By Christina McDonough Hunt
Alex Sammartino began her jewelry business in 2016 and she’s enjoyed watching her unique designs gain in popularity.
“I’ve always loved making crafts and a few years back I watched a blog on how to make a clay necklace. I hated how it turned out,” laughed Sammartino. “I took the leftover clay and decided to make a pair of earrings. I loved them so much! I started my Etsy store [an online selling platform] and the business began.”
Martin City Trading Co. offers handmade earrings by Sammartino made from products such as clay, resin, glass, and wood. Sammartino loves working with clay and says that it offers her “unlimited possibilities”, but she’s had to also explore other materials because clay is becoming harder to find.
“More people are doing crafts since the pandemic hit,” she said. “There is a shortage of clay. So, I’m pivoting.”
Her design inspirations come in “batches” and are based on colors from her favorite items, such as her favorite sweater. She also loves creating designs to match her outfits.
In her few years in business, Sammartino has experienced success and has even partnered with a monthly subscription box business called The Bookish. The company purchased large amounts of the clay earrings that complemented their monthly theme.
“My husband and I would get off work and make earrings to fulfill the orders. We made earrings for months!” she laughed.
Sammartino and her husband live in Martin City with their dogs. She began her jewelry business as Tanglewood Lane and in January 2020, she relaunched as the Martin City Trading Co. She still works an 8 to 5 job, but hopes to grow her business beyond hobby level. She also plans to begin an Amazon store that will feature themed gift boxes that include her earrings and a handmade scented candle by Lumient.
“These boxes are great gifts,” Sammartino said. “For example, the teacher’s box will have a pair of my clay apple stud earrings and clay pencil stud earrings, plus an apple scented candle. We will even have a coffee lovers box!”
Sammartino has gained fans all over the U.S., but she is most excited for the ones she has here in Kansas City.
“I get so excited when I see a local order come in! We love the area and I love getting to share my designs with those who live here!”
Shop Sammartino’s designs at etsy.me/2tX1Nid.