For many people, losing a job is a devastating blow. But Sandi Hulbert of Apalachin turned her unexpected unemployment into an exciting new opportunity for herself: a home-based business called Grandmother’s Jewelry Box.
Hulbert had jobs in retail for 20 years when the store she worked for went bankrupt three years ago.
Instead of rushing out to find a similar job, she opted to temporarily become a stay-at-home mom and try to figure out her next step.
“I have always had a goal in my life to open my own business; I just didn’t know what it would be,” said Hulbert, 44. “So, when the store I was working at closed, it was kind of a blessing for me.”
Once the unemployment benefits ran out, Hulbert and her husband decided she would continue to stay home to focus on raising her teenage daughter and explore her options. Hulbert gratefully seized the opportunity.
After flirting with different ideas for a business, Hulbert stumbled upon jewelry making. She was looking for something to do with her daughter during the summer and thought making jewelry sounded like fun.
After buying a few how-to books and some basic supplies, mother and daughter were busy making jewelry, but it was Hulbert who was really hooked: “My daughter liked making jewelry, but I absolutely loved it. I had finally found a creative outlet that piqued my interest.”
As Hulbert got more adept at jewelry making and her creative juices began to flow more freely, she started dipping into her grandmother’s boxes of costume jewelry, taking apart out-of-date pieces and remaking them so they looked modern and fashionable.
The name of the business — Grandmother’s Jewelry Box — pays tribute to Harvey, and Hulbert contributes profits from the sale of her grandmother’s jewelry to her family’s Angel Fund.