STEVENSVILLE — It’s been an extremely challenging first-year in business for Charmtree Jewelry Studio, a fully equipped metalsmith school in Stevensville. Navigating the pandemic for a ‘hands-on” business has been no easy task, said owner Melissa Kay-Steves. The challenges did not hold Kay-Steves back, instead the studio has not only survived, being forced to close its doors and cancel classes for 5-months, it renovated and revamped the studio per CDC recommendations, making the studio cleaner and safer than before, even adding an stair-lift to carry those in need safely upstairs to the studio, and then, back down.

On Thursday, Oct. 1, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Charmtree Studio will host a “social distanced” open house at its location; 1200 Butterworth Court, in the Thompson Creek Business Park, just off Marion Quimby Drive (behind Food Lion), to celebrate their first year in business and thank the community for its support. There will be live metalsmith demonstrations, prizes, a free make and take jewelry section (for kids and adults), raffles for a free workshop, student scholarship, a jewelry trunk show, wine, refreshments and more!

Instructors at Charmtree Jewelry Studio not only teach metalsmith workshops and classes to adults, there is also a teen and “tween” after school program, studio memberships with perks, open studio hours and events showcasing local businesses. The studio is designed with social distancing completely in mind while students work on projects.

Kay-Steves said she has no idea where the next year will take her, but one thing is for sure, she could not have stayed open this year without the support of her local community.

“This has been a wild roller coaster ride, but I buckled up and hung on and it sure paid off”, Kay-Steves said about her first year challenges. She received a grant from QACETD Small Business Recovery Fund, and also the Queen Anne’s County Arts Council reached out and offered her a mini grant that she is putting towards her Teen Metalsmith Program. “Never in my wildest dreams could I have anticipated the outpouring of help”, she added.

Donna Madej, of Pasadena, is a veteran metalworks instructor at Charmtree. She has been actively crafting ornamental metals for nearly 30-years. She most recently won first place in a national silver-smithing competition this past year. She also handles stone conversions that can be shaped in many fashions to make jewelry. The prices of the stones from around the world, on hand at Charmtree, depending on how rare the stone is, range from $18 up to $55.

Student Barbara Herendeen of Stevensville, said, “I started wanting to make jewelry when I was in my 20s. I had ‘the bug’ for it. I come here now because of my continuing interest. It’s a safe place and I enjoy the creative work and the people here. We’re all like a wonderful family!”

Jeanne Barr comes over from Annapolis as a student, “I enjoy the camaraderie of the people. We all seem to inspire one another,” she said.

“There’s not another place like this one on all of the Eastern Shore,” said Kay-Steves, “We have people who come here from as far as Salisbury and Cambridge.” She added, “Come see it you can make something incredible! We have people here from all levels, beginners and up.”

Kay-Steves is encouraging the community to come out to her open house Oct. 1, and learn what is offered. The studio will abide by guidelines for social distancing by only allowing 10 people inside the studio at one time. Refreshments will be available downstairs while awaiting entry. Folks are encouraged to RSVP at http://www.charmtreejewelry.com . For more information call 443-249-3338.

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