PARK RAPIDS, Minn. - A bit of Hollywood's glitz and glamour will soon emanate from a Park Rapids artist.
Copper cuffs handcrafted by Kelly Ringer, owner of ChatterByHammer, will glimmer at a "celebrity gift lounge" next month honoring Golden Globes nominees and presenters.
The invitation-only, luxury event will be Jan. 6-7 at an exclusive location in Beverly Hills. It's hosted by GBK Productions, a Los Angeles marketing firm.
Select press and media attendees will receive Ringer's hand-forged, etched bracelets in their "swag bags" - goodie-filled bags of valuable, promotional merchandise.
Typically held prior to major award shows, the so-called "celebrity gift lounges" give artisans and companies an opportunity to get their "products in the hands of today's leading trend-setters," according to GBK Production's website. "Our renowned gift lounges are known for the quality of top products acquired, high-profile celebrities and sought-after national press that attend each and every celebrity gifting suite."
Ringer began making copper jewelry in April of this year.
"I just saw the idea and thought, 'I can do this,'" said the self-taught metalsmith, who works at a tiny bench in the corner of her basement.
Initially, Ringer selected the craft as a way to fundraise for Tuesday's Children, donating 10 percent of her profits to the charity, formed in the aftermath of 9/11 to to care for communities impacted by loss. She signed up for this year's New York City Marathon as a runner for the charity.
"I wanted to run this race and I needed to raise money," Ringer said.
Orders took off, and ChatterByHammer was born.
"Almost everything I make is custom order," Ringer said.
"Your chatter, my hammer" inspired her business name.
She makes copper cuffs, bangles, bracelets, rings, hair accessories and more. The gifts may be personalized with a hand-stamped name for graduations, anniversaries, weddings or birthdays.
Some clients opt to add an inspiring message or custom etching.
"Copper is traditionally given as a seven-year wedding anniversary gift, but our copper jewelry is a favorite for any time, any occasion," she says.
Ringer also creates coffee sleeves, adding copper "charms" to leather beverage cozies.
Copper is "an affordable metal to work with, plus I've always been interested in natural health," she said.
Ringer loves the metal's natural color. Copper develops a natural patina over time, giving pieces a rustic, antique look. It can also be easily polished to look like new.
"You can color and paint it. I like copper," she enthused.
Her assistants - Kolter, 10, and Shailyn, 9 - complete the family-run enterprise.
"My kids help me out sometimes," Ringer said. They assist with stamping or painting and tidy up the studio, particularly during the Christmas order rush.
Kolter came up with two of ChatterByHammer's product listings: a fishing lure key chain and a "Life is Better at the Lake" copper cuff.
Last summer, Ringer applied for membership in The Artisan Group, an entertainment marketing group dedicated to introducing Hollywood to the best small, artisan-owned businesses.
"It's juried. You have to apply. I happen to have applied and, honestly, didn't think I'd get in," Ringer said.
But she did.
For a $79 annual membership fee, The Artisan Group showcases top-notch, one-of-a-kind handcrafted products to celebrities, industry leaders, VIPs and members of the press - The Huffington Post, E! News, TigerBeat, ABC News, RealSimple, to name a few - through celebrity gift lounges and a TV show stylist gifting initiative.
To date, The Artisan Group has placed nearly 600 artisan products on over 35 hit television shows, like "Empire," "Scandal," "The Voice," "Days of Our Lives," "Law & Order" and others.
"It's a small fee considering the potential exposure you get," Ringer said.
As a member, Ringer chose to participate in a "press gifting" option.
"I did the Emmys back in September," she said.
Ten of her hammered cuffs, along with her business card, were distributed to various members of the press for the awards show.
So far, she's heard back from a fashion model/blogger who thanked Ringer for the gift.
In January, her artistry heads to the Golden Globes.
She shipped 10 etched copper bracelets to California earlier this month.
Ringer plans to explore silver and gold jewelry-making in the future.
More information is available at her website at chatterbyhammer.etsy.com or by calling (218) 252-2234.