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This artist knows for certain that laughter heals.
In early 2010, after months of suffering the devastation that comes with the sudden death of a beloved family member, Tamara started laughing (rather maniacally) in the middle of her shift as a medical lab technician. She realized at that moment [...] she was still standing. Still functioning (mostly), still providing, and still strong. And what a big, fat, ugly joke this part of her life had been. Unwanted, undeserved, and DONE. It didn't have to be the focus anymore. Even the darkest bits became humorous because they were so twisted, unfair, and wrong. And they did not define the future.
Tamara bought a button-making machine. She drew tiny little pictures and typed tiny snarky words. She opened an Etsy shop and sold them to people that laughed when they read them. She made magnets, bookmarks, gift bags. Her drawings got better. Her words stayed snarky, but became less bitter. She laughed more. Her customers laughed, too. They asked for more things, bigger things, and she grew.
In 2015, Amazon contacted Tamara and asked her to join them on their new Handmade platform. She did. And she grew. Because laughter heals, and is meant to be shared.
Tamara now runs her business from a shop on the Oregon Coast with her husband, Ace, whom she met along this journey. She illustrates and prints, he bakes mugs and does the heavy lifting. They both laugh a lot, and share the laughter with everyone who comes in the shop or visits online. Because laughter heals, as is meant to be shared.