Barbara Kelley

I guess you could say I have spent the majority of my life infused with an entrepreneurial spirit, creating things and selling my creations. I began with "direct sales", when I was child in middle school, creating crafts, which I took door to door in a big basket, to sell and make money for Christmas presents. Fast forward 15-ish years. I discovered craft shows, I learned so much at those first shows! The decorative painters (they called 'em tole painters back then) were the ones making all the sales. So I took a few bucks bought a book and a few other basic supplies and I taught myself to paint. And I began to wholesale my items to a few local stores. Often, I barely made gas money to get the items delivered, get myself back home replace the supplies and do it all over again the next week. After a few years, we moved to a small town in Southern California, and I met my bestie who was (and still is) an amazing woman who provided me with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grow creatively, even letting me share space in her antique shop in exchange for keeping it open more than "by chance or appointment". She introduced me to the supply wholesale markets in Los Angeles and advised and educated me about the newest and best supplies to work with and to expand the types of projects I was able to create. Eventually, I opened my own store, though I still spent time at the antique shop as well. During this period of my life, I re-visited the idea of wholesaling, but this time I had a team of sales rep and several woodcutters and sold to stores all over the country. I continued to create and sell, gradually adding more and more vintage and antique supplies to my stash of components. It seems like the love of antiques I aqcuired from my grandparents was a driving force and has remained so. Today, I once again live in a small town touristy area, in a former church which is a Bed & Breakfast in the summer months and my creative playground the rest of the year. I currently sell my finished wares, which almost always incorporate vintage bits and pieces, from antique quilt parts to collectible textile bobbins and old enamelware on eBay and at craft shows in my area. I have also begun creating artisan jewlery, often using vintage supplies. I am so pleased that I am also taking a very special jewelry design class beginning January 5, 2016, which I will be detailing in my blog.