It's Small Business Saturday and we are celebrating big here at In the Heart of my Home. I'm shining the spotlight on a new sponsor almost every waking hour today and offering you a chance to win with every post. I want you to get to know my kind sponsors and I think you'll be glad for the opportunity to do some Christmas shopping in these small shops. The giveaways will remain open until Tuesday at noon and then all the winners will be announced in the original posts.
Garry and Amy Brix, at St. Luke's Brush, were my very first sponsors. I think having sponsors at all might have been there idea. I'm grateful to them for the steadfast loyalty. I'm also a huge fan of Garry's art. These wooden dolls are by far the "toys" Sarah plays with the most. They are, no doubt, family heirlooms.
Please let me share a little of Garry's story with you.
How did your shop come to be?
Amy and I started St. Luke's Brush after a career setback. I have been an artist all my life, studied art in college and worked as a designer but lacked a way to channel my work. But the idea to do St. Luke's Brush provided direction and continues to unfold God's plan for me and bless our family.
Is yours a family business?
It is a family business in many ways as I have a busy daytime job and keeping organized and focused during our busy times requires someone with great organizational skills, the kind only a mother of four children could manifest. Our children help us get ready to host guests for open houses and have gone to help set up in exhibit halls at conferences. This business started for and continues to be for them.
The fact that my workspace is in the basement only steps away from my family, makes me feel as though they are with me as I paint. They are in and out all the time provided they observe just two rules: not to startle me and not to bump my chair while I'm working. J
What inspires you?
I am inspired by all kinds of art but with regard to religious art I am particularly inspired by icons and byzantine art and the design and care with which these things have been made. Just this past weekend we had the opportunity to attend Sunday Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, center of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and one of the largest mosaic collections in the western hemisphere. If you visit St. Louis, you should make time to stop and see it.
What's the product you are most excited about in your shop right now?
I think the product I am most excited about in my shop right now would be all of them really in that this year I have been able to help several Catechesis of the Good Shepherd instructors set up their atriums using my work. Being able to lend a hand in religious formation of children gives me great joy and satisfaction.
Not having grown up in the Catholic Church, the richness of the liturgical seasons provides some of the same wonder that our children experience as they unfold. Advent gives us so many opportunities to celebrate. Next week Saint Nicholas will fill shoes next to the door with special things. We will celebrate with a Mexican fiesta to honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Saint Lucy will wake us early in the morning with rolls and hot chocolate. It is our hope that by marking these traditions in a special way that seeds will fall on the fertile ground of our children’s hearts and instill a lover of the faith that they will carry into adulthood.
Any plans for your shop for the new year that you'd like to share?
Plans that we have for the new year include finding more ways to help make scripture and tradition come to life for anyone doing Catechesis of the Good Shepherd by painting as much love and beauty as I can into my work. I would like to thank all of the people who have supported us in this work and made it possible for me to use my talent to do God's will. I pray that His plan continue to unfold for me and that I have patience to let it continue and wisdom to see it at work in my life.
Garry writes, "I have chosen to give away St. Francis of Assisi taming the fierce wolf of Gubbio in honor of the name our Holy Father chose to begin his papacy. The story of the wolf of Gubbio teaches us forgiveness, as the wolf promises to never again take the lives of the people and their animals at St. Francis’ intervention. St. Francis says to the people, “Remember, our Savior taught forgiveness. He taught us to love our enemies.” This is the spirit in which I would like to begin my Advent and want to share it with one of your readers. "
Please visit St. Luke's Brush. These are a favorite stocking stuffers and they're perfect for Easter baskets, too. Browse the shop, come back, leave a comment, and let us know what you loved. You'll be entered to win the St. Francis doll.
The Winner is Kelly of The Careless Catholic, who wrote: I love St. Luke's Brush and have their Etsy shop in my favorites. It's is hard to pick only one favorite doll, but first on my list is Our Lady of Guadalupe and the children's nativity set. So beautiful!
Kelly, email me with your snail mail address at intheheartofmyhome AT gmail DOT com