Meet Mama Gnome

I'm Janis Doherty and the talent behind all the Gnome and Garden gnomes you see here. 

Gnomes are a passion of my husband's actually. It's fun to see the bigger garden gnomes hidden amongst our garden. A few years ago, I decided to freshen up the gnomes we had with some paint and repairs. Most of them are the plastic or resin kind you find in the garden centres. We had to say goodbye to some old friends because they were past the point of repair from hail damage or just old age. Nevertheless, everyone was looking spiffy again. I absolutely love painting things and this was a task I didn't mind at all.

One day in mid 2021, I was at a point of midlife frustration trying to find a direction. I had written a book called Find HER - 20 Revealing Questions to Discover the Woman Within, had it published and sold over 150 copies, I'm a breast cancer survivor of 2 years and I was still looking for something fulfilling. I'd spent the previous 5 years working on myself and helping other women through coaching, speaking and writing. I was still lost and didn't know what it was I needed, so I sat down in my hubby's office, with tears in my eyes, and started explaining how I was feeling. His response, without batting an eye, was, "why don't you make gnomes?" A little confused, I responded "I've never made a gnome before". In that moment, I had the choice to ignore that odd suggestion or take it upon myself to see what I could do. So, I did and the journey of Gnome and Garden began.

I started making gnomes in late May 2021 and sold my first pack of Gnuggets on June 14, 2021 to a lady I used to work with. Then word got out and I have made over 700 gnomes in 5 months. The learning curve was a steep one but, I figured it out and change my process as I discover a new and better way to create my gnomes. I make the original gnome from clay, create a latex or silicone mold, mix and pour concrete into each mold, clean up the gnome with my dremel, handpaint each gnome and clear coat them for a spiffy finish. 

I've gone from a small room in our basement to overtaking what was the family tv room area in 5 months. We've even added a 3D printed gnome (currently the Santa ornament) and more coming in the new year. I've got my gnomes in multiple locations around Alberta including Spruce It Up Garden Centre in Calgary and we just opened our online store. I'd say I'm making great strides with these little guys. 

I'm constantly smiling, even at 11pm as I'm trying to paint a final nose or hat. The joy I find in creating my gnomes is so incredibly fulfilling. If I would have discounted the idea of making gnomes, I don't know what I'd be doing today. Sometimes the greatest gifts comes in the funniest packages. I'm so glad I opened mine. 

In addition to gnoming, yes gnoming is a verb in my world, I'm a mum to two amazing grown sons, remarried to Papa Gnome, stepmom to 3, author, gardener, entrepreneur and a happy and fulfilled soul.