Eilisain Jewelry

Powerfully Divine

So you want to be a jeweler?

small business, studioLisette Fee

Over the past several years, I've seen some of my best and favorite customers turn into burgeoning jewelers.  And some have contacted me with interest, asking for advice and insider tips on how to become a jeweler.  And it got me thinking, why not give you, my dear readers insight and thoughts on what it is to be a jeweler and what our world is like. 

In my old studio at Art Avenue.

In my old studio at Art Avenue.

Have you seen that Portlandia episode, ages ago where she decides she's going to make jewelry and then realizes it's a whole lot more work than it appears?

Often times I feel like that is how HUGE the profession of jewelry has become.  It's a very big market and it seems to continue growing.  Of course, that was sort of me ten years ago, however I knew that I wanted to be a long lasting and distinctly different jeweler.  So I made the big decision to go to a school and learn metalsmithing and jewelry.  In addition, I took the advice from my father, that once I made this career and life changing decision that there was no turning back, it was either all or nothing.  Because honestly, it was a big investment in my future (taking out student loans and debt).

With that said there are some points I want to make on what it is to be a jeweler and a small business owner.

  • It doesn't happen overnight or even within three years to five years.  It takes a long time to establish yourself, build credibility and gain a following of customers.  I used to get so frustrated in my first year because I wondered why I wasn't making as many sales as I hoped.  But if you preserve and constantly work hard you will be successful
  • LEARN, LEARN and LEARN some more, not just from jewelers but from other small business owners and those that are successful. 
  • My no. 1 biggest piece of advice in regards to jewelry is to hone in on what you love and what you're good at and make that your centerpiece of your jewelry/business.  Whether it's beading, casting, working with wood or whatever it is, make yourself an expert in that. 
  • Learn as much as you can about running and maintaining a business.  My favorite place to get this information is from podcasts and business blogs.  And if you're not good at accounting or marketing, hire someone, it's well worth the money.
  • Talk to jewelers and those that you admire, ask them for advice.  I am always super honest and frank about my struggles and success, so feel free to ask me if you want!
  • LOVE and nurture the supporters and customers that buy from you.  These are your cheerleaders and they will share your work with their friends and family.  It's all about quality versus quantity.  Your first customer is likely to be your second customer. 

I could write a book on this...but I'm not a writer! I hope this helps and you enjoyed my brief post on the life of a beginning jeweler.  If anything, I hope you love the clip of 'She's making jewelry now'!!

Happy Monday folks.

Ritual, Ritual - boutique feature

divination, fantasy, handmade, small business, Stocklist, Stones, tarotLisette FeeComment

One of the best parts of being a small business owner is meeting all the other amazing makers and bossbabes of the world.  And I've met so much fierce owners out there that I have to highlight them - because without brick and mortar shops it'd be much harder for someone like me to get my jewelry out in the world.

Such a welcoming entrance to RR!

Such a welcoming entrance to RR!

So without much ado I want to highlight one of my favorite boutiques on the East Coast - RITUAL, RITUAL.  First off, I LOVE the name of their boutique because wearing jewelry is a ritual in and of itself and secondly it's in one of my favorite east coast cities - Philadelphia.  Angela Monaco, an amazing jeweler herself of Concrete Polish, initially opened RR for her jewelry but soon decided to rebrand the shop as a collective representing over 60 independent designers.   The shop also provides studio space for rent and a reiki and message therapy space.  One of these days I've got to visit this amazing shop because they are rare gems (pun intended)

I'm especially excited to share RR with you because they are celebrating their third year anniversary this weekend! You can check out all their fun events on their own blog.

I hope that if you live or are visiting Philly you take the time to visit and shop at Ritual Ritual, not only will you love all of their amazing jewelry, gems, clothing and objects you will be supporting a local small business that helps other artists and makers thrive.

Thanks as always for dropping by and reading!

The BEST fantasy movies

animals, divination, fantasyLisette FeeComment

My favorite genre of movies and books has always been fantasy and sci-fi.  Perhaps it's the Pisces in me but I love nothing more than dreaming of far off worlds with wizards, witches, fairies and all sorts of fantastical creatures.

