KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Christmas may be more than five months away, but retailers around the world are busy buying merchandise right now for the holiday season, like these gorgeous ornaments made by a company based here in Knoxville.
Each is a little work of art, representing iconic landmarks like the Sunsphere and Tennessee Theatre, as well as faraway legends like the Eiffel Tower.
They’re on trend, too, says Joy to the World Collectibles founder and president Lisa Kelechava.
“We just brought out “Pickle Ball Santa” and I listen to my collectors, and people are very quick to tell you what they would like to see on their tree every year,” Lisa said.
At the Knoxville headquarters, there is a wall full of Joy to the World Collectibles.
There’s one for the Elvis fan, Cher in cheetah, one to commemorate a trip to London to see the Queen,
and some that must stay under wraps until the holidays.
“We create ornaments for Tommy Bahama, we create ornaments for Vineyard Vines, and we create ornaments for Neiman Marcus every year.” Lisa said. “We can’t show that wall because we have all the new pieces that are coming out for Holiday ’22 and we can’t quite show them yet.”
But what we can show you is rare behind the scenes footage of what it takes to create a one-of-a-kind Joy to the World ornament.
It starts with a clay sculpture of the piece, goes to a steel mold, then the glass blower.
The glass is then silvered and is ready for painting.
Everything is done by hand by artisans overseas who’ve worked with Joy to the World for years.
“We actually create something new every day and that’s kind of how I founded the company on that premise. Every day is different here at Joy to the World.”
One of her favorites is the “Ribbon Santa” part of the Glitterazzi collection.
“What I try to do every year, ” Lisa explained, “is bring out a certain piece that is almost impossible to do in glitter: a pattern, or whatever, and got this idea to do ribbon candy, the old-fashioned ribbon candy.”
The most unusual?
A “Lobster Trap” tree ornament made by request for Stonington, Connecticut. It’s a replica of its real tree that attracts visitors every year.
It led me to ask Lisa about her own Christmas tree.
She said, with a smile, “I don’t decorate a tree every year,” adding, “I don’t have time!”
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She’s too busy creating Christmas magic for families to enjoy for generations to come.
Joy to the World Collectibles is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the World’s Fair by releasing six new ornaments in a partnership with Visit Knoxville.
You can browse or purchase ornaments at www.joytotheworldonline.com;
Visit Knoxville Visitors Center at 301 South Gay Street, and the 4th floor Observation Deck of the Sunsphere.