By Jamie Shafer
Amanda Grella’s journey has been one focused on creative expression, gratefulness, generosity, hard work, and faith. And it all began with a spoon.
In 2009, Amanda was exploring a craft show when a display of spoon rings caught her eye. Although she loved all the designs, she only bought one ring and planned to try making more on her own.
“It was harder than I thought,” she remembers. She gave up on the idea, and life moved on. The Grella family then moved out of state so she and her husband, Nate, could join the staff of Capital Area Christian Church in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
Before their move, a kind girl from their church gave Amanda some of her grandmother’s silverware, in the hopes that she might be able to give it new life. Amanda decided to try making key rings with the ends of the silverware and was pleased with the results. She gave the shiny creations to family and friends as gifts, and it seemed someone was always asking her to make another one.
She said that, at one point, a family member asked her to try making a necklace. Amanda laughs and says she agreed to make it but requested that it be kept a secret, lest she be committed to making necklaces too.
Opening the Door to New Business
Amanda’s husband suggested that she try selling the remainder of the key rings on Facebook. She remembers feeling doubtful that anyone would buy them, but she created a post anyway.
“In 45 minutes I sold them all and had orders for 50 more!” she said. “I told my husband, ‘Well, I guess we will have to buy more silverware.’”
Eventually the couple gained the knowledge and the tools to create the spoon rings that had originally inspired Amanda. For some this might have become a nice hobby or a fun way to earn extra income. But for Amanda, it has become her passion. As her children were becoming more self-sufficient, Amanda had been searching to find her place and discover what she wanted to do. This artful expression has been an unexpected gift for her and others.
“I discovered I was feeling this joy and blessing as I was making the jewelry and giving it to people. I found something here that I didn’t expect, and I loved that. I can’t even say how thankful and blessed we are in all of this.”
Inspiring New Stories
The process of launching their business, Just A Spoonful of Silver (justaspoonfulofsilver.com), has been intertwined with the Grellas’ faith. “When we are looking for silverware, we’re looking for the old vintage stuff that’s not shiny. It’s dull and used. I bring it home, clean it, and polish it . . . use it for good. We’re like that as people—dull and used and broken. Others are looking for something shiny, but God can use us in a way that we don’t expect.”
Amanda shares this idea with those who inquire about the faith-based inscriptions that have been lovingly hammered into her jewelry, one letter at a time. She and her husband have created many meaningful pieces for people. Sometimes customers request that a special verse or phrase be imprinted on their piece. One family requested necklaces to wear in honor of a daughter who had passed away.
The Grellas have also come up with ways to bless others with their business income, Amanda explained. “We give money to someone each month—a family or an organization. One month it went to someone who was in the process of adopting. Another month it went to a family who had someone on kidney dialysis.”
They’ve also donated to silent auctions and crafted necklaces inscribed with “Love Does” so the proceeds could help fund their church’s campaign by the same name. They have been invited to display their items in local shops, and they will be featured in an artisan marketplace in the Perry County Council of the Arts Gallery through mid-January.
“God gave us this passion. We are so blessed and thankful for the ability and to be able to help others,” said Amanda.
She loves taking a special or beautiful piece of silverware, perhaps that belonged to a grandparent, and turn it into something that can be worn every day. “It becomes a story. I would love to go back in history and know the story behind each piece.”
Ultimately, this work reminds her that God gives each of us new life and purpose. “Do we take it and run with it? Or do we just let it sit there in a box? I want to take it and run with it,” said Amanda.
Jamie Shafer is a communications strategist for Fishhook Communications in Indianapolis, Indiana. She and her husband, Eric, have two children.
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