And since I was a child I devoured the classic fantasy movies such as Neverending Story and Labryinth.  These movies informed so much of my jewelry and art.  And often times jewelry and adornment is a central role in these movies - hello Lord of the RINGS?

Shot from the Valkyrie Collection.  We used one of my husbands many swords.  Inspired by myths and legends of the Vikings.

Shot from the Valkyrie Collection.  We used one of my husbands many swords.  Inspired by myths and legends of the Vikings.

1.  Lord of the Rings - This truly is the ultimate fantasy movie grounded with universal themes.  I can't tell you how obsessed I became when I heard Peter Jackson was directing the triology, I checked the blogs daily for updates on the movie.   The artist in me is most in love with how much dedication the film crew put into making all the props, costumes, music, weaponry so realistic and detailed.  It's what I love about the appendices, they show all the background scenes and I eat it up!

2.  The Labryinth - There is something so extraordinary and exhilarating about movies that take us to other worlds.  Unlike Lord of the Rings, this story takes us from the human world to one where everything is upside down - literally.  Jim Hensen's characters are funny, silly and endearing.  Who can't relate to wanting to escape your 'annoying family' to one where your the princess or queen with, none other than the uber cool David Bowie?

3.  Neverending Story - I'm sure almost every kid that lived through the late 80's to 90's grew up watching this movie.  What I love most about this movie is that it's about a nerdy boy that loves books and stories and then becomes the hero of his own story.  I used to dream about what I'd do with an infinite amount of wishes!

4.  Pan's Labryinth - Another labryinth story although this one is much darker and sinister.  Guillermo del Toro is a master of demonstrating the subtle yet powerful archetypes that are both at play in the real world and fantasy.  Where humans are more monsters than the hideous and grand ones of the underworld.  I absolutely love the young actress in this movie, she conveys the pain and loneliness of that time and era. 

5.  Harry Potter series - I'll be honest, I have always been reluctant to be a fan of the Potter books and movies because they came out around the same time as LOTR and I'm very loyal to that fantasy triology.  However lately I've come to really respect JK Rowling's brilliance; she developed a character that we can all relate to, as well a fantastical world we all want to visit.

6.  Willow - There is something so endearing about Willow and his quest to be a magician as well as protector of Elinora; and I feel that he has the same qualities as Frodo.  The baby dropped in his lap and he never wanted to be a hero but the moral of this movie is that he finds the courage and confidence to be who he is meant to be. 

7.  Legend - I just finished watching this movie and what resonates most is that we've all been young, dumb and in love trying to impress someone and then being reckless and learning from our mistakes.  As do the young couple (Mia and Tom Cruise). In addition; there is the obvious parallel of light and dark, good and evil, female and male. 

The Epona ring for the Momentary Myth photoshoot with Sim Asher.

The Epona ring for the Momentary Myth photoshoot with Sim Asher.

8.  The Dark Crystal - Another movie I've always been on the fence, yes yes Jim Hensen is a genius but there is something slightly nightmarish about the skekkis and some of the other creatures that I almost couldn't get past the wonderdful imagination behind the story.  Still this movie does belong on the list.

There are certainly other movies I'd add however I feel they belong in their own subsection (Coraline, The Witches, Interview with a Vampire etc - those are more Samhain/Fall movies).

And if have some other suggestion please feel free to add in the comments section. 
As always thank you for reading!

Mamma Mia

Changes, animals, color, divination, feelingLisette Fee

Just as much thought as I give to what inspires me, I also consider what has influenced me. Influence and Inspiration may be thought of as the same thing however I consider influence to be a mainstay whereas inspiration changes.

Her jewelry was a lesson in historical craftsmanship and styles that spanned the globe. They taught me that color, material and style can be interpreted in so many beautiful ways.
My mom at my Senior exhibition.

My mom at my Senior exhibition.

So here goes, what has influenced my style and jewelry.

