“I’ve always experienced a kind of euphoria from creating something beautiful out of nothing.”
My name is Lori Wraase and I make hand stamped personalized jewelry and accessories. I am a stay at home wife and mom of 2 teenagers living in north San Diego. As a family we enjoy everything Southern California has to offer. We love to hike, boogie board, and bike ride together and even enjoy a little bit of snow in our local mountains occasionally. I also practice yoga and run half marathons.
For as long as I can remember I have been creating things. I’ve explored many different kinds of arts and crafts from drawing to sewing and even sculpting. It might sound kind of silly but I’ve always experienced a kind of euphoria from creating something beautiful out of nothing. There’s such a great sense of pride when I can say “I made that.” The act of creating something is a great distraction from everyday stress or difficult times and a great remedy for boredom. I actually get anxious if I go too long without making something.
“I didn’t want to be embarrassed if it failed so I didn’t tell a soul. To my surprise I began getting orders almost immediately.”
A couple of years ago I discovered the art of jewelry stamping while searching for a way to make my own charms. Once I started I just couldn’t stop. I made bracelets for my friends and family members, then for my daughter’s friends. Eventually I ran out of people to give them to so I decided to try to sell them. I really didn’t think it would actually work, but I had nothing to lose and I really enjoyed making them so I secretly opened my shop. I didn’t want to be embarrassed if it failed so I didn’t tell a soul. To my surprise I began getting orders almost immediately. Within just a few months I actually had a little business of my own. What started as a hobby has turned into a real source of income. I love that I can work from home and set my own schedule. It’s the best kind of job.
I think my favorite part of my work is creating meaningful jewelry for my customers. I love doing special orders that challenge me to think in a different direction. Customers contact me with an idea or a sentiment that they want to express and I get to work with them to design something special that’s truly one of a kind. I can also personalize items with names or special dates. It means a lot to me to know that the items I’m creating are special gifts that will be cherished for years and possibly even passed down for generations.
Another important part of my line, and probably the best seller, is my cancer awareness jewelry. I am a cancer survivor and I have created a line of jewelry that says “You are stronger than you know” along with some (optional) hidden choice words about cancer. My hope is that these items will help the wearer feel stronger in an impossibly difficult position. I hear stories daily about courage and strength and determination, and I am inspired by them.
“I’m no longer torn between being there for my kids and bringing in an income, I get the best of both worlds.”
Right now I do all the designing and production of my line. When things get really busy my family gets into the act helping me with shipping and other tasks. I’m planning on hiring some help in the near future. I’d love to be able to offer other stay at home moms a job with flexible hours and summers off to be with their kids.
ArtFire is a great place to sell online. It’s easy to set up a shop with little investment so you don’t feel like you’re risking a lot if you’re scared like I was. I get to work from home and set my own schedule. I’m no longer torn between being there for my kids and bringing in an income. I get the best of both worlds.