The Law of Attraction – Local Enchantment

“To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream;

not only plan, but also believe.”

– Anatole France

A couple of weeks ago, I was in a creative slump. I was working non-stop on my website, trying to figure out more email marketing and social advertising. Researching a linesheet, and a lookbook, and about 20 other things that I have no idea how to do. (Just writing that is exhausting.) This is all while working my day job that supports my dream. 

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As an entrepreneur, this has been pretty normal for the last year and a half. But, at that particular time, all of this was geared towards sales and business. I wasn’t engaged with the love of what I’m creating or why I started it in the first place – working on this brand because it makes me happy. I had been too much of a human doing, and not enough human being. I was in serious need of some re-evaluation. Too many questions and doubts were rolling in.

Why am I doing this?

Does this even matter?

Am I burning out?

I feel like I need to go back to LA.

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So, while I was doing everything that I didn’t know how to do, and being frustrated that I couldn’t do it better – I turned to a friend for advice. I told him I was feeling really worn out on jewelry. He said, “Well – how else would you like to spend your time?”  I thought for a moment and said “I want to produce another shoot. I love styling and art direction and I wanna meet some new artists and bring some awesome people together. I don’t really even care if it is for my jewelry line – I just need an editorial to happen. I also want to write more.”

He said, “Do what you love to do, and everything else will fall into place.” So I did. And some progress has been made.

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I must say that lately there have been some game changers that have been amazing, overwhelming, scary, exciting and everything. While I’m dying to immediately share every photo from said editorial, and brag about the incredible team I got to work with, a few other cool things have happened that are important to share.

Afterall – it’s about the journey, not the destination.

Just before Thanksgiving, I met the owner of the coolest place in Lexington – the Work+Shop. This meeting couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. This space is more than just a retail shop – “it’s a place where artists, photographers, designers, videographers – come and collaborate and connect on ideas.” I had no idea this place existed, but when I found it – something awesome happened.

I was asked to be featured in an artist talk event – to share my story. “How to do more.” As I sat in front of this group of several young artists and aspiring entrepreneurs and told them about my roots and wings – it came over me that I had a huge desire to give back – more than I was. I have always questioned whether or not making jewelry was contributing to society (because in some way I felt selfish that it was hurting the environment and did nothing to better humanity.)

But this event assured me that exercising my entrepreneurial spirit and sharing it – inspires others to do the same. Working with my team gives them the experience they would not otherwise have.  I was telling a group of people who were me at that age – exactly what I needed to hear at that age! How rewarding it was… It’s not just about selling earrings. It’s about the process, who is a part of it, how we are growing together and the experiences we make along the way. The Work+Shop was a huge wake-up call…

It’s not always about doing more but BEING MORE.

Special thank you to Mr. Grapes and Miss Kendell for more inspiration than I can explain.

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Shortly after this talk – my stage fright was put to the test again when I was asked by a group of Arts Administration students at Universtiy of Kentucky to speak on a panel discussion. This panel was curated to create a conversation about the relationship between arts and culture, local commerce, and the community.

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Once again – just at the right time. There couldn’t be a better way to face all of my recent doubts. To be approached by the very student body that I was a part of not too long ago and told “We have noticed your impact on the community with your unique jewelry and believe you would be a great individual to sit on this panel. Tell your story and help us create a conversation about creativity and its relation to business” was both humbling and thrilling.

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Thank YOU universe.

I must be honest, I kinda laughed that they had the wrong girl when they told me who the other panelists were – but in hindsight, I was the perfect person to complete this event. It was awesome, and it felt good to have people ask me questions about what I’m doing.

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As all of these items were circling — there was one more item I needed to fall into place. Months prior, I decided that there was a boutique in town that I wanted to partner with to display my jewelry. I reached out to the owner and after meeting with her, I was asked to do a trunk show at Morton James – “an edgy, boho, casual-chic boutique” – not unlike my gypsy jewels.

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But for some reason, I was super intimidated to reach out to them. I knew they carried brands that I respect, and even aspire to be like, so that was clearly the place for me. So why was I intimidated? I’m still not completely sure. Even after I did the trunk show, I went back to questioning what it is that I’m doing. Am I here just to sell jewelry?

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…Which brings me back to the shoot.