Number #1 goes to my mother. When I was younger, maybe 12/13 years old…and embarrassingly enough to this day, I would take out all her jewelry and play, putting it on and asking her where she got it and when I could have it. She’d say ‘when you’re older’ which at that time seemed forever! But now, she gives me her jewelry on my birthday or Christmas…or when she’s feeling generous. My father was in the Army and we traveled and lived in Central and South America and when I was just a baby we lived in Japan. She has a treasure-trove of international pieces. Her jewelry was a lesson in historical craftsmanship and styles that spanned the globe. They taught me that color, material and style can be interpreted in so many beautiful ways.

#2 – My beliefs and spiritual inclinations. Just before I graduated from college I began to explore various religions; I was at a place where I wanted more than the usual church/bible experience nor did it resonate with me (Catholicism). So I began reading what really fascinated me, Norse and Celtic mythology. I know, it may sound hoaky, but in general mythologies always intrigued me. The stories of Gods and Goddesses rising up (or descending) from the earth mingling with humans, shape-shifting and the symbolism of governance of land with higher principles and ideals. Of course the same can be said of Christianity but Celtic culture and beliefs just made more sense.

Behind the scenes of my Valkyrie photoshoot from 3 years ago. 

Behind the scenes of my Valkyrie photoshoot from 3 years ago. 

Where am I going with this? What I create with my hands and the images that come into my mind are based on my own beliefs and fascination with the Celts. In addition to their innovation and spiritual representations. Bronze, gold and copper chased bowls, torcs and headpieces are amazing outlining a myth.

#3 – Other artists and mentors. Lately, I’ve been discovering some amazing work and ridiculously innovative ideas that has spurred me to think outside of the box, to consider ALL materials, functions and methods. One recent artist that has me baffled and curious is Lisa Jeun, she uses fake nails, FAKE NAILS to make incredible brooches. I love it how she mixes them with enameled steel and silk floss. My jaw dropped gazing at her pieces. That is one criteria I aim for in most of my pieces, a mix of elements, leather, metal, shells – whatever just as long as it’s all mixed up.

As for mentors, I’ve gained several over the past 10 years. In the jewelry world, it’s difficult to find one especially because they’re all busy just trying to get their business going. However, the wisdom and knowledge they’ve dispensed to me is worth the time. Abby Goldblatt my enameling teacher has had a big influence on me, she’s one of those great teachers that knows just when to offer advice but also when to listen and let me run wild with an idea. Just when I feel frustrated and want to throw a piece across the room she offers options and ideas to turn something shitty into a gem!

Thank you so much for reading!

Why you should sign up for my newsletter

customers, jewelry repair, small business, repairLisette Fee

I'm sure you get inundated, like myself with lots of emails.  And half the time you may not even open them.

However I will tell you that there are probably a handful of newsletters that I truly enjoy getting and that I KNOW I'll learn something new.  And that is what you get when you sign up for Eilisain Jewelry Newsletter.

Taking the time to smell the flowers....that's what my newsletter is about!

Taking the time to smell the flowers....that's what my newsletter is about!

Here are some very good reasons as to why you should sign up for my E-LIST.

  • I'll tell you how to take care of your Eilisain Jewelry, as well as all of your jewelry.  Such as, how to remove tarnish on silver or repair it yourself.
  • You'll understand how to wear your jewelry - new and fun ways to be creative with adornment
  • You get special invitations to shows and events across the country
  • Learn about tarot, herbs, essential oils and more from other artists and people in the local NC community.
  • Find out more about our future collections and what we're doing in the studio 
  • YOU get FIRST dibs on new collections and SALES
    Whoops, last and BEST reason why? You get 15% off your first order when you sign up!

I provide to my subscribers the first chance on sales and first pick to new pieces.  And also I won't spam you, yes I email about once a week which pales in comparison to the deluge of emails you will probably get from other sources.  

So I hope these reasons will only further encourage you to sign up
As always - stay golden!

