This week has been so nice to focus on what Christmas and the entire holiday season had to bring.  This year was wonderful to get outside and with friends and family.  We created what will be new traditions and it’s been fun to experience new things as I realized we’ve all grown significantly as a family and individually over the past year.  As I take time to reflect it also brings me forward to think about what is important to me and what will make the coming year even better.  One of the happiest most inspiring moments of this holiday season was unexpectedly seeing my favorite teacher from my school years, Ms. Joann Neufeld.  She had such a profound influence on my life and helped me develop my love for art.  I had Ms. Neufeld all throughout middle school.  We didn’t have assigned seats in class, we were encouraged to work and create freely. We learned about different artists and engaged in great conversations together as a class.  We had the tools and materials to be able to create and if we didn’t, she was always able to create something out of nothing to get across her learning objectives for us collectively. It was such an inspiring and creative environment. I cried several times that day because of the sheer joying in remembering how much she meant to me and how special it was to see her that day.  This brings me back to the business. In 2022 I really want to make sure there is an authenticity in some of the products that I am able to have in the store. Eventually I will have a place where I can highlight different artist and their craft and have some very special things to admire and purchase.  In a world of getting things out super-fast and mass production, it’s the good stuff, the authentic things that take time but are often some of the most special pieces of art and product that you can have. I will make it my goal to make this happen. Thank you to Ms. Neufeld for the special person she is and who she inspires me to be and her ability to instill a desire for maintaining creativity as a good foundation for who I am as a person and for what I would like to project outwardly to the world. Check her out her site joannneufeld.com. She’s amazing!

December 30, 2021 — Niki Malone