At first, Laura Shely wanted to open the second Tide and Moon jewelry store in the heart of Anna Maria on Pine Avenue. But she found the rent to be out of her range.
She therefore decided to withdraw her business from the island. The new Tide and Moon store opened on April 1 at 1209 3rd Ave. W. Rent was more affordable in downtown Bradenton, and Shely believes the trend for island businesses to move downtown is only just beginning.
“That’s what’s going on right now,” Shely said. “It’s downtown.” She is particularly eager to see the Spring Hill Suites come to an end and open, bringing in a new cohort of potential buyers and goldsmiths.
Her motivation in opening the downtown location was to find a space where she could pursue her dream of teaching jewelry making. Shely, 53, from Stillwater, Minnesota, has operated jewelry businesses for over 30 years. Over a decade ago, she moved her business to Florida after two back surgeries prevented her from playing her favorite winter sports in Minnesota. She wanted to continue to be active and living in a warm climate allows her to kayak, cycle, paddle board and garden all year round.
“You can garden outside year round here,” said Shely. “In Minnesota, you can only garden outside for three months. Plus, she already sold sea and beach-themed jewelry in her Minnesota store, so moving to Florida made sense for her and her business.
Shely’s daughter Alisha Kerschbaum, 35, manages the Tide and Moon site on the island, located at 200 Bridge St. #A. Kerschbaum will own it at some point, so Shely can focus more on teaching. It has basic, intermediate and advanced courses available during the day and in the evening between Monday and Thursday. Saturday morning lessons are also available. All levels are a six week commitment, once a week.
Classes cost $ 210, excluding project costs. Projects are typically between $ 10 and $ 20 for supplies, although more expensive projects can be continued if participants wish. Projects use either sterling silver, bronze, or copper, and students learn to use a variety of tools to make bracelets, earrings, necklaces, or rings.
Thomas Stynes, the owner of Market on Main, was happy to see that the space was filled with something new and positive for downtown Bradenton. For years it has been used as a wood storage space. Stynes and his business partners own the building that houses Tide and Moon, Market on Main, Lou’s Diner and McCabe’s.
“What Laura brings to the game is wonderful,” Stynes said. “It’s not just that she sells jewelry, but they actually make jewelry there, which is phenomenal. She transmits a profession to people. Shely said she also helps her students obtain tax identification numbers so they can wholesale goldsmith and jewelry-making equipment.
Shely has always loved jewelry. She remembers saving her own money at age nine to buy a tiger eye ring and pursuing her passion as a “hound dog” while growing up in Minnesota collecting agates along the riverbanks. railroad tracks and near the many lakes in the state. She was a clay artist, but said the switch to metal was natural and “really all about the stones”.
As much as Shely loves to adorn herself and see others fall in love with jewelry in her boutiques, her passion is to share crafts.
“Teaching is better than selling,” she said.
This story was originally published July 19, 2017 2:22 pm.