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I am here to build a community that I love – with like-minded people, curated with passion and creativity.

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I’m going to work with as many talented artists as I can. Because I can. I’m going to find how our differences can work together on new ideas, direction, and inspiration. I continue to be so blown away by the talent that I have connected with, in Kentucky.

Introducing my team…

Zach Staten is an old family friend. He lives and works in Louisville and I see new work from him on the reg – with a diverse group of models. Birds of a feather, of course, we’re going to work together. Work attracts work. And his laid-back but focused demeanor is so pleasant to be with.

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From Zach I found Hayley – the second I saw her photo, I knew I wanted to work with her. Major vibe. Killer style and a look unlike any other. From Hayley – I was feeling a modern-day Disney character. Like Alice in Wonderland meets Nasty Gal.

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It was a no-brainer that we had to shoot at Shakespeare and Company. “It’s unique yet familiar, elegant yet homely, classic and comfortable.” Totally down the rabbit hole. Super charming. Their team could not have been more welcoming, or more hospitable. Thank you SO MUCH, Lauren!

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As I was locking in the team – my right hand Sydney took to one of our growing mood boards, building on concepts, wardrobe, and all things inspiration. This process of going over ideas with Sydney, and watching her get excited about something I want to do is one of my favorite feelings in the world.

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Now that we had our ideas on lock – it was time to go shopping.  I reached out to POPS Resale and pitched my concept. As luck would have it, I was invited to spend the coolest afternoon there, trying on vintage clothes and collaborating with my new friend, Jane. *Disclaimer – I have been building a relationship with this boutique for several months – I am not implying that you can cold call a place and borrow wardrobe at the drop of a hat.*

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Serendipity put the finishing touches on the 80’s prom dresses, headpieces, and lace gloves with their contemporary jeans, (vegan) leather pants, and my favorite “local girl” sweat-shirt. Thank you to Jenna for her ongoing support and encouragement.  HAPPY 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of store opening!

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Makeup artist extraordinaire is Anna Maria – my go to for laughs, honesty, and confidence – a real “let’s do it all” kinda girl. She has grown to be a very close friend that I no longer picture life without. I sent her the mood board, showed her the wardrobe and models – and she took it from there. 

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Our hairstylist found me in the nick of time. I had worked with Alexion years ago in the Lexington Fashion Collaborative.  She messaged me on Instagram on a whim – we met for drinks that night – and BOOM! Fate had planned this meeting exactly a week before this shoot was scheduled to happen. It’s not every day you find a woman who is equal parts hairstylist, fashion stylist, and jewelry designer…. #triplethreat. 

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I thought we were ready to roll, but it turns out there was one last puzzle piece. I met Ali Ann through several mutual friends, and I loved the work she was putting out. A quick meet up turned into a major connection – I had found one more person who was eager to shoot for the sake of collaboration and art. This project called for 2 models and I didn’t even know it. 

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And then the day came: Walking around the set, watching my team interact, feeling the excitement, exchanging ideas, laughing just because, and saying – “I’m so glad to be here” – is what it’s all about. The gratitude I felt for bringing the group together and creating art and opportunity – means I’m doing something right. Reviewing the photos with the photographer solidified that we killed it. But don’t take my word for it, take a look for yourself.

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“Local Enchantment”, indeed. 

The more I say aloud that I want to do something, or that I’m going to do something – the closer I get to it.

At first, I was scared to say things aloud like –

“I want to get into this store” or “I want to sell on this website”.

“I want to work with this person” or “I want to meet with that person.”

“I’d like to get more comfortable speaking in front of others.”

“I need to be more involved with the community.”

And when I was scared of it – nothing was happening. If you don’t speak up – how will words and thoughts and vibes travel? Think happy thoughts, and happy things will happen. And vice versa. I’ve struggled with depression, and even more so with grief. I’ve realized that when I’m in my dark times – they get darker. When I let the sunshine in – it’s sparkles and unicorns.

We are all so talented – so capable. I spend a lot of time missing the things that I did in LA. So if I can’t go there – I will bring my experience here. I don’t want to just mess around and take some photos of my jewelry to share online. I want to create an experience for others to be apart of – and thrive on.

Don’t just do more – BE MORE.

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“To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream;

not only plan, but also believe.”

– Anatole France