Southwest Affinity is owned by Beverley and Curtis Jones and is now part of their other business, Fancy's Garden Natural Soaps, Cosmetics and Gifts. Fancy's Garden is located in the rolling hills of western Kentucky in a very rural area along the Ohio Valley where the dogwoods bloom and the people mostly farm or work in the coal mines. We make handmade soap and cosmetic products using natural and organic ingredients and many times herbs and flowers directly from Fancy's Garden. Fancy also makes jewelry, dolls, candles, quilts and other crochet and handcrafted items.
Fancy originally started Southwest Affinity back in 1998 and due to a disability that affects her ability to work and make jewelry she gave the business up in 2010. However, since that time it has gone through several different managers and owners. Recently, Eugene Gruber was no longer able to continue with the web site so it found it's way back to Fancy and her husband. Rather than watch years of hard work be lost, Fancy and Curt decided to down size Southwest Affinity and with the help of friends in Arizona is merging the two businesses together and southwestafffinity.com is now part of their soapmaking and gift business, Fancy's Garden located at fancysgarden.com.
For those that want to know more:
Written by Fancy
I started Southwest Affinity in 1998 when I lived in Arizona and my business partner, lived in New Mexico. We had contact with lots of Native American silversmiths and we started offering their handcrafted jewelry online until my disability got the best of me and I had to give it up in 2010. My husband, Curdog Jones, is a coal miner and loves it. After I gave up southwestaffinity.com to a Navajo artist that did a lot of work for me, I was forced to live the life of leisure, which drove me crazy. I have a need to keep busy and I am not able to get around like I use to, so I have focused on several different hobbies. When I am not able to work on one project than I try another so I have developed many such as making soap and perfume when my hands are not working well. Dolls, jewelry, quilts, and crocheting, when the hands are good, but the back isn't and with lots of help from my husband, we raise organic herbs for cooking and my soaps. If it were not for him, this would not be possible. He is a huge help to me and though you will seldom speak with him, he and some friends are the ones making it possible to make our southwestern turquoise jewelry and soap products available to you.
So how did I go from being a leader in the sales of Native American jewelry, especially white turquoise Native American jewelry, to soaps and cosmetics? Years ago when I started having issues with my immune system my doctor wanted me to move to natural and organic foods and products. So I started raising organic vegetables and herbs like, rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, mint, basil, etc. for cooking. My herb garden took off and before long I was drying them and giving them away to my family to cook with. Since natural and organic products are hard to find, I started making my own household cleaners, buying organic everything whenever possible and making an effort to remove harmful chemicals from my life. I have used natural homemade soaps for years and even made my own mix of conditioners when I worked as a cosmetologist. I studied cosmetology, received my license in Kentucky, and had my own salon for several years before my disability ended that career too. As you can imagine the chemicals I was exposed to didn't help promote a healing lifestyle for someone with an auto-immune disease.
So I took what I learned in cosmetology and studied the science and chemistry of soap making, educated myself as an herbalist and became a professional member of the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild. I love learning new things. When I decided to make soap my friends and family wanted them too, then a hairdresser friend offered to carry them in his shop, he had been looking for something natural for his customers and with the help of my husband, Fancy's Garden Natural Soaps and Cosmetics was born.
In addition to gardening and making soaps, I make beaded jewelry, dolls, crochet, knit, sew and make quilts. My family tells me I have too many projects, but I like to stay busy. When you have a disability that limits your activities you find how creative you can be. I have many because constant repetition is boring and hard on me physically, but mainly my disability dictates what activities I will be doing on any given day. If I am not able to get around, I would rather work on a doll or crochet something than just sit and watch television. I can't just do nothing, I am too OCD for that so I try to keep myself busy. I like feeling I have a purpose and reason to get up. When you feel bad, it is too easy to want to just lay around. I feel trying to keep myself as active as I can mentally, it will keep me younger and not allow me to give into my disability.
So that is me in a nutshell, my husband, Curdog, well he is one of a kind. He is a biker, first and foremost, and anything else he does is so he can ride. He says if he could figure out how to make a living riding, that would be what he would be doing. When we married he said "his bike will always be his first love" and if I "tried to come between him and riding" that it would be me that goes, not the bike. As crazy as it sounds, I knew he spoke the truth and admired him for it. He also loves coalmining and works as a roof bolter, though he says "pinning is a young man's job." I don't think he will do anything else, it keeps him fit and he just loves it. Man against machine and all that you know. Sometimes I feel I am living with John Henry. He is pretty much an adrenaline junky, that is what I call him. Thankfully, he is very supportive in everything I want to do and is a tremendous help in all my adventures. He helps with the gardening, unmolding, heavy lifting, acts as my critic, and is my partner in this adventure.
Well, that is a bit about us and how we started. I hope you will give us a try. If you have any questions regarding our product line, please contact me.
SouthwestAffinity.com has southwestern jewelry for all ages.
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