October 22, 2017

Featured Maker: Larisa Barth at Joy in the Morning

At first glance we saw a nice logo, great packaging and of course, beautiful pieces from Larisa at Joy in the Morning. With every Featured Maker comes a story though, of how they came to be and sometimes their journey. This one truly touched us. We are inspired every day by our customers. It's pretty amazing to us how strong and creative you all are in your own ways. Let's meet Larisa:

Joy in the Morning Designs started almost five years ago when my daughter Kamari Morning was born. She is our "rainbow" baby, a child born after a loss.

Our first son Asher Finn was stillborn at 40 weeks on 10/09/11. I really wanted a memorial necklace after Asher died and the only one we found was the $500 piece that the funeral home offered to make. It was beautiful, but I knew that young families like ours, who have just paid for a funeral for their child, could never afford that.

I founded Held Your Whole Life, Inc at Christmas 2011, a non-profit that created personalized hand stamped jewelry for grieving moms and dads. Sadly, we grew very quickly since one in four mama's know the pain of miscarriage or stillbirth. In six years time we had made and shipped close to 10,000 free memorial gifts worldwide! 

I have always been a creative person. I made my own wedding dress 11 years ago and love beading, painting and photography. But HYWL challenged me to learn about metal and the art of hand stamping. Making jewelry for other families like ours helped me navigate the messy road of grief and healing. I started creating my own designs for friends and family as a way to make a little income while I volunteered over 40 hours a week for Held's mission.

Joy in the Morning comes from the verse in Psalm 30, "though the sorrow may last through the night, JOY comes in the morning". We read this verse at our son's funeral, and clung to it for hope and healing. We now have two rainbows, Kamari and Judah, who challenge me every day to live in color and take daring adventures.

In 2016, my husband Jim and I started pursing minimalism and a simpler life for our family. We sold our "American Dream" house and over half of our possessions to get out of debt and focus more on time with our kiddos. During this year, I realized that I needed to let go of HYWL as it had served it's purpose for my life. Our board found an amazing mom in Montana to take it over and she is continuing our mission with such grace and love. 

This has given me the freedom to pursue my personal jewelry business more and help contribute to our family's income as a stay at home mom. I am able to take little adventures with my kids and also pay for things like lessons and sports and organic fabric to make them sustainable clothing. 

My inspiration comes from nature; the woods, rivers and mountains that we are blessed to call home. We have lived in the mountains of Glacier National Park Montana, just outside the entrance to Yellowstone, Wyoming, and now at the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains in Sheridan, Wyoming.

I love metal stamping because each letter or design is individually impressed. There is an organic uniqueness to every design I create.

A lot of my design stamps are Beaducation because they fit well with my brand. The ones I love and grab the most are the Fat Lined Heart, Small Evergreen Tree, and Heart Arrow.

We thank Larisa for sharing her story with us. Visit Joy in the Morning Designs to see more of Larisa's work.

Larisa Barth
Joy in the Morning Designs

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