The Face behind Sparkles in the ATL, L.L.C.
My name is Isabel, and along with teaching, being a mami to two boys and a wife to a supportive husband, I also own and run Sparkles in the ATL, L.L.C. As a home décor boutique, I specialize in custom wreaths/centerpieces/swags, host private wreathing parties and workshops, and am available for holiday decorating as well. You could say I like to stay busy. J
I kind of “fell” into this business…literally. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a competitive runner. At the time we became unexpectedly pregnant with our last son, I was training with the goal of eventually trying out for the US 24-hour team. I wasn’t concerned at what some might consider the typical sign of pregnancy, as I was logging nearly sixty to seventy miles a week at the time.
We eventually found out I was pregnant; however, I stuck to the goal and continued training throughout my pregnancy in the hopes of maintaining my fitness levels, although my short-term goal moved from competing to simply just running. By the end of the pregnancy, I completed a 50k, a six hour, and a marathon, all in the second and third trimesters. It took its toll though, and I officially took a rest after I hit 36 weeks.
Fast-forward and I realized having two kids was harder than having only one. There was no way I was going to be able to log the miles needed to continue training for my goal, so I decided to give track and field a try. I competed in the Master’s division and was making considerable progress, earning a spot in the Georgia 5k Championships and getting my mile down to sub 6:30. Coming from ultrarunning and only a year in, I was happy with the gains I was making.
A series of injuries in 2017, set me back; however, I still hoped to return to training. Unfortunately, I was permanently taken out after tearing my calf in two places later that July, grade 2 and a grade 3 tears. After months of PT, it became obvious to me that this was the end of my track and field days. My sports orthopedic confirmed what I had finally realized and eventually accepted, my days of competition were over. Even now, I still struggle with hills, hiking, etc.
To avoid plummeting into depression, my doctor strongly suggested that I pick up a “hobby.” It was shortly after Halloween, and Christmas has always been my absolute favorite holiday of the year, so I started with a wreath. It ballooned into a nearly 41 inch creations! A mailbox swag came next. From there, I started creating entryway garlands…for each room. By mid-December, the entire main floor was completely decorated with varying shades of greenery, sparkling baubles, and twinkling lights.
Friends started asking me to create pieces for them and offered to pay me for my services. Then, I gained more customers via word-of-mouth. By March of 2018, Sparkles in the ATL, L.L.C. was born and officially recognized. Shortly afterwards, I started my Etsy shop. By summer, I added private wreathing parties and workshops to my list of services. Now, I am also moving into craft fairs as well, including the Rose Lawn Festival in September. In the future, I would like to move into corporate events as well.
What I LOVE about UITC
I came across Unique in the Creek a few months ago after seeing the most gorgeous flower-shaped wreaths online. I did a bit of digging and discovered Laurie was behind it all! I decided to give it a go, and now I’m hooked! I love utilizing the UITC system for hosting my workshops and private wreathing parties. I’ve been able to take anyone from someone in their teens to someone in their eighties and help guide them in creating a beautiful wreath that they can be proud of and one made by their own hands!
I also use the system myself for my character wreaths and flower-shaped wreaths, as the UITC system cuts the time it takes to create one of those in half! And to me, time is money. J I also love that the board is just a starting point. As a designer, I can take it to any level that I want. It’s versatile and lends itself to both veteran crafters, those just beginning, and those that simply like a weekend DIY workshop.