Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Member Meet & Greet - Kris Winningham

My name is Kris, and my Etsy shop is:
Where you live/grew up:
I live in Speedway, Indiana, a small town located in Indianapolis. It is named Speedway because the town was built around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the industry developed there by the track's founders. I grew up on the southwest side of Indianapolis.

I have two parents, who have been married for 31 years. yay! My dad, Rick, manages the city of Indianapolis' fleet services garage, and my mom, Barb, is a midwife, professor of nurse-midwifery at the University of Indianapolis, and currently pursuing her doctorate in nursing practice. I have three younger (they aren't little anymore!) brothers: Sean, who is married to Sarah, and a religion teacher at Roncalli High School; Kenny, a huge Colts fan and sports marketing major at the University of Indianapolis; and Luke, a senior at Roncalli, captain of his hockey team, and who will be attending Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in the fall.

How did you get started making rosaries?
Honestly, I was bored at work, browsing the internet, looking for a wow of a gift for my mom's 50th birthday. I found some cool ones that were way out of my price range, so i looked into making them myself. I ended up making my mom a beautiful garnet and sapphire rosary, and it made her cry. success!! :)

How has your faith played a role in your rosary making?
After some rebellious years away from church (i blame youth and an unwelcoming parish), I started attending St. Chris in Speedway after i bought my house. The priest there is amazing, and it has quickly brought me back into the fold. I've always loved the Virgin Mary, thanks to my mom and her love of Mary, but making rosaries keeps me busy and helps me to reflect in silence and on all I have to be thankful for, no matter what else i may be feeling. Which is good, because I tend to be an angry, impatient person lately.

What is your relationship to the Blessed Mother?
I have gotten closer to my own mother the last few years, and that has helped me to deepen my relationship with Mary. I have a giant concrete statue of mary in my yard, and I plan on making a beautiful garden shrine soon. I pray the rosary nightly, and ask for her intercession. I feel I comprehend the blessed mother more than i have been able to understand the Trinity; I relate to her more easily, but i am trying to understand the Trinity more deeply.

Has it always been this way?
Yes, even when I was very rebellious and away from the church, I felt Mary's presence in my life. I guess that is what led me back, actually.

Where do you see your rosary business going?
Right now, it's just a fun hobby that i am making no money on, hahaha. But I enjoy it! I hope my Etsy store will gain some traction and I can start breaking even on rosaries alone. I'm making more than I can sell or give away right now. I quit my part-time job (I also have a full-time job) after we learned of my father's heart attack. It made me realize that I have spent so much time the last few years working two jobs (out of necessity) that i've been neglecting my family, and I wanted to spend more time with them. So I do this in my spare time, and hope to make a little extra money, but I'm not in it for the money. that's what all my other beading projects are for....

Are there any new things you'd like to make?
I'd eventually like to learn how to make chain rosaries, as I make wired ones now. But with wired, there is so much room for creativity in design, but they aren't "traditional," as many of my relatives has said. Whatevs, they're still pretty!! But like I said, I'm impatient, and I break things easily, so I'm waiting for the time when I know I'm ready to learn.

Share a special rosary story of one that you sold/gave away:
Besides my mother's garnet rosary, which really wowed my relatives, I also made my cousin's stepdaughter (who needs a little extra love, being in a blended family) a rosary for her 11th birthday. She called and thanked me, and was just head over heels! I made it specifically for a young girl, with the vintage "M" center (her name is Morgan, so she loved that!). Apparently, that sealed my cousin's decision to ask me to be her youngest son's godmother, which i am really looking forward to. I have grown in my faith, and very much want to help guide young ones in theirs, especially since I do not plan on having any children myself. There's also alot of history with me and my cousin, more than I can get into here, But basically, it's about time she wised up and realized who's going to be around for her and her family (i.e., NOT the people who've been her bridesmaids and her other children's godparents). see? I'm working on my anger and impatience. working on it.

Give one reason why someone should buy your handmade rosary over a rosary purchased in a store.
Well, the rosary I use right now I bought in a store. I don't like the crucifix, and I feel the center is too small. but I like the beads, and I haven't made one for me yet. Basically, if you want a rosary where you will like every single thing about it, you need to have it custom-made. That's how I feel about it. And the ones I've made for specific people, I've made with knowledge of their lives, and tailored the rosary to meet their needs. That is something you can't buy off a shelf.


Stephanie said...

I love your interview and background. Re-version stories are so inspiring.

Thank you for sharing!

Laude Arts & Gifts said...


Thank you so much for sharing part of your journey with us. I loved how you knew that even in your rebellious years, Our Blessed Mother was with you.

I always think it is somehow amazing that rebellion can play such a large part in our conversion. It's like the Lord uses it to eventually bring us back to Himself.