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,

Joyce Roseman

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!


Sarita said...

I love this story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I have learned these past few years that when you're at the mercy of the world, things often fall into place. Not everything turns out as we hope and pray for, but I've got to believe there's a plan for all of us. It seems like your plan is a good one, and you're doing a great job of it.

Best wishes!

Love the bracelet, too. What a fantastic idea.

Liz V. said...

Touching story. Hope we move forward in understanding mental health issues.
Beautiful bracelet.

sosarahsew said...

What an inspiration your family models! Thanks for sharing. And the jewelry is wonderful too. I need to spend more time at both of these sites... and recommend them to others as well. Sarah

Allyson said...

Your story is wonderfully inspiring on many levels--living and thriving, in spite of mental illness; finding ways to follow your dreams; such creativity throughout! You touch on things close to my heart, including mental illness, which takes many forms in my own family (including my youngest son, now 16, who is struggling with subconscious memories of his first two and a half years before coming to us with his brother; our son has been diagnosed with many things, including bipolar, but we now think that the big issue is attachment disorder and how it manifests. We are told that people such as our son are often misdiagnosed because of the complexity of what amounts to post-traumatic stress syndrome). I greatly admire how you have both stayed together and have worked togetheer to build such a vision. I'm going to follow your sites and hope that you make it to the Northern Virginia area some time! And by the way, I'm so glad that you met Joanna! She has a way of meeting people and making things happen, doesn't she? (and this is not a plug for the bracelet, Joanna!!)

Katreader said...

Your bracelet is beautiful. I praise your efforts to benefit the mentally ill. I work in the forensic unit of a psychiatric hospital.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

If you all could meet the Roseman family, you'd be as awed as I am by their talent and their determination. We're having lunch together today, and I'll try to get some photos. I love their work.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

By the way, Joyce decided to customize the bracelet so it will perfectly fit the lucky recipient.

And Allyson? God sends a lot of neat people my way. You are one of those.

Carol S said...

Joyce, what a fabulous creative life your family is enjoying. The bracelet is lovely.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for such encouraging comments. Your comments and stories give us renewed passion. It is my true desire that our story can bring hope to all who struggle. I am looking forward to sending a bracelet to one lucky recipient. Blessings!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

The random number generator chose--Liz! Liz, I'll share your details with Joyce.

Liz V. said...

Joanna and Joyce,
I am delighted. The bracelet is beautiful, as is the story of determination and love which it represents.
Thank you and best wishes.

Terry Parrish said...

That was a great story, and Thank you for sharing it. Just goes to show you can do anything you set your mind to. It was definitely a motivational tale, and I wish you and your family the best on all your travels.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

I love the idea that our talents are our ticket to our dreams. That's so powerful.