For many, the phrase “think globally, act locally” –which urges people to consider the health of the entire planet and to take action in their own communities and cities– is a wonderful catchphrase that we all aspire to implement. But Urszula Abolik embraces this vision as a main tenet of her marvelous store-gallery-creative workshop-gathering place- called Amber Connection.
Located in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, Amber Connection was established to sell an amazing collection of amber jewelry. Urszula Abolik has had a lifelong passion for and interest in amber. Walking the beaches of the Baltic Sea, Urszula would discover pieces of the natural gem, noting their distinctive bubbles of air and water that contained irreplaceable fossils. “Amber fossils are 40 to 60 million years old and have been used in healing medicine and arts since ancient times,” said Urszula.
Urszula met with local artisans who for generations had created jewelry. The partnership developed into a line of incomparable pieces fashioned from the beach finds.
“As we worked on the jewelry pieces, we were constantly discovering extraordinary fossil finds in the amber. We gave and continue to give the fossils and artifacts we find to museums to add to their collections,” said the endlessly fascinating Urszula.
In December, 2004, the Art-Preneur fulfilled her dream of opening a retail store. In addition to the inspired amber collections, classic or original silver or gold pieces, Amber Collection offers one-of-a-kind fashions made from natural fabrics like 100% organic linen, flax and hemp. There is a Vintage Room for those seeking a collectible form of retail therapy. Special Sales coordinate with every holiday of the year. Guest Designers from around the world participate in Meet & Greet sessions with shoppers.
But the very special Amber Connection has evolved into much more than a retail store.
While jewelry and clothing were and are the mainstays of Amber Connection, Urszula presents a wide variety of special evenings, gatherings and get-togethers, rallies and festivals to incorporate the community into her projects.
There is an Open Mike Night For Poetry, another night for Musical Performances, Trunk Shows, Pop-Up Art and Photography Galleries, a Consignment Shop for Art Clothes, Argentine Tango Classes and Performance, Workshops for Customers who want to create their own jewelry, and Educational Seminars dedicated to learning about some of the most pressing issues of our time including saving our waterways and understanding fracking.
Recently the shop could not accomodate the number of people interested in participating in a festival, so Urszula moved the event to the nearby Allentown Arts Park for a “Save The Water/Be The Change” rally. The day featured local performers, musicians, dancers, speakers and more who educated the public on fracking with shows, presentations and science projects.
“Many of my customers that have met in the store have teamed up to work on projects—creative, political, inspirational and more. The customers are now active participants and creators. Many people have told me over the years that I should change the name of the store to People Connection,” smiles Urszula.
Hats off to human dynamo Urszula Abolik for creating the kind of small business that inspires and motivates so many people. Her inventive evenings, workshops and programs are a win-win for all. The events draw more customers into Amber Connection and the result is a wonderful time and experience for everyone.
We’ll stay tuned to Art-Preneur Urszula Abolik: it will be interesting to see where her journeys will take her—and we’ll be along for the marvelous ride!
The store is located at 420 Chestnut Street, Emmaus, PA 18049 Monday – closed Tuesday – 10-2:30 Wednesday-10-5 Thursday – 10-7 Friday-10-5 Saturday-11-2 Sunday-11-2. The phone number is: 610-967-5801. Wholesale distribution is available.
Check the website for more information and for a list of special events: www.amberconnection.org