Day 1: Sarah Stanbury
Sarah Stanbury Jewelry Designs
Sarah Stanbury lives in our Elmwood neighborhood and spends her days teaching science
to middle schoolers and coaching high school girls. She enjoys mentoring her female athletes; guiding them to grow into confident, kind, and empathetic young women and helping them to achieve their potential.
Besides having a scientific mind, Sarah also enjoys the creative outlet of jewelry making.
She became interested in jewelry design after teaching a simple jewelry making class to young
children at a summer camp ten years ago. Self-taught and inspired by both rustic and natural
elements, Sarah aims to create one-of- a-kind pieces to make people feel connected to the natural
world and to express their own unique identity.
Day 2: Judi Griggs
Buffalo native Judi Mohn Griggs delights in sharing her unexpected third life chapter through her design work. Her passion for the extremely challenged work of traditional glass artisans of Jablonec -- in the Jizera mountains of Bohemia just 23km from the Polish border -- is celebrated in her mixed media creations featuring their individually-pressed, hand-finished buttons and unique small batch beads. “Their materials, molds and methods date back to the 1800s, but the tradition natural and human resources there have made Jablonec the bijouterie to the world since the 1500s,” Griggs said. “They have survived two world wars and communist takeover of their operations, but are struggling now against cheap knock offs, technology and attracting young artist to the hot exacting forge work.” Griggs had been working with the artists and materials for several years before she discovered her grandmother’s uncles had toiled in Jablonec’s glassworks to earn the family’s passage to Ellis Island and on to Buffalo. “There is a through story I never knew, but always instinctively felt,” she said. Griggs started her professional career in daily journalism at the Buffalo News, San Antonio Light and Houston Chronicle. Her second chapter tackled corporate marketing and public relations. Learning various media and glass and metal technique was a decade-long “hobby” before she recognized that it was the life work that would bring her happily home.
Day 3: Kaitlyn Niland
Niland Candle Co.
" I began making candles several years ago as gifts for friends and family. I prefer to give gifts that have a story or experience tied to them, so I thought I’d try my hand at soy candles made in tea cups. They looked great, but I’m not entirely sure they smelled that great. Candle making has a large scientific component to it, after lots of reading and testing of different waxes and fragrances oils. I believe I found a nice balance in the candles I make now, but in everything - one must evolve and always push to fine tune. The experience of my candles or at least what I hope they offer people, is an escape, a moment of zen, relaxation, or a flashback to a memory. Scents are closely linked to memory, my favorite part of watching people smell my candles is waiting to see what memory it could trigger. For one customer, the smell of lilacs brought her back to her mother’s garden. For me, my lavender candle in the test stages reminded me of a really great spa experience. For a second, I was back in that moment. For many others, the smells of spruce and Christmas Eve bring back their parents and grandparents’ home around the holidays. For a fleeting moment, the smell brings on an emotion (hopefully good) and then it fades into the background of their current life. It may be a stretch but it is a connection to the past.
I make candles because it relaxes me and in turn, I offer something that lends an experience to others. I want people to enjoy my candles by connecting with them and then letting them blend into their own life.