TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Even on a slow day at Trunk Show, there is life inside. Two orange white fish swim laps in their fish bowl and listen to Billie Holiday. They watch their owner as she strings and hammers and glues old findings into new jewelry.
“It’s nice to have some life in here with me,” said Jaclyn Woznicki of her fish. Jaclyn is the owner of Trunk Show in Tahoe City. She rescued the pets to give them a better home in her art shop in the Cobblestone Center.
The fish have a 360-degree view of the ceramic mugs and wall hangings, locally made T-shirts and candles, vintage suitcases and artisan purses.
“Today their names are Harold and Maude,” Jaclyn said of her pets. “It’s not like they’re going to remember or like they come to you when you call them,” she added, laughing.
CALL IT HOME
Trunk Show and the lake itself is also a now home for Jacyln. The Pennsylvanian hitchhiked her way out West to live in Tahoe 10 years ago. However, her connection to home and roots is still strong.
Her jewelry line, “Bella Petunia,” is named for the nickname her Italian grandmother called her as a girl.
“I can still picture her shaking her hand in the air and squeezing my cheeks as she said it,” Jaclyn said. “And boy, she sure had a firm grip for an older woman!”
Bella Petunia is a creation of older objects recycled to make new and different jewelry. Jaclyn said she uses everything from vintage buttons, fabric flowers, hardware or other jewelry to create something one-of-a-kind.
“I am always inspired to try putting new and unexpected things together,” she said. “Even as a child, I’ve always loved to tear apart old necklaces, bracelets and earrings to rearrange them with new findings, turning them into my own creations.”
LOSS TO LIFE
It was as a young girl the artist experienced one of her greatest losses. But Jaclyn chooses to see the tragedy of her mother’s death a positively as possible.
“It caused me to examine my life differently,” Jaclyn said. “If things had gone differently I think I’d be back home in the suburbs, married with a couple of kids.”
The loss of her mother gave her strength and bravery to cultivate her artistic side and share her art with the world.
“This is the life I’m supposed to live,” Jaclyn said. “I think about this job in a good way and I feel good bringing art to people who didn’t realize they wanted to see it.”
ART SHOW TO TRUNK SHOW
Trunk Show was born out of “DeFlowered Art Show,” a Tahoe City event Jaclyn put on for four years. Creating, organizing and promoting local artists gave her the confidence to open a brick-and-mortar location last June.
“DeFlowered Art Show was the catalyst of the hours of dreaming, brainstorming and highly caffeinated and inspired planning that eventually became Trunk Show,” she said.
Trunk Show is the shop where Jaclyn displays the jewelry she designs and makes. The shop also shows and sells metal art, photography, tote bags and sculptures made by regional artists.
Holly Redpath’s Sierra Essential candle and aromatherapy collection is featured at Trunk Show, as is and Tahoe Basic’s “Home” T-shirts and Melanie Frakes’s nature-inspired ceramics.
“A bit of my mission is to bring that into our community,” Jaclyn said of Frakes’s work. “It’s one of the oldest art forms.”
Promoting art of all kinds is important to Jaclyn. While making jewelry she invites children to watch and ask questions.
“Art teaches us to think outside the box,” she said. “With schools cutting art programs, I am so afraid that kids are getting the message that art isn’t important. Without art, we may never have another creative or original thought.”
To encourage art and artistic expression in adults, Jaclyn hosts a Sip n’ Shop the first Friday of every month. The event has live music and art demonstrations. It offers a platform for people to gather, socialize and talk about art.
“We have to encourage and remind people to do things for themselves again and that includes making art,” Jaclyn said.
ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY
In celebration of Trunk Show’s first year in business, Jaclyn is hosting an anniversary party June 14. The party will have live music, complimentary cocktails, live paintings as well as an art sale to benefit Tahoe SAFE Alliance.
“I am well aware of the fact that being a business owner is not an option for women in every country and this is my way of showing my appreciation for the opportunities I’ve had in life,” Jaclyn said. “My hope is to have an anniversary party every year and do a fundraiser for a different local organization at each one.”
Jenny Luna is a freelance reporter for the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza and Sierra Sun newspapers. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Art teaches us to think outside the box … Without art we may never have another creative or original thought.”
Jaclyn Woznicki, owner of Trunk Show