BY NICOLETTE REIDY | PHOTO BY STAFF
On a recent steamy Saturday morning, I strolled the Fairport Farmers’ Market in search of local business woman, Mary Anne Green of ‘Little Green Apple’ Artisan Jewelry. While I first spotted the large ‘Little Green Apple’ banner alongside her tent to confirm that I had found her, I also just happened to approach Mary Anne as she was so fittingly eating…a green apple!
I had to wait a few minutes before I was able to introduce myself, as there was quite a swarm of patrons admiring her work. I didn’t mind the wait, as I perused her beautiful collection of custom necklaces, charms, earrings, bracelets, and rings- some made out of unexpected materials, such as buttons and keys.
Green never planned on beginning her own jewelry business. Having always loved art and jewelry, Green got to take some art classes while enrolled as a physical education major at Ithaca College. It wasn’t until years later, when she would see jewelry at various craft fairs that she thought, “I can do that!”
After taking some jewelry-making classes about five years ago, Green began making pieces just for herself. Soon, others began inquiring about her jewelry, asking her to make up items as gifts or for home parties. With her popularity rapidly growing, she signed up to have a stand at the Fairport Farmers’ Market. After waiting two years for a spot to open, ‘Artisan Jewelry by Little Green Apple’ is now in its third successful year at the market. Mary Anne also participates in the annual Fairport Canal Days.
Each item in Mary Anne’s ever-changing collection is handmade, unique, and versatile enough for special occasions to everyday wear. Green states that “you’ll get a lot of mileage” out of her pieces. She continues to take new classes and add more techniques to her repertoire, including a metal class where she learned how to make silver rings. She is so involved in every step of the process, that Green jokes, “The only thing I don’t do is dive into the ocean for the pearls!”
Green’s jewelry is a clever combination of traditional and fine materials. Her newest pieces are being made with sea glass and beach stones (and yes, she drills the holes in them). When asked where she gets her design inspiration, Green replied, “I sketch my ideas first. Sometimes I’ll look at magazines and what people are wearing, but most of my ideas just pop into my head, and usually late at night!” Green also said that she likes to “treasure hunt” at garage sales and antique stores for vintage lockets and charms to use in her creations.
Mary Anne’s jewelry success has grown quickly in just a few years, and not just around Fairport. She shared with me a story about a customer from out of town that received not one, but two pairs of ‘Little Green Apple’ earrings for a recent birthday from two different friends. And of course, there was no need to worry about having the same pair, as each piece in Green’s collection is one-of-a-kind.
Although her Saturdays at the market keep her plenty busy, I asked Green if she has any plans to expand further, perhaps with a website? “No website yet,” she states. “I prefer the face to face interaction. I love meeting people.” However, she is dabbling with the idea of selling her merchandise on the popular website www.Etsy.com over the winter.
Mary Anne resides in Fairport with her husband Dave, a fellow physical education major, whom she met while at Ithaca College. Together they have three daughters and one son that are keeping art in the family with talents ranging from fashion to photography. Aside from her jewelry career, Mary Anne is also a personal trainer, and enjoys running, biking, and swimming. When we spoke, the Green Family was just about to leave for their annual vacation to Maine, where Mary Anne plans to pick up more jewelry supplies and no doubt, more design ideas.
Visit Mary Anne Green of ‘Little Green Apple’ Artisan Jewelry at the Fairport Farmers Market, Saturdays from 7am to 12pm between May and November