Sparkles n' Sawdust is a small business, that is independently owned and operated by local Artist Jacquelyn Miccolis. What began as an entrepreneurial dream turned into a life long pursuit. After working at The Halifax Seaport Market, Jacquelyn's passion for the business side of the handmade industry grew. She had a vision of opening a small handmade boutique, to primarily support non-established Artists and those facing barriers.
After being denied every type of funding for her business, Jacquelyn was determined to not let it hold her back. She paid out of pocket for her first month of rent, with money earned from working a regular - hourly wage job and with a little help from family and friends through a crowd funding campaign. With merely a two-hundred dollar budget, she launched her business by handmaking and improvising every aspect - from the signage to the retail display fixtures. It was a ginormous venture to undertake and definitely far less than traditional. March 2019 was the birth of Sparkles n' Sawdust Shop - the little shop with a big heart!
With a history of battling both depression and anxiety, she had a mission to create a warm and inviting space for all walks of life to feel joy, without judgment. With a focus on promoting mental health awareness and anti stigma, she held numerous free public events to support this mission. Unfortunately though you can't pour from an empty cup and as time went on, her own well being began to suffer. After 6 months of running the shop solo, she was feeling the effects of burnout and decided to close the door. Not knowing what lay ahead, she took some time to reflect upon her journey and made some big decisions.
As an Artist herself, she is most passionate about sharing her love for art and inspiring others to explore it's therapeutic benefits. While selling art and handicrafts, was at times enjoyable; she found that it restricted her creatively. The aspect that she enjoys most about being a small business owner is the people. Through running the shop, she met so many talented, kind and amazing people - from all walks of life. She knew that wherever her journey took her next, that she would always be grateful for the people who encouraged her and helped to keep her spirit alive.
With Halifax being a city that has such a vibrant art community, Jacquelyn noticed a gap in the industry. After a brief closure she, decided to restructure her business and re-designed the space. She created a new website, signed up for new social media accounts and October 2019 Sparkles n' Sawdust re-opened as an Adult Art Centre. Still operating with a lot of heart, but with a sole mission of spreading the joy of art and creativity!