Sprigg’s cottage industry (named for her beagle, Jake, who sits at her feet as she does the beading) began about a year and a half ago. She had received a beaded bracelet as a gift, and thought she’d like to try her own hand at jewelery making. She bught books and materials and was off and running. Her first efforts were college bracelets, done up in school colors, and sorority bracelets, and bracelets sporting the names of children or pets.

She also did fancy pieces, and fun pieces which she began to peddle online and eventually at house parties. But it wasn’t till she got a call from a colleague in the small business group she belongs to, that a new, unexpected opportunity arose.

The woman, who had breast cancer-related lymphedema, "asked if I’d be interested in making her a medical ID bracelet."

Sprigg happily obliged and posted the finished piece with similar samples on her Web site. "It just exploded," she says, with orders rolling in even from Alaska and Canada.

Sprigg, who works by day in her family’s security and surveillance business, knows she is not the only bead jewelry maker on the Web. Still, she hopes eventually this sideline will become a full-time occupation. She has expanded her medical line with what she calls loopies, decorative pieces hung from belt loops. Soon to come are necklaces, keychains and zipper pulls. Her husband, Bill, gives input on new designs.

 

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