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      Handmade creations

      Finding a job in today's economy can be difficult.

      Beth Millner started making jewelry while studying metalsmithing and art design at Northern Michigan University. After five years of showcasing her craft at art shows and music festivals, she transitioned to virtual format. Millner posted her work in on-line marketplaces and saw immediate results. She used the exposure with a strong mailing list and decided to take the next step.

      "This past winter, well almost a year ago now, I thought I'd like to open my own storefront. So I started writing a business plan and working with Northern Initiatives and the bank, and I figured out that whole world. Then I got the financing and opened up the shop," said Millner.

      Now customers can pick out pieces in person or submit designs of their own on-line through her website or Facebook page. Collaborating for custom orders can take a couple months, but Valentine's Day deals, like free engraving, still allow for a personal touch for that special someone.