What is white noise?

feeling, mediation, moodLisette Fee

Last week I was driving and running errands while listening to one of my favorite podcasts Boss Girls about creating space for white noise.  I sorta knew what they meant but I was still perplexed - white noise? Which essentially means doing nothing.  Not looking at your phone, not cleaning, simply sitting or laying around doing nothing. 

Now, I used to be a master of that when I was in middle school because when your a 12 year old kid you don't have many responsibilities but now that I'm older and attempting to do everything it can be incredibly difficult to make yourself do nothing!

Laying in a field of flowers - ultimate white noise location.

Laying in a field of flowers - ultimate white noise location.

However, your mind and body really need a good 30-60 minutes of this precious activity, just as your body needs sleep.  Why? Because that is when your mind is processing and filtering out all the activity and thoughts that you've been having you're able to learn so much.  And when you truly think about 'white noise' it's sorta like meditation.  But that word is intimidating isn't it?

I can see now that when I had to ritual of my bath time it was my white noise, my time to lay in a bath of water and relax! It's self care and it is SO essential to your sanity.  With a 4 month old baby it's been a bit harder to carve out white noise time but I do make it a priority, for myself and my husband.  When we're both healthy and sane so is our family.

Do do yourself a favor and give yourself permission to DO NOTHING!

thanks for reading.

Infusing your drinks

garden, herb lifeLisette Fee

As you know I love herbs and they have such universal properties, from oils to incense.  And lately I've been using my herbs for infusing my water, wine and teas.

On my Mother's Day I received a fantastic gift from my friend; little rubber molds that you can place herbs in; of course you can also use your ice cube trays. 

Mint and lavender infused drinks

Mint and lavender infused drinks

So here are several of my favorite herbs and recipes for infusing your summer drinks!

1.  Pineapple sage - my friend and customer Traci Davis introduced me to this yummy herb.  Add this to your malibu bay breezes or your citrusy drinks. 

2.  Mint - this beloved herb really goes well with anything.  I love grinding it and adding it to hot or cold chocolate drinks. 

3.  Lavender - not only is it my favorite color but also my favorite herb.  Lavender loves being paired with vanilla and this works great in teas as well as iced drinks with vodka or rum.

4.  Basil - one of my favorite drinks from local Greenville restaurant the Scullery is their lemon basil drink, seltzer, simple syrup, lemon and basil - it's SO refreshing!

There are endless possibilities to the combinations you can make with your herbs and drinks and it's low calorie, very good for your health and savory.  I hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for reading!

PS - In every Eilisain jewelry order I include a spring of lavender.  Use this to burn in your home for a calming sense.

Why you need less jewelry

small businessLisette Fee

Yes and yes I actually wrote that! You may be thinking, but Lisette you SELL jewelry why would you tell us we need less jewelry?  I'll tell you why.

Last week I watched this documentary about minimalism and about living with less 'stuff' and it resonated with me.  Over the course of the past years I've been trying very hard to be more ethical in all aspects of my life.  Whether it be through my eating or what I buy for my home.  With that said, I'm a firm believer that it's so much more worth it to buy good quality products regardless of the cost.   So thus, purchase less but make investment purchases.

With that said, you do need MORE jewelry that is better made and less jewelry that won't serve you or isn't something that you aren't madly in love with.  I want you to INVEST in good and beautiful jewelry.  Adornment that is going to make you feel good every time you put it on.  That is the most important aspect, that it makes you feel good and empowers you. 

Thus, I urge you to wait and bide your time and money until you can really purchase that dream ring or bracelet.  I know many of you have told me that, and you sock away your hard earned money until you can buy your dream piece of jewelry.  And I suggest you apply this to all of your purchases.  In the long run you'll be much happier. 

As always, thank you for reading!

Love & Light - Lisette

Some updates going on in the studio

Lisette Fee

Well maybe I should rephrase that - updates going on in my world and office. 

As to be honest I don't get as much time in my studio as I'd like, I'm coming to the realization that I'm still in my maternity leave stage.  I spend about 90% of my time caring for my new baby girl, and I'm truly loving every minute of it, even when I lose sleep. 

