You may see her making/selling jewelry, driving a backhoe, or selling food, but the one thing that most people remember her for is how she used mere material that is often ignored and turn them into beautiful works of art that quickly become a part of their fashion world.
In April 2011, Natasha Punter will celebrate the two-year anniversary of her small jewelry business called Quotations. She specializes in handcrafted accessories for all occasions, made mostly from indigenous material.
She lists material like willow (pine cone), warri seeds, loofah, and sea shells among the components of her necklaces, earrings, bracelets, watches, phone charms, and brooches, and other items.
“I have a collection of jewelry that I sell, but if you want to give that piece a special touch here or there, I can make the adjustments," she said.
"If you have a special design in mind, or want something totally different to what is already made, you got it.”
She also repairs jewelry, which is good news for customers who have sentimental pieces.
“This one customer I have, he said he got this bracelet from Africa, and it burst and he saved these green beads … something about these green beads was dear to him. I made some suggestions and I repaired it he was so happy.”
She named the collection Quotations because of the flexibility and freedom in her line of work.
“I sell on Market Street and work from home, but I hope to get my own shop soon," she said.
“I think people patronize me because ... I make suggestions and give them options which they take very well. I also utilize Facebook, and word of mouth really also goes a long way. A person who likes a piece that somebody is wearing; they tell them where to go. I also do business with local stores and vendors who carry my work.”
Punter would like art teachers in schools to educate students that they can reach places if they take art and craft seriously. “Most people are rooting for lawyers and doctors.
Nothing is wrong with that, but there is also substance and financial gains in art and craft. For instance, take something like batik. There is a lot of work that goes into creating a unique batik design on a material, but people won’t mind paying a lot of money for it.”
When she is not working, Punter spends time with her family, and said her two-year-old daughter, Royal, has already started to string beads together to make her own version of necklaces.
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