Making guitars was supposed to be a job for retirement, but economic changes have pushed the date forward for Craig Hopkins of Blue Ridge who is now pursuing the craft as a fulltime occupation.

So far, most of his sales have come from word-of-mouth referrals, but Hopkins and wife Kat Cross are becoming regulars as vendors on the crafts circuit, recently setting up at Bluegrass on Ballard in Wylie and the Fourth of July Spectacular in Princeton.

Cross designs and makes SMATR Beads, a unique combination of five silver beads that are a representation of a person’s connection with their God or higher power.

By Joe Reavis • Staff Writer •