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Rising Stars: Meet Amanda Keltner of LaVergne

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Keltner.

Hi Amanda, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
To start, my creative business is called The Fabled Raven and it all  started in 2020 during quarantine with painting. I was teaching myself how to paint again since it had been years, and I wanted to occupy my time spent at home. I went hard and heavy with paint for a solid year and sold the occasional piece. Eventually, painting became problematic because I also own and operated my hair studio, Flora Luna Hair. The repetitive motions of painting and cutting hair were similar enough to develop a tennis elbow. So, I put the brush down to heal. I think I can say that The Fabled Raven truly started after my husband and I took a road trip through New England in August 2021 and visited Salem, MA. While in Salem, we took a broom-making class, and I loved it!! When we came home, I started making decorative besom brooms. I was so happy with how they turned out that I thought people might also be interested in them. I sold a few, and it escalated from there. I branched out from there and started making preserved floral and crystal wreaths, bone, skull art, and other witchy trinkets. I started selling my creations at live events and craft shows in November 2021, and I just kept going! I have found a new creative outlet that speaks to me much deeper. I fall in love with each piece that I create.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a smooth road?
Nothing is ever a smooth road. I am still working on things, and my art is ever-evolving. I only made besoms in the beginning, and I learned I didn’t want to be a one-trick pony. So expanding into the wreaths and oddities allowed me to expand my customer base, enter into different markets, and be successful. I can focus on one style depending on where I’ll be set up and the type of market it is. I think I am still working through the biggest struggle of building an online presence. Social media is a full-time gig itself. Did I mention that I own and operate another business? With that, I have a lot of social media to keep up with. I’m lucky to have made some pretty great friends in the art and vending world here in Nashville who have more experience that I can learn from and grow with, not to mention they are a fierce group of women I am proud to call my friends.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
Ok, I love all things witchy, spooky, Halloween and cottage style. All of that bleeds into the items that I create. I only use real, preserved, and ethically sourced materials and specimens. All my flowers and crystals are real, and all my bones and skulls are real. I have vetted sources for the bones and skulls that I use. I have a friend who is a taxidermist, another who owns a tannery, some are found in nature (dead when found), and I love to source from Native American Reservations. After the entire animal has been used, I take the cast-offs. Unfortunately, I don’t have the stomach to scrape roadkill.

I am known best for my signature moon wreaths and my oddity art. Everything is designed with a bit of whimsy and magick, and I make everything with my whole heart, and I think it shows. When people think of bones, they think of darkness or the macabre. But I like to honor the beauty in death and life, which inspires me to use brighter colors on many of my pieces.

Something newer I’ve been working on is my “Tend to Your Own Garden” collection. These are floral uteri embellished with either crystals or skulls. Each one is unique, just like the other items I make. A portion of the proceeds from this collection is being donated to different Women’s Reproductive Rights organizations. We have made donations to Planned Parenthood and ARC Southeast so far.

If we knew you were growing up, how would we have described you?
I was a kid who dabbled in many different things and always loved music, books, art, and spooky. I danced, sang, played sports, read, and have always had a love of nature and animals. I was also shy, which led to getting picked on a bit in my younger years. And I think I was always looking for different outlets because of that. Going to art school was a pivotal moment where I was able to start discovering who I was through a creative process. Funny enough, I ended up in Cosmetology after that. Doing hair is an art, and I have been doing it for nearly 20 years. My goal now is to grow my art business to transition to when I can no longer do hair.

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Image Credits
Amanda Keltner: The Fabled Raven

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