Surrounded by her handmade jewelry, Laurie Lynne Zlotowski tells the story of how she became such a crafty lady.
"I inherited vintage beads from Paris, where my grandmother was from and that piqued my interest in jewelry making," she said.
Laurie Lynne attended pottery classes at Weselyn Potters and Durham Adult Education and that fueled her love of polymer clay jewelry which led to custom-made beads, pendants, barrettes and pins.
One day while selling her wares at a Meriden craft show, a woman who had just bought a custom made pin for a holiday gift called her, asking if she would be willing to teach classes on polymer clay jewelry-making for her friends and herself. For three years she taught this group of women different projects every second Monday.
"Another day she called and said her 7-year-old daughter wanted to have me teach her friends jewelry making for her birthday party," she said.
And thus, Laurie Lynne's Creative Kids Parties was born.
Laurie Lynne's business is simple; you provide the kids and the cake and she will do the legwork. She designs the invitations, builds the goodie bags, tools, supplies, makes a special present for the birthday child and has different art packages to choose from. (Packages range from clay jewelry making, beading, candleholder making and tye dye lessons to name a few).
"I'm passionate about this because kids don't get this type of art in schools anymore and they get so into it," she said.
Future plans for Laurie Lynne include the idea of starting a modern take on a bead store in Meriden where classes would be held and custom wares could be sold and displayed.
Visit Laurie Lynne's website to find out more details on how to book a party (she also teaches a class that will help Girl Scouts receive their "Art to Wear" or "Jewelry Making" badge.).
Name-Laurie Lynne Zlotowski
How long have you lived in Meriden? - I have lived here my whole life (36 years). I’m very well traveled and came back to settle here. I live on the East Side. I graduated from Maloney in 1993.
What do you like best about the city? - I like the central location. It’s perfect for how much I travel in my business. It has everything I need in sense of retail..the only thing missing is maybe a Whole Foods.
What do you like least about the city? - There are too many pizza restaurants, we need to have some eclectic food selections.
Place to eat in the city- Little Rendezvous
Place to shop in the city- Michaels Arts and Crafts
Place to visit in the city- Giuffreda Park
What's your fondest memory in Meriden? - Walking to Thomas Hooker and learning how to rollerblade inside the tennis courts. My dog (Penny) would follow me to school and sometimes walk right into class.
Can you tell us about a recent accomplishment? - I am a homeowner in Meriden. To me, that is one of the biggest accomplishments.
Future Plans for your business? - I would truly love to open a store in town-a twist on a bead store where people of all ages can come do arts and crafts on the spot. It would also sell mine and others' jewelry...would be great for supporting local artists.