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Blog

Filtering by Category: small business

What it's like to be an Artist of the Month in Farmville

Lisette Fee

What a rush of amazing feelings and happiness to be surrounded by people that love art and jewelry! Yesterday I participated in my towns Artist of the Month reception sponsored by the Farmville Community Arts Council and it was probably one of the best local exhibition/shows I’ve ever participated in - and I’ve done alot of shows and exhibitions.

What I really can’t get over is how much of an impact social interaction and getting out and meeting people has on myself and my business. In this day and age of online media and networking has had on art and business, it goes hand and hand with actually getting out and talking and showing people what I do in my studio.

Processing a sale at my media table at the reception.

Processing a sale at my media table at the reception.

And I’ll tell you, when a small arts council like the FCAC sponsors a reception, they really turn it out and do everything in their power to get people there! I mean, the volunteers with FCAC sent out a card with my jewelry on it, emailed their list, provided the space AND food and drink for the event all to expose my work to the community and it truly means so much to have that kind of exposure!

I want to share this experience with you and hopefully with your friends to give you an inkling at how dedicated local arts community are and how essential they are to creating culture and vibrancy in a town or city. Not only that, they bring an amazing energy and vitality to the community. For example, in Greenville (our neighboring city) the Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge hosts an amazing variety of events that bring the entire city together like the PirateFest and so many other events. They also provide grants and FREE money to emerging and established artists.

And I will tell you this, with emotion and truth, I would not be where I am in my journey as a jeweler, businesswoman and artist without the support and generosity of my local arts council and the hard working volunteers that help and give their time. I am so blessed to have them share and be absolutely excited to expose local artists and makers. Deep down we are so interested in how objects are made, how an artist finds inspiration and curiosity in our world. We all want a part of that beauty and wonder.

So I take this moment to urge you to support your local arts council, if not with donations then with time and attendance to art events from music, theater, sculpture and more.

Here are photos from my reception, which took place at a local events space, 3865 South Main street in downtown Farmville.

I was really digging the exposed brick of the building.

I was really digging the exposed brick of the building.

The light that flowed in was wonderful!

The light that flowed in was wonderful!

Gotta have that fur to give emphasis to my jewels!

Gotta have that fur to give emphasis to my jewels!

To sum this all up, I’m incredibly appreciative and grateful for the opportunity my community and arts council gave me to share my jewelry with my friends and new town and I know first hand how much of an impact it has on my business. And someone like you that enjoys it, I hope that you’ll support the art council and artists in your city and region, you probably won’t ever realize how much it means to an artist.

Best Holiday gifts under $100

Lisette Fee

Are you scrambling for presents last minute? I know I’m still searching for the perfect gift for several people in my life. So here’s a quick list of my items under $100 because that’s reasonable but also generous to your loved one.

  1. Bird bone bracelet or ring, starting at $55

The delicate yet interesting shape of the bird bone make them perfect as a gift.

The delicate yet interesting shape of the bird bone make them perfect as a gift.

I’ve already given these sweet pairings as gifts - the bird bone ring or bracelet and my friends love it! The bird bone bracelet was cast from a sparrow bird bone and it’s so light and great for layering. The bracelets start at $55 and go to $135 plus you can also get them in a set with the bird bone rings.

2. Cat claw earrings starting at $40

These make purrrfect stocking stuffers or a sweet gift for the cat lover in your life. These were cast from the claws of my cat Stevie. Cats shed their claws and when I found hers on the floor I had a Eureka moment!

I love wearing these as extra studs to my larger more statement making earrings.

I love wearing these as extra studs to my larger more statement making earrings.

3. Crow claw earrings

These are just as dainty and fierce as the cat claw but with more length. I love wearing these higher up on my ear. They make fantastic gifts for the bird lover in your life.

Some say they look like dragon talons.

Some say they look like dragon talons.

As with all Eilisain Jewelry orders this holiday season your order will arrive with a complimentary polishing cloth and special gift.

This holiday season take the time to order from someone local and a gift that is handmade. Trust me when I say your recipient will truly appreciate the craftsmanship and quality.

Decking the halls with jewels

Lisette Fee

Not only is the holiday season about giving it’s also about the parties and celebrations. As a self proclaimed fashionista (tho less so now that I’m a SAHM/WFHM - stay at home mom and work from home mom) I LOVE holiday parties.

There is something to be said about putting on a glitzy dress/outfit with all the jewels and decking the halls with your friends and family. It’s magical, fun and wonderful.

