Sunday, August 7, 2011
Living and Giving Hope--This Bracelet Could be Yours!
by Joyce Roseman
As a creative artist, one never knows where their stroke of genius might take them. In our family, we have had many laughs over the “pipe dream” ideas we thought could make money. Perhaps you can relate!
Over the years, I have worked as a wood crafter, seamstress, faux painting artist, formulated the best recipe for gourmet biscotti and become a redesign/ trash to treasure expert! There was never a shortage of creative juice in our home. I lovingly created a beautiful home for our family from thrift store finds, cast off’s from friends or treasures in the trash! I was the queen of thrift store shopping before it was cool and hip!
One such stroke of genius caused us to build a pergola on our back patio from a neighbor’s throw away lumber. I posted pics on HGTV and DIY Ideas websites, both of which gave me some national recognition! In August 2008, I was featured on the 3rd episode of HGTV’s new show, Rate My Space!
Two years ago, my husband, Glen, had another creative stroke of genius. As is common for a music teacher and family of musicians, he was always changing someone’s guitar strings. One day while wrapping the old strings, he had a thought and shared the idea with me. It took me about 4 months to consider his idea. What can I say! I had run thin on “pipe dreams” ever turning into valid occupations. But, I listened and got to work creating the first recycled guitar string jewelry designs! We began to share the idea with friends and before long we were selling Strung Up Jewelry to friends, family and at shows. It was thrilling to say the least!
At this same time, Glen and I had launched a non-profit foundation. Concerts of Hope Inc’s mission is to give hope to persons suffering with mental illness. My husband has successfully battled mental illness since the age of 17. As a couple, we have gained valuable insight into how to maintain your dignity in spite of the stigma and stereo types surrounding bipolar disorder. We had lots of opportunities to throw in the towel and give up, but instead we clung to hope in spite of some really adverse times.
Our dream was to travel the US sharing music, art and our inspirational life story every where we could. So, we put together a plan. The summer of 2010 was spent selling everything we owned. By August, we had purchased a 5th Wheel RV and this was now home for us and our three teenage daughters! We exchanged suburban life for life in 350 square feet!
Funds ran a little low and things didn’t go as planned. Our daughter sold her beautiful Honda Civic after 3 months but we just could not sell our van. So, plans to buy a truck to pull our 5th wheel were put on hold.
November was upon us and TN was getting cold. We needed to move to warmer climate. But how? Well, the cool thing is, nice people are everywhere (if you look for them). Not by coincidence, we met a couple who offered to tow us to our first destination – Florida. A family had offered to host us on their beautiful 10 acre farm in Deland, FL. And so for 4 ½ months we enjoyed Florida farm life and got better acquainted with RV life.
By spring 2011, another friend offered to tow us to our second destination. Being parked close to the beach in south Florida has been really wonderful. We were able to find some really great locations for vending and have been having a swell time selling Strung Up Jewelry. Not to mention we have met some amazing people who love what we are doing! It was here in the sunny south that I met a beautiful lady by the name of Joanna while scouting for sea shells. Coincidence? I don’t think so!
Well, patience finally paid off. The final pieces to the puzzle had come together and we purchased our truck. We had the 5th wheel hitch put in our truck just last week. Now, the opportunity to finally travel all over the US is finally becoming a reality.
Living and giving hope to people is what we are all about. I believe being creative is a real gift and being able to make a living doing it is a little slice of paradise! If our family can inspire people to do anything, it is to “FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS.” And – don’t ever give up – never. Our non-profit foundation seeks to inspire people to follow their dreams, pursue mental health, manage their lives, and seek faith. Through art, music and sharing our life story, we hope others will be inspired to Live and Give Hope!
To learn more about our family visit the following links:
Concerts of Hope
Strung Up Jewelry
Sincerely for Hope,
How This Bracelet Could be Yours!
Note from Joanna--I'll randomly select one lucky commenter and Joyce will custom made a bracelet like the one above for her/him. You have until Tuesday to respond!