A new business open in downtown Bradenton promises to be a destination for those who love one-of-a-kind jewelry or for others who want to learn the craft.
“If you’re looking for a friendly, relaxed, no hurry no worry place, this is it,” said Laura Shely, owner of the new establishment.
Set in an industrial/retail building on the corner of Old Main St. and 3rd Ave. W., the colorful, eclectic space is divided into a gallery showcasing Laura’s creations and that of her students, and the workshop, where multiple wood benches, chairs and tools await.
Laura’s silver-smithing experience goes way back, as she studied for eight years both in her hometown of Stillwater, Minnesota and in Bradenton, Florida. Upon moving to Bradenton in 2008, she opened Tide & Moon Gallery at 200 Bridge Street on the island, where her daughter Alisha now runs the shop. Laura found her downtown Bradenton spot in February, a former storage space, and it took two months to clean out the clutter and retrofit the space into a studio and gallery. Laura’s done a superb job of making the space funky and fun. Kind of like her jewelry designs. Clunky and funky, Laura says there’s no ‘itsy bitsy’ to her designs and she attracts clients who like to look outside the box.
“I’m teaching so many of my long-term customers and friends of customers,” Laura said.
“The location is great and I get students from St. Pete, Palmetto, Bradenton and Sarasota.”
Her relocation to Bradenton’s downtown was driven by cost and her desire to teach rather than just design.
“I’m delighted to be one of the first ones down here,” she said. “Downtown Bradenton is so cool. And I located here so I could keep my costs down for my students.”
Laura offers classes Monday through Saturday, day and night for beginners, intermediates and advanced. At a price of $210, students will take six, three-hour classes in jewelry making, using sterling silver and sometimes copper and bronze. Gold is available as well.
“I have the real deal…no costume jewelry…I use all authentic, natural stones,” Laura said. And her designs are all one-of-a-kind.
In addition to teaching, Laura continues creating her jewelry for both her island and downtown shops. She also teaches her students to market their own creations using social media. Students’ work is also featured in shows this summer in the mall on Old Main St.
For more information, check out this studio gallery on FB at Tide and Moon Downtown Gallery and Teaching Studio or call 941-708-1960. Tide and Moon is located at 1209 3rd Ave. W. in downtown Bradenton.
photos by Patti Pearson