I am a maker. I love making jewelry. Being able to imagine something and then create it with my two hands is so amazingly satisfying. I am one of the lucky few that can do what I love and make a living out of it.
Being a self employed business owner isn't just about creating, there's many aspects I don't enjoy, but the bottom line is I feel honored that people appreciate my jewelry enough to buy it which allows me to make more jewelry.
September 2, 2017.. the day my world was turned upside down.
Lets backtrack a few days before...
I was so excited to be heading to Oregon. I had 2 back to back shows which means I get the few days in between to explore. To make things even better, my dear friend Megan Clark was doing the same 2 shows... yay.. I have a travel buddy!!
We started the trip in Bend Oregon at Art in the High Desert. This show is a treat. It's a well run, beautiful show site, we were even hosted by an amazing customer and friend. (Yes, many artists stay with hosts to save money. There are so many expenses doing art shows and no guarantee you will make any money. None of us do this to get rich, it's a labor of love)
After the show we headed to Portland Oregon for Art in the Pearl. We detoured to the coast and spent an amazing day driving and stopping taking in the beautiful views of the majestic ocean.
Arriving in Portland, we again were hosted by good friends... Theresa (Trixie) and Milo .. of trixieandmilo. com We set up on Friday and prepared for one of my favorite shows Art in the Pearl. If you've seen the show Portlandia, you have a decent idea of Portlandians. They are quirky, educated in the arts, kind souls, and genuine people. I have met so many people that fill my heart with joy.
Saturday September 2nd, 1st day of Art in the Pearl. It was a hot one.. 98* , but great energy at the show. Both myself and Megan packed up our jewelry as usual and dragged our tired butts to the car.
If you are an art show artist, you can attest to how exhausting it is to talk about your work for hours non stop, standing in the heat. We got to the car and loaded our bags into the trunk, being careful not to damage prints we purchased at the show. It's important to support your fellow artists, and we both love art!
Leaving the lot, heading to our friends home, we decided to make a quick stop. The store had a lot, it was daylight. Both myself and Megan always keep our work with us. We drag it into restaurants, we are cautious. This time, this one time, our guard was down and we left it locked in the trunk, knowing we'd be quick in the store.
Leaving the store, everything seemed fine. I drove us to our friend's place, we popped the trunk. HERE'S WHERE OUR HEARTS STOPPED
The bags weren't there. We kept looking... the art was still there. My pink bag was still there. No jewelry bags!!! Starting to become hysterical, we leapt back into the car. Let's retrace our steps!!!
I drove very fast back to the store. While they were pulling up the video surveillance, I left Megan and bolted back to the show. I needed to look with my own eyes at the lot and show site. No luck. I flew back to the store and we were able to see the video. Unfortunately, our rental car was in a blind spot. We did see footage of a shady van but no solid proof. We waited hours for the police then decided to return home once we realized we could file it over the phone.
The car had no damage. It was a Toyota Camry rental car. There isn't keyholes to unlock and lock it, the door could only be open with a clicker. We have now become aware that with a special device, a thief can duplicate the clicker sound and easily enter your car .. this is scary on so many levels.
I've hear stories about jeweler's getting followed after a show. A tire gets punctured, they work in teams, they watch you and wait for the opportune moment, then they strike. I never thought it would happen to me.
Now to give you an idea of what was in my bag... I've been making jewelry for 20 years. I keep making, even when I have a slow show because I love and live to create. Obviously it wasn't 20 years of work in the bag, but it was a lot! Some of those pieces I made this year, but many of them I created last year, or the year before.. etc. I've been hitting my stride in creating, making new work that I am proud of. I finally claimed one piece as my own that I didn't want to sell because I had such a connection with it. THEY ARE ALL GONE!!!
I am heart broken.
Megan and I would have probably sat in shock for days, but our fierce, smart, inspirational friend Theresa motivated us to spring into action. She sent press releases to all of the news stations. We did 4 tv interviews, spent hours getting images together, etc, all on 0 sleep. We cried. We hugged. We cried again.
Now, as I sit on the airplane on my way home, I am grateful. I am grateful that I will be able to hug my husband in a few hours. I am grateful I wasn't injured or physically attacked. I am grateful for the outpouring of love I have experienced in the past 2 days. My family, my friends, the amazing artist community that I am so proud to be a part of, compassionate strangers, have all reached out to support me, us. Little me.
I am a positive person. I actually get a lot of slack from friends that I am too positive. I believe in my heart that people are good deep down. I believe that if the culprits read this, that that might find it in there hearts to return it. I would forgive them.