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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Barrett

Meet the maker: Shepherd's Run Jewelry

Back when I signed my first lease in 2016, I wasn't planning on opening a boutique. The election had just happened, I was a craft show artist experiencing ethical panic with my fellow makers during that year's holiday shows. Things were not looking good for the economy, our souls, or our futures. Still, I was leasing a shop space. Also, I am incredibly stubborn when I want something, and I wanted the idea of being a shopkeeper to be my reality. I had visions of my skirt-wearing, hair coiffed self twirling around the space all filled with treasures, holding a broom (handmade, obviously) in one hand, and delivering a fresh flowers from a basket to passing children in my other. Ah, hindsight. Anyway. When I first started dreaming up what a shop curated by me would look like, there were a few brands I instantly knew would become "core collections" in any brick + mortar space I was going to be in charge of. Shepherd's Run Jewelry was among the firsts that I reached out to in the weeks after deciding that 85 Main Street would not only be my personal pottery studio, but also a handmade marketplace. A shop. A permanently open fixture in downtown Maynard. Something I would make for the people of a place I didn't yet know.

Rebecca and I go back to those days before Kind Goods was ever an inevitable truth. Between 2014-2017 (and even still on very rare occasions) we vended together at art fairs, craft shows, and pop up markets. Her work has this incredible energy to it that I have always been drawn to, and it's one of those things that when you see it - you know the person responsible for it has a special, unidentifiable quality about them. Her jewelry is just that. Familiar, with a sense of undeniable magic always bubbling just below the surface. This is especially apparent when you see her whole collection together. The shapes and textures are one's most of us have memorized because they are all around us, all the time. Ocean-worn pebbles. The gently undulating carvings of rivers. Dew drops and sun flares and the way light catches the surface of your favorite lake. It isn't specifically coastal or even New England-y, even though it is made right here in Massachusetts. Rather, it is quietly complicated, both energetically, and in the detail work. Tiny riveted hinges, the seemingly random surfaces created by her love of vintage tools, the finesse. It is easy to wear, and easy to collect, because even though you see these shapes every day in nature, the way Rebecca brings it all together always feels fresh because in essence - water nearly always is. For me - as a person who loves to be outside, whose personal work is also driven by the natural world - it feels like an extension of my heart, in jewelry form. Organic. Modern. Minimal. Intentional.

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