Sponsor Love: The Smithery

Get to know the makers, businesses and faces who are helping us create Midwest Craft Con! Today we meet The Smithery, the brainchild of two talented jewelry makers and longtime friends who have curated the finest selection of handmade jewelry from around the world. Jen Townsend and Anne Holman have combined shopping, artist studio space and DIY workshops into an adorable storefront in Grandview Heights — which you can visit on our bus tour!

Make sure to find Jen and Anne during our trade show, where they will be selling a selection of jewelry representing many of the artists in the store and will have information about their classes. They will also be speaking on a panel about developing good relationships with retail shops.

The Smithery cofounders

Megan: How long have you been in the creative scene?

Jen and Anne: We have been actively selling our jewelry for a combined total of over 22 years. Together, we founded The Smithery early 2014 and opened our doors October 2014. We have both always been making things our entire lives and found our individual passion for metal while studying other media in art school.

Megan: What services do you provide to your community?

Jen and Anne: The Smithery encompasses a number of facets. We provide project-based workshops on a weekly basis to the public, as well as host private events for groups of individuals seeking a hands on activity. Our Make Your Own Wedding Band workshop is a unique offering we provide to couples seeking one-of-a-kind rings. We provide custom jewelry services making commissioned work for individuals. We also have built a selling venue to support independent artists as well as bringing a well-curated collection of fine craft to the Columbus area.

Megan: What are you most proud of when it comes to your business?

Jen and Anne: We are most proud of our commitment to build something we dreamt about, from the ground up, with integrity and respect to independent artists.

Megan: What is one big mistake you’d suggest others avoid when entering the handmade arena?

Jen and Anne: Not be afraid or hesitant to put yourself out there. It will never be the “right time.” And trust your gut when you are doing business with other people. If you feel hesitant, there is usually a good reason.

Megan: Any big goals for the new year?

Jen and Anne: Staying positive. Working more on The Smithery’s in-house collaborative jewelry line, wedding jewelry, as well as our individual work.

Megan: What are you most looking forward to at Midwest Craft Con?

Jen and Anne: Getting to spend some time with other creative people and welcoming you to Columbus!

Meet Jen and Anne and so many other makers at Midwest Craft Con in February! 


Nikki Jenkins on Making Jewelry and Living a Crafty Life

Nikki Jenkins of Cincinnati is an entrepreneur and mixed-media jewelry designer, the owner of Nimmy Designs, which is sold at art and craft shows, concerts, trunk shows, boutiques and online. With experience in fashion modeling, personal styling, metalsmithing and glass artistry, she is passionate about incorporating artistic vision into professional development. By day, Nikki is a Certified Health Education Specialist; she holds a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in psychology, specializing in project management and in personal and professional development. She has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati. Nikki volunteers for local non-profit organizations, and she enjoys traveling, good eats, mud racing, music and dancing — she’s also a salsa instructor!

At Midwest Craft Con she’ll be teaching: Making an Action Plan, and Find Your Tribe: Building a Craft Community

Why do you do what you do?

Spreading joy is vital to me. One way I do this is through gift-giving. Over the years, jewelry making has taken shape by initially wishing I could, to learning, doing and releasing (through gift-giving and selling). I have always been drawn to creativity, fashion and style; they are a part of my self-expression. Jewelry design allows me to tap in and infuse these aspects into each piece I make. I delight in colorful, beautiful things, and I have fun making them.

What’s your earliest crafty memory?

One of my earliest craftastic memories is of creating a cookbook and hand-sewing a fancy pink, heart-shaped apron for my mom.

What crafty personality would you most like to get a drink with?

Keri Smith (author of Wreck This Journal).

What advice would you go back and give your younger self?

It is a privilege to create, so make the most of it. Don’t feel that you have to know it all or do everything at once. If you just get started and commit, you can make magic happen. Learn and explore new things; use positive thoughts, words and actions to fuel your growth.

What’s your favorite craft or business book?

Crafty Superstar by Grace Dobush and Craft Inc. Business Planner by Meg Mateo Ilasco.

How did you get where you are today, in 10 words or less?

Support, passion, inspiration, commitment and patience. Plus, I adore learning!

What are your goals for 2016?

To build a stronger online presence and expand my glass working in new directions.