Welcome to The Art of Adornment!First, some basic information: Mailing Address:
The Art of Adornment
183 Crestwood Drive
Naugatuck, CT 06770
Please Note: We are a webstore only and do not have a physical retail location. All of our business is conducted through my home office (with the exception of an occasional trade show) so please don't try to find us for a look-see because you'll most likely run into me with my hair in a ponytail and dressed in my PJs. We appreciate the interest, but in a commercial zone we are not. Sorry to disappoint.
If not satisfied, a full refund will be given only if merchandise is returned in original packaging within 14 days.
Now, on to the good stuff! If you REALLY want to know about "us" and how this whole endeavor began, here is everything you ever wanted to know about "The Art of Adornment" but were afraid to ask (and may even regret it afterwards).
Well, to begin, the "us" is really an "I" as this is a one-person operation. It's just me, my name is Holly, and I run the whole show around here.
Several years ago and by some interesting coincidences I began making jewelry, and as with most of my projects, it all really began as a challenge. My mom gave me a handmade bracelet and matching anklet for Christmas that she bought from a coworker. It was made from very thin chain but had beautiful small button-shaped black and green vintage beads. I loved the beads, but I thought the design just didn't do them justice. I wore it a few times and everywhere I went people would just drool over it and thought it was the most beautiful bracelet they had ever seen! I was puzzled by their reactions, of course, because I thought it could look even better, so I examined the bracelet, figured out how it was constructed, and began my search on eBay and all over the internet for materials that I felt would be more complimentary to the beads.
Well, during my surfing, I found billions and billions of different beads from stone to glass to vintage to antique to lampwork to Bali to silver and gold and on and on. That's when I began to drool.
My eyes were bigger than my pocketbook, but I began buying up beads and supplies anyhow. I redesigned the bracelet and then just kept creating more and more jewelry; it became an obsession. I hated leaving for work in the morning, and couldn't wait to get back to my hoard of beads and supplies. I sold my designs to family and friends and coworkers and they just couldn't get enough, so I kept making more and more. I couldn't believe what was happening to me: I had finally found my "talent." I can't draw or paint or sing (even though my husband says I'm pretty good, I still don't believe him) or play an instrument. Sports wasn't really my thing either; I couldn't catch a ball to save my life because my eyes lacked the ability to perceive depth. I didn't know that I even had a talent, but I felt that I had finally discovered my "gift" and savored every moment I was able to immerse myself into my projects.
I just kept creating, exploring, and experimenting, and eventually I found this fabulous Bali source and was in absolute heaven! Of course, as it is my nature, I bought more than I could really afford, so I sold some of my extra Bali on eBay (along with my random used books and videos and Star Trek cards, and such) and I couldn't believe my eyes; people just went wild over the Bali and were snatching it up like mad!!! It felt like Bali bead madness, and I realized there were others out there who were absolutely hungry for a Bali bead source with good quality items as well as reasonable prices. Very quickly I ran out of what I had intended to sell and then even started selling off the beads I put aside for myself!
All of a sudden that little light bulb up in my head swithched on; I felt as if I just ran into the opportunity of a lifetime! I was burnt-out in my job and it was a way to get out of the field I was working in. You see, I have a B.S. in psychology from Penn State (Go Lions!), and about a year after after graduation I began working in a private psychiatric and drug treatment facility where I gained incredible experience that I probably couldn't have anywhere else, but the program was exhausting, very demanding, and abusive to the staff, and might I say STRESSFUL beyond belief! (There is actually a small network of us who have subsequently left that company, and we refer to ourselves as "survivors" and frequently joke about forming a support group for ourselves. If we run into a former employee we always congratulate one another for quitting and getting out of there alive.) I finally escaped my term in purgatory after three years and landed a job with a non-profit doing outreach and case management for homeless adults with psychiatric disabilities. That job was my saving grace after the nightmare of my last job, but after three-and-a-half years of shelters, soup kitchens, abandoned buildings, poverty, mental illness, welfare, the state-funded Department of Mental Health and all of its red tape, not to mention drugs, prostitution, and death after death, that job also became too draining for me. And, anyone who knows even the least bit about social work knows that the money is LOUSY! After a lot of soul searching I finally admitted to myself that I didn't want to work in the field anymore, and realized that it was okay to try something different.
Little by little I invested more and more money into my new venture, and little by little I invested less and less sleep into my daily routine. All of a sudden I found myself exhausted, working as a social worker by day and a Bali bead goddess by night, to the tune of about 80 hours per week. I finally sat down one day in July of 2001 and did the math and found that I was turning a profit that exceeded my current salary. A month later I got the heck out of social work.
So, that's my story. This is now my full-time business. I sell my Bali and my jewelry, and I couldn't be happier! I bought a house that July, got married in September, and run my business out of my home while my two cats (Sam I Am & Destiny or "Des-teeny" as we call her becase she is so little) take turns sitting on my lap while I work at my computer.
An "About Us" certainly could not be complete without sending my deepest thanks and gratitude to everyone: to my customers, my family, my friends, my husband, and to all who have been supportive, helpful, loyal and contributed to my success! I must also send a personal thanks to Lou, my mail carrier, who has continuously withstood the carting in and the carting out of my endless multitude of ponderous packages day after day, and always with a warm hello and a smile! My list could not be complete without also thanking everyone at my local post office for all of your help, patience, humor that brightened my day, and your occasional loan now and again when I neglected to add enough postage to a package--thank you, Pam! Also, my UPS delivery guy deserves a much needed thank you for his patience, friendliness and strong back! I couldn't be here if it were not for all of you! Oh yes, and I'd also like to thank the academy . . .
Well, I hope you're not wishing you didn't ask "About Us," but if you are, it's your own fault for continuing to read the whole darn page all the way 'till the end! Seriously now, if you made it this far, I have to thank you for listening to my story and also for letting me tell it. You obviously have an interest in seeing to my success, and for that, I could never thank you enough. God bless.