Source: The Penny Hoarder Hula Hooping Article
Published: March 22, 2017 by Susan Shain and Heather Comparetto
“The sound of the fire is addictive — it’s a rush.”
Abby Albaum spins a flaming hula hoop around her waist, then her knees. She shimmies it up to her shoulders and, in a flash, it’s spinning in her hand. It’s captivating: the fire’s rhythm, crackle and heat.
But perhaps not as much as Albaum herself. She’s a natural performer, an effortless mover. Her hair is a rushing torrent of blonde underneath her velvet hood, chasing the flames as she whips around, and around, and around…
For a crowd that hopes she never stops.
I thought it would be fitting to share the story of how it all began…
I started hoop dancing in the summer of 2007 after a friend introduced me to the art form. I actually created my first handmade hula hoop before I ever successfully spun one on my waist! I’ve always been crafty… as a child, I would comb the FL beaches for shells, to make jewelry for family and friends. In high school, I discovered a passion for mosaic art. So, when my friend Kacey invited me over for wine and hoop making, I was in! The first hoop I made was Watermelon themed, in pink and green. Kacey took it to a music festival she was vending, at Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park and it was actually the first hoop she sold that weekend!
Of course, my love for hoop dance was soon realized after that fateful hoop making night. I began teaching myself everything I could about the art form (from making hoops to learning the latest tricks and moves), and in 2008, I opened up my Etsy shop. At the same time, I started selling my handmade hula hoops at the Saturday Morning Market in St. Pete, FL. The market proved to be an amazing thing for me, considering it’s the largest farmer’s market in the Southeast United States. People started asking for classes and performances, and before I knew it, I was leaving my marketing career to be a full time Hoola Monster. Now, 9 years later, I’m pleased to say that I’m still a vendor at the Saturday Morning Market, and Hoola Monsters is one of the longest running hoop stores on Etsy!
And, I’m super excited to be featured in the July 2016 issue of Handmade Seller Magazine! What an honor! I also launched my jewelry website earlier this year and I expanded my ETSY shop to include Good Vibe Designs.
I love being a handmade artist, and there’s nothing more exciting than to see someone fall in love with an item I’ve created. I also love setting people up for success and welcome custom orders. Feel free to browse around my shop, or stop by my booth at the market, the next time you visit Sunny St. Pete 🙂 You can also check out Hoola Monsters on Facebook or follow me on Instagram.