• Big Poppy, a tribute to Sox slugger, David Ortiz. It smells of mango and contains, you guessed it, poppy seeds.

• Grapefruit Moon, pink grapefruit and a floral scent. "It's very feminine," says Gonzaga. "I really dig that one.''

The soap seed was planted years ago after a youthful Gonzaga washed her hands with her Grandma Stella's chunky bars of homemade soap. After getting a college degree in illustration, Gonzaga worked in marketing, but eventually decided her future was in soap.

Her company, Stella Marie, is named after Stella, her Polish grandmother, or babcia, and Marie, her French grandmother, or memere. She also makes body scrubs, lip balms, shea body butter, and fun stuff including soap shaped like a cupcake. Custom orders (she once made a root beer float — to wash with, not drink) are welcome.

The soaps, at $6 a bar, are so popular Whole Foods at University Heights is set to start selling them in the spring.

"I love making soap!" says Gonzaga.


Her products are at Rhody Craft 100, Hall's on Broad-way in Providence, and the River's Edge Flowers & Gifts in Cranston.

SEQUINED SASH One of Santos’s belts.

What better way to perk up a pair of drab jeans than with a belt that sparkles — literally. Sherry Santos's belts are bursting with sequins. But don't get the wrong idea: This isn't a tacky sash for a dance recital at the fireman's hall.

The sequins are subtle, happily glittering between strips of fabric in colors that pop — purple, pink, buttercup. The price: $20 to $25.

Santos, 35, who lives in Warwick with her husband and two cats, learned to sew in a home economics class at Seekonk High School, where she made wool hats from old sweaters for friends.

Those disk-shaped shiny beads also fascinated her, and three years ago she decided to put them on belts. The result: Red Thread Belting, named for the belt's red zigzag stitch.

Like most crafters, she works out of her house. Her full-time gig is at Whole Foods at University Heights, where she fusses over the flowers. "The door is wide open for artists now," says Santos. "Everyone is looking for something different and unique."

You can find her belts at Craftland, as well as Kreatelier on the East Side.

21ST-CENTURY NECESSITIES Herried’s line of jewelry is called Individual Icons.


Lee Ann Herreid never doubted herself, even in the lean years when she was living in an old mill in Fall River, Massachusetts, and couldn't come up with the 50 bucks to pay her rent. She forged ahead, and now her jewelry is selling worldwide.

"People didn't think I'd be able to do this," says Herreid. "They told me to get a job, blah, blah, blah. But I was absolutely convinced that I could do it. I did do it. I had the faith that it would work, and I stayed with it."

Herreid makes jewelry that, as she puts it, no 21st-century traveler should be without: compass rings and pendants; ruler bracelets; thermometer earrings, and cufflinks with tiny, liquid-filled levelers.

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