Here's another in the Kos Katalogue series of Kossacks with small businesses. My husband and I are North Star Armoury, and we make jewelry with a historical flavor. Some of it is appropriate for historical re-enactors. Other bits are just for pretty. When we're not selling at various SCA events, we put goodies up on our Etsy shop. So, who are we and how did we get into this line of work? Follow me below the inscrutable squiggle and see!
North Star Armoury began back in 1980 (or was it 1981? Time softens the sharp edges of memory), with my husband, Max, making armor for people in the Society for Creative Anachronism .
For years, North Star was something Max & I did to supplement our day jobs. We kept a metal shop down in our basement and worked on projects that interested us. If they sold, great; if they didn’t, oh well. We moved to Texas from Virginia in 2004, so I could afford to go to college. I’m in my last year of a history/religious studies double major (one. more. semester. Yay!)
Max isn’t interested only in armor; he makes historical jewelry, too. He started out making Viking women’s oval brooches and other sorts of medieval gee-gaws. Then I started taking his pretty metal bits and putting them together with beads. Then he discovered the cool things you could do with hand-stamping metal.
Then he got laid off. In 2009.
At first, the armor/jewelry business supplemented unemployment. Then the unemployment ran out about this time last year. Now, the business is what is keeping a roof over our heads and food on our table. It could be a lot worse; many people we know are in the same boat, and they don’t have anything to fall back on.
Anyways, we opened an Etsy shop a few years ago, so we’d have someplace to sell both our Viking/Anglo-Saxon/medieval goodies and the things that weren’t entirely historical. We do a bit of this and a bit of that, and we take custom orders.
If you’d like to see what we’re up to, our Etsy shop is: