DIVERSIFY Vendor Spotlight: Catching Fire Designs

By Drake Farmer

From June 19-23, the Chattanooga Chamber hosts DIVERSIFY, a week for culturally diverse businesses and vendors to gather and showcase the people and products that make our area unique.

DIVERSIFY’s June 20 pop-up market, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Miller Plaza's Waterhouse Pavilion, features a buy local theme.

Barbara Murnan, owner of Catching Fire Designs, is just one vendor who will display at the DIVERSIFY buy local market.

Murnan is an artist who crafts a variety of jewelry from earrings and pendants to cuff bracelets and rings. Each one of Murnan’s hand-crafted pieces is unique, as they incorporate stone, copper and sterling silver to form one-of-a-kind, wearable pieces of art.


Trend: How do you approach your business?
Murnan: Anybody can do anything. This city is full of talented people. Chattanooga is in our own backyard, but it has lots to offer.

Trend: How did you get started making jewelry?
Murnan: I started out making earrings – I’ve been artistic all of my life, but I let it sit. I had a career in television advertising and sales. My husband traveled for work, and when my son left for college, I was left at home. Having spare time threw me into it.

Trend: What inspired you to turn this into a business?
Murnan: I was making a few pieces and a friend told me about a gallery for emerging artists. When the owner saw what I was doing they gave me a shot. I worked there for about two years. Eventually, she suggested I get in touch with In-Town Gallery, on Frazier Ave. That was a different experience for me.

Trend: What’s special about your pieces?
Murnan: I don’t duplicate anything. Each piece is sterling silver, copper and one-of-a-kind. When a person buys a pendant or a bracelet, that’s their own piece of art.


Browse the Catching Fire collection here. Pieces priced from $40.