Samantha Bravoco, a Massachusetts-based artist and the owner of the Etsy shop Forever Figurines, has recently gained popularity for the gorgeous Christmas ornaments she designs to resemble and memorialize people’s homes.
Using her talent for sculpting and painting, Bravoco uses photos and descriptions of the houses her customers request to create miniature replicas, handcrafting each one using polymer clay, acrylic paint and a gloss finish before adding a loop for hanging on the tree.
If you have a high-quality picture of it, Bravoco can create it — from run-down apartment buildings to Tudor mansions and everything in between. She is often asked to make replicas of childhood homes, first houses for couples, special vacation rentals and more.
Bravoco told PEOPLE that she began crafting with clay over eight years ago, but launched her Etsy business in 2015, creating customized replicas of people’s wedding cakes. “It wasn’t until last year, in 2018, that I decided to make house replicas,” she shared.
As a mother, Bravoco loves that her art lets her work from home and stay with her daughter (she also has another baby on the way). As an artist, she’s creatively satisfied: “I honestly enjoy getting to create something unique and special every day,” she says.
Each personalized ornament costs $75, and a deposit must be placed before Bravoco will start working on the order. Those interested in commissioning an ornament should visit the Forever Figurines Etsy store, where there’s the option to either request a custom order or to reach out to Bravoco via messenger.
According to TODAY, the current wait time for each order is approximately three months.
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In addition to homes, Bravoco also creates figurines of cakes, wedding toppers and even pets.
“I have had many beautiful and emotional responses from customers over the years,” says Bravoco of her beloved business. “Many are brought to tears as they open their items, whether it be the memory of the house they grew up in, or their wedding cake, or a pet they have lost and long adore.”