Browsing Tag

sand

Maker Stories

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Holly Daniels Christensen

November 3, 2017

Photos by Christa Smith

There is something very nostalgic about Holly Daniels Christensen’s jewelry. Holly has collected sands from around the world, and her super talented team of artists sets them into jewelry, bottle stoppers, and snowflake ornaments, creating personalized keepsakes.

I was beyond excited to see Holly’s studio, meet her team, and see her sandbank in person. In the time we’ve been working together, her bank has grown from about 1,200 sands to over 3,000—and it’s still growing! I wanted take a peek at granules that hold a special place in my heart—Stone Harbor, New Jersey and Santorini, Greece were two that I especially was excited to see—and the sandbank definitely did not disappoint. A collection of samples from around the world, each with a distinct texture and color, her collection encompasses beach sand, sports sands (think golf courses and baseball infields), and crushed power stones.

Sharon & Mekah

Holly and her team work in a converted manufacturing building outside of Boston. The space is a designer’s dream—hardwood floors, sky high ceilings, and lots of light. Her team was warm and welcoming, and the studio buzzes with creative energy. Besides her sandbank, a highlight of the tour was seeing the very table Holly launched her business from—formerly her dining room table, now in use in her conference room.

After a tour of her space, I wanted to take a crack at creating my very own piece of jewelry. It was a tough choice deciding which sand to use, but I finally settled on Santorini, a gorgeously grainy volcanic sand with bits of white and terracotta. One of Holly’s sand artists, Mekah, led the way, showing me how to carefully place the sand within the pendant. It’s an exacting process which requires a fair bit of precision. Mekah was a super patient instructor, and within about an hour, I had made a piece of jewelry!

It was a magical day, and I’m so grateful to Holly and her entire team. Read on for a Q&A with Holly and a sneak peek into her sandbank and studio, complete with mentions of lunchtime excitement and dance parties.

Continue Reading…

Gift Guides

Kinetic Sand: Sculpt it, Spread it, Move it

May 31, 2013

The moment I saw Kinetic Sand, I was addicted. At first, I played with it and felt like I was a kid at the beach again, playing with sand castle molds. I couldn’t wait to bring it into our assortment. I brought it to the office to pass around to my coworkers – my teammates absent-mindedly played with it during meetings and at their desks. It’s fun for kids and also the perfect stress ball or thinking toy. I love sharing this item with friends, because as soon as people understand what it is and what it does, they can’t get enough.

Here are a few examples of what happened when I introduced some unsuspecting members of our team and artist family to this workable, sandy substance.

First, customer service specialists Valerie and Lauren gave this not-quite-putty a try.

They mushed it, squished it, and watched it flow.



Then they practiced their sculpting skills by reproducing some of their favorite uncommon goods.

Tabletop Buyer Candace brought her sand on a visit to Twig Terrariums, and Michelle and Katy’s reaction was priceless.


I’m sure keeping a few piles of Kinetic Sand around the office will result in many more impromptu product testing sessions. After all, it’s proof that you can have fun in the sand without spending a day at the beach.

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