Wounded Warrior’s Biz NEEDS you!

$6,555 of $6,275 goal

Raised by 69 people in 24 months
Tara Hutchinson  SAN ANTONIO, TX
I am a fine jewelry designer who specializes in uniquely contemporary & edgy work in precious metals and gemstones. For those of you who don't know my story, let me briefly introduce myself:

Art has been significant in my life, because it is the actual ‘making’ of the art that has helped my brain figure out new pathways around my permanent movement disorder. On Valentine’s Day 2006 while serving as a Military Police Officer in the US Army I was injured in an enemy attack in Baghdad, Iraq.
Me in my previous life as a Soldier.

My right leg was amputated above the knee and I was left with a permanent brain injury and an uncontrollable Parkinson’s-like, tremor-based movement disorder. My damaged truck - February 2006 I was sitting in the front passenger seat. I'm pretty sure the piece that took my leg left that grapefruit-sized hole. 

In late 2006 a therapist suggested I take up a hobby that utilized my fine motor skills, so I started making jewelry. This form of self-expression has become very influential to who I am in my core, because over the years by slowly becoming an artist I realized that art is about how the viewer feels not what they see. After my injury, it took me a long time to feel feminine again. As a result of this, I can identify with other women’s scars. A couple of my earlier pieces! I am SO proud of pieces like these I have made.

This awareness has led me to modify my mission statement to reflect why I create jewelry: to help women feel good about themselves. Even though I have better control over mydisorder today, I continue to create because it is cathartic to fabricate beautiful works of fine art that are an expression of my soul, and it brings comfort to me that I can help women with self-confidence obstacles to overcome themselves. 

Okay, now that we are acquainted, let me tell you what I need. I was accepted into a show in Las Vegas at the end of May! I have been preparing for it since the moment I found out about it, crazily making jewelry to stock up on my inventory, working like a fool - day and night.These are some of my Spring/Summer wholesale pieces!

My messy, MESSY studio while in prepping for Vegas.

One of the expenses (the biggest one) is already paid for: the booth fee. However, after working, reworking and triple reworking the budget for this show, I have finally come to the point where I need some big time help with expenses. There is no denying that fact now, and you’ll understand when you take a look at the budget.
My Budget!

Note: you might be wondering what 'Construction Equipment Fee' is. This refers to the hardwalls I negotiated to have built around my booth so I can stand out from the crowd. What's the point of doing something like this halfway?

MY BOOTH WILL BE SPECTACULAR!

A computer generated image of the sidewalls I am having built for my booth. (Who is the guy with the ponytail?)

This show will have buyers from galleries, catalogs, boutiques and national chain stores ready to purchase my jewelry! I have started working in gold recently, so this opportunity could be the one to push me over the brink into an established brand.Another piece from my Spring/Summer collection! Isn't she a beauty?

I have already paid almost $1000 towards my booth fee, so I really need to go. Plus, the art director at ACRE likes my work, and has featured my pieces on TWO buyers guide covers!

Yippee! That's me, all the way to the right!


And that's me, bottom left.

So, with these funds in hand, I can purchase my plane tickets, pay for the booth upgrade, and start planning for shelving. I need to get these things in order soon, as I should purchase my tickets no later than the 15th of May.

I feel this show came by at the right time for me, the right person was placed in my lap to travel with me (thanks Stace!) and it all has happened for a reason. I do know it is the opportunity of a lifetime for my business, and I will get there even if I have to walk! (or roll!)

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you for your support!!

XOXO

Tara

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Update 11
Posted by Tara Hutchinson
23 months ago
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Well, I am back from Vegas, and I wanted to give all of you who supported me a HUGE update on the wonderful things that happened to me while I was there!

