Totinette bijoux is designed and crafted in Portland, Oregon.
Each piece is lovingly made by hand.
Totinette began in 2003 as a line of handmade handbags. I was at a St. Patrick's Day party where I only knew a couple of people. As a somewhat shy introvert, I was sitting by myself but happened to be right next to a conversation that changed my life. It went something like this:
Girl: "That's a cool bracelet."
Guy: "Oh, thanks! My sister made it. She's a designer in LA."
It was a cuff bracelet, and as I looked at it I had the thought, "I could make that! If only I knew how to sew." Over the course of the next few minutes I decided to ask for a sewing machine for my birthday (which was only a few weeks later) and teach myself to sew. I had never been the least bit interested in sewing until that very moment. And that's how it happened. My grandparents gave me a cute little refurbished sewing machine that I still use to this day. My mom came up and gave me a basic crash course in how to use it, and off I went!
What does that have to do with jewelry? Nothing. And everything.
I started selling my bags at craft fairs, including the very first Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago, approached boutiques, built a website, and met tons of cool people along the way. A group of girlfriends and I were asked by Sasquatch Books to write a craft book, which we did! We were also guests on a crafty tv show! Then one day, after selling at all sorts of fairs and events both locally and nationally, one of those friends (Cathy) and I decided to start our own monthly craft fair in Portland and call it Crafty Wonderland. We now produce two large scale craft fairs each year at the Oregon Convention Center and have a retail store in downtown Portland that features the work of over 200 local artists!
Somewhere along the way I grew tired of sewing alone in my basement. I floundered for a while trying to find my next line of goods, but realized that I have a deep passion for jewelry, both antique and handmade, and I want to share that with the world…so here I am!