Handcrafted: The Story of a Modern Maker

Handcrafted candles by radically you

I have always liked to think of myself as one of the crafty ones.

I have always enjoyed working with my hands and making pretty little things. Some of my greatest influencers have been my family members and my time spent in Girl Scouts.

For a while, while growing up you wouldn’t have caught me anywhere without my friendship bracelet making kit. It was my favorite hobby, I made them all the time! At one point I might have been wearing 20 of those darn things on either wrist.

For me, that obsession faded, but my tendency to want to make things never did. In fact, it seemed to grow. It grew into different hobbies through the years, big projects and small ones. Quick fads and timeless skills alike, one thing that almost all of my hobbies seemed to have in common- fiber. It always seemed to stem around using some kind of yarn, string, or cord to make different items.

I like to think of myself as a knot lady.

One of my very favorite people passed away when I was quite young. The thing that I admired most about her was her sense of wonder and seemingly endless artistic talent. She was always making something new- she was a painter, a seamstress, a jewelry maker, you name it. She was a unique lady.

A lady to remember.

I have fond memories of all those vests and dresses that she made for me. Every time I would visit I would come home with a new piece. In large part, this shop is dedicated to her, to all the things that I wish we could make together. The crafts that I wish she had the chance to teach me.

Mother Daughter

Another large influence for me to start this shop has been my mother. Someone who has always influenced me to pick up a new craft. Whenever we would shop together if I wanted to buy something- a necklace, earrings, or some sort of coaster she would always be quick to say, “Oh Jesse, we could make those.” It’s funny how those little words that always annoy you when you are a child, start to come out of your own mouth as we get older.

Now, I catch myself constantly thinking that. Now instead of thinking I missed out by not getting something, like when I was a kid. I think of it as a challenge. As an inspiration to make the next new thing.

A Crafters Inherited Dreams

When my Great-Aunt passed, we inherited a lot of her things. She might have had a small trailer, but she had no lack of treasures inside its tight quarters. I think my mother and I thought of those craft items the same way- like we had found gold. Slowly, as I got older my mom and I started to pick up one by one all the crafts that my Aunt once loved. We started making jewelry with all her ornate and one-of-a-kind beads. These are some of the most enjoyable memories from growing up, it has been our tie to my Great-Aunt Barb.

Dad’s Endless Talent

Then there is my father. He is talented. He is humble. He showed me how to fish at a very early age, one of his all-time favorite hobbies. He enjoys the slow kind of fishing, he enjoys sitting in his boat all day and letting the fish come to him. He might catch a few smallmouths and he always makes sure to throw them back.

Sitting on the water or with a craft in our hand is where my family connects most. Every year growing up I would look forward to those long, sweltering summer days. The ones when we would get a little extra time out on the water. Soaking up the sun, catching a few fish, and taking in all that beautiful Michigan summers offers.

My father too takes after his Aunt. He is skilled with pen and ink. He can draw with fine attention to detail or use loose strokes and go with the flow of watercolor painting. He can make the most ornate miniature cars and airplanes. He is a serial hobbyist. I guess we all are here in this family.

Whether we make jewelry.
Or we paint.
Or we draw.
We all like best to work with our hands.
I guess you could say it really ties our family together.

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