Beautiful Me Gift Shop’s crafters make many one-of-a-kind items
Crafting is more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle, says Dorothy Gordon, of Veguita, one of 10 local crafters represented by Beautiful Me Gift Shop at 211 South Main St. in Belen.
Belen native and veteran crafter, Louise Silva, opened Beautiful Me in September as a place for her and her fellow crafters to have a permanent place to show their work after several years of traveling to craft shows and living the life of a vendor.
She says having a store space is easier and more cost effective than traveling from show to show, a life that Gordon, also a lifelong crafter, claims is less than glamorous.
“This is what crafters go through. They sleep in the bed of their truck,” Gordon said, laughing. “You eat almost bad bologna because you’re afraid to leave your table … This store, for all of us, has been a blessing.”
The gift shop, which represents a sisterhood of crafty gals who rent vendor space from Silva, offers a plethora of one-of-a-kind buys from handmade items to unique vintage finds.
Silva says the shop offers a variety of items that make it different from chain stores because anything you find at Beautiful Me is guaranteed to be unique, such as Gordon’s pins, which feature the ornate faces of ladies that she molds and paints herself and embellishes with recycled jewelry.
“All her pins are unique,” said Silva. “You won’t find a one that’s exactly the same.”
Much of the crafts that the vendors make are in some way constructed from recycled materials.
“We all take apart things and make something different with them,” said Silva.
“Once you’re a crafter, you’re a crafter for life,” quips Gordon. “Everything you see becomes an opportunity to craft … hoarder, they started off as crafters.”
What is garbage to one woman can be gold to a crafter.
“I caught her going through my trash. I was horrified,” says Gordon’s sister, Deborah Cox, adding, “She taught me everything I know.”
At Beautiful Me, shoppers can find anything from a tamale husk wreaths or angels to designer replica purses to crocheted items to cookie and candy bouquets.
There is also a boys only section for those patient guys who might be accompanying their lady on her shopping trip. It’s to help keep them from being “bored to tears,” says Silva.
It offers items such as Harley merchandise, bolo ties and golf items.
The shop, which features crafters from Albuquerque, Bosque Farms, Socorro, Belen and Veguita is open to anyone interested in having a place to showcase their work. Silva is also planning on expanding the store to include a dress boutique and plans to start offering workshops this month on gourd painting, scrapbooking, candle making and lotion and soap making, which the public is welcome to sign up for.
For more information, call Silva at 615-1753, or stop by 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Mondays-Fridays, or 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays.
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