This week we meet Silver Hill Treasures and learn about how Karen is exploring beautiful, venerated Western traditions, such as sacred medals, handmade rosaries, and the use of a veil before the Blessed Sacrament. Join her on her journey, and enjoy her delicate handicrafts. :)
1. Tell us about yourself.
I’m Karen, a cradle Catholic born and raised in beautiful Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I met my husband at Iowa State University, where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Finance) and a minor in French. A great blessing while in college was to spend a summer in France, studying French language and culture at the Catholic University of Lyon, France.
We have 5 children, aged 17, 14, 8, 5 and 3. Our two oldest attend our local Catholic High School and this is my second year homeschooling the younger ones. We use Seton Home Study School and we love it!
I’ve always loved France and so it was quite fitting that when, in early 2007, my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I asked for the Italian Miraculous Medal that he had bought when we lived in Honduras and didn’t wear much.
I started wearing it regularly and later that year I learned to make rosaries, most of which I would give away to friends and family. Wearing the Medal then led to starting my business, Silver Hill Treasures.
2. What do you make/sell?
Currently, I have a web store and an Etsy store. My web store carries everything that I don’t make myself – Spanish and French mantilla veils, mini snap clips for the veils, veil and rosary pouches. I also offer free downloadable pamphlets on veiling.
My Etsy store carries everything handmade and/or vintage – handcrafted rosaries, vintage mantillas, fabric and crochet headbands, and downloadable vintage PDF patterns.
In late 2009 I had a thought: “I should be veiling at Mass”. At first, the thought was confusing, almost ridiculous. Nobody wore veils to Mass anymore. Yet the thought wouldn’t go away. At the time, I didn’t understand the significance of the veil. (If you want to learn more about why Catholic women veil at Mass, click here).
Not fully understanding what was happening, I decided to find a veil store and look around – maybe even try one on and be done with this idea once my curiosity was satisfied. But my search proved challenging. I asked my mom about veils – after all, she grew up wearing one!
She shared a wealth of information, including that French and Spanish veils were the prettiest and fit the best. My search for European veils began and the only Spanish veils I found started at $96 for one veil. The French veils were nowhere to be found.
Finally in early 2010 I found a lace maker in Barcelona, Spain. The good news was he had authentic Spanish veils available. The “bad news”? The minimum order was 30 veils! I only needed one, and as I spoke to Our Lady and then my husband that evening, I “realized” that there had to be more women wanting a Spanish veil at a reasonable price, and so Silver Hill Treasures was born.
I have been wearing a veil at Mass and Adoration, and anytime the Blessed Sacrament is present, since February 2010. Silver Hill Treasures has been under the patronage of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal from the very start.
At first, I ran the business part-time, while still working outside the home. Then in 2012, while expecting our 5th child, we made the decision to have me stay home with our kids and run Silver Hill Treasures full time.
3. What else would you like to share?
We need to be open to God’s will in our lives. Had someone told me back in 2007 that the Miraculous Medal would change my life I never would have guessed just how much! Is it easy running a business, while homeschooling and keeping up the home? Rarely. In fact, more than once I have thought that maybe it was too much, but curiously every time I think I should stop selling veils something happened to reinforce that this is what Our Lady wants me to do. Plus, I’m definitely happier than when I worked in the corporate world.
Is it easy wearing a veil at Mass, and often being the only one? Nope, it takes courage and deep trust in Jesus and Our Lady. Even though I may not know why they are leading me a certain way, I have come to realize that God’s ways aren’t my ways – but they’re always better than anything I could dream up.
In the fall of 2012, I added French veils to my store. Then, about a year ago, my friend Mary suggested I start offering my rosaries for sale. This year I’ve added vintage mantillas, crochet and fabric headbands, and digital PDF patterns. I’m considering offering other Catholic crochet products too, we’ll see what Our Lady leads me to next!
4. Contact information
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