Trinkets of Joy was formed in September 1997 by multi-instrumentalist Tommi Zender and drummer Larry Brown. Larry Brown’s father played drums and Larry was in marching band and jazz combos during his teens. Both Larry and Tommi hail from the southwest of the USA (Arizona/New Mexico) although Tommi spent his grade school years in Evanston, Illinois. The group is augmented in performance by friends, most notably 16 year old multi-instrumentalist Jonah Kraut, a former student of Zender.

In 1998 they contributed a cover version of Love And Anger to the fan-made compilation album I Wanna Be Kate. At the same time, they were recording their first album, tentatively titled ‘Just Like Mom Used To Make’. It was released in 1999.