Meet A MazelMaker – Annie Harmon
Annie Harmon is no stranger to hosting MazelTogether supported gatherings. Throughout the years, she’s happily hosted South Denver Jew Crew events such as a Cinco de Mayo Shabbat Dinner, a Thanksgiving Havdalah, a Yom de Derby at the Farm, and Tu B’Shvat Seder at the Farm.
A 4th generation Colorado native, Annie grew up in the south end of Denver and currently lives in Greenwood Village with her husband, Michael, and their two daughters, Edina and Eliana. Michael is a Physical Therapist and runs his own business, Harmon Physical Therapy. Edina, age 9, is in the 4th grade and loves dancing, playing the flute and is very active in Girl Scouts and her school’s student council. Eliana, age 6, is in kindergarten and loves to dance as well. Both girls attend JOI Hebrew School and share a love of Judaism.
We caught up with Annie to find out what she’s been up to these days and what she has on the horizon.
How do you ‘do Jewish’ in Colorado?
We’re kind of “wandering Jews”. We’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out our place. MazelTogether has kept us connected with the people that our kids grew up with as we figured it out for ourselves. Our children are the reason why I got involved with MazelTogether in the first place. I wanted to keep them connected.
When MazelTogether was first growing, I began hosting gatherings. We were active with the south Denver satellite location of the JCC. It was an amazing way for Jewish families to connect, it defied all sects of Judaism and it truly was a place for all. Once we started meeting young families, that became our connection since we hadn’t yet belonged to a shul.
When the South Denver JCC shut down, we wanted to stay connected so we developed our own programming. We created gatherings and with MazelTogether’s offering of resources and support, it all came together. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
As our kids have grown older, we’ve since joined a Rodef Shalom and are an active part of that community. I also enjoy attending programs hosted by JOI – a Jewish outreach initiative supported by AISH.
You’ve hosted a number of MazelTogether supported events throughout the years. Which one is the most memorable and why?
Cinco de Mayo in the Park was my most memorable gathering. It was held at Centennial Park, a perfect family-friendly venue. We knew it was the place to gather, especially not knowing how many people would attend. It was one of our first events and it was awesome! I’d say about 60+ people from the community showed up and we had no idea how they even found out about it. The amazing power of jewish community in action!
I also loved the Thanksgiving Havdalah event that we did. It was one of our first events that felt that people were truly interested in connecting and coming together. We hosted both events so our family could connect with people from south Denver and being together with people who lived near us was special. MazelTogether helped us with the process; otherwise we probably wouldn’t have kept it up. It just made it so easy to create and embrace community nearby.
Many families have different Jewish journeys. We belong to different shuls or no shuls, our kids attend different Hebrew schools or no Hebrew School. Our connection was that we all lived in close vicinity down south. We loved meeting people who live nearby that didn’t require a huge schlep.
The event flyers for the above mentioned gatherings must’ve been fabulous since you’re a professional graphic designer! Tell us about your company, Harmony Design.
I’m a graphic and website designer and I’ve been running Harmony Design for about 11 years. We are a boutique creative services company mastering the harmonious balance between creativity and business for businesses big and small. The business has been the core of everything that I am, and I love what I do.
We heard from the Jewish grapevine that you’ve started up your very own Esty page! Tell us all about it.
I recently stepped back and thought about how I keep my creativity alive and how to transform and push myself creatively. The motivation to learn new things and the push within myself has brought about “Sprinkles and Spark.”
I love my clients and my work through Harmony Design, but this is my way of connecting my world of Judaism to the world of design. It’s finding things I can laugh about or a creative challenge with new techniques that I haven’t done before. Also it’s finding a way to bring other people joy and humor!
I feel like life and our world is hard. There is so much negativity around that this is a good personal practice that makes me feel better. There’s value in reminding yourself to keep positive. Part of this is self-care; I access happiness through creativity and encourage people to find what brings them joy.
Speaking of joy, the Festival of Lights in just around the corner. How can we spread some more cheer to our MazelTogether mishpacha?
I’m excited to announce that Sprinkles & Spark has partnered up with MazelTogether this Chanukah season! MazelTogether supporters will be able to enter to win a few of my very own Chanukah designs to give as gifts or keep them for themselves!
Check out below, along with MazelTogether’s newsletter and Facebook page for your chance to win your very own “Sprinkle & Spark” Chanukah item!
What a joy it was to get to know Annie and share our love of rainbow sprinkles! We already have an ice cream social event on the horizon. Rainbow sprinkles for all!
Click on the links below to learn more about Annie’s work –
Enter here for your chance to win a “Sprinkle & Spark” Chanukah item. One of these shirts –
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