I’m also inspired by travel, the people, the food, and the excitement of never quite knowing what to expect, including the selection of my fabrics. While I always return to my same fabric sources, I am constantly delighted by the textiles they have made for me during the previous months.
Hi My name is Courtney, I’m 24 and my shop is Hemp Hugs which I started as an Etsy shop in October 2010.
I consider my boyfriend Rich a member of Hemp Hugs too – we’ve been together a little
over 8 years & he’s been a huge part of making our business happen!
I mostly make hemp jewelry and Rich did wire wraps for about 2 years
and just recently started blowing glass.
I remember being young and inspired by my aunt had always been into arts & crafts. For as long as I remember, she was
always making things for my cousins and I. She would use fabric paint on shoes,
dresses, hats, shirts,etc for us and I LOVED them. I used to go over her house all the
time & make stuff with her. My favorite thing to do was make beaded jewelry with
pony beads & elastic cord.
In high school I bought my first hemp necklace. It was so plain & basic & I
remember thinking to myself “I can do this, but make it look way cooler!”
I discovered etsy.com and found people making a living from making hemp jewelry. One shop
in mind sticks out, Psysub Hemp on Etsy, I was SO inspired by their beautiful
jewelry it made me want to learn how to make my own style. I went
to the craft store & bought a macrame book, some basic natural hemp, and called
the only friend I knew that actually knew anything about macrame and showed me
the basic flat knot and that was it.. from there I pretty much taught myself. I discovered colored
hemp and went nuts from there.
” I fell in love with macrame. ”
My love for macrame started a new life for me. From my first job working restaurants at
age 16 to the time I quit my last job at age 20, I worked at 7 different places (6 of
them were restaurants). I had decided I no longer wanted to work for a corporate
business or really anyone but myself so Rich and I took a week
off work & went to a music festival where we talked to a couple food vendors who
said they hadn’t worked a ‘real job’ in 12 years. They seemed so happy. They got
to do what they wanted whenever they wanted AND got paid for it! That was it for
me. Over the next year, Rich & I saved our money to start our own small business.
In May of 2010, I was working 3 jobs, while Rich was a kitchen manager at a local
chain restaurant. Neither of us were happy with what we were doing. He went into
work one morning in a Grateful Dead t-shirt, turned his keys into the general
manager & basically said “i quit”. I quit my job at 2 of the restaurants I was working
at, and a month later walked out of my job at a movie theater. Best decision we
both ever made.
Things changed for me after I went to my first music festival.
From that moment I was hooked. I loved
EVERYTHING about them..the music, the vibe, the art, the feeling of being
whoever you want & not being judged.
Music is definitely one of my main inspirations. I am a huge fan of the Grateful Dead & have lots of GD
inspired charms & pendants. I’m also inspired by the other talented macrame artists out
there. There’s a group on Facebook just for macrame artists to share tips, get
advice, trade supplies, and just encourage each other and it’s been a big
inspiration for me.
One of my greatest memories is of our very first time vending. It was Classic Fest 2010 at Nelson Ledges
Quarry Park. We had an EZup and 2 tables.
One table had all of my jewelry.
I was even making hemp jewelry which I had scattered all over the table. No displays of any kind, just a
mess of jewelry and
some camping necessities like TP, flashlights, rain ponchos, etc. We also had
boxes of movie posters..from working at a movie theater, I got the advantage of taking
all the posters they got, otherwise they would just throw them away. Most of them
were awful movies that mostly never even made it to theaters lol. We barely made
enough money that weekend to cover our tickets to the event + vending fee. We
almost gave up on vending altogether after that.
So glad we didn’t!
We now have a 20×30 setup right next to the stage at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park, with at
least 6 tables FULL of merchandise, 6+ handmade necklace boards full of my
hemp jewelry, clothes racks, grid walls, display cases.. it’s truly amazing to see
how far we’ve come in a few years.
