Potato Bracelets Are a Hot Seller

| 6/6/2013 11:08:00 AM

Grace HarmsEvery time Grace sells a potato bracelet, she stashes her earnings in a container in her bedroom closet so she won’t spend it. That way, someday she’ll have enough money for medical or veterinary school.

“I’ve always loved animals,” Grace told me recently when I stopped in to ask about her home-based jewelry business.

Grace makes the bracelets by dehydrating chunks of potato that are then painted by squishing them around in a plastic bag with paint. Netting 66 cents per bracelet, it may take Grace a while to achieve her goal. But, at age 11, she has the time, ideas and talents to get her there.

“She’s always making something,” laughs her mother, Nichole Harms, from their home in rural Oregon County, Mo. With a natural flair for color and design, Grace is the youngest member of the newly formed Oregon County Food Producers and Artisans Co-Op where she sells her homemade potato bracelets and necklaces, clay earrings and colorful woven potholders. Her work sells quickly, attracting attention in the new co-op with her handcrafted signs.potato necklace

“Put a new, stylish hair barrette to your grocery list! This barrette was made and tested, so it works fine!!” reads one sign colored with sunshine and smiles.

Besides being a Marine veteran and mother to Grace and 14-year-old Christian, Nichole is also their teacher. What started as a summertime experiment two years ago to allow more time with dad Travis, a railroader, has turned into a fun, fulltime adventure for the family.

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