We recently got the chance to talk with Angela Marinelli, owner of Quiet Light Creations. Angela is the designer of our chaplet and has a passion for sharing the message of the rosary through her work.
1) Tell us about yourself: what did your faith look like growing up and as a young woman? What hobbies interest you?
Growing up I was the good little Catholic girl getting straight A’s in religion class and I thought of our faith as something to study that I just happened to know all the right answers to it, but I didn’t understand a true relationship with Christ until my freshman year of college. A lot could be told but the main turning point was when one of my friends gave me a Marian Consecration book. That preparation with fiery St. Louis and act of consecration in the beginning of a cold December led to some big changes in my life that I am forever grateful for.
2) When did you start making rosaries? Where did the idea or inspiration come from?
I think I started making rosaries sometime in high school, I remember getting a bead kit for a Christmas gift once and trying to think of new things I could make. I think I was probably wandering around my house trying to find some DIY inspiration, found one of our rosaries, looked at how it was made for a second and just tried my best guess at how it was put together. Then I started making rosaries for birthday and Christmas gifts. In college I started making rosaries for myself that I thought reminded me of a virtue I needed to grow more in at the time. The colors and textures I used reminded me of what I needed to pray for while I prayed it the next time.
3) How did QuietLightCreations come about?
Quiet Light Creations has been years in the making but the real steps towards an actual shop came during the summer before my senior year of college. While listening to the news that particular summer, I was getting overwhelmed with all the darkness in the world. So, one day while I was praying a rosary that I was making for myself, somewhere in one of those Hail Marys, I thought maybe I should do more to share this gift. So, for the last month before I went back to school, I decided to make a rosary a day each weekday. I quickly realized that I did not need 20 more rosaries for myself so I decided to sell them, but donate the proceeds to an organization benefiting veterans and their families as a thank you for their strength, sacrifice, and protection.
Over Fall break that year I started planning to open my shop and decided on the name, Quiet Light. It’s named after Mary in my favorite song about her. It’s just a simple line in the song that most people skip over but it always stood out to me and it just makes me feel close to her. Then I opened shop as I sat in my college library on Cyber Monday (perhaps better known that year as the feast of St. Catherine Laboure? ...No?) and made the first three sales in the first three days!
4) Any advice for running a side business?
Set aside time specifically for that. Sometimes I get home from work and I’m frustrated by the day and I push aside what I really enjoy. The hardest part of running my Etsy shop has been letting people know that it exists, but there are plenty of resources to help get the word out about your work. Two of the biggest helps for me have been scheduling social media posts ahead of time and running giveaways with other Catholic bloggers and artists. There was a point this past summer where I was spending more time focusing on how to market my shop than I was on making new items for my shop. It should not be that way, so now I sit down on a specific day of the week (usually a Tuesday for me) and spend just an hour making graphics for the Instagram and Facebook page and scheduling them to post automatically for the next few weeks (or months, I’ve done that too). It helps to keep your priorities straight. Every once in awhile I reach out to a new Catholic blogger I follow on Instagram to see if they want to do a giveaway. Giveaways are the best way to gain more followers who might just turn into shoppers! I try to get marketing out of the way first, so I can focus on the real mission and heart of my shop.
5) Where would you like to see QLC grow?
I started selling internationally a few months ago (we’ve gone to Sweden, Canada, and Rome so far!) I think it’d be awesome to start some new partnerships like I have with theYCW, designing a signature chaplet for different Catholic women’s groups (Blessed is She, are you reading? Is this a long shot? Carolyn are you laughing at me? You don’t have to include this)
I’d also like to incorporate some prayer cards into my shop for each saint that inspires my work right now. Now that these 10 collections are complete, I want to work on some new designs especially more unique ones like the Chiara Luce or Magdalene collections. I try to keep a balance of more traditional rosaries and more unique ones, though I myself have a bias towards unique ones.
6) How has your faith grown through this work?
My faith and appreciation for the rosary has grown immensely through this little shop. Over the years before it became Quiet Light Creations, I realized that I was much more likely to pray the rosary if I was making one while I prayed it. I attribute it to my physical touch love language and kinesthetic way of learning, but it’s probably just a little quirk about me (or sometimes short attention span). Luckily, God uses our weaknesses to inspire new and unique ways of sharing His love that might be exactly what’s needed to reach someone.
7) You recently created new collections, can you tell us about these?
When I started Quiet Light Creations, I tried to always make a new, unique design whenever I added a new item to my shop. This became a little hard to keep up with, so I recently reorganized my little shop to focus in on just 10 of these designs inspired by 10 unique saints. I also realized that a design I used for one rosary someone else wanted in a smaller chaplet rosary, so I made 4 different styles reflecting each design. Each collection includes a rosary, a chaplet rosary, a chaplet rosary bracelet, and a rosary wrap bracelet and an entire collection can be purchased at a discounted price (…this idea came from my own shopping woes of trying to find gifts for friends and family that are unique but still similar.)
The last day to order before Christmas is December 16th.
8) What is it that most attracts you to the Blessed Mother. Why is the rosary important?
Our Blessed Mother is mysterious. She’s a prominent figure in our Church but there is so much that we don’t know about her. And my favorite part is that God intended it to be exactly that way. Mary’s purpose is to bring us closer to Christ. She reflects any honor she receives from us, directly to Christ just as she reflects His love straight to us. She also completely terrifies Satan just by simply being herself, in her patience, humility, and gentleness. That’s incredible.
The rosary combines so many types of prayer into one. Once you realize that the repetition is the background music of meditating on the mysteries, the rosary becomes so much more creative than the sleepy echo of our basic prayers. Sometimes I view the mysteries of the rosary from a different character’s perspective and other times I place myself as a bystander in the scene and other times I compare the scenes of Christ’s life to my own. Every time a rosary is prayed, though it’s a structured prayer, the offering entrusted into Mary’s hands is still a unique gift from each person, every time. Though sometimes we think it's all just the same, Mary never hears the same rosary twice.