That moment when hopes and dreams come to fruition, when prayers are answered...yep, that's my life right now. I'm a creative. I'm a passionate maker. My name is Amy and it has taken me a lifetime to get here.
I was born into a creative family. My Mom was an amazing artist, crafter, baker, and seamstress. My Dad was basically MacGyver and could create something out of nothing. He truly was a handy man. Their creativity was not lost on my siblings and myself. My parents' creative support and love for us and for each other was genuine. They were indeed rare souls.
Living in a family of creatives allowed me to feel rich even when the bank said otherwise. We were quite innovative with our meager possessions (perhaps this spurred my love of all things old). I learned the importance of accessories at an early age. There was no easier way to change my look. Accessories injected personality. They allowed creativity. More importantly they extended the life of what I already owned.
I decided on my professional career at a young age. In first grade, I knew I wanted to study old things. In third grade, I made the decision to study archaeology; Indiana Jones may or may not have had a role in this. In sixth grade, I started my first business, "Amy's Bracelets and Rings and Other Neat Things." There was always this duality in me...the creative and the scientist. I wavered back and forth between the two.
I pursued my dream career in archaeology and also received a degree in geology. Back injuries shortened my career. I traded in my steel toe boots for heels and started working in the bridal industry. This reignited my love for accessories.
In 2005, I started making jewelry utilizing precious metals and stones. This was a vast step up from the DMC floss friendship bracelets of my first business. My jewelry making game was strong until my life became busy. I got married, had a daughter, had ovarian cancer, built a house, and had a son. Creativity was zapped from my body left and right. The one thing I needed to feel like me was always put on the back burner.
Through tragedy I felt reborn. In 2015, I experienced the most tragic year of my life. Four members of my family (my amazing parents and my precious, grandma-like aunts) passed away within seven months. My parents passed five weeks apart. To say it was the worst year of my life is an understatement.
My Aunt V was the first to pass. She was 95 years young and was one of my best friends. She was sharp as a tack, loved to laugh, and had an amazing spirit. She handmade the most amazing quilts! She was a creative and was always very supportive of my creative endeavors.
My Mom was next. On Easter, she felt ill and looked jaundice. One CT scan later and she found out she had metastatic liver disease. She was given two weeks to live. Just like that my world came crashing down. I spent as much time with her as I could. When I came home I needed an outlet, a way to release my pent-up anger and grief. I needed to be creative. I started making jewelry again. My beautiful mother lived for two months after her diagnosis. She battled cancer with grace and dignity and lived those two months to the fullest. She felt the love everyone had for her and allowed her children to take care of her as she had so lovingly taken care of them.
My Mom and Dad celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary while my Mom was battling cancer. Fifty-three years of marriage...certainly something to be celebrated. My Mom's death was too much for my Dad to bear. He longed to be with her. Five short weeks later he passed unexpectedly of a broken heart.
My Aunt E, 91 years young, passed away four days after my Dad. She was the last surviving member of my Dad's family. Honestly, I was numb to death at that point. There was too much grief to process.
Days, weeks, and months went by and my grief came in waves...massive, all-consuming waves. I would have never weathered this storm if it weren't for my faith in God (instilled by my parents), the love of my husband, and the prayers of family and friends. It is still a difficult situation, to have so much loss so quickly, and yet I know others have experiences much more difficult than mine.
This business, Rare Soul, started from the grief I endured. This business is my way of managing my grief. This business is my way of honoring the memory of my loved ones. This business is a way to showcase my creativity that was sparked, nurtured, and encouraged by these rare souls. This business is my creative outlet. Your support means everything.
Creativity. Heartache. Rebirth. Rare Soul.