Twenty years ago, my husband and I lived in San Diego as newlyweds. We loved our hippy/artsy neighborhood that had the best taco joints and funky stores. One of my very favorite shops was a small woman-owned jewelry store called Blondstone. The jewelry was gorgeous but what I loved about popping in was that the woman was actively making jewelry at her bench, which was right there for all to see. I was blown away watching her skilled hands cut, file, and solder silver into cool creations. I bought some of her work, and was gifted a few pieces over the years, too. I still treasure those necklaces.
Curiously, I soon signed up for some jewelry night courses at the local continuing ed spot. I hadn't realized it at the time (seems pretty obvious now), but a small ember was smoldering inside me, and I was actively exploring this wild possibility that *I* might eventually be able to make jewelry, too. It would still be a handful of years before I fully realized that jewelry would be my thing.
Fast forward to two babies later, and we were living in the Boston area again. I was a stay-at-home mama with two toddlers, but desperately needed a creative outlet. I signed up for an 8-week jewelry making course which solidified my basic metalsmithing skills. At one point when I was taking that class, I was so jazzed up on my new techniques that I came home, grabbed a little stone from the backyard, made a copper ring, and set the stone. I have kept that ring though the years as a reminder of where I began (pictured above). By the time the course was done, I felt like I had a good grasp on the foundational metalsmithing knowledge, enough to start making some pieces and maybe even -- gasp -- sell them.
I had found my thing. I worked out of my basement for several years before renting a small studio space, which eventually led to my current bright and roomy studio space. My business grew slowly, as I raised my babes and worked when I could. I joined the craft show circuit where, by interacting directly with customers, I gleaned so much insight about my work. I took more classes and learned more advanced skills. Eventually, in a shocking moment of disregard for my ever-present imposter syndrome, I started actually teaching others.
And, well, here we are today, which brings me to the whole point of this story: we are packing up our home of 17+ years and moving back San Diego later this summer. We'll be moving back to the place where making jewelry was just a flicker of a dream for me, and we are so excited! I have all thee feels about moving my family and setting up my business in the place where our lives, family, and careers started to take shape so long ago. This is likely not a "forever" move, but more of an adventure for a few years. We're getting ourselves unstuck.
The situation is fluid -- we still have to sell our house, find a place to live in SD, and actually get ourselves there (hello, road trip!). So, this summer promises to be full. But, the ideal timeline is to arrive in California in mid August.
What does this mean for AG Ambroult? I will continue to make jewelry as always, so not any huge changes except for the fact that I won't have to shovel snow in the winter. It'll be business as usual, just in a new, yet-to-be-determined location. There WILL be a pause in operations (likely mid July through August) while we pack up all my tools, truck across the country, and get all set up again. I will keep you posted on all the happenings on Instagram and Facebook, and through the newsletter (sign up here if you haven't already!).
Oh! And, to celebrate, I will be having a sale before the move, which will be the last discount-type sale of 2021, so keep an eye out for news on that.