I am Bay City born & raised and have always had an affinity for this city. This deep affection more than likely comes for the most part from my grandmother who has lived in Bay City all of her life and has continuously been involved in, well, everything it seems! She has always spoke fondly of Bay City and all that is has to offer its residents, and honestly I couldn't agree with her more! One of the first times I can recall feeling a real connection to the city was my junior year in high school; Bay City Central alumni, go wolves! I was in the marketing and management program at BAISD. My grandma was part of the Bay City in Bloom initiative and our class was asked to work on a slogan for them. The chosen slogan was, "Don't be a Litter Critter, CAN Your Litter." Although my idea was not selected, I felt like I had played a giant part in making the city more beautiful somehow; and of course, this tiny image below is the only evidence of it I can find on the world wide web!
In 23 years, I managed to live in all three of the tri-cities, worked at a number of local businesses, received degrees from Northwood University and Saginaw Valley State University, and made lifelong friends in the process. My degrees are in business, and I felt it was time to go out on my own in search of a 'career.' Since 2011 I have lived all over the Midwest including Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and now Columbus. (No, I am not a Buckeye fan, but I have been known to rock some scarlet and grey on Saturdays in the fall). Truth be told, I've always seen myself somehow, some way ending up back in Bay City. Promise you won't laugh, but I have literally fantasized about the day when Brand New and Taking Back Sunday would take the stage at River Roar and I would watch from the balcony at my condo... you know the ones along the railroad tracks near Veterans Park... Can you tell I've put some thought into this? I have enjoyed watching the transformation of downtown Bay City over the past two years. Never in a million years did I think I would make my return this soon, but the world has a funny way of working things out.
In my search for a 'career', I ended up getting back in touch with my creative side. I can't remember a time in my life when I haven't been 'crafty' in some capacity - but this was on another level, a serious level. Since the fall of 2012, I have been running my own handmade business, Craftinista Girl, on the side and in the summer of 2015 made it into my full-time job. Throughout the duration of having my business I have learned so much and have met many individuals like me who are making a career (or sometimes a side hustle) out of owning a creative small business.
I have observed Ohioans love and pride for their city/state and it is unparalleled to anything I have ever experienced. I appreciate the adoration that they have for their home and share the same sentiments, except mine are about my state, my city, my home. When I would come to Bay City to visit, I'd search for something I could wear proudly or display in my home that would tell people where I'm from, but had little luck finding what I was looking for. (Until I was home at the beginning of May and got this at Ferne Boutique *insert applause emoji*) I think the overwhelming Ohio love gets me feeling homesick every once in a while.
A big reason I came to Columbus is the plethora-of-handmade-goodness that is going on here. The maker movement is so electric, so alive, and I am over the moon about all of it. People are so talented and I want to tell the world about each and every one of them! In addition to providing the area with a handmade shopping experience, I am also excited to meet and work with other makers like me! There is an incredible amount of talent both discovered and undiscovered out there. If I can help just one person in their creative journey, even in the smallest way, I will feel so accomplished! I believe in collaboration and hope to foster a community where we can all help one another to grow and thrive.
Half Mile Handmade will provide the tri-cities with a glimpse into the world of handmade as a whole. We will carry all types of products that have been crafted with care and love. I hope to help small businesses gain exposure in a new market, and will do anything I can to assist them in their creative endeavors! It may have taken five years but I just may have finally found what I was born to do. I'm absolutely thrilled to bring my passion for all the handmade things to my hometown of Bay City, Michigan!
See you in June!