Meeting Jessie Biggs, designer and creator behind Thistle & Lark jewelry, was a God-ordained meeting. I met Jessie through a mutual friend back in June on a fated Sunday afternoon. We looked through her jewelry in a parking lot in Cville and I snagged a bunch of her beautiful pieces for Darling. Her whimsical aesthetic and affordable price point makes her a popular local artisan at the shop. A percentage of Jessie's profits goes to charities and missions work, including her own trip to missions school in Mozambique in the Fall.
Come shop Thistle & Lark at Darling!
Q&A with Jessie Biggs
As a local artisan, describe what you do in town.
I make handmade jewelry using a variety of materials--particularly polymer clay, beads, charms, and leather. My goal is to make unique jewelry (at reasonable prices!) that will appeal to people across a broad spectrum. I also dabble in making home decor as well as doing custom portraiture. Over time, I've participated in more frequent craft shows around the area--including Charlottesville's Fleaville and the ever-growing Vintage Lynchburg Sales--as well as consigning at several shops throughout VA--most recently, Darling Boutique!
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? If not the Charlottesville area, what brought you here?
I'm technically from Winchester VA, but Lynchburg has become my home these past 8-or-so years. As for my connection to Charlottesville, I was blessed to be introduced to Linnea (and thereby, Darling!) through the lovely Lauren Stonestreet :).
It's story time. Talk about your collaboration with Darling Boutique.
Haha, so funny story... I was visiting my friend Lauren in C-ville one weekend and she mentioned that I ought to look into consigning with her friend who recently opened a boutique.
Well, it just so happened that the friend in question--Linnea--was at her church that morning. We got to connect, and since I already had all of my jewelry packed in my car from doing Fleaville the previous day, we wound up sorting through it all in a parking lot! And about a week ago, we got to repeat the experience in a different parking lot to restock some of my items! Here's to lots of happy parking lot memories to come, Linnea :).
Describe Thistle & Lark in 10 words or less.
Unique, handmade jewelry & decor that won't break the bank!
Where do you go to be creative?
I often wind up sitting on the floor of my room or on my living room couch and go into a happy catharsis of making things while a favorite TV show or movie plays in the background. Jewelry making is my preferred form of therapy.
What aspects of life excite you, stir your affections, fuel your passions, inspire your art?
My relationship with God is at the forefront of everything else in life, so He is my ultimate inspiration and the source of any creative talents I may possess. Jesus's heart is always to bless and serve others, and I want my business to be more than just a form of income for myself.
With that in mind, I make sure a portion of my profits go towards whatever charities God puts on my heart, as well as towards trips where I can serve in person. This fall I hope to spend a couple months in Mozambique, Africa at a ministry that primarily centers around taking in orphans and showing them that they're adopted into His family!
I'm also a big nature lover and an avid reader/writer, so lots of my jewelry and art is either inspired by the great outdoors or by my love for books (you don't have to look further than my handcrafted leather & paper miniature book necklaces to see that!).
When and why did you become an artisan? / How did you get into this business?
As for jewelry making, it all began on a clear spring (I think?) evening at my friend Joy's house. She had a polymer clay party and taught us the basics of how to make earrings and necklace pendants. What began as a curiosity soon became an at-home hobby, which later took on new life as a form of livelihood in the midst of my ever-eclectic life!
What are you working on right now?
Hmmm. I think my newest jewelry experiments have been my geometric necklaces. I've used small connectors to create larger and smaller geometric triangle necklaces, as well as "buntings." Those have been a big hit so far.
On a side note, I'm also gearing up to get back into portraiture again. It's been far too long.
Where can someone find your products?
thistleandlarkshop.etsy.com, as well as The Purple Fern in Winchester and Givens Books in Lynchburg - and Darling Boutique in Charlottesville (obviously).