Hemp Hugs expanded from being just
an online Etsy shop to a vending business, setting up at various music
festivals at our local venue, Nelson Ledges Quarry Park and recently we’ve also started
setting up at different concerts for a local Youngstown band, Jones for
As a hemp artist, I try to use the best quality of products available. I use 100%
natural hemp twine in a wide variety of colors. I have about 7 cases full of a variety
of beads (wood, glass, gemstone, ceramic, etc), pendants, charms, cabochons,
and other supplies. Trying to decide what to make is sometimes more of a
challenge than actually making something – lol. I spend most of my time creating in my living room, either
listening to some music or watching shows & documentaries on Netflix.
With the more intricate designs, I almost never plan it
out first. I usually just pick out some colors & just go with the flow of what I feel fits
that piece just right.
I have a small macrame board that I use to hold my piece in place while I create so Once I decide on a pendant or bead
I want to use, I match up the colors of hemp that I think would accent the piece(s)
well and then from there, I decide if I want to spend hours creating an intricate, one of a
kind piece or keep it simple.
We met our business partners, Gary & Lourie (local glassblowers
who have their own small business, Glass and Stuff) in 2012 and have been
vending music festivals with them ever since.
This past November we all got together with two other friends, Zak & Whitney (they have a small business as
well called Estimated Prospect where they sell stones, crystals & minerals) and
we opened up a store here in Ohio called Higher Minds. We all travel & vend
together at NLQP -Nelson Ledges Quary Park – every spring/summer. Our goal is to support as many local
artists & small businesses as possible. Our store Higher Minds is full of local
hand blown glass, my handmade hemp jewelry, handmade clothing, tie dyes,
tapestries, all natural beauty products (made here in Ohio), and so much
more and are mostly all from friends & local artists. If it wasn’t for Rich & I starting up
Hemp Hugs & traveling to shows, Higher Minds would potentially not exist.
It’s basically 3 small businesses joined together as one.
My favorite piece of art I’ve ever made is one I just recently made; a bracelet cuff that honestly blew my mind when I was
finished. I had a labradorite cab & some matching beads set aside for months. I
knew I wanted to make something spectacular with them, but didn’t know what
until I recently learned a new macrame technique for wrapping stones. MANY
knots later, I was so impressed with what I had created, I got a little emotional
when I was done.
My boyfriend, definitely helps keep me going when things get tough.
There have been countless times when I get myself down because maybe my Etsy sales have dropped a little from last month or for some
reason I don’t feel I’m doing my best….and he’s right there telling me otherwise,
assuring me that everything is ok. Also my friends & family’s undying support of
what I do definitely keeps me going.
I’ve also found nature & being outdoors to be very inspiring.
In my down time, when I’m not crafting, traveling, or working at the store I enjoy
just hanging out at home with my boyfriend & our animals (1 dog & 2 kitties) or
having a couple good beers with some friends (preferably around a campfire!)
Nice to meet you!
I have a lot of them!!!!
“if you get confused, listen to the music play”
“a box of rain will ease the pain & love will see you through”
“once in awhile you get shone the light in the strangest of places if you look at it
“i’m gonna love the life I live & i’m gonna live the life I love”
oh boy lol.. so many stories come to mind, I would be typing for hours haha.
When asked… Is there something about you as an artist that you would like the world to
know? she said this
“I’m a self taught macrame artist with big dreams. I never give up on something I’m
passionate about and I absolutely love what I do & will continue to push myself Furthur”
I’m beyond grateful with how much our small business has grown. I only see it
getting bigger from here & hope to one day have Higher Minds stores across the
country and possibly even the world. But for now, I couldn’t be happier with where
we are at 🙂
Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Garrettsville,Ohio (every music festival from April-
Clay’s Park in Canton, Ohio for the Ville Music Festival
I also have a lot of my hemp jewelry available at our store Higher Minds in
Artist Contact info:
Social Media Links:
Forever Grateful, Deadhead Art Alliance Team
I create one of a kind handmade jewelry from semi-precious stones, crystals and metals in one store and I create vegan, detergent free, sodium laurel sulfate free handmade soaps. The philosophy for both of my shops is to create high quality handmade items at the lowest price for my customers and I’m proud to say I belong to the Deadhead Art Alliance as well as the Working Artists Promotion Team.
My creative process always starts with inspiration, usually from the stones themselves, either a beautiful focal bead or pendant or the beads themselves. I’m a Graduate Gemologist and Jeweler for over thirty five years and my first loves are stones and designing, so it’s usually some really unique stones or focal beads or pendants that set my imagination going. I make all my pieces here at my home by hand. Each bead is selected individually to create exactly the look I want.
