SUFFERN, N.Y. -- Like most women, Carrie Panoff, M.D., a Suffern resident and an OB/GYN with Ramapo Valley OB/GYN in Pomona, is always looking for balance.
Always a crafter, the mom of three, who's also a Girl Scout Brownie leader and wife to her college sweetheart, admits she leads a busy life. But, since there's always down time while waiting for her patients' babies to arrive, she's been using those moments to make jewelry under the name, the Balancing Stork .
Call it a labor of love... literally.
The company, which Dr. Panoff officially launched in early February when she started selling on Etsy, has seen sales steadily increase, especially with the launch of her website in March.
Each piece is made keeping "balance" in mind. "If you look carefully you can find a yin yang crafted on each piece as a way to represent the story and to help you find your balance as I find mine," she said.
The jewelry is made with semi-precious stones, genuine leather and gold and silver filled castings. Each gemstone is hand selected, so no two are identical.
Right now she's passionate about her newest creation, the Nine Month necklace collection which marries her jewelry line with her life's work. The line, which celebrates and supports pregnancy, was developed in partnership with Jen West, a midwife Dr. Panoff met at a medical conference. Each gemstone is selected for its metaphysical properties and represents a unique milestone a baby will achieve during development. "I kept my patients in mind during this design and even added a simplified clasp for easy dressing with swollen fingers," she said.
She admits that when she first started the Balancing Stork she was uncomfortable putting herself out there, mostly because she didn't want anyone to think she was quitting her day job. But after friends saw her products, they encouraged her to take her work to the next level.
Dr. Panoff will be at the Nyack Fair on May 15, her first ever.
As far as how this will evolve, she said it's hard to say. "The concept has grown organically so I'm open to seeing where it leads me," she said. "Currently, it's exactly where I want it to be. I'm sharing my pieces with people each day; I have the time to design and handcraft the items myself and most of all, I'm feeling incredibly balanced."
Go to www.thebalancingstork.com/ for more information.