However, there are still some exciting things happening with Eilisain - first and foremost - I had two pieces published in a very, very cool book all about CASTING! I haven't even delved into a quarter of this book but already I'm amazed by the beautiful work that is in it. Cast Art and Objects: Made Using Humanity's Most Transformational Process by Jen Townsend and Renee Zettle-Sterling was a true labor of love and features all the ranges of what castingencompasses, from ceramics, concrete, bronze sculptures and jewelry and more.  I highly recommend this book to any art enthusiast.

The book features the Bast double spine ring and the Hunted owl talon cuff. I'm so honored to have my jewelry featured in their book.  I also wrote a guest blog post on their website describing my method of casting.  You can read it here.

The Bast double spine ring in sterling silver.

The Bast double spine ring in sterling silver.

Other news: I'm also in the beginning stages and creative process of designing my Fall/Winter 2018 collection.  It's going to continue the play on geometrical shapes that I used in the Vespa collection, drawing inspiration from geodes and gems.   The ideas have been percolating in my head and I've begun initial sketches - now is the time to begin prototypes and actual pieces.

And my last big news: I have a new stockist! And in my birth state of Kansas: The Striped Cow in Lawrence.  I met the buyer Nicole Manriquez in Las Vegas last year at a trade show.  Nicole and I had an instant bond and she fell in love with the owl talon pieces.   The Striped Cow features handmade jewelry, leather bags, terrariums (which you know I'm obessesed with) and they have their own in house barber!  So if you live or are driving through Kansas, hit up the Striped Cow and support local and handmade. 

Thanks for reading and visiting my blog, I hope you have a grand weekend!


My favorite new PODCASTS

podcast, spirit guide, small business, tarotLisette FeeComment

I've been saving this post for awhile now so I could research new podcasts to share with you.  And the ones I've been listening to are so inspiring and honestly super helpful to everyday life.

I feel like podcasts are the new 'radio stations' not that radio has been completely replaced.   They're fantastic for me, as a working mom, because I can listen to them while I'm doing stuff around my house or working in the studio or feeding Ms. Tulah (Tallulah).


So here goes - my new favorite podcasts:

1.  Stuff Mom Never Told you - Bridget Todd and Emilie Aries break down all sorts of topics from Congresswoman Maxine Waters to Latina feminisim and the power of Beyonce in the world.  I love how they aren't embarrassed to share their own stories but that of women from all backgrounds, cultures etc.  Bridget and Emilie also do their research and provide interesting facts and knowledge about being a girlboss to current politics.

2.  Dream, Freedom, Beauty - I just recently discovered this new podcast via Empress of Herbs (as she was a guest not to long ago) and I LOVE IT, I'm learning so much about esoteric, magic, meditating, witch related topics and my favorite part is that Natalie Ross is local and based out of Durham.  Natalie is so down to earth and relatable and asks her guests all the questions we're thinking in our head.

3.  The Courage Makers - this is a fantastic podcast to listen to when you need uplifting stories and interviews of people that have risen from the ashes to become stronger and wiser.  I love listening to this podcast in the morning. 

4.  Work Wives -  Because I primarily work from home, I don't have a work spouse but I remember what it was like.  These women keep it real and get down to the nitty gritty of being a woman AND it's hosted by two women that work for my favorite magazine, Glamour!

5.  The Mythology Podcast - As a major fan of mythologies and ancient stories this has to be in my top five favorite podcasts.  It's like a history lesson every time and I become majorly inspired by all the grand and epic stories.  In addition you can help but feel a wonderful sense of calm listening to this podcast, I'd have to say this is a perfect nightcap. 

6.  2 Dope Queens - When you need a good laugh and want to be silly, listen to Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams talk about everything from sex, race, romance and living in NYC.  They feel like your two besties that you want to hang out at a dive bar and get tipsy with!

So get crackin' and add these amazing podcasts to your lists.  Thanks as always for reading!

What is it about Magic?

Lisette Fee

Several weeks ago I rented Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - I'd already seen it but I loved it so much I had to watch it again. 

