When Alison Donnelly came across a unique piece of keepsake jewelry in England where her family was stationed, she knew she had to have one.
Donnelly was so impressed, she eventually decided to buy into Smallprint, the company that created the jewelry.
“I got my first set, and absolutely loved it,” she said.
Smallprint was founded by a mother of two in Bristol, England, in 2004. The company creates handcrafted jewelry, name tags and Christmas ornaments adorned with handprints, footprints and other creative designs in fine silver.
After working in the corporate world for many years and with young children at home, Donnelly, who now lives in Killeen, said she was ready for a change when she and her family returned to Texas in 2012.
“I’ve worked with Gap Inc. for 12 years, and the thought of going back to a Monday through Friday job was scaring me,” she said.
Donnelly showed off the Smallprint jewelry to friends and family on Facebook, and inquiries started pouring in. This gave Donnelly the idea to buy into the company and own a piece of the action herself.
“It’s a rich company in 22 countries, just not in America,” Donnelly said.
She requested information from the company, talked it over with her husband, and in November 2012, launched Smallprint Central Texas.
Donnelly is interested in art. With her husband in the military, Smallprint offers her the best of both worlds.
“I can get my artsy thing, be with my family, and make jewelry,” she said.
By word of mouth and through jewelry parties and trade shows, Donnelly’s clientele has skyrocketed. Laura Frye is a fan of Smallprint Central Texas.
She met Donnelly at her Smallprint booth at a Christmas bazaar at the Fort Hood Officers Club and commissioned a piece made with her 3-year-old grandson’s fingerprints.
“I just thought it was the neatest thing I had ever seen,” Frye said. “She rolled out her kit and explained the process. She sat with my grandson and she was very good with him.”
Frye gave the finished piece to her daughter for her birthday.