Snowflake Ornament Company first began as a home-based business in 1993, and is the result of my long-standing love of color and interest in filling my Christmas tree with unique ornaments.
I have been creating handmade ornaments since I was very young. By the time I was 10, I was making felt Christmas tree ornaments for all of my family. There were no craft stores in my town back then, so I used felt and remnants in my mother’s fabric drawer to make teddy bears, stockings, Mr. & Mrs. Clause, reindeer - and even John, Paul, George and Ringo - The Beatles!
In the mid-70’s, I sold my first crafts to a local hospital gift shop. I used hollow chicken eggs to create every animal I could think of. With felt, colored paper, markers, and glue, I made pelicans, bears, giraffes, deer and even peacocks and crocodile. The creatures were made to stand upright or hung on a branch. I thought I was making “a killing” at 50 cents per ornament!
In 1979, I was introduced to the calligraphy style of handwriting in an eighth-grade art class. I really enjoyed it so I was able to make poster signs for my dad’s business, addressed invitations for family and friends, and eventually did my own high school graduation announcements using a calligraphy kit my parents bought me. It was that love of calligraphy that later inspired me to personalize my glass ornaments.
After obtaining a telecommunications degree in the late 1980’s, I purchased my first home. Money was tight at the time, and it was almost Christmas. I didn’t have the extra cash for ornaments, so I made my own from glass and paint. My mother still has some of my first personalized ornaments. My creation process has certainly refined over the years.
The following year, I decided to combine my painting and calligraphy to sell personalized ornaments at local craft shows. I named my company, Snowflake Ornament Company, because like a snowflake, each ornament is unique and one-of-a-kind. My first show was a nerve-racking disaster. The show was held at an elementary school that lost electricity due to a nearby car accident. They had everyone bring their tables of goods outside. Luck would have it, it was a windy day so it took all I had to just keep the ornaments from falling to the ground!
After a few years of shows, I had a local following. It really made me feel good that repeat customers appreciated my personalized ornaments. As the Internet became more prevalent, I eventually moved from working local and regional shows to focusing on different venues of online sales. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with corporations, not-for-profits, museums, gift shops and individuals from across the country and world. I value my regular clients and always welcome new opportunities - whether it is one ornament for a baby’s 1st Christmas or hundreds for a corporation's holiday gifts.
I’d like to think that my ornaments have gained sophistication as I continually try to develop my craft and further explore the beauty of color combining. I am not afraid to experiment and many of my favorite ideas are inspired by my clients’ requests, which keeps things creative, challenging, and fun!
A provider of HGTV programming, High Noon Productions, visited the Snowflake Ornament Company studio. High Noon produced a special TV show featuring people whose daily lives include the Christmas holiday. Beth Machall-Dwyer designs her Christmas ornaments year-round and was selected for this unique feature. High noon also visited a reindeer farm, a home decorated in Christmas all year long and a Christmas tree farm.
HGTV's special "Year Round Christmas" aired during the winter of 2004/2005 and have been replayed over the years during the holiday season. Click here to read Snowflake's original HGTV press release and watch the program.
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