I always bought the jewelry, I just never wore it. I couldn't see myself in it on a daily basis. But the passion for it was definitely there; as a little girl I would spend hours snooping through my Oma's jewelry box that she kept on her dresser. In her later years, she gave me a gold watch of hers to have fixed up; the battery replaced, and such. After I did, she gifted it to me. That watch is a treasured part of my jewelry collection now because it reminds me of her and tells the story of our relationship, in a way. 

When she passed away, my family and I were going through her things and I found a spool of suede lace cording. The Christmas before I started my business, I made my sister a necklace out of that leather and some vintage keys, and a wrap bracelet featuring lava stone beads for myself -- what would become the quintessential Oak Handmade piece for the next four years.

As an avid customer of artisan markets and the handmade, I found my natural home as part of the Kelowna Farmer's Market and began selling my lave stone leather wrap bracelets. Because of that supportive community, my business grew and I expanded my skills as a goldsmith. In a former life I was in automotives; top of my class. I had a knack for working with metal and transferred that skill and creativity to designing and making things that were a little more dainty, and a little more wearable for the every day -- the thing I'd never found in the jewelry I'd always collected.

Now when I'm not busy playing with fire & metal, I'm probably playing Mario Kart or off camping in the woods somewhere with my husband and our two little boys.