Growing up in the country, many of my days were spent playing in our barn’s hayloft, always decorating that little space – my own little workshop. Wandering through the woods collecting rocks, flowers, moss, anything interesting to bring back and use. Sewing pillows, crocheting little potholders, and stitching pictures of flowers for the walls. Picking wild apples and blackberries to make dessert for the many kitties we always had. Those early years influenced my lifelong love and appreciation for anything that is simple and handmade.
I am now settled and living in a small Pennsylvania town outside of Pittsburgh. Happily married, and mom to one sweet kid. I started Rabbit Hill Primitives and Vintage in 2005. Before that, I had many jobs… waitress, front desk clerk, store manager of a little shop, foundation work for cancer research, garden maintenance and design at a local nursery, and financial analyst with one of the largest waste management companies in the US. And while I enjoyed all of those things, I was certainly searching for something and never felt fully content or satisfied.
When Lydia turned 3, the office I worked for moved to Philadelphia and let me go. It was scary to be without work, but Dino and I thought it was a good opportunity for me to stay at home with Lydia. During that time, I started selling antiques and handmades at a little antique mall in Ohio. Then a few years later, before Lydia started kindergarten, the antique mall went out of business. I felt that this was God giving me a chance to try it on my own and began building my website. I also did a few primitive shows here in Pennsylvania and Ohio and sold my wares out of my good friend’s shop… you may know her, Audrey at 1824 Walker Farmhouse. In September 2005 on Lydia’s first day of school I launched Rabbit Hill Primitives and never looked back!
Today life is certainly different for Dino and me. Lydia went on to college in California and graduated with a Plant Science degree this year. We try to think of ourselves as bird launchers not as empty nesters!
My business is now called Jenn Tavoletti Design. We are still living in Pennsylvania with our three tuxedo cats that visit me all of the time in my studio shed in our back garden. That is where you will find me most days creating little pieces of art from found objects and writing about simple ways of living and anything that brings joy!
Life sure has a way of coming full circle, don’t you think?