

Julie Riesch, 56, opened an online boutique based out of her Mount Angel home just a few weeks ago.

“We make hair bows for people of all ages,” she described. “We have a variety of clips, skinny headbands and fat headbands.”

All can be customized to fit the needs of the individual at a price point between $7 and $15. Riesch’s bows can be ordered from her website or purchased at the Hardy Girls Holiday Bazaar.

“We have a wide variety of fabrics, as well as sizes, that make wonderful holiday gifts whether they are paired with a new outfit or given alone,” Riesch said.

 

Jordan Anne Hess Memorial Trust
www.jhesstrust.com

When MaryAnne Miller’s daughter, Jordan Anne Hess, was killed in a car accident last November, her family decided to carry on her life’s work – helping to educate kids who are differently abled. They developed a trust in Jordan’s name and began selling penny key chains, charms, journals, T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and mugs – most with a special “believe in yourself” logo that Jordan created.

“[T]he money goes to the trust so people can apply for scholarships who want to be special education teachers,” Miller said, “also grants for schools and children with different needs.”

 

Robin Zinser. Submitted Photo.

Robin Zinser. Submitted Photo.

Robin’s Rocks

Robin Zinser-Rankin, 66, may start with ordinary rocks but by the time she is done they are extraordinary.

“I put lots of thought and hours into my painted rocks,” she confirmed. “I also bless my rocks with Reiki healing. Each dot I use in my designs I say prayers and good wishes for whomever receives it.”

Costs range from $7 to $80. They can be found on Facebook and can be ordered custom-designed.

 

Apples to Oranges
www.applestooranges.net

Supporting fiber-arts artisans is what Apples to Oranges – which stocks everything needed to make beautiful sweaters, socks, hats, scarves, and knitted toys – does best. Owner Laurie Carter provides a cozy place to knit or crochet while having a cup of tea and meeting friends. The store, located on Main Street in Silverton, is a calm place to finish those handmade Christmas gifts. Or to buy one created by someone else.

“I also stock finished hats and scarves,” Carter confirmed. Her inventory includes Melissa and Doug toys and puzzles, Apple Park Waldorf dolls and books, loose leaf teas and accessories, candles, puzzles, Faber-Castell art supplies, and sweet treats.

Carter, who opened her shop seven and a half years ago, is a champion of the local economy and hopes this season will find shoppers sticking close to home.

“An active downtown retail area signals a vibrant, engaged community… This not only affects property values, but also the possibility of attracting new businesses.”

 

The Canning Underground
www.thecanningunderground.com

Tasha Huebner’s line of jams has won awards – numerous awards – both in Oregon and in the UK.

“I’m especially proud of the marmalades winning over the Brits,” she said. “Mine were the only marmalades from the US to win any awards.”

With wild names like Hilly Billy Holler and Slim Gin Pickins, her creations come with a “hefty dose of snark.”

“People are drawn to them because of the names…” she said, “but then they try them and fall in love with them. They’re made with local fruit, either grown here at the Manor or sourced locally (I do a lot of driving around to find the best fruit), and an array of unusual top-shelf liquors, from Gallon House Vodka to special liqueurs from Italy.”

At an average of $10 per jar, Huebner ships her concoctions across the country but advises those who are shipping to place orders prior to Dec. 1.

“We’ve been conditioned to think some things should be cheap – and they can be, if you buy the mass-produced version,” she said. “The handcrafted versions aren’t, but it’s hard to change that mindset. But buying locally has much less of an impact on the environment, and it means supporting the businesses that are a part of our community and make it what it is.”

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