…building a business: snowflakes

“Be who you are. Everyone else is taken” – Oscar Wilde.

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I think we all can gain inspiration from one another by seeing the creativity in people around us. It’s really inspiring to walk into an art gallery or studio or home or beautiful shop. We can appreciate what others have presented and the product/s they are selling and displaying.

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I would challenge you to look a bit harder when in these spaces of your colleagues or studios or homes. What will you find? They are not YOU. I think it is so interesting that what we find is true in our personal lives also translates to our small, creative businesses.

Just like a snowflke that has no other match, God made you alone and what better way to honor that gift & yourself, but to show it in your work. I think it’s what sets special artists apart. They are staying true to their history, their circumstances, their taste & their talent.

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What is your history?

I spent my childhood at the foot of my dad’s stool in his studio watching him bend & create jewelry. When we traveled we went up to Queens where I was shown his father’s studio and the many amazing creations he designed. It feels very natural to want to have a studio of my own and create with my hands whether it’s in paint or clay, etc.

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What are your strengths?

I have always been obsessed with my space and the job of creating a cozy environment that reflected my personality. Books, art, cushions, textures; accents with a story behind them. I get excited just thinking about it. I also married a man that loves to build & work with his hands. We designed & built our house to suit us. We love working side by side to create something sustainable.

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What is your circumstance?

For me, I have 3 kids and they will not hide behind me during my endevors. I want them up front learning the process and watching me. I want them coming to buy the paint and shop at flea markets and decorate the house. We have made our house into a project bigger than just building a home. I’ve created a business from it and I want them to see my passion.

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You may need to benchmark when starting out and observe how someone else is doing it. But, I challenge you to dig deeper by moulding your business to who you are. You have something new & interesting to bring to your work that no one else can. You have a unique history & circumstance that no one else has. How can you incorporate that into your craft? Maybe you traveled as a child. Maybe you have a physical handicap. Maybe you grew up on a farm or in the city. Maybe you lost a loved one. Maybe you inherited your Grandmother’s special tea set. Maybe you had a nickname. Maybe you had a large family.

Good or bad – how can you incorporate who you are into what you do. The shape of us, chinks in our armor can only benefit us. I believe this will make our endeavors more successful, more personal, more lasting.

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Comments

  1. Christen,

    Thank you for this post. Your words really inspired me. You truly are using the gifts God gave to you. I think it is good for our children to be apart of our work. I think they should be encouraged to create and be apart of making a lovely and comfortable home. It also inspires them to find their passions.

    Blessings,

    Rita

  2. Hi Christen, Love love love your work, but also love the ring you posted. I am obsessed with jewelry …as well as making furniture into art. Does your dad have a website? Thanks – keep posting! As you don’t hear it enough but you are so inspiring!

  3. Well said! Love your passion and this post really touched me! I have a vintage and uncommon goods shop on our farm in an old dairy barn. My husbands family farm that we purchased 3 years ago.

  4. Christen ~ THANKS SO MUCH for this post. It is very thought-provoking! Being “uniquely me” isn’t really something I’ve put thought into, when it comes to chalk-painting. I’ve just followed your blog, religiously, and do what you tell me to do. When you lay down your brush, I lay down mine. Have been taught to associate with winners (when it comes to work) and you have set the bar for me (us). BUT NOW, I can reflect on the fact that I am “adopted”, much like the furniture I paint. It arrives very “needy” and capable of being transformed (like we are to God’s image).

    Blessings! You continue to inspire me!

    Debra

    • Debra, your post brought goose bumps. Thank you so much for the heartfelt words. I feel honored that I inspire wonderful people such as yourself! xoxo

  5. Marilyn in Mt. Vernon, Virginia says:

    Christen ~ beautiful post, beautiful you.

  6. Christen- I am completely smitten with your blog, your chalk-painting and your designing. You are absolutely amazing. You have designed the home of my dreams! In fact, because of you, I have become slightly obsessed with chalk painting and I’m having so much fun learning it. All your decorating tips have helped me start to transform our home as well. One thing I want more than anything is a lantern chandelier for our foyer like the one you have in yours. Where did you get it? and also, how tall are your ceilings? We have 9 foot ceilings, so I can’t get one that is too big or it will hang too low. Any suggestions on where to get one like yours? Thank you for all your videos and tips, you have truly inspired me!

  7. Amazing post. Love this! Thank you : )

  8. I cannot say it any better than the posts before me. Bravo. Thank you. Cheers!

  9. Lisa Hayes says:

    Christen, I found you on Youtube. I was searching for a tutorial and THERE YOU WERE 🙂 Each day I check Blue Egg Brown Nest’s blog and follow you on facebook. You have inspired me to rethink my home decor and have even found an old card catalog to chalk paint. I wish Alabama wasn’t so far away from Virginia, a weekend trip would be FANTASTIC !!! I work with sooooo many talented ladies each day and we feed off of each other’s ideas. When I started my pinterest page a year ago I used the same quote from Oscar Wilde that you did on August 20 blog. We are all GOD’s creations and have individual talents. For a while I hit a wall like a writer’s block but thank’s to you I have had a JUMP START. Thank you and keep up the good work. You have been blessed and so have I.

  10. Hi Christen,

    Haven’t been posting much. We have had a major “technology” meltdown at our house, and just got the computers back up!

    I loved your post…keep growing! Psalm 139: 13-16

    Pam

  11. Glad you’re back from fishing! We live blocks from downtown Leesburg– I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t see you on King or Market Street- you would have had a fan running up to you ‘star struck!’ Thanks for your blog- your fantastic tutorials that make my friends and I feel like you’re one of us with your “ums” and all! Enjoy more summer!

  12. I love this post Christen. Being fairly new to all of this (in no small part due to your YouTube tutorials) it is very easy to be tempted to absorb other people’s ideas. I love that in a recent article Annie Sloan said that everyone’s use of her paint is unique – she could give exactly the same materials and colours to everyone at a workshop and they would all produce something completely different. So much of that, as you say, is our inner creative personality just bursting out through the brush! My dad was a fantastic artist, and my mum was very creative and cared so much about our home. For years, I have known that there was a creative leaning in me, and only now, at the ripe old age of 38 (!) have I discovered what it was. I grew up surrounded by beautiful pine furniture so I suppose it was only natural that I would end up coming full circle!

    Your post made me feel a little bit emotional, and I just had to write to say thank you!

    Best wishes

    Charlotte Dee xxx

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