BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) That spoon or fork you're eating your dinner with could make the perfect earring. A Burlington woman is taking reclaimed items and turning them into awesome Made in Vermont accessories.
Biking is how Christine Hill became connected to Burlington over 10 years ago. "It's how I've gotten to know the state, just riding my bike around it," Hill said.
She got a job at Bike Recycle Vermont, which is now Old Spokes home. People donated their old bikes which would then get refurbished. When Hill put the bikes together, she would notice extra pieces left over. "Like all these gears and chains," she said. They were perfect for jewelry. "They're just small and interesting. You can take a dirty industrial material and make it into something really wearable and light."
Soon Hill started making jewelry out of other reclaimed materials like utensils, and coins. "It's wearable art, you know?" she said.
Tender Warrior Company is based out of Generator Makerspace in South Burlington. It gives Hill a chance to bounce ideas off other jewelry makers while also learning how to run a small business. "No matter what challenge I'm facing as a small business person or an artist, there's somebody here who can kind of riff with me and figure out what I should do and that's invaluable," Hill said.
Hill also serves as the communications coordinator at Generator. Her job is to let everyone know about the great things that are going on here.
Hill's items can sell anywhere between $20 and $100, with a portion of the proceeds going to nonprofits like WTF Bikexplorers, an organization that celebrates and connects women, trans and femme cyclists.
"I love the idea that I can sort of give back through these materials to causes that have given me a lot of health, vitality and strength," Hill said.
Bikes brought her closer to a community, now those unused parts are linking together to make fashionable jewelry.