At age 70, a lot of people might not be thinking about starting a business or getting involved in anything new at all. But that's not the case for Shirley Morris, who is making and selling beautiful jewelry.
Morris is soft-spoken yet direct when she explains how she became involved in this new hobby.
'I got into it this last year in Arizona,' she said. 'We go there for the winter months and stay in an RV park. I have arthritis in my toes. A neighbor brought over a magnetic anklet and I was so impressed with its effect on my pain. A lot of men and women who also stay at that RV park or who live in Arizona use magnetic jewelry.
'The jewelry relieves the pain from conditions like arthritis and carpal tunnel. It is not a cure, but it really can reduce pain. I make earrings, anklets, bracelets … they really do work and it is quite amazing.'
Morris took a jewelry making class and first learned to make very simple, and as she calls it, 'plain, bland' jewelry. But now that she has the techniques down, she decorates her creations.
'I make it attractive because I like pretty things and I know that most other women do too,' Morris said. 'I enjoy doing this so much that after the class I started making a lot of the jewelry, and I got such a collection that I had to start selling it. '
Though at first mention one might think this jewelry is mainly for grandmas or others on the senior scene, Morris shares happily that the pieces increase blood flow and are actually good for anyone of any age. She tells her clients about how the Chinese culture has used magnets for pain relief for thousands of years, and that magnets are used in mattress pads, shoe inserts and other products worn or used in close contact with the human body.
She is proud to share, 'I finally got my husband to wear some … I made him a necklace and put a charm on it with a wolf in the center.'
She said she makes many plain yet attractive pieces for men - things that are masculine, yet understated.
Besides making jewelry, Morris is also making a number of friends while selling her creations.
'It is really satisfying to me because so many people come back to tell me about the positive effects of the jewelry,' she said.
She is now selling her menagerie of lovely body décor with healing powers at the Tigard Area Farmers' Market every Sunday.
'We will travel again to Arizona this winter. We will continue travel and I will continue to sell my jewelry,' Morris said.
Her children are here in Oregon and she and her husband plan to keep returning to Oregon for a portion of each year.
Though she did various crafts over the years, the jewelry-making is new to Morris and she is delighted that her talent for design is working well for her in this new career.
When she is not making or selling Shirley's Magnetic Jewelry, she enjoys walking and shopping with her daughters. She also likes to relax and spend time with her three daughters, one son, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
When asked what she likes about living and now working in the Tigard area, Morris beamed and replied, 'There is no place on this green earth as beautiful as Oregon. I like the climate and it is a wonderful place to raise children.'