Wreath-maker turns holiday handywork into growing business
This time of the year, Sherriana Oppen is helping to add a holiday touch to homes throughout the Quincy Valley.
The Quincy woman makes Christmas wreaths and sells them at local bazaars during the holiday season.
“It’s time to be alone,” said Oppen, who’s typically surrounded by school children throughout the week as a bus driver for the Quincy School District, of wreath-making. “It is kind of meditative. It is very therapeutic.”
The owner of Studio 7623, Oppen began making costume jewelry about seven years ago; she’s been making wreaths for four years.
“I didn’t see any wreaths in the bazaars,” she said. “They are just welcoming when you come to someone’s door. They make a statement.”
Through trial and error, Oppen taught herself wreath-making techniques. She learned how to make bows by watching videos and demonstrations online. Oppen gets creative, bargain hunting to find the supplies she needs.
“I try to find supplies on sale at craft stores,” Oppen said. “If you put in the time you can get good deals. The day after Christmas you are going to find me at a store – and then another one.”
Oppen works hard at making one-of-a-kind pieces. She uses different color schemes in her creations, from traditional Christmas colors of red, green, gold and silver to eye-popping colors such as purple. She also makes wreaths with themes, such as a sports team (her Seahawks wreaths are popular) or animals (owls are another favorite). She also makes wreaths designed per customers’ requests.
A 20-inch wreath made by Oppen costs from $12 to $19, depending on the complexity of the design and the materials used to make it. A 36-inch wreath may cost up to $60. Each wreath can take from an hour to two hours to make.
“I made nine Seahawks wreaths,” Oppen said. “I started out at 8 a.m. and finished at 11:30 p.m. It does take a while, and that is after they were all painted.”
Much work goes into the wreaths and jewelry, and her craft time is becoming more of a growing business for Oppen.
She bought three times the supplies she thought she would need this year to make some of her wares that are displayed at Two Doors Down in downtown Quincy and she is already nearly sold out.
She is having a hard time keeping up with the demand, she said.
Cindy Decker of Two Doors Down said Oppen’s work is popular with customers.
“They love her price points. They love her designs. They love her Seahawks stuff,” Decker said. “Her Seahawks stuff is just going out the door.”
“And she keeps it really fresh and new,” Decker added.
But the most important thing to Oppen is that customers are happy with their purchases and that they enjoy the wreaths in their homes.
“I hope people love and enjoy them,” Oppen said. “What is the point of making things if people don’t enjoy them?”
People interested in ordering a holiday wreath can contact Oppen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— By Tammara Green, QVPR contributor