Sunday, March 9, 2014

Meet Your Makers: Jennifer Baldauf of Charmed by Jenn

This is the first in our series of "Meet Your Makers" blog posts.  We interviewed each of our artists and the first is Jennifer Baldauf of Charmed by Jenn.  Following are her answers, in her words.

Please introduce yourself and tell us about your handmade business:  My name is Jennifer Baldauf of Charmed ~by Jenn and I've been with Boutique 208 since our inception.  I began designing while living in Arizona as a reprieve from my day job as a Director of Marketing and Human Resources.  I found the variety of landscapes out West to be great inspiration.  Eventually I moved back to Pennsylvania, and found that I had missed the seasons, lush forest and greenery more than anything and began painting trees, and incorporating more nature into my designs.  My first tree painting was used for an album cover for Peter DiStefano's album Unconditional".  You can find my miniature works of art exclusively at Boutique 208.

You will find a theme of nature in a lot of my work; from my use of natural gems and minerals, my hand embossed designs of nature,  and my miniature tree paintings.  

Everything I do  is a one of a kind, so my inventory is constantly changing.  Stop in to see my work! 

How did you come up with your business name?  My company was formerly known as "Faerie Beautiful Jewelry."  I decided that I wanted a change, and wanted to come up with a word that conjured an image of magic, fantasy, beauty, and whimsy, as well as jewelry.  Charmed came to mind, and the name "Charmed ~by Jenn" was born.  My tagline is "Jewelry and Art for the Soul." 

Where do you live? I live in Bradfordwoods, and am inspired by the trees and woods on a daily basis.  This is where I live and create.

Who’s in your family? I live with my man and my cat.  I moved back to PA 11 years ago to be near my sister, Anna, and the rest of my family.  
If you could sit down and talk to any person, living or dead, who would it be and why? I struggled to answer this question since there are so many amazing minds and artists to choose from, however, my great grandmother passed away when I was 19, and although I had 19 wonderful years with her, I would give just about anything to be able to sit and talk with her now as an adult.  She was an amazing woman, a WWII vet and heroine.  Rosella Painter taught me how to be strong, independent, loving, and caring, and I would love to thank her for everything she did for me.
What inspires you?  My main source of inspiration is life in general.  There's inspiration around every corner, in every soul, in a persons eyes, my cat, in the trees, and in every sound!  Music is a huge source of inspiration for me as well.  

What is your favorite item you make for Boutique 208 and why?  This is also a hard question to answer because everything I do is a one of a kind, therefore I don't duplicate items.  My miniature tree paintings and hand embossed and patina'd jewelry are my favorites to work with, but I also love to bead, as well, and work with natural gems and minerals, and Swarovski Austrian Crystal.  I got my start in jewelry by beading, so it will always be a love of mine, but once I discovered embossing and working with patina's I quickly became hooked.  My favorite aspect of my jewelry is that I only work with metals that are nickel-free and lead-free and safe for all skin types.  I take a lot into consideration when designing, and whether or not people may have metal allergies is a huge concern, so I eliminate that worry by choosing my metals very carefully.


What is your favorite item at Boutique 208 that’s not one of your own and why?  My favorite item by another artist in the shop is the upcycled tea cup candles by "Barkers Herbs and Heirlooms."  They smell delicious whether they are lit or not!  I have had mine sitting on my shelf in my living room for almost 3 months, and have not had to light it to give off fragrance yet!  They are wonderful, hand poured and soy based!  And, I am a tea addict, so the look of the upcycled tea cup is perfect to me!

What advice can you offer to someone who would like to start selling their handmade creations?  I would suggest to start off doing some small art and craft shows to get a feel for what the public thinks of your items.  I believe the public dictates what is and what isn't sellable since they are the ones purchasing it.  Friends and family will always tell you your art/craft is good, the public will determine whether they are being honest with you.

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