Catinko Creations is owned by Emily W. MacDowell, who has been in the jewelry business since the 7th grade, when she first started selling handmade woven friendship bracelets. Her interest in making jewelry grew as she went to Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY, and continued as she studied abroad in Mexico and learned new braiding techniques from local artisans. In 2010, she moved back to her home state of Vermont and began selling her jewelry at local craft fairs alongside her mother, a fellow crafter. She also began planning her wedding for October 6, 2012. She made jewelry for all her bridesmaids, ushers, and mothers of the bride and groom. She sewed beads into her veil, and spent every weekend at the Dollar Store, Joann’s Fabrics or Michael’s, collecting supplies needed to put together her table decor at a fraction of the price. She taught herself how to make decor from natural supplies, such as slices of maple wood for cupcake coasters.
After getting married, she focused on the performing arts for eight years until the Covid 19 Pandemic emerged in March 2020, bringing everything to a sudden halt. She spent her free time outdoors, gardening and hiking and remembering her love of nature. During the long winter of 20-21, where contact with others was prohibited due to Covid, she began teaching herself resin techniques, posting videos of her making things to TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. She also learned wire wrapping and rock tumbling. She studied rocks extensively, and joined several hobby groups on Facebook for wire weaving, resin, and lapidary arts, learning directly from the pros. She found creating art to be meditative, a great stress reliever during very stressful times. In August 2021, she signed up for the Women’s Small Business course through Mercy Connections to get the business education she needed to grow Catinko Creations from a side hustle to a legitimate, sustainable business.