This September will mark my tenth year as a jeweler/maker/seller on Etsy. I've been a "maker" since I was a young girl, but officially, this year represents a decade of dedicating myself to Carmella's Jewelry regularly and building a brand and a business. 

^^First charm I created using Precious Metal Clay, which becomes solid metal once fired with a torch or in a kiln.

I feel so very fortunate for the opportunity to call this business my profession. With every order a customer places, they are putting their trust in me to create something unique for them, and I feel so honored that among all the other options available today, they chose my shop. If you'd told me as a kid playing with Sculpey clay out of a Caboodle that in thirty years, I'd be designing and creating jewelry as my full time job, I probably would have begged to skip ahead to the future so I could get started right away.

It's sort of surreal, to be honest. I have customers who come to my shop again and again and reviews that have brought tears to my eyes with gratitude for such kind words spoken about something I've made with my hands. There's a level of vulnerabiltiy that comes along with creating things for people. There's a give and take on expectations. It's hard to separate emotions from handmade pieces. 

I know that every time I ship out an order, I am putting a little bit of faith in the customer to see the beauty I worked hard to put into each ring or fingerprint charm. But I love it all, to my very core, and I know that this will be my forever passion. If I can, I hope to celebrate a 20 year anniversary, and a 30 year. I built this shop into something that feels tangible to me now, and I hope to continue nurturing it for many more decades to come.