Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Today's Featured Sponsor: Graceful Rosaries

I'm excited to introduce to you our next featured sponsor, Graceful Rosaries, who was just featured last month in the April 2013 edition of Catholic Digest Magazine!

Mary Mulloy is the creative designer behind the beautiful craftsmanship of these heirloom-quality pieces.  Each devotional is hand-made, meaning that Mary carefully hand-turns the wire between each precious prayer bead or hand-knots each cord.  Her Rosaries, chaplets, sacrifice beads, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and tenners are customizable, sturdy, and ready for some tough lovin'. 

Plus, the natural variations in stones make each piece one-of-a-kind.  Many medals are solid bronze antique reproductions, hand-cast from vintage pieces.  Could these faithful treasures BE any more exciting?!

Here are a few of my favorite pieces:

What I love most about Mary is her story.  Growing up in a large Catholic family that did not have much money, Mary was one of 10 children in a family that was committed to praying the Rosary.  So she, like her siblings, prayed using cheap Rosaries with plastic beads which often broke.  Or, she'd use her 10 fingers, if she had nothing else.

From way back then, Mary had a vision:  that one day she would make beautiful Rosaries that would last!  And, so, after years of dreaming, her desire to make high-quality Rosaries that could be passed down from generation to generation finally came true.   Graceful Rosaries was born!

Here's my interview with her:

1. First, please tell us a little bit about yourself and your family! 

I am a cradle Catholic, the seventh child in a family of ten.  We did not have very much money and I spent my childhood entertaining myself with drawing, painting and arts and crafts.  Now I am a mother of seven beautiful children aging from 3 yrs to 20 years.   Although homeschooling the youngest four kids keeps me busy enough....I still have to indulge my creative side!  Artful creation will always be a part of who I am.    Additionally I have an affinity for all things vintage Catholic.  I love the treasures of our Church and am so pleased to have antique reproduction medals to use with my sacramentals.

2. Next, tell us how your business came to be!  Who inspired you?  How did your talents develop?

When I was young we prayed the rosary as a family often.  I remember using my ten fingers or a cheap plastic rosary.  We didn't have rosaries that would last.  I remember thinking how much I would love to make some really beautiful rosaries.  But it was many years before I would begin.  When I had my own children I was eager to gift them with a special rosary for their first communion.  But as much as I tried to find a quality rosary, their rosaries ended up breaking very quickly.  For the first communion of my third child, I bought my son our first Flexible wire rosary.  I was so impressed with how strong it was, and sturdy.  It was at that time that I decided to make Flexible Wire Rosaries.  It took a while before I found someone who could show me the basics.  My friend, Bridget had just learned, and so we would order beads and make rosaries together.  She was such an encouragement to me.  Making rosaries with both strength and beauty quickly became an obsession.  I opened my first rosary shop in order to pay for my supplies.  Before long I became engrossed in the task of finding the most beautiful beads and parts I could find.  At the same time I began learning other construction methods through Youtube videos and online tutorials.  My goal to provide strong rosaries that would fit a variety of budgets and needs. 

3. What difficulties did you have to overcome in order to be at the point where you are today?  In other words, what or who helped you to “keep on keeping on”?

 There is definitely a lot of negative experiences that one can encounter in the internet world.   The world of the occult and immorality seeps in all around us.  Some people have used my copyrighted photos to create a fraudulent selling trap for others.  Other people have sought quick sales by producing replicas of my 'best sellers'.   All these experiences have been disconcerting to say the least.  I found I could become distracted from my purpose by seeking out all these unscrupulous sellers.  But rather than get bogged down in the negative, I decided to work even harder to improve every aspect of my business...the website, the product, the customer service.  Success would be my best defense.  I also found that building positive relationships with truly supportive and encouraging artisans gave me the positive emotional support I needed.  Members of the Catholic Etsy Artists Guild, and the Rosary Guild members have provided me with the encouragement, prayers and support at the times I have needed it most.

4. Lastly, what is most rewarding about your business?  

The most rewarding part of my business is that I am doing something I enjoy and also creating something that will help others in their spiritual life.  My customers, too, are the best one could have!  They encourage me daily with their kind notes and strong Faith.  I am so grateful for the privilege of having a rosary shop!  

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Do be sure to check out the Graceful Rosaries website for a look at many more colors and styles.