24 October 2011


Henry David Thoreau once said,
"It's not what you look at that matters . . .
It's what you see."

And I for one, believe him.

My name is JJ.
I'm a metalsmith and mother.
A patriot.
A wife and daughter,
a dirt road dreamer.
Sometimes I'm not sure at all how I got here.
And then with the crack of a four-year-old's smile,
I remember.

. . . I fell in love.

Life is funny and time flies faster each year-
as I'm sure you know from your own story.
My plans would have taken me far away from this small town,
had life let them,
but sometimes I think a greater force is laughing at me,
even as it hugs me close.
I hug it back between punches.

My world has been a coaster ride since 2006-
long before that, actually, if you want to get technical.
But let's keep it simple here-
today, I'm riding high.

I don't have all the answers.
I can't claim to understand why it's worked for me
when others struggle constantly to make ends meet.
But I do know this:

I'm 28.
I support my family
with an art degree,
working as a jewelry designer
in a small farm town in rural Carolina,
in a rock-bottom economy,
selling a *non-essential* product.
Nobody needs what I make.
Nobody needs what I do.
But I'm surviving.
I'm THRIVING, world . . .

It simply should not be.

But then again . . .
it's not what you see-
but how you see it.

A layoff several years ago and the
realization that an art degree wouldn't get me far
in this town, in this marketplace . . .
Honestly, how many options does a girl like me have when
daycare costs are through the roof,
gas prices are on the rise and the sad fact is that
it's going to cost somewhere around $1000 a month
just to be ABLE to work?
Not many.

Necessity is the mother, however . . .
It's all in the perspective.

So I started on my own,
with the rosy glasses bestowed on me by supportive family and friends.
I have a small studio on the county line where I
keep company with my two dogs and sell my work
via the internet.

It's a humble business,
but it's all mine.
And through the struggle of starting this dream and living it out,
and found me again.
And again.

. . . because I just keep growing.

Rosy Revolver has been my bread and butter.
My creative outlet.
My independence when I felt lost in the crowd.
this alter ego I've created.
But she feeds me in ways I can't explain.
She makes me better.
We give life to one another,
that creative energy and I.

I've learned over the past several years that
That we really can change.
That there is inspiration everywhere,
most often in the shadows.
I've learned that I am able, that I'm so much stronger than
I used to give myself credit for.

And I've learned that others are as well.

I blog for this amazing site called
Rural Women Rock.
And I'm honored,
because it wasn't that long ago when I felt I had nothing to say.
Nothing to offer.

Today I'm proud of myself
and humbled by the amazing customers and friends
I've made during this whole experience.
I've learned much, I've hopefully taught a thing or two-
I'm claiming what's mine while somehow learning to give.
I'm walking sober on solid ground.

Here, nestled deep amongst the tobacco and cotton fields,
far away from a city life I was once planning to live-
I've embraced my roots and my wings.
It's not easy.
It's an endless albeit *crucial* task,
and we owe it to ourselves to listen hard to that inner voice
whispering that restrained shout of,

* * * * *

Thank you, Kasse, for featuring me on RWR.
I'm honored and hope that this post provides
some inspiration to your readers.




  1. Oh my Jess.... you know of my own issues lately and this was truly inspirational. I too live in a small town, even though I'm born, raised and lived in the Big Town most of my life and I think "I can't in this small town" but after reading this... I'm thinking.... maybe. All I know it's up to me. Just me.

    You've given me something to noodle over today.
    Thank you.


  2. Rock on rosy enjoyed the post:)

  3. WOW
    I am so in love with this post
    I see you resinate in every word
    absolutely beautiful
    you should feel so proud of yourself JJ, truly you can!
    your gift surpasses your craft...to me it is obviously what is exactly needed in this world of uncertainty
    your jewelry says so much, because so much of you and Rosy are poured into each piece
    your struggle
    your success
    your uncertainty
    your clarity
    your say things we all feel as women in your pieces and that is why we wear them with pride, with a sense of strength and knowing
    we all need reminders that we are not alone and I feel like your form of artistic expression gives that

    when I wear my ring (gilded snowflake)...which is almost everyday...I feel a feminine power resinate from it into my being...it feels strong but feminine it feels delicate, yet strong. I am sure I am not alone when I say there is a great joy that comes from owning and wearing something made by Rosy.

    your walk is beautiful
    thank you for sharing your heart♥

    love and light

  4. This is what I see in you, a strong person who never gives up! Love your words, and LOVE YOU Rosy! Also love your new banner with the little monkey holding his beautiful mommy's hand, HOW LOVELY and RICH! xoxo Feri

  5. What a fabulous post! So very inspiring!
    You rock!

  6. Thank you - wonderful words and lots to consider as I struggle to recover and regain strength from life's punches and blessings. I will own a Rosy piece of jewelry someday ... meanwhile - continued blessings to you and your precious family.

  7. I love the way you use perspective as a concept and guide in everything you say here, JJ; you are a gifted writer,a talented photographer, and one of the most amazing jewelery artists on etsy today; strength and tenderness balance your work and your vision along with a tremendous amount of sass, spunk, and a smile that is infectious. I love your inner child and your wise lady; you speak to every aspect of my girl/woman.
    Blessings your way,

  8. Really lovely inspiring post! makes my heart smile...

  9. Thank you for this post. I really admire your work and while I rarely comment, I do read all of your posts. I also am following my heart after getting laid off two years ago. My path led me back to school to get a second degree and ever since I started, I feel more like myself than ever before.

    I'm becoming a firm believer in doing what you love and the money will follow. I also have realized that I don't need as much as I was raised to believe.

    Keep doing what you're doing! xoxo

  10. This. Is. Beautiful. Jess, you have a gift with words. And metal. And the camera. So many things you say really hit home in so many ways. Thanks for always sharing with us. XHugsX

  11. Jess, you just continue to grow and mature and shine. I've watched you transform and I'm so proud of you. You are not only a wonderful, gifted artist, but a beautiful mother and wife. Continue to believe in yourself and life will be good to you. Hugs, Sally

  12. Thanks and love to each of you. I appreciate you being here more than you know.

  13. Wow!
    So incredibly beautifully, eloquently and sincerely written-
    from the heart!
    This is one of my favourite posts.
    You're lovely... just the way you are. Here and now.
    Fabulous new banner. Fabulous. Gorgeous photos.

  14. I am very proud of you for this post. I grew up on farm in the middle of nowhere NY and left as soon as my feet were able to carry me away. Today I look back in wonder at the amazing rural women who helped form the person I am - so different in so many ways from the urban women I know and I am grateful for the gifts I received during that empowering childhood.

    Your acknowledgment of the power of being a rural woman and who you were, are and will become as a result of that very fact,really is as important as you have written here. Thank you.

    There is a generosity of spirit that you may not recognize in yourself, but we all do. The lessons you have given with that spirit and words and photographs are more valuable than most anything I can think of at this moment.

    SO MUCH more than you know.

    Texas sends it's best & most grateful appreciation of your mentoring & friendship.

  15. When I was in Asheville last week I wore with great pride my Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down power ring. Then I wore your All Webs Woven earrings all over town. I thought it only proper to bring you with me as I sampled a piece of North Carolina fall. It was delicious. And moved me a most necessary step forward in my crescendo continuum. In gratitude, I am...Doriot (not Lulu, speaking of alter egos)