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Filtering by Category: studio

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.

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.

The nesting period is over

Lisette Fee

I'd be remiss if I didn't elaborate more on my pregnancy; despite being my own boss I still answer to someone and that's you!  With that said, I'm due any moment now and I'm quite thrilled, nervous, scared and ready.   And I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts and plans on this new phase in my life. 

Tallulah's room.  I had such a fun time decorating it.

Tallulah's room.  I had such a fun time decorating it.

As an artist and jeweler I create for a living but now I'm creating something that will be my most precious treasure and it will change everything.  The most beneficial part of being my own boss is that I work from home (most of the time) and I'm so incredibly blessed and thankful for that, I'll be able care for Tallulah and have the flexibility to work in my home studio.  Yet it'll be a balance of juggling home life and work life all in the same space. 

What changes can you expect with your Eilisain Jewelry orders?
I'm taking three weeks of 'maternity leave' - it won't be official as business never really stops but I will be more removed from social media posts and marketing.
With that said, it will take me a bit longer to respond to inquiries and direct messages, perhaps 2-3 days.
I will of course continue to take your orders, as I've already prepared stock inventory and new one of a kind pieces ready to ship.  It may take a bit longer though for select pieces of jewelry.  And as you know I'll communicate with you the timeline of your order.

Leading up to the pregnancy it's definitely been a bit of struggle using my hands, which I didn't think would be an issue.  No one really talks about the bloated and swelling feeling you can get in the latter stages of pregnancy.  As well as being constantly tired.  It's been frustrating as I'm used to being able to run around and get things done.  

I think I was about 30 weeks pregnant in this photo. 

I think I was about 30 weeks pregnant in this photo. 

It's a strange feeling carrying another life in your body and feeling the movements.  It'll be strange when she's actually born to meet someone that has been in the womb for nine months.  I've been reading as many books as I can get my hands on, reread them and imagined what it'll be like holding her and as you'd imagine, it probably won't compare to the real thing.  I've compared it to taking a test or preparing for a marathon, you can train and study all you want but you won't know the experience until you actually have it.

Anywho, I wanted to share with you a little bit of what I've been going through personally.  And those of you that do know, thank you so much for your constant support and generosity - it has meant SO much!

As always thank you for reading.