Over the years I’ve had my jewelry featured in collections of outfits to help you coordinate and style your jewels. Here are some of my favorite press mentions of holiday outfits and jewels:

How gorgeous is this whole outfit, down to the perfume.  And when you’ve got  The Hunted triple crow claw ring  on EVERYONE will notice your hand and selection of jewelry.

How gorgeous is this whole outfit, down to the perfume. And when you’ve got The Hunted triple crow claw ring on EVERYONE will notice your hand and selection of jewelry.

As a former DC/VA resident I was so smitten they chose  the Hunted II owl talon cuff  with this badass outfit!

As a former DC/VA resident I was so smitten they chose the Hunted II owl talon cuff with this badass outfit!

Okay this isn’t necessarily a holiday outfit BUT it is great for lounging around with the family or when you meet up with friends for casual drinks.

Okay this isn’t necessarily a holiday outfit BUT it is great for lounging around with the family or when you meet up with friends for casual drinks.

This holiday season, whether you’re going out to the theater or to a holiday work party, dress up your outfit with jewelry. Jewelry ALWAYS amps up your outfit.

Teach me how to make jewelry

Lisette Fee

This video popped up on my feed and it brought back some fun memories of showing my friend Natalie Saywich, Greenville Reflector reporter, how to make a simple ring band.  Natalie did a series with Mixer magazine (a companion to the newspaper) on teaching her how to do jobs around Greenville.  

Creating a simple ring band is one of my favorite demos and ways to show people how to create jewelry while also getting to work with the torch, which most people love.  

Watch us in action!

What I love about Durham? Handmade and local!

Lisette Fee

I'm SO SO excited to be returning to Durham this coming Sunday, 12-5pm, for the summer Patchwork Market show!!  It's been several months since I've done a show and I really miss being out and about meeting people and sharing my love of handmade and jewelry.

If you've never been to a craft show or more specifically a handmade craft show (there are so many variations of types of craft shows) BUT they are so much fun.  The quality and craftmanship you get from handmade objects and jewelry are WAY better than what you get at the mall. 

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As a SAHM (stay at home mom) I get a bit lonely - as much as I love playing with my sweet girl, I crave being social.  Thus show time is a serious joy for me.   Plus I get to catch up with my fellow makers and bossbabes!

AND I get to shop handmade as well, seriously I do most of my gift shopping at the shows I participate in, because it is pretty amazing to connect with the person that hand makes your favorite mug, handbag, tshirt, print, jewelry and more. 

Now if you can't make it to the Durham Patchwork market you can always still shop with me online - wink, wink.  Because honestly my best pieces usually sell at these shows. 

Also check out my post on my 5 Eastern North Carolina Artists and Makers you should follow. My friend River of Rivtak is featured and she will also be selling at the Patchwork Market. 

It's a clean slate

Lisette Fee

I'm so pumped for this year, it is one of the reasons why I love to the start to the New year, beginning anew. 

Maybe it's because I'm coming off from a relaxed time at my parents house this past weekend during New Years or that I've got new stones in the studio to play with.  Either way, I'm ready to take on this year with new projects, goals and plans. 

Goofing around in my studio during my shoot with Aileen.

Goofing around in my studio during my shoot with Aileen.

Albeit even with a sweet almost-toddler, she's now 9 months old! I know deep down that I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to, it just takes careful crafting of time and balance.

Some of my plans for this year I want to share with you. 

  1. Create a new collection! Hint, hint if you've seen some of the new pieces I've been posting on instagram with the Ondine element you'll see where I'm headed.
  2. Create a program for YOU to recycle your old metal (aka silver and gold - no bronze tho) that way we can recycle and reuse.  still working on this but stay tuned.
  3. Share more stone magic with you and how to incorporate your jewelry not just in your outfit but in ritual and mindfulness.
  4. Streamline my in studio processes, so that I'm more efficient and spend less time on repetitive tasks.
My biggest goal is to make it easier and more informative for you to shop on Eilisain Jewelry. I want you to be involved in the experience and it be customized to you!
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Every year I learn so much about how I want to run my business and where I want it to go, and what I've learned mainly from 2017 is that cultivating relationships with my customers/friends creates such a happy and positive experience for both myself and you.   Especially with those that are local. 

As always thank you for reading and I look forward to sharing more!

The Holiday gift guide is here!

Lisette Fee

I'm seriously baffled at how quickly the holidays arrived....AND that it's time to get those holiday gifts.

I put together a short and sweet guide of some of my best sellers and new pieces to add to your holiday gift inventory. 

