There is a hidden gem in the North Thompson Valley, and it can be found nestled on a quiet road in the community of Barriere.
The gem is Sherheart Designs, and it is a dream come true for “owner, designer and artist” Sherrie Humphrey, previously known to many as ‘The Bead Freak’.
“I am doing my heart work now”, said Sherrie as she describes her new venture which has been “a soft opening” since last December.
“My whole life has been ‘crafty’,” tells Sherrie, “Upside and recycling are not new to my family, we have always re-purposed and recycled even when building homes, making furniture or doll cloths – that’s who we are.”
Her “crafty” business is based in what used to be her husband Ryan’s shop, which she comments “he so generously donated to the cause” so she could start her own store and gathering place right next to their home. Their house is 95 years old and was the original Fadear family homestead “with a lot of history” on the property.
When you walk into Sherheart Designs it looks nothing like a car port, instead you feel like you’ve taken a step back in time, into a quieter time, a time where everyone re-purposed and recycled as a way of life, creating beautiful things from their own hands.
“Everything that is in the store when we were renovating the building is either recycled or re-purposed,” said Sherrie, “The front counter top was actually an old sofa I found here that was waiting to go to the dump. I broke it all down and made this counter top with it, and it is beautiful.”
Sherrie says some of her projects include making an old coffee table into a bench, and a pair of end tables from an old oak desk that “was a really tough project” because she had to take it completely apart and then reconstruct it. “It was really beautiful,” she said, “Vintage 50 to 60 years old.”
Her store is filled with numerous items to choose from; jewelry, up-cycled furniture, reclaimed home decor – and all handcrafted by Sherrie.
“I believe that anything can be re-purposed,” she says, “I think, “give it a chance, give it a lick of paint, and it can be brand new”. I think it is really important not to throw stuff into the landfill.”
Her re-purposing passion is evident throughout the store where you can see beautifully restored coffee tables, picture frames made from window frames, pictures on the wall from times gone by, handcrafted messenger bags from reclaimed fabrics, and lace produce bags – all from re-purposed materials. Best of all are the prices, easily affordable, and all of her handcrafted items make wonderful gifts or ‘keepers’ for those who purchase them.
Sherrie says a large part of her “heart work” is to help others to learn how to re-purpose, to make jewelry, to learn furniture redesign and more. The Creation Station, which is a large room attached to her shop offers a wonderful workshop area that people can rent hourly or by the day to work on their own furniture finishing projects, or to give their own classes or workshops. Sherrie also gives classes in this regard as well as classes in jewelry making, wire wrapping, basic bead stringing, bracelet making, lantern making from cedar shutters, and so on.
“I want people to be able to come here so they can learn how to do everything from scratch,” says Sherrie, “I want to help others open up their world of creative possibilities.”
But Sherrie’s wish to help others doesn’t end there. She also has the “little inspiration library” and says she is more than willing to offer the use of it to others.
“People can borrow books free of charge from my library,” tells Sherrie, “If it is about making anything, I’ve got it – sewing, crafting, decorating, basic jewelry, and more.”
She also has a huge ‘work station’ area. “Anything someone might need for a small project I have got here; paint, glues, screws, manual tools and their is no extra charge for utilizing them.”
For those who are thinking about taking a class she can sell the jewelry supplies needed to people who would be in the class. The shop really is a “hearts desire”, and if you look at the flooring in the main area you will see a multitude of hearts and patterns painted onto the floor. Sherrie says the hearts on the floor are for the kids who come into her store. “I tell them to count how many hearts are on the floor and they can win a prize!”
Sherheart Designs is well worth a trip to check it out. You won’t be disappointed, and be prepared to learn plenty from Sherrie Humphrey about re-purposing, recycling and artistic design and imagination.
“This is my passion,” says Sherrie, “Everything I create is a little bit of me.”
You can find Sherheart Designs in Barriere at 4334 Railway Avenue. They are open Wednesday and Thursday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. You can reach them at 250-672-1872, email: email@example.com, or find them on Facebook or Instagram.