The historic and quaint town of Amador City is nestled in Amador County, just 45 minutes east of Sacramento and approximately 2 hours east of San Francisco, California. You may have passed through it on your way to Sutter Creek, Jackson, wine tasting or maybe even Tahoe. It's small enough to miss but I must say if you do, you're genuinely missing out. The best part of Amador City is not just the relaxing atmosphere, adorable 50's inspired diner, the genuinely happy people enjoying the beautiful elements or the Mayberry-esque park benches in front of the shops but owner, Sandy Jurisich of Country Living who greets you inside her "homey" boutique, makes you feel welcome and the soothing Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra & Platters music in the background.
Owner, Sandy was kind enough to give us insight into what makes her a successful shop owner, entrepreneur, businesswoman, crafter and genuine sweetheart!
Candace Rose: As a bay area transplant, what brought you to Amador City?
Sandy Jurisich: "I always was interested in antiques and old towns, and when I was working as a sales rep in the 60's, I was advised that I should go to the old town of Jackson. So, I went there on a day off, in 1970, for the first time. I fell in love with the area, never dreaming I would one day live here."
CR: How and when did you decide to become a shop owner?
SJ: "When I met my future husband in 1973 we thought it would be "so cool" to have our own store and since we were both "crafty" we thought we could make a living doing this full time. So in 1975, we bought our first home, and rented our first building in Amador City. We were just opening on weekends, because we had our "jobs"in the bay area, and would come here for a week-end "get-away"."
CR: When did you open your shop?
SJ: "I opened my shop in March, of 1975."
CR: You're very crafty, what inspires you in your craft?
SJ: "I feel I can make a hand-made item reasonably priced and of high quality. Usually you don't find this."
CR: As a shop owner, what inspires you?
SJ: "I love always finding new ways to decorate the store, plus always finding new and exciting items to carry in the store. I find it a challenge each and every day. You never know who is going to come in."
CR: I love your handspun yarn. How did you get started with it?
SJ: "The yarn. In the early 80's, I was making alot of macrame wall hangings. I wanted to put something real different in it. I think I had seen a pic of the idea. So, I took a few lessons in spinning, and off I went. I learned natural dyeing at first, and I became so involved with it, I just kept taking it one step further. I learned more involved spinning techniques to name a few. I love spinning because it is endless in what you can spin with a wheel."
CR: Is your beautiful handspun yarn available for purchase for my readers outside Amador City?
SJ: "Yes, my yarn is on my blog (sandyshandspunyarn.blogspot.com) and I have a video on the national geographic site (sierranevadageotourism.com). It is to view only on line as each skein of yarn is one-of-a-kind."
CR: Where do you see yourself in five years?
SJ: "I see myself doing just what I am doing at the moment, but I hope in 5 yrs I would like to work a day a week less. After working 42 yrs straight, it would be nice to have a little more free time."
CR: What is your favorite quote or personal inspiration?
SJ: "My favorite quote comes from the Bible, which is, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And that He does!"
CR: What advice do you have for women entrepreneurs?
SJ: "My advice is to anyone starting a business-have a passion for what you are doing. You can't go wrong if you are doing what you truly love. Love is more than anything else."
CR: What do you wish you had known prior to starting your own business?
SJ: "I started in business with "gut" feelings and I proceeded with "gut" feelings. I didn't know there were a lot of things to learn. I just learned them along the way, by trial and error. I have loved the journey."
CR: What are your favorite hobbies outside of your shop? How do you unwind?
SJ: "Both my husband and I love to go to flea markets, visit other stores, always to find motivation to keep on going. Always a new thought about something to make, or how to redecorate. We find a lot of enjoyment and motivation from this. We unwind by sitting on our wonderful porch, looking at the beauty of nature that surrounds us."
For those of you in Northern California or planning on visiting – Sandy will be having her annual Christmas Open House on November 6, 2010 from 10 – 5pm and her fabulous (and I do mean fabulous) annual porch sale at her house and in the town of Amador City the first weekend in June. FYI – You might just want to plan a trip to NorCal just for this!
Country Living Amador City
14171 Main Street
Amador City, CA 95601