Artists Reconnecting and Collaborating in COVID

by Valerie Tan.
(Buffalo, NY)

Artists Reconnecting and Collaborating in COVID by Valerie Tan  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

bfloGALS Bracelet

When Christine Wittmann, a lifelong WNY native, approached me
about collaborating with her in her jewelry business, it was a

Christine and I have been friends since middle-school, and
now almost 40 years later (did I just reveal our age?), we have found
a way to combine our lifelong artistic paths.

Artists Reconnecting and Collaborating in COVID by Valerie Tan

Grand Island, NY (Our Home Town)

About 10 years ago, Christine was searching for a better work/life
balance than she could get with her industrial sales and marketing

She wanted to spend more time with her family, and decided that
the solution was to change her path by starting a company where she
could focus on her passion for producing and teaching others about
custom jewelry.

Artists Reconnecting and Collaborating in COVID by Valerie Tan

Buffalo Design Collaboration

The COVID crisis has had a big impact on all small businesses, and
Christine’s was no exception. All of the shops that carried her line
either closed or had severe restrictions on business, and she could
not longer hold jewelry-making classes in her studio at the Niagara
Arts and Cultural Center. Christine found herself wondering how to
move forward, and it was then that she reached out to me about
combining my artwork into a series of new jewelry pieces. From my
point of view, it has been a gift to connect with a childhood friend
in this way after sheltering in place and the solitude at home.

Artists Reconnecting and Collaborating in COVID by Valerie Tan

Holiday Design Collaboration

As Christine has written on her website:
“a bfloGAL is a girl who, no matter where she finds herself living,
calls Buffalo, NY her home”.

Valerie Tan

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  • I love how the name of the city is used in the business name, and how the buffalo are used in the jewelry designs. And what a blessing to have reconnected with a dear friend and to be able to help each other move forward at this difficult time.

  • Tina Sparacino says:

    Love to see another Buffalo gal here. I’m actually in Cheektowaga but, I’m all about Buffalo. GO BILLS!!

  • Rita says:

    Aww, what a great story Valerie! Best of everything with this collaboration. Love the idea!

  • Mary G says:

    As a Buffalo native for more than 60 years (yikes) love Christines jewelry! I have seen and spoke to her at many vendor shows and she was very helpful in tweeking my booth…very talented!!

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