Some other very important dates to remember this upcoming Thanksgiving week:

Black Friday - November 24th - ONE DAY ONLY - 40% off EVERYTHING.  But you've got to be on my email list to get the code.
Small Business Saturday or CATurday - FREE pair of bronze cat claw earrings with any purchase over $100.  These make purrrfect stocking stuffers.
Cyber Monday - FREE Eilisain Jewelry stamped polishing cloth with any online order (trust me, you'll want a polishing cloth for all your jewelry)

One last thing - THANK YOU for shopping handmade and local this holiday season, you are pretty much helping your neighbor and community.  More revenue goes back into your hometown with dollars that are spent on local business. 

Five holiday tips for purchasing jewelry as a gift

Lisette Fee

Can you believe it, the holidays are nearly here, in my head they are already here! I'm in holiday show prep mode but I'm also thinking - I've got to get my holiday gifts in order.

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With that said, I'm sure you're also planning gifts and we all need a bit of help and advice when it comes to jewelry especially as a gift.  So here are my tips for purchasing for a loved one.

1.  When in doubt, buy a necklace - Why? Because you don't need any sort of measurements (except for maybe chain length) but really a necklace is super easy and one that most people love.

2.  Observe what kind of metal they like - Some people are strictly gold or silver and some love both.  Pay attention to what they wear on a daily basis then pick your metal.

3.   Order three to four weeks ahead of the holidays - As you know we're all in prep mode so it can take a bit longer to get your orders out the door and in your loved ones hands.

4.   Gems catch the eye - Who doesn't love bling? If you can purchase a piece with some stones or ones that are their birthstone, this is usually a big hit with women.

5.    Know the gift receipts and exchange policies - Most jewelers do not offer returns, especially small business BUT you can usually get a gift receipt or exchange receipt just in case your recipient isn't completely happy.

I hope these tips help you this holiday season and if you have any questions or additional tips - let me know!

And here's your chance to get some holiday shopping done now - click the button below.

Juggling being a mom and a boss babe

Lisette Fee

For some reason it's really hit me over the past several weeks how overwhelming it's become to be a stay at home mom/working mom/part time worker.  Maybe it's because Tallulah is now 5 months old and we're reaching the age where she's really becoming a person, aka laughing, smiling, babbling and almost eating real food.  I lay in bed at night mulling over my business, how to be creative and make it all work.  I know, it is a bit unrealistic to 'make it all work' because really it won't ever be perfect.  And I can't have one part of my life be fantastic without one chunk of it taking a hit.

Tallulah and I on a mommy and me lunch date.  She was about three months old.

Tallulah and I on a mommy and me lunch date.  She was about three months old.

And I want to share this with you because I want to be transparent and also provide some background as to why it's taking me SO long to get new designs and pieces on the website. 

I also know that as a consumer myself, I like seeing new and fresh ideas come from the makers and people I support as well.  I'm slowly learning how to schedule my free time, with sketching, creating, organizing my studio and workspace along with finishing custom orders, regular orders AND the upcoming holiday show schedule.

...a giant swell of emotion came over me - I am doing what I love, what I envisioned close to twenty years ago when I was only dreaming of becoming a creative person.

I volley between feeling completely overwhelmed and lost to determination and resolve to prioritize my time.  What usually ends up throwing my confidence is when I do the comparison game, and knowing that there is SO much that I want to improve with my business.  Then my mind spirals into an abyss of all the tasks I want to accomplish. 

So here it is folks - it's going to take me time and understanding to get to a place that flows.  In the end I have to say that I'm incredibly blessed with a supportive family and worklife that allows me to spend time with my daughter as well as run a business that I love.  Last week, as I sat at my desk journaling these exact same feelings a giant swell of emotion came over me - I am doing what I love, what I envisioned close to twenty years ago when I was only dreaming of becoming a creative person.  And I knew in that instant that I am willing to fight and work incredibly hard to keep my dream alive. It may sounds cheesy but in this current world where many individuals feel helpless or unworthy, one can not take for granted the opportunity to do what you love. 

I hope that this post gives you encouragement to follow your own dreams, because it is worth it.  Allow yourself to dream to incredible heights with limitless possibilities.  It is what gives the rest of us hope and light.

thank you for dreaming and allowing me to dream!

So you want to be a jeweler?

Lisette 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

Lisette Fee

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!

Why you should sign up for my newsletter

Lisette 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!
xoxo
Lisette

Why you need less jewelry

Lisette 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