For centuries, gnomes have been known to be gentle creatures that ward off evil and bring good luck into the home.
This resonated with Nicki Sisson, a local nail-salon owner, who could not work during lockdown and started making gnomes from clay to keep herself busy.
Unknowingly, she was creating a small business that would, in months to come, take off with a bang.
She started experimenting with polymer clay, a clay which is baked in the oven, and when she found a picture of two baby Nordic gnomes on Pinterest, she decided to try her hand at gnome making.
“I have always been a creative person and fell in love with the little gnomes,” she said.
When her best friend and now business partner, Candice Miller, saw the two gnomes, she named them Wizzle and Wicket and encouraged her friend to start selling them.
While the two had talked about opening a business it was never Nicki’s intention to make and sell gnomes.
As lockdown eased, Nicki returned to work and said she decided to go ahead with the business after a conversation with a client.
“My client said she could not believe it was four months till Christmas. I then said I don’t want an elf on the shelf, I want a gnome in the home,” Nicki said.
She and Candice discussed it and decided to launch the business in October and Candice started working on a logo and designing their Facebook page.
But then Nicki accidentally launched their business when she posted a photo of a lawn of gnomes she had made on her personal Facebook page as a cover photo.
“People were asking how much they were, what sizes they came in and how they could order,” she said.
She then called Candice and said: “Guess what, friend? We have a business selling gnomes, and I have just accidentally launched our business.”
They then had to scramble to make more stock and come up with pricing and packaging as orders were pouring in.
Candice then posted a “sneak peek” of Wizzle and Wicket on their Facebook page and the response was overwhelming.
Another “sneak peek” of Trixie resulted in 1 200 people viewing the post in one day.
And how does Candice come up with their names?
It just pops in her head, she said.
Candice said she read up about the Smurfs and their personality traits as background but the names and personalities of the gnomes just come to her.
The gnomes come in four sizes: baby, junior, tween and elder and can also be ordered as a family of three or four. Each gnome is handmade and unique and can be custom made by order.
The gnomes are “trained” by the most senior elder, Grandpa Gigget, before adoption which could take up to seven days, depending on the size of the order.
Grandpa Gigget was the first elder Nicki made.
“He is not for sale and watches over the other gnomes,” Nicki said.
For more information about the gnomes or to place an order, visit their Facebook page.