Beyond the racks and stacks of vintage that we offer at Stash, we're also known for having a selection of handmade goods and ever-changing artwork. These works all come from special individuals, many of whom are part of the Central Pennsylvania community. In this ongoing series, we'd like to introduce you to some of the friendly faces behind the products you know and love.
Meet Richelle Dourte, creator of the handcrafted botanical metalwork jewelry line metalledwith. Richelle spends lots of her time out in the woods finding natural specimens to preserve within her beautiful, wearable artwork.
Interested in Richelle's work and techniques? She periodically holds public classes and workshops to pass along some tips and tricks of the trade. She also offers private lessons and group workshops, which you can learn more about here.
Boiling Springs, PA
When/Why/How did you start your business? How did you get into this line of work?
I’ve been a registered business for 5 years and went full time last year. I started creating botanical jewelry as a part of gifts given at my DIY wedding six years ago. I’ve collected little plants since I was a child. That led to studying environmental science and focusing on field biology that included a lot of botany. It was a natural progression to take those little leaves and turn them into adornments to satisfy my artsy side after college.
What do you like best about what you do?
I love taking walks in the woods to kickstart the anticipation of spring after a long, gray winter. Watching leaf buds open is good for the soul. I also like working with my hands. There’s a different sense of accomplishment in creating.
What inspires you in your life and in your work?
It’s pretty great to have a designer for a partner. Especially one who is pretty well organized and critical. Sometimes this means there’s no escape, but overall, my ideas are stronger, my life is more balanced, and I learn how and when to take action.
How do you spend your time outside of your business?
Growing things…and then eating them. I keep a big garden and expect to start including my herb garden in the pieces I create. It’s not the same as pure "south central Pennsylvania mixed hardwood forest” nature, but it is so satisfying to plant, grow, cultivate, recreate and enjoy. When you mix doing what you love with how you work, new hobbies must fill those rest-spaces.
Do you have a favorite vintage or thrifted find, or is there something in particular that you're always looking for when you vintage shop?
Scarves and dresses are my favorite. I am always looking for an hourglass-friendly daytime dress, even if it’s not my everyday look.