Stor - Irish for treasure is labour of love -- closer really to
obsession -- for Renata Henley. Intrigued with all things Irish
from an early age, she manipulated her undergraduate career to
include what was at the time a very rare degree in Celtic Studies
from an accredited, bona fide university. Options for the future
were terrifyingly narrow afterwards, so a postgraduate degree
in Irish Studies seemed the right path. That, of course, necessitated
a move overseas. Hardship followed hardship, i.e. having to live
in Dublin, learning to speak Irish (yes it is it's own language)
and hiberno-english, aquiring a taste for black pudding, mushy
peas, banana sandwiches, and Guinness, not to mention acclimating
to the hot and sunny climate. Life was rough. Ten years later,
when she finally felt like enlightenment was around the corner,
personal reasons called her back to the mid-west, specifically
her home town of Kansas City. But she would not go empty-handed.
Armed with the fantastic creations of her three favourite jewellery
designers, she attacked the KC area's craft show circuit under
the guise of market research, and has the jewellery selling out
of two local shops so far. Through her familiarity and connections
with the jewellery industry in ireland she hopes to someday expand
her business into a veritable emporium of Irish design work.
Not the least for the frequent buying trips to the 'auld sod'
written off as business expenses.
Sucked into the vortex of her daughter's obsession, Brenda is sustained by her own weakness for jewellery (it looks good, and, unlike clothing fashion, it always fits). She's learning about the technical aspects of jewellery on the fly, although she already has appropriate retail experience, especially in dealing with mad (read crazy) Hiberno-Americans. As her retail experience was through Sheehan's Irish Imports of Kansas City fame, she understands what irish customers are looking for, and how to keep them happy. Her serious day job is with the civil service, which she's hoping to abandon if the business takes off.