I’ve been a rockhound ever since I can remember….picking up stones and rocks and saving them since I was a little girl, so I guess I had a natural affinity for them. I began beading at the age of eleven and by twelve years old I had procured myself a booth at the Yonkers (NY) Raceway Flea Market every week and was selling on my own at twelve years old. Beading was always my first love and I continued to make jewelry and do bead work through school. When I was in college I used one particular supplier, a Japanese pearl importer in NY and she came to know me from being her customer and one day she asked me to come work for her so I did. I obtained some great education from her in Japanese pearls and silk stringing and knotting techniques, as well as becoming her buyer. As her buyer I would take buying trips into New York City (I lived about fifteen minutes outside of the city at the time) to some of the largest pearl and bead import houses in the world. I was like a little kid in a candy store!
Working with that Japanese pearl importer I also was lucky enough to work some of the largest gem and jewelry shows in the world at the Javitz Center in NYC.
I worked my way through college (I have a B.S. In English) with my jewelry and after college I decided to take the turn into the jewelry field as a career. I went to the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.) in NYC and graduated with a G.G. (Graduate Gemology) degree and also as a diamontologist (Diamontology is a branch of gemology that deals specifically with diamonds) While I was in school at the G.I.A. I also apprenticed with a silver and goldsmith in Hastings-On-Hudson, NY. She became a wonderful friend and a terrific teacher who I’m grateful for to this day. I also signed up for some classes in Lapidary work at the Westchester Art Workshop, but I discovered that lapidary work wasn’t really my thing. I moved on to work for two different jewelers in Scarsdale, NY, both high end designers of fine jewelry, where I worked in design and repair, as well as sales.
As time went on, I was offered a job with Sterling Inc, owner of Kay Jewelers, Jared, Whitehall and a few others, and I worked with Sterling Inc for a number of years. I was their top seller in the United States one year and won an award (and some great jewelry!) and from there I headed up their Estate Division, which I was thrilled about, as I love Estate Jewelry.
I decided to move from NY to Arizona after a few years and was offered to transfer with Sterling Inc, but I wanted to see what Arizona had to offer me, so I declined. I did find a job managing a designer fine jewelry store in Scottsdale, Arizona called Scott Allen Jewelers and worked for them and helped them start up their manufacturing company as well.
Then at one point I became burned out on the jewelry industry…I had gotten away from what I really loved….creating the jewelry; and I had ended up in the sales and management end of it (that’s where the money was) and so I felt unhappy and decided to take a break from jewelry for a few years.
Now I’m disabled and unable to work in the workplace these days, so now I simply do my bead work at home, back to doing what I love.
Now What inspires me most to create are the stones and beads themselves and What makes my job interesting is finding unusual stones or beads, it’s like going on a treasure hunt. I also love doing custom orders, it’s fun to take what’s in someone else’s mind and create it for them to make them something they love. When times get hard My dogs get me through everything! I love my two rescue dogs, they’re my joy. When sales are tight, I keep my hope that things will get better and Of course, my wonderful friends always keep me going too! In my down time I love to spend time with my best friend, my dogs, taking short road trips, I love to read, be out in the desert, listen to lots of music! I have many stories about music shows but I’m afraid they’d be too long to tell here, but Grateful Dead shows were always an event.
“An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.” – Mae West
We’ll leave you with this….. When asked Is there something as an artist that you would like the world to know? she says this
“Be kind to each other, always.”
Artist Contact info:
Ivy Starshine on Facebook
Social Media Links:
My Etsy Shop
Starshine Beads – https://www.etsy.com/shop/StarshineBeads
My Facebook Fan Page for Starshine Beads –
My Etsy shop Southwest Soaps –
My Facebook Fan Page for Southwest Soaps –
Sales happening: I’m having a huge 25% off sale at Starshine Beads through December 23rd and 10% off at Southwest Soaps with coupon code HAPPYHOLIDAYS10 at checkout, through December 23.
Forever Grateful, Deadhead Art Alliance Team
The Elvish Acorn is here to bring you upcycled articles inspired by the earth and handmade jewelry made with lots of love and heart.!
