By Kay Braddock
For Jim and Sandy Ross summer and fall seasons have come to signify a time of more than the typical leisurely pursuits. The couple, who returned to Terry in 1996, began making and selling magnetic jewelry about eight years ago. Although they continue to enjoy traveling and visiting friends, they now say much of those activities are centered around their jewelry making hobby.
“They (customers) do consider us friends,” Jim shared. “And we see them year after year.”
With their 6-by-10 foot cargo trailer in tow – filled with magnetic beads and already made and organized jewelry, the couple travels to craft shows and county fairs throughout the region. Last year they attended 17 events – this year’s number was cut down to 7.
One popular festival the couple makes a point to attend is Minot, North Dakota’s Hostfest, which claims to be North America’s largest Scandinavian Festival.
“From building to building they’ll have air tunnels,” Sandy explained, noting the annual festival’s popularity leaves them with little time to explore other booths, as they man their own.
Jim learned how to string the jewelry while in Arizona.
“A gentlemen from Spain asked me if I wanted to learn how to do it,” he shared, recalling one thing led to another, and before long Jim and Sandy were operating the man’s Yuma, Arizona booth much of the time.
“When we first met him he was doing a business of about $5,000 a day, easy,” Jim said, noting the booths location attracted traffic traveling between Phoenix and California.
“He had me stringing beads for him to start with,” Jim shared. It wasn’t long after that Jim began designing his own.
Learning the new hobby wasn’t difficult. “I just like doing that kind of stuff. So it was easy and fun. I would kind of lose myself in it,” he shared.
The magnetic jewelry pieces include necklaces, chokers, bracelets and anklets of varied sizes and designs. Most beads are black, but colored magnetic beads are available as well. Some pieces include only varied shapes of magnetic beads while others also include other stones of varied shapes and colors.
Custom-made jewelry is also offered, the couple explained. When a customer stops by their booth and requests a specific alteration to a piece, Jim can generally have the work done within 15 to 20 minutes.
Magnetic therapy asserts to relieve symptoms caused from arthritis, carpal tunnel, chronic fatigue, migraines and poor circulation, among other ailments.
Although reactions to the jewelry’s effect may vary from individual to individual, the couple says they have heard more positive reports.
“We find that it works best close to the site you’re trying to manage,” Jim said.
“Everyone’s a little different time wise healing,” Sandy added, noting some have shared pain relief within a few hours to a few weeks.
The couple shared several accounts of pain relief customers have experienced after wearing magnetic jewelry.
“We have a lot of stories like that,” Jim said, adding, “and I guess that’s what makes it fun.”
Published Sept. 2, 2009