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When Jerina Julius opened the Verona gift shop JNJ Craftworks in 2016, she wanted to create a place for artists to display their handmade crafts.
Now in her third year of business, Julius has created a community of local makers — 80 people strong.
“It’s like a family,” Julius says. “They become friends and now they are all family.”
Julius says the majority of her artists do not sell their products at craft shows or online, so the store is one of the only places to find their items. Many of the makers are elderly or retired people in the greater Madison community.
For Julius, working with makers from that demographic was incredibly important. She says she wanted to help support those individuals by having a place for them to sell their goods and talk with customers and other makers.
“We are finding the people who are passionate about making, who are [earning] extra income along with their pension,” Julius says.
Many of the artists were crafting in their spare time and now have created a small business that keeps them busy and active.
Since the store has such a diverse group of creative individuals, it has everything from jewelry to pottery and woodworking to skin care products.
Julius says she wanted to create a spot where people could shop at one place to get everything on their list. Many items can be custom ordered.
“[Customers] are supporting not [just] one lady — they are supporting many people who are making products here and the money goes to them,” Julius says.
Best Buds: Showcase tiny flower arrangements in a wooden flower bud vase. $30
Wine About It: Treat yourself to a drink in a Wisconsin-themed stemless wine glass. $10
Cozy Caps: Block out the cold with C.C. Exclusives’ knit beanies. $15
Welcoming Words: JNJ Craftworks has decorative wooden signs to scatter throughout your home. Prices vary
Stylish Storage: Keep watches safe in Grove Woods’ handcrafted geometric watchboxes. $48
Healthy Hands: Feel fresh and clean with Salt of the Earth hand scrubs. $18
Meant to Bead: Drop earrings from Shirley’s Art Ventures add interest to any outfit. $10-$12
1051 N. Edge Trail, Verona
Maija Inveiss is digital content editor of Madison Magazine.