Posted by: bunnyterry | February 9, 2010

I Love Pick Up Sticks – Part 2

Also entitled:  “Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow – New Mexico Style”

Pick Up Sticks girls in Atlanta Jan 2010

Marsha Sinetar wrote a book several years back entitled “Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow.”  Countless other wise folks have said the same thing in a number of different ways.  Even Buddha said that one of the main steps to achieving enlightenment was to discover the livelihood that’s right for you.

My lifelong friends, Glena and Sabrina, did just that.  Here’s the story:  A little over ten years ago, Glena was teaching fifth graders in Grady, New Mexico, and Sabrina was living in Chandler, Arizona, married to a really smart guy who spent an inordinate amount of time attempting to convince Sabrina that, while she was beautiful, she really wasn’t particularly smart or creative.   

Neither of them was thrilled with their lives – Glena had a business degree in finance and had vast knowledge about how to manage an enterprise and money, and teaching ten or eleven fifth graders wasn’t nearly as challenging or interesting as she had hoped.  Sabrina had a fine arts degree, but not a lot of support at home for the creative fire in her belly. 

The way I remember it,  Glena decided one day that her heart really wasn’t in teaching.   She decided to run off to Taxco, Mexico and buy up a pile of sterling silver jewelry and try to make a living selling it retail.   Sabrina decided to go along for the ride, both literally and figuratively.  While Glena was doing retail shows, Sabrina started dabbling in creating and soldering photos charms – she’d use photo shop and vintage photos and collage techniques, and she’d come up with, for instance, an old vintage photo of a girl in a red hat on a donkey on one side and some clever saying on the back.    I remember them as incredibly charming and rustic.  Surprisingly, at least to the two of them, the buyers at those retail shows were more interested in those photo charms than the sterling silver bracelets on the tables out front.

Thus, Pick Up Sticks Jewelry Company was born. 

Sabrina was a design wizard and Glena was a business whiz kid.  They both knew exactly what they wanted from their new company – they wanted to have fun, they wanted to travel if possible, and they hoped they might even make a little money in the process. 

So now they do just that.   They have fun, and they employ people at their studio in Clovis, New Mexico, who are thankful to be a part of the business and who have fun with them.  They create whimsical photo charms that allow women to tell their personal stories in either really sweet and sentimental, or funny and irreverant ways.   They get to travel coast to coast (see my previous post about our week in New York) selling their jewelry wholesale.  And then there is the best benefit of all – the money.  They make amazing money doing what each of them is most talented to do – Glena manages and Sabrina creates. 

Go to www.pickupsticks.net and take a look.  And if you’re interested in buying their jewelry, you can do so at www.photocharm.net.  It’s not their site – they’re far too conscious of protecting their retail customers to set up their own retail site, but it is the site of a customer who has a good inventory of their work.  Or you can find retailers on the Pick Up Sticks website.

Just as I said in my previous post, I’m too proud of them for words.  We all grew up in Logan, New Mexico (pop. 1100), and we’re still hometown girls at heart.  What they did is inspirational – one of my favorite Maya Angelou stories is about a woman who saw that the path she was on was making her unhappy and sad and that it was not going to work for her.  She made a conscious choice to step off that path and find another route.  That’s what my friends did – they chose a path that would make their lives more interesting and satisfying, and in the process, they were successful.  They truly did what they love, and the money followed.  Not a bad path for a couple of Quay County girls!

Glena and Bunny - New York booth Jan 2010

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