[Editor’s note: Due to blogging complications with the ongoing busy-ness of my life, the Vendor of the Week column will run occasionally rather than weekly. My goal is to eventually feature every vendor at the Lakeland Downtown Farmers’ Curb Market! Hold me to it, dear readers!]
If you have ever browsed the southern end of the Market, right in the middle of Kentucky Ave., you have probably noticed a booth featuring beautiful, unique, and affordable jewelry. Theresa’s Promise, run by vendor Kerry, has been a Market regular for five years now. If you’ve ever browsed Theresa’s Promise, you’ve no doubt noticed Kerry’s graceful, gentle spirit and been greeted with her warm and friendly smile. Kerry recently helped me pick out the perfect piece of jewerly for my sister’s birthday gift. She asked about my sister’s personal style, her likes and dislikes, and took into account that she’s the mom of a 16-month-old. I ended up with a lovely pair of simple blue glass earrings that my sister absolutely loved! And I know I mentioned that Theresa’s Promise offers affordable prices…But seriously, folks. I mean AFFORDABLE. This is a booth you can stop by at least once a month a treat yourself (or that special lady in your life) to something beautiful for just a few bucks!
Swan City Market Life: Where is Theresa’s Promise headquartered?
Kerry of Theresa’s Promise: I love the freedom of working from home. I wake up when I want, go to bed when I want, and create my jewelry designs when inspiration strikes me. I used to be a first grade teacher, and I loved working with the children and their parents, but the freedom of self-employment suits my personality. I also like working with my family. My mom and I used to have a ceramics business together back in the 90s, and she’s an integral part of my jewelry business now.
SCML: How did Theresa’s Promise get started at the Lakeland Market?
KTP: Back in 2008, I was doing my taxes for my business, and my accountant asked if I’d ever been to the local farmer’s market. I checked into it and realized I could sell my jewelry there. As a result, I’ve met so many wonderful vendors and customers over the years. It’s like a second family.
SCML: Describe your product line.
KTP: I primarily sell beaded jewelry—necklaces, bracelets, earrings, wire-wrapped rings, and anklets—for children and adults. I can also make beaded eyeglass holders, badge holders, rosaries, and body jewelry (particularly for belly dancers) upon request.
SCML: If your name is Kerry, who in the world is Theresa? And what is her Promise?
KTP: I chose the name Theresa’s Promise in honor of St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower. In St. Therese’s biography, Story of a Soul, she said that she believed in “doing little things with great love,” which is my motto when I’m creating my designs.
SCML: What kind of jewelry do you like to design the most?
KTP: I’ve always been obsessed with jewelry. In high school, I was named “most unique” for the way I’d accessorize my Catholic school uniform. I used to wear a ring on every finger, big gaudy pins, huge dangly earrings. So I pretty much enjoy making anything and everything.
SCML: What types of metals and stones do you generally use in your jewelry?
KTP: I primarily use pearls, gemstones, Swarovski crystals, glass, and shells. I’m like a crow — I like things that are pretty and shiny. I try to make my findings as durable and hypoallergenic as possible while still being affordable, so I use surgical stainless steel French hooks for my earrings and non-tarnish artistic wire for my hand-wrapped rings.
SCML: Where does your jewelry design inspiration come from?
KTP: I read magazines, flip through catalogs, study craft books, and observe what celebrities are wearing on television and movies.
SCML: You have other lovely items besides jewelry at your booth. Tell us about those.
KTP: I recently found some beautiful artificial flowers at a secondhand store that I felt the urge to upcycle, so I turned them into hair bling for my customers. With summer coming up, I also thought it would be nice to make some inexpensive foam visors for kids and adults to help them block the summer sun.
Kerry invites all Marketeers to check out her website. You can also “like” and follow her updates on Facebook. You can even share Theresa’s Promise with all your out-of-the-area friends…Kerry has an Etsy shop, too!
Last but not least, Kerry offers a few other handy options. She is open to creating special orders. Bring her your rough ideas and she’ll help give them more definition and beauty! If you have an old piece that is broken or tarnish, she can also help you with repairs or using what you have to create something totally new. She also teaches classes to children and adults and hosts jewelry parties. Stop by and see her this week for an aesthetic treat that will keep your wallet (and your fingers, wrists, ears, and neck) very happy!
On a Swan City Stitchery related note, I would really love it if you could contribute to my June charity project — collecting art supplies for Art Feeds! Based in Joplin, MO, Art Feeds was formed after the devestating tornado that hit Joplin. Their mission is to provide art therapy and a creative outlet for children processing the trauma of natural disasters. Their latest focus is on the children affected by the Moore, OK tornado. If you have a moment to stop by a dollar store, you can pick up a few art supplies that will make a world of difference in life of a child in Moore. Bring them by The Stitchery this month, and I’ll package up all the donations to send to Art Feeds! You can include a little note of encouragement or a small artistic piece of your own, too, if art supplies aren’t in your budget. I need to fill this box by the end of the month!
Thanks in advance for all you contribute to our Market and our world!