Who is Phyllis & Elsie?
My name is Shanna Barrow. All the pieces in this shop are handcrafted in my home studio in Waltham, MA. I started making jewelry as a little kid in New Hampshire, selling at my lemonade stand and later in local craft fairs. I took my first silversmithing class when I was 13 years old and later studied Jewelry and Industrial Design at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston.
Phyllis & Elsie is named for my maternal and paternal grandmothers. Both of these extraordinary women contributed to my development as an artist and shaped my interests and values.
Phyllis the conservator and Elsie the cultivator are the roots from which my own naturalist and creative passions sprouted, and through Phyllis & Elsie I hope to further the family legacy of creating and protecting beauty in the world around us.
Elsie Barrow was the queen of cultivation. Her gift for growing was so exceptional that our family claimed all you need to build a house was to “plant a brick and have Elsie tell it to grow!” She transformed her property in North Carolina into such lush, abundant, and hospitable gardens frequented by so many birds and animals it was granted special status as a wildlife habitat. She also raised and trained Boxer dogs for competitive obedience and I have many early memories of frolicking in her gardens alongside her joyful pups.