Small businesses have struggled through the pandemic this year. Some have returned to normal while others have had to shut down shop.

The Twisted Sparrow, an antique and floral boutique, was one of the businesses that pushed through lockdown.

Karie Simmons closed her doors for more than three months because of the pandemic. It happened during her peak sales season, which meant there would not be any customers to help business stay afloat, she said. The shop reopened its doors on Mother’s Day, May 10, where Simmons held special floral arrangements for pick up.

The shop offers a mixture of creative spiritual trinkets and antique gifts. Simmons is a specialty florist and displays her arrangements in the shop as well.

“I’m a crafter. I’ve made my own soaps, jewelry, even essential oils blends,” she said. “I’m always on the hunt for new stuff.”

Her recent design includes leather tassel earrings, a couple that she was even wearing herself. Her shop consists of a workplace where customers can watch her cut leather strips and attach them to earring hooks.

The store also displays a wide variety of antiques, from books, vintage clothing, furniture, and household décor.

“I sell a lot of antiques,” she said. She also specializes in creating specific essential oil blends for certain ailments and mood purifying. DoTERRA products are available behind the counter.

After the Butte Fire in 2015, Simmons was forced out of her home. After losing her home of 15 years and everything in it, she relocated to Mountain Ranch, where she started over, collecting home goods from second-hand stores. It was then that she was inspired to create “The Twisted Sparrow.” Her idea of adding her own creative touches to second-hand treasures has helped her blossom into starting her own business.

Simmons has found peace and tranquility through her work. She believes having positive energy during a project is good for the business.

The shop’s name originated from a nickname given to Simmons and her three sisters. They were known as, “the twisted sisters,” she said. One of her sisters, Stasia, is also a florist. Together, they create floral arrangements for weddings and shop for second-hand items, and once Simmons had the idea of opening her own business, they came up with the name “Twisted Sparrow.”

Upon entering The Twisted Sparrow, customers are greeted by a smiling face. Simmons believes in staying upbeat in life. She aims to transfer that energy in her creative pieces when she works. Energy is amazing, and promotes happiness in the area and the community, she said.

In her spare time, Simmons enjoys being in nature. She prefers camping, fishing, rafting, and digging for crystals in the surrounding area. She is, “always up in the mountains.” The crystals she finds in her journeys become the centerpieces for some of her jewelry. Precious stones are formed into necklaces, earrings, and rings, all of which are on display in the shop.

Simmons is grateful for the community, as they have given her returning customers. Most prefer her essential oil blends and homemade sage bundles. People come to the area for its history, which is good, and they come into the shop as either returning customers or people just traveling through gold country, she said.

“The history in the area is so great,” she said.

Lately, her creativity has influenced her to turn everyday ordinary items into works of floral art. She’s planted various arrangements in unique wicker baskets and porcelain figures to create one-of-a kind hanging ornaments or table decorations. Some people do not understand some of the creations, but Simmons saw beauty in what is unseen and stands proud of her designs.

For more information, contact The Twisted Sparrow on Facebook or visit the shop in San Andreas at 1171 S. Highway 49.

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Holly has a degree in anthropology and will receive a bachelor’s degree in English soon, with an emphasis in creative writing. She has moved to the area from southern California and shares her life with a Siberian husky and three rescue cats.

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