…state of the union

Before taking my first job at The Reston Times, I lived in London for a bit. I must admit that I was a tad disappointed that I was not stepping into a Jane Austen novel, but recovered quickly after discovery the city for my own. I’ve had an affinity for England since I was a little girl and now that I’m thirty-something it still continues. How can you not love a country that has a real Queen, castles, cozy pubs, Guiness & those Beefeaters!

I painted my first Union Jack for my son’s room.

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I love doing a twist on the classic colors with my favorite blues.

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Since then, I’ve done about 7 custom blue Union Jack dressers for clients.

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I don’t like the idea of being exacting in my chalk painting, but I don’t feel that way when I make these. It’s actually a very rewarding process when i get to peal the blue tape back and see the pattern. I also aim to make the flag look worn & weathered. I don’t want to see a new design, rather an old, storied one.

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I had a sweet little console that I wanted to try doing a Union on the top of. I’m planning on bringing it to Luckett’s. I brought one last year and I felt like it was kinda my signature piece. Luckett’s has since graciously used it in many of their marketing posts for the Spring Market this May (18,19).

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Here is a peek at the taping process. Yes, a tad complicated.

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I always tell myself I’m going to try new colors, but seem to come back over and over to the blues.

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Come say hi at The Luckett’s Spring Market, May 18th & 19th 10-5!

xoxo

 

…Building a Business: Vision

As in life, authenticiy is the greatest gift you can give yourself. I have more respect for people if they are who they are without shame or trying to cover up their person. I may not like every style I see out there, but I can respect it if it’s genuine. This is true of your business. I have said it before, it will show if you are not being true to your vision & style. You will be unhappy working extra hard to create a look that is not your own and people will notice that you are full of hot air if you can’t back up the look you are displaying or discussing.

Wiltshire cottage front door

At a very young age I had dreams of living in a cottage somewhere in England filled with textiles, old books, lanterns and other interesting objects. (Of course I also thought I wanted to be one of the Bronte sisters as well.) My dad and I used to shop at antique shops in New Hampshire during the summertime and I loved finding objects that were old and had a story behind them. He also showed me the love of design & creating things by hand as I used to watch him make hand-made jewelry as his dad did before him.

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(This is actually my oldest daughter designing with Papa)

I hadn’t really developed my style or had the money to really develop it, but I knew what I liked.When I started Blue Egg Brown Nest, I loved that cozy, European feel, the vintage style like I was seeing in certain magazines, homes & shops. There were colors that I loved and as I started down the path of decorating my own home, I honed in on what I loved & wanted to create.

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(This demi was my first piece of inspiration.)

If you are going to have a creative business, you need to spend every day working on it and thinking about it. If you are going to spend all that time & energy you need to know your vision and almost make a mental mission statement. Don’t divert from it. Be consistent. Start as you plan to go because as you get traction, clients will associate you with a certain style and aesthetic. They will recommend you to friends looking for that look. They will think of you when they want a particular item that suits their needs. If you are all over the place, it will seem confusing and people will not hold the same type of loyality to your shop & work.

Ask yourself these question:

What is my style?

What do I know?

What do I appreciate?

What do I gravitate towards?

What is my history?

What am I good at?

These will be very easy questions if you are attune to yourself and possibly difficult questions if you are still developing who you are. A creative business is so personal. It has to just fit together. Kind of like Fiona in a vintage dough bowl.

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Your vision and your style need to be integrated into who you are and what you yourself love. If I went out and sold, say, contemporary ceramics I would not be any good at it. I don’t really gravitate towards that look; I don’t have it in my home & frankly it just doesn’t excite me. Now, if you put me in an old bookstore and told me I could pick anything I wanted I think I would have to take a few deep breaths out of excitment. That is me and I know what I like.

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Your vision will come through your business. I you haven’t developed your style yet, keep experimenting until you find what suites you. You will know when you find it because you will be good at it, you will study it and educate yourself.  The adventure of your own creative business will endure as long as you so stay true & consistent.

 

…favorite things friday – rachel ashwell bedding

I’m a big fan of Rachel Ashwell. She has such a shabby, but sweet & delicate look.

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I own all her books and a chaise from Rachel Aswell Shabby Chic Couture she designed.

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She has the most heavenly bedding!

Teal Cotton-Silk Jacquard Bedding Collection

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 Liliput White Ruffle Collection

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She has all different price points, which is awesome. You may have seen her shabby style at Target. Lovely!

Please say it’s almost nap time.