Easy Doughs It offers sensory play dough kits. (Submitted photo)
This year, as you’re making your holiday gift list and checking it twice, consider supporting a local Catholic mom (or dad). From printables to wreaths, floral arrangements, candles, sensory kits and more, here are just a few examples of Catholic moms whose businesses offer great gift options for both children and adults.
Rosebud Print Design
Clare Zajicek has been selling Catholic art and gifts since she made the transition from a career in marketing to being a full-time stay-at-home mom. “Positive and Catholic-oriented artwork helps me focus my attention on the important things in life — God, my family and how we treat one another,” said Zajicek, a parishioner at St. Charles in Hartland. “My online store, Rosebud Print Design, has been a wonderful creative outlet for me while I take care of our three kiddos. My store features beautiful, minimalist, prayer-oriented printable artwork that is available immediately after purchase — just download to your computer and print.” Zajicek’s creations can be found at www.rosebudprintdesign.com.
Owner Amanda Ornelas hand-creates farmhouse and boho-style wreaths, arrangements and home decor. She works primarily with sola wood, which comes from the root of a renewable, fast-growing marsh plant. Items that she has available for purchase can be viewed on Bohemerie Handmade’s Facebook page and purchased with Paypal, Venmo or cash. She also offers contact-less pickup and shipping.
“I picked up wreath-making as a hobby in the spring,” explained Ornelas, a parishioner at St. William Parish in Waukesha. “I’ve since branched out to floral arrangements and other home decor. I’ve really enjoyed working with florals; it’s peaceful and has brought much joy to my life.”
Ellen Albertson’s Makery Maven Co. offers gifts and home goods, specializing in custom laser-cut art. “My passion is dreaming up and creating art, decor and home goods that are inspired by the character of the raw materials and my love for Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the Midwest,” said Albertson, a parishioner at Gesu Parish who also attends St. John Vianney Parish in Brookfield. “My work incorporates mixed media and three-dimensional laser cut art into the construction process and results in beautiful, functional pieces to use in your home, gift to someone special, or to bring joy to your space through handmade, unique decor.” Her pieces can be purchased on Etsy, accessible via her business’ website, Makerymaven.com.
Vintage Digital Rose
Owner Rose Clearfield bought her first vintage books at an estate sale a few years ago and created printables from them for her blog. “I had such a positive response to them that I picked up a few more books and continued to make more printables,” said Clearfield, a parishioner at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Kenosha. “During the early months of COVID-19, I launched my vintage digital Etsy shop.” Clearfield’s Etsy shop contains a wide selection of vintage printables, including sacred hymns and art suitable for framing, Christmas gift tags, postcards and more.
“I love the process of preserving vintage books and music in digital form, and seeing the home decor and DIY projects that people create with them.”
Easy Doughs It
Teresa Neureuther, a parishioner at St. Gabriel Parish in Hubertus, fell in love with sensory play dough kits when a friend first introduced them to her. “I saw how my own kids would play and create independently for hours with these kits,” she said. “I had been making them for friends and family and recently made the decision to start a business in the hopes that other children could get the same benefits of sensory play at an affordable cost.” Her business, Easy Doughs It, can be found on Facebook.
“I love creating different themes and the best part for me is when moms contact me after their purchase so excited about their kids getting screen-free time while they have a chance to catch up on laundry or dinner,” said Neureuther.
As a residential architectural designer-turned-stay-at-home mom to three kids, Maria Mast started MM Designs “as a way to remain creative and to relax and unwind at the end of the day,” she said. She found that crafting wood decor came naturally, with her affinity for working with her hands and her professional background in architecture. “At MM Designs, all wood is carefully hand-selected with unique knots and graining, giving each piece one-of-a-kind character,” said Mast, who is a parishioner at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in New Berlin. Her products range from custom welcome plant stands to wine carriers, growth charts, wooded signs and ornaments, and everything in between. Orders can be placed through her Facebook page (@MariaMastDesigns).
St. Charbel Candle Co.
Mary Gundrum always loved a clean-smelling home, but having a chemical sensitivity made it impossible for her to burn a paraffin or soy candle. “I would get an immediate headache,” she said. So when she learned about beeswax candles, a more natural option, it was life-changing. “I started making my own clean-burning candles that made my home smell wonderful and soon others were asking for the candles as gifts,” she said. “My candle company was born.”
She named the company after St. Charbel, a 19th-century Maronite monk. “He lived an exemplary life as a hermit, where in his writings he continually points to the ‘Light,’” said Gundrum.
Each St. Charbel candle is made with a beeswax and coconut oil combination, and will burn for approximately 45 to 60 hours. Each candle is wicked with a lead-free cotton braided wick for a clean burn. To order St. Charbel candles, visit the St. Charbel Candle Co. on Etsy.com.