Mary Garrett Handmade Jewelry originated as a hobby over 10 years ago. I had a few beading tools, bags of hand-me-down vintage jewelry from my mother and grandmother, buttons and other random findings. All of this confined in a few small bins. In my spare time, I would create unique, one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry pieces for friends and family; occasionally selling pieces at the Box Turtle boutique in Little Rock.
However, about 5 years ago, my handmade jewelry hobby began to take up more and more of my time, and the drive to create new pieces had become my main focus. My husband, Trey, and I lived in a charming little home in the Hillcrest neighborhood of Little Rock, where I set up a small work space in our guest bedroom. It wasn't much, but was all I needed at the time. I began taking metalsmithing classes at The Arkansas Arts Center to further my handmade jewelry skills. After learning the techniques of soldering, it was time to set up my own station at home. We had a shed in the backyard, mainly utilized on fair weather days, we used to conduct all of our soldering projects.
Three years later, we moved a short block up the road to our second home on Monroe Street (where we currently live with our son, George, and dog, Sooie). This home had a bit more space with a 100/sq. ft. bonus room connected to the guest bedroom. Our studio and equipment quickly expanded, with the use of a soldering station, dremel tool, drill press, mandrels and much more! The space was small and cozy, yet very productive. It was here that I began to grow our business and focus on Mary Garrett Handmade Jewelry full-time.
In the fall of 2018, with another baby on the way and steady expansion of our family and business, we decided it was best to move the studio out of our home. The search for our new space began with a simple post on Facebook. It's amazing the quick responses you will get these days, thanks to the internet and social media. It did not take long before a friend of mine, working for At Home in Arkansas, expressed they had the perfect rental space in the back of their building for a small business like us. After taking a look, we decided if was a great fit for Mary Garrett Jewelry. The space is in a great area of town, has an open floor plan, with an industrial yet vibrant feel. It is the perfect creative environment for our handmade jewelry business.
While I will always be grateful for where this journey began, nestled in corners of my home, I am beyond excited about expansion into our new professional space!