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Meet The Maker: Beautabode

We first met Penny as a crazy talented photographer and now have loved seeing her grow a handmade business creating crazy awesome earrings! Learn more about her business and the process behind creating polymer clay earrings–and what might surprise you about working with this medium, too.

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Tell us a bit about yourselves:
Hi! My name is Penny. I’m from South Dakota, originally, but moved to Moorhead to go to college and have been here now for 15 years. I enjoy traveling to warm climates, singing loudly with the windows down, photography and living room dance parties with my family.

What type of products do you make?
I make jewelry out of polymer clay, gold and brass.

How did you decide on the name of your business?
I love creating art and I was so inspired seeing other hand-dyed clothing online that I just had to try it for myself.

What is your personal favorite item you have created?
Because this business kind of fell into my lap, I wasn’t prepared with a name. So I sat down and did a little thinking about what I hoped this business would be. I wanted the mission of Beautabode to be more than making pretty jewelry. My hope when creating and sending these handcrafted pieces out into the world is that the new owners would feel a renewed bit of confidence and boost in their self-esteem and that those who wear this jewelry would feel powerful, strong and at peace in their beautiful selves. = Beaut-Abode

What is your personal favorite item you have created?
One of my favorite pairs of earrings I actually made before I started selling earrings. They are hand-shaped, very organic-looking black polymer clay with tortoise acrylic spacers.

What is your best seller?
My best seller this year was the Geometric Keaton in black.

2021 brought a few more in-person events! What do you enjoy most about selling at a craft market?
My favorite thing about selling in person is the people! I love meeting customers and putting a face to names that have ordered from me in the past. It’s also super fun to see people wearing my jewelry while at events. Beautabode in the wild

What is something people might find surprising about working with polymer clay?
I condition clay with a pasta machine! Also there’s a major shortage of polymer clay right now (and for the past year!) so it’s incredibly hard to find!

What is something you’ve enjoyed the most about doing this handcrafted business?
I’ve most enjoyed how creating with clay has been a therapeutic journey for me. It’s incredibly satisfying being able to create with clay while listening to some relaxing music. I also love that I have been able to meet so many other amazing makers and customers who have turned into friends and huge supporters!

What is the most challenging thing?
The most challenging thing would be running a small business alone. It gets lonely out here sometimes. I don’t have any coworkers to joke with.

What is a word that best describes you?
Passionate and quirky.

What advice would you have given yourself 10 years ago?
Your passions are what motivate you and you should run hard after them even if it seems crazy. Also, be yourself. Live loud. Be courageous.

Where can people find your work?
I have monthly shop drops on my website and I post updates about those and what new products I’m launching on my instagram and TikTok accounts @thebeautabode

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I’m also currently stocked at Lovely Lash Co. in West Fargo and Unglued in downtown Fargo. And, hopefully, Unglued’s annual craft fest in March!

Insta & TikTok @thebeautabode

Written by Ashley Morken

Ashley Morken is the owner of Unglued, a modern handmade gift shop featuring over 300 local and regional makers in downtown Fargo. She also a founding member of the Creative Mornings Fargo committee.

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