From Traveling Jewelry Studio to Buying My First Home

by Beth Millner.
(Marquette, Michigan, USA)

Beth Millner’s jewelry studio, 2007

The leaves are just beginning to change here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. My garden has not frosted yet and we picked a few awesome tomatoes yesterday.

I really feel that autumn is a huge transition time for me and this year will be one of the larger transitions I have made.

Mike, my partner and I are purchasing a home! We found a great spot with a few wooded acres and it is close to town (Marquette, MI). We are very, very excited to be moving into this new home.

It needs some repairs including a couple of major ones, but no surprises since we made the decision to purchase. Luckily Mike is a licensed contractor and can do the work.

I will be moving my studio again! As many of you know, I have had a studio in many places.

I started my business in 2007, when Mike and I were living in a small home, a really small home, 18′ X 18′ total. I had a little spot next to the front door where I started making my creations.

We moved from this house in 2008 just after I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in May of 2008. It was a great little house to live in and work from, but we wanted a taste of living a down-to-earth lifestyle.

Studio 2008

We wanted to live off of solar panels, bathe in a river and use what was just there. I loved living in the woods! We had rented out a sweet little cabin, which was almost the same size as the house we lived in.

The cabin was a timber frame log home, we heated and cooked with wood, walked barefoot and made some really amazing life long friends.

In October of 2008, we decided it was time for an epic journey.

Mike and I decided to go on a voyage around the country. We ended up convincing our friends Traci and Robel to do the same and we had the most amazing journey, The Art Show Tour 2009.

Here are some of the images of the studios I set up while traveling around the US and a couple of other candid shots.

This is my studio outside at Traci’s dad’s house in Cowpens, South Carolina:

Turtle eating flowers in Cape Coral, Florida:

Here I was making jewelry outside with Elaina’s (Traci & Robel’s daughter’s) toys strewn about:

I got to hang out with some pelicans in the Florida Keys:

Here was my bench set up in a cabin we rented for a few days in Homestead, FL. It was a short stay, but I remember cranking out a couple of Etsy orders:

This was the most amazing sunset we saw in Bizbee, AZ. Wow, the colors are so intense!

Hummingbird in Potrero, California:

After our epic journey around the country, we decided to move back into the cabin.

Once the fall hit, I really got the itch to move into town, downtown Marquette, MI. We rented a 3 bedroom apartment in October of 2009 and have been living here for just about a year.

Here is a photo of my current studio 2010, taken just a few days ago:

My next studio is bound to be another adventure, but I am looking forward to settling into a place. Each time I set up shop, it gets a little more organized and efficient.

We should be moving into our new home at the end of October, just in time for Halloween and Mike’s Birthday!

Beth Millner
Beth Millner on etsy


Living your dreams
by: Rena

Love hearing about your travels and adventures, Beth! Fantastic that instead of dreaming about things, you go out there and live your dreams.

Wishing you lovely times and wonderful memories in your new home!

everything was perfect
by: pat barden

man–your story, your words, the pictures, the layout–everything perfect–ilove theze pages

Living Life
by: Rita Juhlin

You are very blessed!

Great Pics
by: Janine G

Good for you to be able to travel! Your photos are beautiful. I can see the difference in organization of tools and stuff over the years. Someday I will have a studio too. I had a little flower shop and had jewelry and a studio set up there but if I got to have my own spot again I have soooo many ideas of how I will set it up. Great use of pegboard too.

My Dream!
by: Kim – B.B. Bellezza

You have done my dream! I want to travel across the country in a camper doing shows. I am so happy someone else has done this and that I’m not crazy! lol

I can’t wait to read about your trip! This is so inspirational for me, you can’t even imagine!

Dreams and Life
by: Anonymous

I am so pleased that you and your partner were able to live your dreams. Such dreams are best lived while young. While I had hoped to travel, I had put off that dream, thinking that I had plenty of time. Now, unable to live my dream of travel, I have had to adjust my dreams.
I am envious of your adventures, but enjoying mine too.

Traveling business
by: Mermaid’s Purse

You give literal meaning to ” no moss gathers under your feet “. It must be so liberating to just pick up and go and settle where ever. Kinda like a Gypsy. This is how my Mom pretty much lived. Enjoy your easy going life

Fair Winds and Calm Seas,
Deborah Leon

Just … WOW!
by: SterlingCrystal

Hi Beth,

This was a great article, and I am absolutely blown away by your work! I have “favourited” and “circled” you on Etsy. I really enjoyed getting to know a little bit about the woman behind the creations, thank you.

Sam Ryder

The worlds your oyster!!
by: Jayne

Your diary of your travels as a jeweller confirms that you can live your dream. Good on you guys….very inspiring

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  • Your jewelry is beautiful beyond words!

  • I just stumbled on this post, and glad I did – it is an inspiring story!
    It reminded me of my own travels around West Coast a couple of years ago, while living on the road and making jewelry 🙂 Much inspiration to you!

  • I went to your Etsy site after reading this article. Never would have thought someone who tramps through the woods in bare feet had such talent in her little fingers. Then again, only someone who can appreciate the beauty of nature could pull it off. Kudos!

  • Debbie says:

    OH Beth! I just looked at your Etsy shop…your creations are wonderful and indeed they reflect your love of nature. I am new to metals, and hope that some day my work will be as lovely as yours 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story…keep living your dream!!

  • Jean BH says:

    A woman after my own heart. I love to travel also and ended up in Carriacou, Grenada. Fulfilling two dreams. Retire in the Caribbean and making macrame jewelry. I checked out your Etsy shop and love your creations of jewelry. Hope you get your craft studio set up soon. I am still working on mine. Thanks for sharing your travels….

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