Which got me thinking, what is it about magicians, sorceress, witches and the entire genre of fantasy that has become SO popular these days? There seems to be an explosion lately of anything related to magic and fantasy - Harry Potter, The Magicians tv show, tarot cards, The Vampire Diaries - I could go on and on. 

The Golden thread tarot deck

The Golden thread tarot deck

I could easily google this theme and give you data on it but I'd rather muse on why I believe you and the rest of the world are fascinated by magic.  And here is one BIG theme with magic - law of attraction - if you send out the energy of belief in the ephemeral and unknown it will be present in your life.  Magic is about energy and believing in the power of intention.   For example, when I sit to do a tarot spread I silently meditate on my current life situation as well as what I'd like answered in the spread.  My mind ruminates and as I shuffle the cards and lay them out.  The cards shown provide insight into what is happening in my life - the cards pulled are not random but pulled with intention. 

Magic isn't random, it's energy and the unexplainable yet comprehensible.  My belief is that our world needs magic and faith in the unseen, in the ephemeral.  We crave an alternate world, perhaps an escape from 'real life' from the mundane but here is the crux of it - our current world needs us to be present.  Not stuck in our phones, in the internet universe.  We need to tie the two together.  Magic and reality. 

To some or perhaps skeptics and realists would say that believing in magic is infantile or immature - words that associate it with children and innocence.  However there is a purity and a sense of pure trust in magic and that is powerful.  One must also have a healthy dose of respect for magic. 

Talismans have been incorporated in magic and can hold magical properties (aka The One Ring to rule them all) and perhaps that's one reason I find jewelry amazing.  That it can hold intention, provide power and guidance in our world.  Jewelry is the object that contains the magic. 

Okay I could go on and on on this subject and I've take a month to write what was supposed to be a brief post - however I hope that you'll find my post inspiring and one that brings perhaps some clarity or excitement about the possibilities of what our future holds in regards to the magical realm. 

The power of three

Trunk Show, succulents, StonesLisette Fee

Just as there has been much studied about color therapy and crystal healing there is also quite a bit of research and studies on numerology.  As they say, math is the universal language.  And one of my favorite numbers is three.  Especially when it comes to design and jewelry pieces. 

This post will cover two things - my special Mother's Day offers as well as some information on the number three.  As you can imagine, this is a special Mother's day for me because it'll be my first celebrating as a mother which is why I'm very excited to announce THREE special Mothers Day offers to you!

But before I get into the offers, let's discuss why there is power in threes.  First of all for religious purposes, three is a divine number.  It represents the trinity - regardless of what religion you practice there is the mind, body and soul or father, son and holy ghost along with light, energy and mass.  The triangle touches upon this symmetry of threes - it is a statement about relationship and balance.  Three remembers the one.  For example the Borromean Rings, named for the appearance on the crest of the Borromeo family of the Italian Renaissance.  It's when three rings are interlocked and when you gaze upon them it appears as though each ring is interconnected to the other and not separate from itself.  It takes all three interlocking simultaneously to become unified. 

As you can see three has a magic and symmetry to it, which is why I love using it in my jewelry designs.  Which leads me to my three special Mother's Day offers!

For all orders of $200 and over, you will get an air plant! I've been going a bit mad over creating terrariums and air plant arrangements so I want to share them with you.  You'll get a small hanging air plant with a gorgeous color pink or purple moss. 

*Note the air plant gift will not look like this one but have an air plant and moss in crystal vase.

*Note the air plant gift will not look like this one but have an air plant and moss in crystal vase.

For all orders of $100 and over, I'm continuing the offer of the Empress of Herbs Ostara roll on oil.  I still have several left in stock and can always order more.  This is a great mini gift to give to the mother in your life.

For all order of $50 and over, you will receive a beautiful quartz crystal point to add or begin your crystal collection. 

And for those of you that live in the Eastern NC area - don't forget I'm having a special Mother's Day Trunk show at Moxie Pop on Friday May 12th 5-7pm.  You'll get to eat light snacks and wine and purchase one of a kind jewelry!

These special offers begin now and continue through Mother's Day - so get your SHOP ON!