My name is Rebekah. My store is The Elvish Acorn and my only team is the DHAA. What other team would I need? 😉
I live about 20 minutes west of Detroit in a Garden City, MI.
My shop is called The Elvish Acorn and my goal is to create jewelry and accessories that have an earthy vibe.
I like to think that I’m putting a lot of lovely things out to go on adventures without making a negative environmental impact by reclaiming and repurposing as much as possible.
My creative process… Sometimes it’s embarrassingly slow and I just can’t get something right. A piece will fight me all the way and sometimes needs to be temporarily abandoned. Other times, something just falls together beautifully. I use glass beads, wood beads, stone beads, gemstone beads, shell beads… Sometimes horn & bone. I string on Nymo or Acuflex, depending on the project. I used to only use sterling silver for earrings, but now make my big Gypsy hoops in base metals. I have various boxes, bins, and drawers to keep my beads, pedants, hemp, etc, kind of in their place. My work space is always a mess, but I happily bead in the midst of my crafty chaos!
If I’m sewing, I have an old Kenmore serger that my mother gave me and I have a Brother machine that I use for the finishing touches! I have piles and drawers of thrifted, upcycled, free, and vintage fabric. I’d like to focus on bags for a while, but that remains to be seen. I’m pretty fortunate in the our upstairs is divided into two rooms. I get to use the west half as my crafty corner! My husband gets to close the door and pretend that all of the string bits & lose beads in the carpet aren’t really there. Hahaha!
I learned the fundamentals of beading from a girl I did Dead tour with. Over the years I’ve learned some new stuff and tried to develop my own style.
For years I supported myself and my oldest two kids exclusively with my sewing and bead work. Those were the days when Head shops were everywhere and I could walk in with bags on handmade stuff, and walk out with a grip of cash.
*start the sad violin music now*
When Jerry died, everything changed somehow.I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I packed up my beads, got an office job, and life went on. I have since trained as a doula and a phlebotomist. After I got my associates degree, I found myself working in the mall pushing ICP t’s to kids and moonlighting as a dominatrix. No lie. I lived in a pretty rough neighbourhood for about ten years. It was buying my first house that brought me back into beading. Moving from the concrete town homes where the only wildlife was unattended children and stray cats to a home with fruit trees, lilacs, and an INSANE, twisted pussy willow was a dream come true. Ah, serenity! Chirping birds and fleeting foxes! Who would that not inspire? Thusly, Hawthorn & Pine, the original name of my Etsy shop was born. If you’ve ever smelled a Hawthorn tree in bloom, it’s a rancid odor you will never forget. The beauty of the tree if that birds & little critters eat the berries, year ’round. It’s a really cool life source. I used to love snooping around the pine trees to see if there were any new birds nests! Alas, that house wasn’t meant to be my forever home and as our family grew, the need to relocate did as well. After about a year at our new house, It was time for a name change & image overhaul – and so began The Elvish Acorn adventure! My full time job right now is motherhood. My youngest starts school, full-time, in the fall and I’m really hoping to put a lot of energy into The Elvish Acorn that I haven’t been able to in the past!
My mother made a lot of my clothes when I was little and she gave me free reign of the sewing machine as well as taught me how to use a needle & thread. I had THE best dressed Glamour Gals, (no, not Barbies,) EVER! My favorite thing in my shop right now is a big ol’ pair of Gypsy hoops. They are bright, colourful, and very brazen. https://www.etsy.com/listing/187313871/gorgeous-olive-and-purple-gypsy-or
I have two all-time favorite pieces. I know I wasn’t the only little girl to have one of those Mexican necklaces with the tiny beaded doll on it. There were two kinds – one with a circle skirt and a male one. I LOVED those things. Well, my grandmother was a HUGE Elvis fan so I made her a little, 2 inch Vegas Elvis, white jump suit emblazoned with gold, silver, and shiny red & blue beads. She was crazy about that thing. To my knowledge my aunt has him now. My other favorite piece is this voodoo looking hemp thing that I made. In the center there is a baby bird skull that I found and sewed hematite beads in as eyes. I made it from things that came from people who were important and dear to me. It used to have a tiny glass bottle on it that contained locks of hair from my oldest two kids first haircuts. There is an abalone that my friend Anne, whom I’ve long-since lost contact with and a piece of amber from my first love. There is also a crystal on there from my friend Jenny. She is an AMAZING fiber artist and inspires me still. She coined the term “craftmagic!”