We got there a day early to have 2 full days to set up our booth, but I was exhausted by the time I got there at 3ish, and April (my friend and helper) didn’t get there until after 1 because of the storms in Atlanta. So we started first thing on Wednesday morning, and our booth was beautiful! Our first impression was the people in charge of the setup and installation of our hardwalls (RPM Expo) did an amazing job, and the walls were exactly what I wanted.
So Thursday when the show opened, we were ready, and right away, I picked up my first gallery! Danny and Jeffrey from Pura Vida Galleries in San Diego and Jerome, Arizona were so gracious and kind. They loved my pieces and I know we will be lifelong friends.
The next day I interviewed with Deborah Yonick and Heidi Lynn Russell who are both freelancers. Deborah writers for both JCK and Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazines, and Heidi writes for Military Transition News. I cannot wait until the articles come out!
The last day of the show was grueling, but I managed to pick up my last boutique from a beautiful woman in Scottsdale, Arizona.
So overall, this trip was a huge success, and has changed the direction of my business and given me HUGE momentum to get behind. I am so incredibly thankful to those of you who donated and helped push me there.
Our Booth, Naked!
My Finished Booth! LOVE the Chandelier!!
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Update 10
Posted by Tara Hutchinson
23 months ago
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I found out this morning that my helper can’t come with me! Does anyone know of an HONEST AWESOME salesperson, living in San Antonio, looking for a job that wants to go on a 5-day all expenses paid trip to Las Vegas.. Next week? ( :
Probably the cover of my catalog!
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Update 9
Posted by Tara Hutchinson
23 months ago
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1
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For everyone who asked, my website is www.TaraHutchJewelry.com

I also have an etsy site at www.TaraHutchFineJewelry.etsy.com

Super busy today getting last minute things in order!
Xoxo
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Update 8
Posted by Tara Hutchinson
23 months ago
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I am amazed.. and people keep donating. Thank you all so much. I am so blessed to have every one of you on team THFJ!

I included photos of some pieces I am recreating from the past for my Spring/Summer Collection to take with me to vegas.
I am creating this oldie for Vegas!
Ancient Roman Glass/Argentium Silver
Chalcedony/Argentium
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Read a Previous Update
Lee-ann Dunton
23 months ago
3
3

Good luck! Please post an Etsy link if you have one!

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Julie Emond
23 months ago
2
2

I would love to buy some jewelry from you. Do you have a website or any way to buy!!

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Pedro Dudeson
23 months ago
2
2

do you have a website or store on etsy...I live in Alabama where can i buy your stuff..

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Christian Allen
23 months ago
1
1

Tried my best. Be prepared for some hate mail. Direct them to me.

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Johan Strömhielm
23 months ago

So cool to hear what happened in Vegas. Kudos and best wishes from Sweden! Oh, and I wanted to tell you: You rock!

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$6,555 of $6,275 goal

Raised by 69 people in 24 months
Created May 10, 2015
ML
$35
Mary Lee
23 months ago

Thank you for your service and sacrifice. Love your jewelry and you are truly an inspiration! Best of luck with the show in Vegas! God bless.

$40
Robert Mitchell
23 months ago
$50
Anonymous
23 months ago
DK
$10
donald kosharek
23 months ago
DK
$10
donald kosharek
23 months ago
MG
$10
marco gutierrez
23 months ago
$5
Anonymous
23 months ago
$25
Anonymous
23 months ago
AS
$25
Alanna Schwab
23 months ago

I wish you the best in your endeavors.

JR
$25
Joanne Ryan
23 months ago

Tara, I'm very impressed with your efforts and greatly appreciate your passion! You go girl!!!!!!!!!!!! Joanne

Lee-ann Dunton
23 months ago
3
3

Good luck! Please post an Etsy link if you have one!

+ Read More
Julie Emond
23 months ago
2
2

I would love to buy some jewelry from you. Do you have a website or any way to buy!!

+ Read More
Pedro Dudeson
23 months ago
2
2

do you have a website or store on etsy...I live in Alabama where can i buy your stuff..

+ Read More
Christian Allen
23 months ago
1
1

Tried my best. Be prepared for some hate mail. Direct them to me.

+ Read More
Johan Strömhielm
23 months ago

So cool to hear what happened in Vegas. Kudos and best wishes from Sweden! Oh, and I wanted to tell you: You rock!

+ Read More
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