When times are tough, passions prevail

With the condition of the economy and the cost of living on the rise, people have to find a way to adjust. A lot of people have to supplement income with a second job or area of specialty. Are more people turning to their passion or hobby to find financial relief? How is this drop in the economy affecting these artists and private contractors?

Local craft shows and markets could be the answer.

Carol Rebhahn of Camillus has always had a passion for art. She began her career as an art teacher in the West Genesee school district. During her time as a teacher she did make her own jewelry, a love that stuck with her after retiring to have a family. Rebhahn stated that since 2003 she has been able to dedicate the time to crafting her jewelry, and participate in craft shows such as the Atrium Art Mart downtown every November.

Rebhahn said that her craft does not supplement her income but soon will. Both she and her husband are retired now and will need it. When asked how the economy has affected her art she replied, "I have to use more affordable materials to make my pieces more economical for everyone."

Right now she only travels to local shows and does not foresee traveling further due to the rise in gas prices. Rebhahn is looking into developing a website to market her pieces. She hopes that this avenue will allow her to reach more people.

Mary Kay Devore, of the Fairmount area, sells merchandise for Jolica, a company that markets handmade jewelry and accessories from all over the world. She started in August of 2007 to have an income while staying home with her daughter. When asked how the economy has affected her small business she said "not too many people are willing to spend the money on valuable jewelry when they need it for gas and food."

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