The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


June 26, 2014

Art provides 2nd life

CAMANCHE — Shirley Varner is someone who understands the importance of recycling; to reduce waste in the city’s landfill and to preserve a clean environment in the world.

One thing that she does differently, though, is that instead of taking her recyclables to the appropriate disposal sites, she finds creative ways to make them useful once more.

“I love to go seek out stuff that people have thrown out,” Varner said. “Because I don’t want all of that stuff in our landfill but recycling things and turning them into something different is like magic. I love making something old, new again.”

Her passion for creating works of art out of everyday, and sometimes useless items, has grown from a small hobby just two years ago into an in-home business filled with one-of-a-kind knick-knacks, shadow boxes and a slew of other home decor items.

Though her shop Savvy Art isn’t a major commercial development in the city of Camanche, Varner enjoys the quaint atmosphere of having her shop at home, giving her the ability to build personal, one-on-one relationships with her customers.

“I really want to keep it simple,” she said. “Because this way I am able to give that attention to the customer to make sure they are always happy. I love to make people happy so I really enjoy that part of it.”

The other part of Savvy Art that Varner enjoys is finally being able to express her creativity and show her art to the world.

Since childhood, Varner has had a passion for the arts. Instead of pursuing that part of her life she decided on a more practical career in business. Now that she has retired from the professional world, her husband Paul encouraged her to start showcasing her art and let the community enjoy what she creates.

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