Holly Ziemba is a local go getter. She worked at WESCO for years and as she worked her way up through the ranks there, she spent plenty of her spare time chasing after things that she loved, like photography, art, poetry and more. The job was great but in the back of her mind, she wanted to own her own business. It's a dream that most have, but most too don't have the ability to just "jump in the deep end" and do it. Well, Holly took the plunge a few years ago and bought a framing business from Ken the Picture Framer, she changed the name to Holly the Picture Framer and moved about a quarter of a mile up M-120 pretty close to the corner of Giles. If that's not enough of a go-get-em drive, she also grabbed a realtors license and now works with Five Star Realty to help people sell, or find their dream home. Driven? Yes, you can say Holly is driven.
Like any artist though, Holly is very much an observer. She's got a very keen sense about her when it comes to people, surroundings and situations. There's an instinctual element to most artists that is their inspiration for a lot of their work. While Holly's photography is more selfies and the family dogs for now, that artisan is still very much alive and with her newly published book "Tunnel of Light and Dark" not only does the artistic side of Holly find another outlet, she finds a remarkable way to share with others one simple fact. Yes, we're all unique, but more often than not, we share a lot of experiences that go unspoken and if we all just let a little of our vulnerability out for others to see, it might just lead to a little more compassion and understanding for everyone.
Tunnel of Light and Dark delves back into Holly's days in middle school when a teacher suggested that she and a friend enter a poetry contest. He set off a spark. Holly not only found the poetry to be gratifying, she found it an incredible release to let go of feelings that were building up through her teen years as well as into her early womanhood. There are things discussed about relationships, family, dreams hopes and fears and in the publishing of the book, which took a little persuasion by the publisher, Holly took the idea from a "few copies for friends and family" to the idea that maybe someone somewhere else could relate, and maybe be helped by this too. It's a pretty deep reach for anyone to bare their soul like this, but, it's that kind of honesty that builds a safety net for others who may wonder if they are all alone in what they are feeling or going through, and chances are, they are not.
We met up at Holly's frame shop to talk about the book and a little more about Holly. Take a listen.
It's an amazing feeling to tell your story. All too often, we box ourselves in with the belief that we are alone in the difficulties we face and that no one can possibly understand what we're going through. This applies double to our years as a teen when Holly's journey to publishing began. As I was wrapping up and putting the camera away today, Holly told me that she published the book, she advanced it with a call to a family member who's not read the book yet to explain to them the context in which it was written at the time in her life when something hurt. That family member replied... "Well, maybe I was hurting then too". If this book brings just one level of understanding between the author and a family member, it's already a win, If learning by the example set by others through their experience, strength and hope can patch up a few more of those kinds of fences.....Holly is really on to something. Click on the photo of her book cover below or stop by her shop on located at 1436 Holton Road in North Muskegon and pick yourself up a copy. Our many thanks to Holly for her amazing ability to share the journey to help others on theirs.