Today we’d like to introduce you to Jen & Matt Edmondson.
Hi Jen & Matt, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Sure! Hi! We’re Jen and Matt Edmondson, husband and wife team owners and makers at Laughing Frog Studio (LFS) where we upcycle vintage silverware into jewelry, accessories and housewares. In 2011, LFS originally started as a way to make some extra cash to subsidize our daughter’s ice hockey dreams, but it turned out to be so much more. Not only were we able to supplement child-rearing and extra-curricular costs, but we were also able to be creative and work together. When we started, Matt was a full-time desk jockey, and I was a stay-at-home mom with an antiques business; we both yearned for a fulfilling creative outlet. On a whim, I took a pair of vintage spoons from my antiques business and made a pair of spoon earrings. I listed the earrings in my online antiques shop and they sold super quickly. Feeling excited and validated, that’s when I knew we found our fulfilling creative outlet.
As a child, I always admired artistically talented people and was searching for my own artistic calling but had not yet found my niche. In college, I majored in a “sensible” field, but was always trying some new creative idea. I tried beading, hand painted t-shirts, painted furniture, etc. – but nothing ever lasted long. Matt has been an artistic talent since early on. While we did not know each other as children, I have seen Matt’s notebooks, videos and creations from childhood, and it is apparent that he had mad intrinsic artistic skill right out of the gate. He is always creating whether it’s doodling, folding gum wrappers into a floral bouquet or creating a culinary masterpiece. Laughing Frog Studio is the perfect synergy of our creative passion, our love of old things that have a story to tell and our healthy respect for nature and the earth. Our “We Believe” statement sums it up pretty well. WE BELIEVE:… that everything has value – just because something is old and is currently no longer being used, it doesn’t mean it has no value that imaginative up cycling is the best way to extend the value and life of beautiful objects, to limit additions to landfills, and to spread creativity, ingenuity and smiles that great design and art can make people happy that good vibes make the world a better place; give good vibes, get good vibes that love is the backbone of happiness.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I am full of gratitude when I say that our road has been a smooth one. Our smooth road is fully rooted in the fact that Matt has had a steady, decent, full-time job which allowed us the freedom to start small and to grow at our own pace. Because of this financial stability, I am free to put all my energies into the business side of LFS, while we both contribute to the creative side of the business. If there was one thing we struggle with, it’s probably how to continue being creative and making and selling at markets and shows as our bodies change and age.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
What sets us apart at Laughing Frog Studio is our CREATIVITY. While spoon rings are a classic and have withstood the test of time, there are so many more things you can make with vintage silverware. We are super proud of our most creative design – Casserole Spoon Belt Buckles which we began making in 2014. I knew we were on to a super UNIQUE idea because when researching comps to determine pricing, I realized, we were the ONLY people making this clever upcycled silverware creation. I generally agree with Mark Twain when he said “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations.” But I found that we were the only ones making this unique Casserole Spoon Belt Buckles, so I like to think, contrary to Mark Twain’s quote, we had an authentically NEW idea. Sorry Mr. Twain! We’re also known for the sassy and positive messages that we stamp onto our creations. One of our best sellers is a Spoon Cuff Bracelet that is simply stamped BADASS. There is just something so empowering about that word. Don’t’ worries, in addition to these sassy hand stamped designs, we also create G-rated and inspiring lines as well.
Finally, all of our creations are made BY HAND by one of us. We do not send any of our designs to a third party for mass manufacture. Our handmade jewelry, and other creations, is cut, shaped, soldered, stamped, assembled etc. without the use of mass machine manufacturing. While a machine can crank out hundreds of units per hour, a person can only make a few pieces by hand in that same amount of time. If something needs to be cut, we get out our old-fashioned tools like snippers and saws and get to cutting. If something needs to be bent, we use other tools plus a whole lot of muscle! We believe that handmade techniques speak to creativity, tenacity, individuality, beauty, and love.
How do you think about happiness?
JEN: MATT, LAUGHTER, SUNSHINE, FAMILY, and DO-ING. I think I am happiest when I am doing. I love having a project or a goal. I love planning and implementing ideas. As a do-er, I am not a fan of dreaming or having idle time. But I love do-ing when the sun is shining, Matt is nearby, and my next bout of laughter is only moments away. MATT: “Good music, a great sunset and a beer. But most of all it’s my family”. HA! He really is a man of few words.
- Our creations range from $15-$100.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.laughingfrogstudio.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laughing_frog_studio/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laughingfrogstudio
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/aLaughingfrog