People. Conversation. Music. Words and the way they make me feel. Cool, (the temperature, not like Arthur Fonzerelli,) warm, excited. I take these thoughts, words, and emotions and match them with colours. Sometimes it’s something like a sea shell or pine cone. I try to make things that will at least come out semi-organic! I love the Indiana Jones aspect of thrifting. The endless search for the Holy grail of upcycleable beads or fabric. I also love finding weird old craft stores. That’s always a good time! My husband trolls the free section of Craigslist for me! Custom orders are fantastic. It wasn’t until very recently that I realized the importance of jewelry in peoples lives. You make memories with jewelry. You were wearing that necklace when your child was born. You were wearing those earrings when you got your puppy. You bought that bracelet at Soldier Field. That was the dread bead your mom got you. You know? Jewelry reminds you of places you’ve gone, people you’ve known, and things you’ve done. Jewelry can trigger some pretty powerful emotions and being able to be a part of that is really an honor.
Have you ever put “necklace” in a search on Etsy? Lol. I tend to get lost. What keeps my morale up is knowing that while stuff isn’t selling, I can build up back stock for when I need it. I also get pretty stoked about selling my stuff, face-to-face. I do much better that way because you can’t catch the phantoms & sparkles of gemstones & beads in a picture!
My favorite quotes are actually song lyrics! My favorite has got to be from The Jeff Buckley song, Last Goodbye. “Kiss me. Please kiss me. But kiss me out of desire, not consolation.” Beautiful. Tragic. Poignant. It gives me shivers. Aw, man. There is also ,” It’s okay, I’m a saint. I forgave your mistakes,” from the And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead song, Relative Ways. Again, . gloriously poignant
Oh, geees we’re goin to take you back to the days here. Touring the the winter in 93! Too cool for winter boots & wearing 3 pairs of woolen socks in my freakin’ Birkenstock sandals! I still have my Miracle sign. I remember standing in the snow and yelling stupid stuff like, “I’m pregnant! It’s cold! I need a miracle!” Haha. Good times. I also loved doing shows with my daughters. One in a carrier on my back & one on my hip. After a show once, my oldest told my parents that she rode the (nonexistant) merry go round and saw the (nonexistent) ducks. They must have really questioned my parenting but kept supporting my decisions! Haha.
I just recently started considering myself an “artist.” I especially didn’t think of bead work and sewing being art when I did it. Basically, I do the best I can. There are better people out there that use nicer materials and have a cleaner style, but aside from wanting to expand my knowledge of technique, I’m relatively satisfied with what I’m putting out into the world! I genuinely appreciate all of the support, encouragement, and criticism from other artists and the DHAA! I am more blown away and humbled at having been picked as AOTM than any of you will ever know. Seriously. My goal for The Elvish Acorn is to really buckle down and make a whole bunch of a couple of particular styles that I can hopefully get picked up by some sort of chain or successfully keep some consignment places stocked. I have a friend who got picked up locally by Whole Foods. I keep telling myself that IT IS POSSIBLE! I’m hoping to get my finger on the pulse of venues and festivals that I can vend. I did my first event in over 15 years earlier this year. TOTAL STAGE FRIGHT, but I did alright. I’d like to busy my weekends with that sort of thing. But, for now, I will keep picking away at building stock and making pretty things for people to take with them on their adventure through life! Thank you everyone! You all amaze me!
I am on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheElvishAcorn
Artist Contact info: TheElvishAcorn@hotmail.com
Social Media Links: https://www.facebook.com/TheElvishAcorn
Sales happening: Enter code THANKUDHAA on Etsy for 15% off Until the end of May Forever Grateful, Deadhead Art Alliance Team
The DHAA would like to thank Rebekah for all she does for the Deadhead Art Alliance Artists., She goes out of her way to volunteers every year to be our team’s group leader of our Secret Santa Gift Exchange!