Type of business: Devotional jewelry
Location: 116 W. Main St., Turlock; 820 6th St., Los Banos; Custom online orders
Contact information: Facebook, Handmaid Rosaries and Instagram, @___hmr___
Specialty: Rosary bracelets
History of business:
Four years ago, Turlock resident Allyn Medeiros was browsing the aisles of a craft store when she came across a wall of stunning beads. Immediately upon noticing the pieces, she knew she wanted to create something with them, but what?
Medeiros’ boyfriend at the time, who is now her husband, suggested that she should use the beads to make rosaries. Rosaries are strings of beads used in counting prayers, and are often used to pray the Roman Catholic Rosary — a devotion in honor of the Virgin Mary consisting of a set number of specific prayers.
Medeiros immediately fell in love with the idea and began researching how to make rosaries. Shortly after, she purchased some beads and began creating the devotional jewelry. Her mother posted a photo of Medeiros, along with one of her rosaries, online and soon, requests for the pieces were flowing in and Handmaid Rosaries was born.
“I loved seeing the response of faith-inspired women, and I decided that this hobby could be an inspiration of devotion to Jesus and Mary for more than just myself,” said Medeiros.
The name is a play on words inspired by the Bible verse Luke 1:38, which is the moment Mary says yes to being the mother of Jesus, referring to herself as a servant, or handmaid, of the Lord.
“This is important to me because I hope to be a servant of the Lord with this business, inspiring women to learn about, practice and enjoy their faith,” said Medeiros. “Having a business that inspires myself to grow closer to God and being able to share that inspiration with others is both a blessing and an honor.”
Medeiros began her business simply creating Rosary prayer tools, or the standard rosary beads that many are accustomed to seeing. As her rosary-making skills improved, she began creating different styles of rosary bracelets and other devotional jewelry like bracelet cuffs, bangles, steering wheel single decades and necklaces.
“I found that creating devotional jewelry that keeps up with trends is a fun and attractive way for women to be inspired to represent their faith and pray throughout their day,” said Medeiros.
Depending on the piece, each rosary can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to create. Medeiros finds both the beads she uses and rosary supplies in local stores, online and occasionally in the Fashion District of Los Angeles. In the past, she has also brought back beads, devotional medals and charms from trips abroad, such as Italy.
“The process of making my jewelry pieces is similar to knitting,” said Medeiros. “It’s repetitive, leaving room for meditation.”
Customers can find Handmaid Rosaries premade devotional jewelry pieces as well as original Rosary prayer tools in both OneSixteen Bijou, 116 W. Main St. in Turlock, and Bombshell Salon, 820 6th St. in Los Banos. Medeiros also creates custom-ordered devotional jewelry, and requests can be sent through a private message to either her Facebook page, Handmaid Rosaries, or Instagram account, @___hmr___.
“It is important to support local artisans because you know the crafts are carefully made with you in mind,” said Medeiros. “You know the person and their families that you are supporting with your business, and you know that you are investing in your own community.”