by Dennis Dalman
For Megan Coleman, a jewelry-maker based in St. Joseph, it’s been a long surprising journey from southeast Minnesota to teaching in two Mid-East countries and then to St. Joseph, which she happily calls a “charming” city.
“My neighbor is an artist, and she’s so down-to-earth,” Coleman said, adding the artistic ambience of St. Joseph inspires her own creativity.
When Coleman’s beloved grandfather (her mother’s father) passed away last August, she sat at her mother’s house with other relatives who were grieving the loss. An artist visited the home and brought bracelets for the mourners – jewelry dubbed “infinite jewelry” that reminds each wearer of a loved one who has passed on.
The name of Coleman’s jewelry business is “Certainly Wildflowers,” named after her young twin girls because she thought of them growing up to be strongly independent, strong-willed people, like wildflowers.
“It’s a super-small, 100-percent mobile business right now,” said Coleman, by which she means the sales happen at various shops and during gatherings of people. “I hope to continue to learn the trade, connect with other talented jewelers and see where my journey takes me.”
Coleman said she is grateful for the help and encouragement given to her creative efforts by local people and businesses, such as Bruno Press and the Pine and Fiber shop in St. Joseph.
Coleman’s life has taken many interesting twists and turns. Born and raised in southeast Minnesota, she enrolled at the Rochester branch of Winona State University there, where she earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in elementary education. It was there she met a fellow student, also studying elementary education, who would become her husband, Tim. She taught in Rochester for six years. Later, she and Tim decided they wanted to travel and see the world. They found job openings for teachers in American schools in the Mid-East countries of Saudi Arabia and Oman – first in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia and later in Muscat, Oman.
On her first day of teaching in Oman, Coleman was stunned to learn through a blood test that she was pregnant – stunned because she was almost positive that she and/or her husband were infertile. Six weeks later she learned she was about to have twin girls. They were born in Oman and are now 4 years old.
During their six years of teaching in the Mid-East, Megan enjoyed visiting “souqs” (pronounced sooks), the Arabic word for small shops offering unique items. One of them sold precious stones, beads and other kinds of jewelry, and that particular souq in the Saudi Arabian city of Al Khobar that was the inspiration for her “infinite jewelry” hobby. At first she dubbed her hobby/fledgling business “Knotted by Meg.” She hand-picked her beads and other materials from the many souqs in those countries.
After six years of teaching in the Mid-East, they moved back to the United States, and she decided to leave all her beads and other supplies to a dear friend in Saudi Arabia.
She described their time in the Mid-East as “tremendously amazing.”
The first week back in America, Coleman learned she was pregnant again, this time with a boy. The family eventually moved to central Minnesota where Tim had landed a job teaching fifth grade in Avon. It was 2020, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She described her husband as a truly phenomenal teacher with a heart of gold.
“It was a lot to become a stay-at-home mom during Covid, to leave the professional world, to let my educational passions go to the wayside and then just completely delve into and soak in motherhood,” Coleman said. “It was and still is a beautifully demanding journey.”
She said several factors convinced her to open her business in their St. Joseph home: local creativity of St. Joseph, her husband’s support and the desire to become part of the larger community. She opened her business in 2022. She learned how to micro-weld bracelets, necklaces and other items and then plunged into the creative process.
She is 100-percent mobile right now, giving jewelry parties at various places and selling her wares at businesses.
“I want to be the role model for my kids showing the balance of life, finding joy in what you do, following their passions and being kind to others,” she said. “The twins often say they have their own Certainly Wildflowers business, and they pretend, role playing what I do. It’s beautiful.”
Coleman told of a woman whose husband underwent double-lung surgery. So she, Coleman, decided to make a bracelet for him and one for her.
It meant so much to her that she could create those jeweled gifts for that couple, visual reminders that they, too, can get through a hard time with love intact.
“I hope to continue to learn the trade, connect with other talented jewelers and see where my journey takes me! I want to thank the community for their support already – the local places that have welcomed me in their doors since December. It means a lot to me! “
Anyone who would like to check out Coleman’s jewelry can contact her in one or more of the following ways: Her phone number is 320-247-7313. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and her works can be viewed on Instagram and Facebook (@certainly wildflowers).