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Meet Jennifer and Matthew Edmondson of Laughing Frog Studio in Batavia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer and Matthew Edmondson.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Sure! We are Jen and Matt Edmondson and we are Laughing Frog Studio. While we originally started the business as a way to earn a little extra income to support the rising cost of raising our children (yes we are married), but it turned out to be so much more. Not only were also able to supplement child-rearing costs but we were able to exercise our creative muscles AND work together.

While Matt was a full-time desk jockey and I was a stay-at-home mom with an antiques business, we both yearned for a fulfilling creative outlet. The story goes, that one day, I decided to take a pair of spoons from my antiques business and make a pair of earrings. I listed them in my online antiques shop where they sold very quickly so I knew that we were on to something. Since Matt has real intrinsic ingenuity and artistry, I had him try making a few silverware creations. BOOM! The rest is history.

This business is the perfect synergy of our creative passion, our love of old things that have a story to tell and our healthy respect for the earth. Our “We Believe” statement sums it up pretty well:

We believe
…that everything has value – just because something is old and is currently no longer being used, it doesn’t mean it has no value
….that imaginative upcycling is the best way to extend the value and life of beautiful objects, to limit additions to landfills, and to spread creativity, ingenuity and smiles
….that great design and art can make people happy.
…that good vibes make the world a better place; give good vibes, get good vibes.
…that love is the backbone of happiness.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I have to say our journey has not be fraught with too many obstacles and for that we are extremely grateful. Matt has had a full-time job all along, which has allowed us to grow the business without having to worry about the business supporting us. Additionally, Matt’s full-time job allows for me to focus my time and energies on the business side of the business as we try to grow even further. Probably our biggest obstacle has to do more with our aging bodies and the physical nature of “making” with metal selling at markets and shows.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Laughing Frog Studio creates high-quality, handmade, unique and one-of-a-kind upcycled vintage silverware jewelry, accessories and housewares that enchant the creative spirit, honor the eco-friendly lifestyle, and spread kindness and a sprinkle of humor as often as possible. Basically, we take vintage silverware and upcycle it into something new.

Most people have at least one set of vintage silverware in their home. I am willing to bet most people don’t use that silverware (despite its being perfectly use-able!) and it languishes somewhere in a dark drawer or box. We take those silverware pieces that are often times works of art in their own right and create something new which people are more apt to use on a regular basis – jewelry, accessories and housewares.

Matt and I make everything by hand, so each piece is unique, high quality and made with compassion. We do not mass produce or subcontract out any part of our process. We are very proud of every creation as well as the personal attention to detail and quality that went into the creative process of the piece.

According to Matt, “The destruction of a perfectly useful piece of silverware and the reconstructive transformation into a piece that is new but still holds the beauty of original is such a satisfying process. That fact that our customers agree is just icing on the cake.”

What were you like growing up?
Oh this great question. I was a goofball….I actually had nicknames relating to laughter. In grade school my nickname was “hyenia”, then in high school it was “hee hee”. (If you are wondering about middle school, my nickname was “Herc” for Hercules because I was able to beat up the boys.) So laughter, humor and goofiness has always been a tenant of my personality. Additionally, I identified a little with Fred Sanford (you win a gold star if you are old enough to know who that is) from Sanford and Son in that I never wanted to throw anything away. My folks gave me the chore of emptying the trash cans before trash day. Much to their chagrin, I was stockpiling “cool stuff” from the trash in my room!! So it’s not a big leap to making jewelry etc. from vintage silverware!

Matt was also a playful kid that easily laughed, in fact he is still very playful. Matt was an athlete and was a very good one at that, but he also had a very creative side. We just recently found an old home movie of him with some friends that made a film. The film was very Pink Panther with Inspector Clouseau. He was the lead actor, writer and director!! Additionally, he did lots of drawing and was very talented – I love going through all of his portfolios and notebooks from youth. In fact that is one of the things I fell in love with was his creativity and artistry. While in college, he majored in standard majors, but had a minor in art and he has a passion for pottery.

Pricing:

  • While each of our creations is hand-made, our pricing is quite affordable. Most of our creations range from$15- $95 with most of them falling between $20-$45.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jen Edmondson

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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