I grew up in coastal New Hampshire and Massachusetts for the most part. Wanting to see what the South was all about, I moved to Asheville because it seemed like a creative, beautiful place to live. I drove here with my 18 month old daughter Mae with no idea of what it would be like. It was our big adventure!
My daughter is now eleven years old, and we have a have a Chiweenie and two Guinea Pigs!
One of my favorite gemstones to work with is Rose Quartz. I love the intention and meaning behind it—unconditional love, and I hope that everyone who wears it experiences that unconditional love during this very challenging time in our lives.
Another favorite gemstone of mine is Moonstone, which represents sisterhood. Women, families, mothers, and children have been my focus since becoming a mother myself. I truly believe in the strength we have when we show up for each other with vulnerability and compassion.
When I'm not making SoulKu jewelry, I love to cook, do yoga, make lots of tea, hang out with my family, make candles, take walks in the woods, and just enjoy being around the people I love.
I also work as a teacher at the Rainbow Community School—my other family for the past five years. Of course this past year has brought challenges for in-person learning, but we were able to make adjustments to keep everyone safe. Beyond wearing masks and utilizing air purifiers, we focused on using nature as our teacher. Even when it was cold we went outside. We also use sign language, puppets, and role playing as way to connect and focus on the kids' social and emotional health—labeling feelings that could come up with the added stress of the pandemic. I am amazed at all the kids and teachers as they have continued to be in-person and show up each day wholeheartedly. And, we support our families by regularly checking in to ensure everyone feels part of the community.
Because I work at the school, I usually do a little bit of SoulKu work each day after my daughter goes to bed, and then I finish up on the weekends. But, some weeks are different—I love that I can alter it to fit my plans for the week. While making the jewelry I usually listen to a podcast, watch a movie, or use it as a meditation. I find the work to be extremely grounding for me, especially when there are so many unknowns right now.
I consider myself extremely lucky enough to work for both Rainbow and SoulKu because it allows me to be authentic, feel a sense of belonging, and make a living to support my family. I wish that for everyone.
Perhaps you will be blessed with one of Amanda's handmade creations and feel the love and joy she put into it.