I have spent the last several months LEARNING. I decided to stop and make some decisions and really decide what drives me. I have been writing a lot...a lot a lot a lot...but lots of it isn’t ready to share yet. One of the things that has been moving me the most, is really sitting and listening to the stories of others.
Soooo....while I’m sorting through my own story, I’m going to start writing about people who make and do beautiful brave things, and why. I know there’s always a story behind anything beautiful that makes our heart beat fast...and I have been fortunate enough to get to know a lot of amazing artists, artisans, writers, people who are passionate about bringing beauty, truth and ideas into the world. I am hoping I can help you get to know some of them as you stop by my blog.
I am starting with Jeanne Oliver. I will introduce her, then show you some of her beautiful work...then let her tell her story below...I hope you will enjoy. :)
As I begin, I want you to know that there are only a few things that I find myself buying new.....and I save and save and save so I can do it, because they are usually things that are unique and wonderful and beautiful and artistic and have a story behind them...and they aren’t things that everyone else has, so they are rare, which makes them cost a bit more, but that rareness also surely makes me love them more....so I make sacrifices so I can be so in love with those things...almost everything else I buy at thrift stores, on ebay or I put them together myself...that’s just how I roll...
I will sacrifice like crazy to buy the right pair of cowboy boots, and I have done it a lot. There are a few other things that makes my heart beat fast enough to buy them as soon as they come out.....and pay whatever I need to pay to be the proud, adoring owner of those things....or the giddy gift-giver of those things....
Jeanne Oliver’s bags, clothing and accessories are some of those things. I own several of them. I wait and wait and wait for her collections to come out.....and then she just treats her crowd with the most beautiful presentation of photography and words and beauty that show that she cares about her craft....her art...her passion....and she cares deeply about the people who invest in it. From the time you look at her catalogs, you will be in love...but then, on the day your package arrives.....you will find that the thrill doesn’t end, because she packages everything SO BEAUTIFULLY with the most special details, vintage ephemera and hand-written notes.....in this world of MASS EVERYTHING, she makes you feel special, and like you just made a really good decision to invest HER special-ness. It is an experience.
What is super amazing, cool and inspiring is that she started this whole thing from her kitchen table, while homeschooling her children and tending to her nest and loving on her husband....and took one of the bravest leaps I have ever seen to make it happen...she continues to believe in it and pour everything she’s got into it....I mean...lots of people have a dream and an idea to go out and have their own fashion line...but how many people actually go out and do it?
Anyway....I really wanted you to check out her new line...and then keep checking every season as she comes out with new stuff. I can highly recommend her bags as a gift for ANYONE, her camera bag is beautiful and phenomenal and protective and simple yet funky and totally unique fashionable, and SO WELL MADE and I often even use it as a laptop bag. Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE vintage floral fabrics....so whenever she makes a new bag out of vintage fabrics....I figure out a way to invest in those too.
You MUST just check out her whole line.
CLICK HERE to see the gorgeousness of her LOOKBOOK
and CLICK HERE to see the whole line in all of it's glory. She's got orginal art, clothing, jewelry, prints, and a gathering of vintage treasures too.She is also doing a very special online course about embracing your innate gifts, called CREATIVELY MADE, I am so excited about it!!!
ohhhhh....and just because you gotta...CLICK HERE to see her home in the Holiday Home Tour
....then read her story below. I asked her how she got started.....you can read it all in her own words.
"I was the little girl always making crafts. If I had any money in my pocket it was spent on Jolly Rancher sticks and art supplies from the Ben Franklin. If I wasn't making something I was writing under a tree or directing the whole neighborhood (not always willingly) in a production of this or that. I continued creating in some form or another while I was growing up. As a teenager I was obsessed with Elvis, James Dean and of course Marilyn Monroe. On Saturday afternoons my mom would bring the ironing board down to the living room and iron all afternoon while watching old movies. My obsession with a generation different than my own continued. No matter whether I was captivated by the story, actors, location or music....the style of the clothing always stole the show and captured my attention. I would spend many years trying to re-create these styles and designs.
When I was a senior in high school I sat down with my guidance counselor. I had my make shift portfolio in my lap. I told him I wanted to go to design school. It is funny how time changes the story and the details get foggy. I don't remember much of what we talked about. I wasn't there long. All I specifically remember is that I was told it was too hard and to pick something else. The funny (and sad) thing is that I believed it. I didn't go to design school. I did go to college and majored in psychology and history. I did fine in both of these and especially history because it is one of my passions too. I struggled though. Many phone calls home in tears. I didn't realize it at the time but the tears were because I was lost. I wasn't studying what I was supposed to. I truly believe we can do many things very well that we were never supposed to do. Thank goodness for second chances!
As a young wife and mother I spent my extra time decorating and paying attention to all the little things that made me so happy. When I was introduced to scrapbooking I was hooked. I loved having a reason to spend money on art supplies again and I told myself it was for my family. As the years went on I was creating journals, frames and anything I could in the hours after the children were in bed. As it often is...my creations ended up being birthday and Christmas gifts. Over and over I was told I should sell them. I would smile or laugh a little and that was it. One day a shop owner wanted to come over and see what I was making. She ended up buying multiple pieces and then turned around within minutes (literally) and doubled her money. That was a wake up call for me. I COULD make money selling the things I was making. I signed up for a very (VERY) small church bazaar. I didn't know what to expect. At the end of the day I had sold almost everything I had brought. On the way home I stopped at a local boutique that I loved and showed them what was left and they not only bought everything....they asked me to make more.
That was the beginning. Four years ago I participated in that little bazaar. Four years ago I started. There is amazing, amazing power in JUST STARTING! From there I opened an Etsy shop. It was just me and a few ladies sewing with me. It was small but we worked hard. We built something from nothing. As my business grew I also grew. I grew bolder. I started remembering all those designs I used to draw. We eventually were able to open our own website and grow my creativity with photography and our lookbooks. There are so many more designs and ideas inside of me but I am trying to be patient. There will be a time for all of it...all because I started. What are you waiting to start? What do you have to lose?"
Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Thank you so much, Jeanne!
I will have more stories soon...right now I am working hard writing curriculum for our next online course, which has been recieved with even more excitement and thrill than we hoped!!! So many of us deal with this issue...and we have created a wonderful course to heal our relationship with our bodies through art and journaling...I am so excited about it and that's what most of my creative energy is going into right now!
you can check it out here!!! CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT BODY RESTORATION
or go to www.bravegirlsclub.com
Hope you are having a WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON!!! You might want to also check out some of the fun holiday things we are doing at Brave Girls Club....like these videos about how to handle difficult people over the holidays...just a little something to add a smile to your day and help you to GO WHERE THE PEACE IS!!
PART ONE AND PART 2 of our very entertaining video series.....c'mon...it will be worth the time!!!!