Wednesday, May 19, 2010

thoughts from the studio

Over the past couple of months I have has some interesting emails asking all sorts of questions. Mainly asked, if I would be making any more jewelry, if I'd be doing any more how-to articles, and why the switch?
I felt like my answers fell short, and I guess I was having a hard time really explaining it myself. We set up a shop on Artfire yesterday, and there you have a blog to play around with. Well what started as a little intro to our business ended up being our (my) story. It kind of all came pouring out, and I thought maybe I should copy it over to here.
I've embarked on a new whacky ride.... and I can only compare it to driving for the first time out west, we'll say on a long road in the desert with nothing but a back-pack and a few sandwiches in your car, and you can forget that cell phone folks. Really who needs to know where you're going, when you're not sure yourself, you just know you'll get there and it'll be great.

So far it has been great. Here's the story in short....

I've always had a love for making just about anything and everything, and one of those things happens to be bath products. You know, that at-home-you-better-use-it-tonight-or-it-will-go-bad-olive oil-and-sugar-scrub-stuff. But seriously, we've had some pretty fun spa nights with our homemade goops & there was a time I was becoming addicted to homemade products I could find on Etsy. Last year my favorite bath & beauty Etsy seller mailed and said she was closing her shop. Well, we went into panick mode as A) we were addicted to her sugar scrub like some might be to to their morning coffee, and B) I was planning to shop with her for Christmas gifts and hadn't given any thought to what else I could actually buy the folks on my shopping list. huh.

After digging around in the attic for some old B & B recipes, I set to work on making what I thought in my mind would be fabulously luxurious products that would have my fans (sisters, mothers and grammys mostly) weeping at my feet for more. Well I wont get into the details, but basically those first products I made weren't even allowed to see the light of day.... there would be no weeping at anyone's feet!

But I will throw that comparison out there again. I had basically fueled up the car, rolled up the sleeping bag and was heading to the corner store for a map.

And there began the journey.

I was addicted to every recipe I could find and alter. I needed to know what "emulsified" meant and what was really "all natural" and what was not. I needed to know what a "top note" smelled like, and what "evaporation" meant. My kitchen table and countertops were no longer fit for eating. I just HAD to do this.

Soon Christmas was around the corner and I threw several parties, inviting some of my best gal pals to swing by, eat, drink, be merry and make B & B Christmas gifts using my own newly revised & not so goopy recipes.

And wow. make gifts we did.
And though my sisters weren't on their knees kissing my feet and weeping with gratitude, they did ask for more, and more and more..... that's right.

Once the holidays were over and I had plenty of time to get over myself, my long-time girlfriend Jolene called me sounding very grave and serious. All she could think about was the fun we had making those scrubs! (well I had been thinking this too, and was actually wondering if any one I knew had a birthday coming up just so I could make more sugar scrub.) She had a serious proposal for me.

Now please know, Jolene has been involved in many of my artistic endevors over the past 15 years, so we knew we worked well together, and always said things like maybe one day we'd have a biz together. I remember her telling me years ago (she was sitting on my lawn in front of the barn, sanding a piece of furniture that I was going to paint & she was covered in dust from head to toe.) ANYHOO... I remember her saying, "Jessie I would invest in any business you were involved in". Well I thought that was the nicest compliment, and really only remembered it now, about 7 years later. And here we are.

Jolene's investment was not just her book-keeping skills, and cold hard cash, but the use of a wonderful apartment turned studio that she and her man were not renting out..... her feeling was, why let it just sit there? So we set up shop in our adorable above-the-garage-apartment, and for the past four months we have been playing with all of those first recipes I created until we felt (and all of our testers felt) that the product was just right. We have blended our own scents and waved them under eachother's noses blurting out words that made us think of the scent. We've incorporated Sweet Mojo, we have designed over 90 labels and have taken hundreds of photos. We've set up shop on Etsy and Artfire. We have been busy and happy and proud. We love our stuff, we love our labels and I think we actually like ourselves a little more.

Chances, I've always believed in taking chances.

SO.... friends.... I hope that maybe this all makes a little more sense. I also hope that you will still feel free to write me any questions you have about previous jewelry articles. And YES I will pick up those jewelry pliers again some day, and though it will probably be for fun and "just because", I can guarantee it will be more inspired then ever.

peace out! Jes


  1. your story really makes me believe in reincarnation. ... your drive to do this thing. good luck and i'm sure i'll be a customer.

  2. Thanks for adding your creative voice to the ArtFire community. We're very glad to have you.



  3. Hi, Jessica!! I just ordered some of your yummy perfume oil! Can't wait to receive it. I wish you much success in your new endeavor. You are so talented and your creations are so unique. Yeah!! Hugs, Sheila

  4. You are hard working and visionary! I wish GREAT success for your new business!

  5. I totally understand this and I wish you success and much fulfillment in your new endeavor!