MORRISVILLE, Vt. (WCAX) Staying at home to raise her daughter got a Morrisville mom motivated to create her own Made in Vermont jewelry.
As a kid growing up in Irasburg, Gina Petteys had a few career ideas. One of them was to make jewelry.
"I also wanted to be a journalist and a marine biologist, but jewelry seemed to fit me better," Petteys said.
She ended up in the school system working with behaviorally challenged kids, until she had her daughter Zoelle five years ago. Wanting to spend more time at home, Petteys decided she was going to make jewelry full time. "I've made it from a raw sheet of metal to a growing business," she said.
What makes Petteys design stand out is how she uses patina to give the jewelry an aged look. Putting the patina on can be a three to four day process and another five days to seal it. "There's so many ways to make jewelry and you've just got to figure out what works for you," she said.
Her best sellers are the earrings which cost between $38 to $46. Her Vermont necklaces do really well too. "Because they're all one-of-a-kind unique -- I say like the people that wear them," Petteys said.
Those cost about $48. And her cuff bracelets average around $45.
"I like to keep my price that most people can afford, even if you have to save your money a little bit," she said
Petteys got her first customer about five years ago, right down the road from her Morrisville studio. Rock Art Brewery not only makes beer, but also features Made in Vermont products. "I wanted to highlight her stuff, because I love it too. I've gotten several bracelets, several earrings," said Rock Art's Renee Nadeau. "Each piece is unique. You can tell it's been hand done."
However, of all her accomplishments so far, the main one is providing inspiration for her daughter. The reason she started making jewelry in the first place. "She's got her box of beads and her plyers and her wire and she's so into it. She wants to be a jewelry artist and a firefighter and do karate," Petteys said.
Zoelle has plenty of motivation to do any of those things, watching mom do what she's always wanted to do.