Remarkably Lightweight + Hand Painted Earrings

Milford, Michigan

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Announcement    Welcome! Summer styles are here, and (as always) each earring weighs less than a penny! Browse to your heart's content and reach out to me if you have any questions. -Annie


Last updated on Jun 21, 2021

Welcome! Summer styles are here, and (as always) each earring weighs less than a penny! Browse to your heart's content and reach out to me if you have any questions. -Annie



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Average item review
5 out of 5 stars

About WholeheartedEmpire

Sales 5
On Etsy since 2020

At the Heart of Wholehearted Empire

What did you wholeheartedly love to do when you were a child? I loved being silly, dressing up in costumes and putting on dance recitals in my living room. I loved gymnastics so much that I could not sit through a family dinner without getting up to do handstands and cartwheels. I even got in trouble once for doing cartwheels between clothing racks inside a Target.

I also wholeheartedly loved creating. I was not the “best” artist in class, but I was the only one who begged my art teacher to let me take my art projects home so I could have more time to work on them. He was perplexed (apparently this was not a common request). He gave in to my request a few times, and then I proceeded to bewilder my parents by insisting I stay up late at night to finish the project. What teenager voluntarily gives up sleep for the sake of an art class assignment?

I did not know it at the time, but the enthusiasm I felt (the electric energy coursing through me and lighting me up from the inside out) while I danced, sketched, sculpted, painted, photographed, played the guitar, performed that monologue for theater class… that enthusiasm for creativity was my calling.

It was only after spending more than a decade doing many non-creative things (enlisting in the military; receiving both a Bachelor and Master of Science; becoming a healthcare provider, a researcher and a project manager) that I realized how much I missed creativity in my life. More accurately, I needed creativity to feel like myself.

So, I set aside all the excuses and self-judgment, and I gave myself permission to play with creativity once again. I let myself get messy and imperfect and try any creative thing that sparked my curiosity. If I wholeheartedly loved it, I kept doing it (like painting). If I was not crazy about it, I did not do it more than once (like candle making).

The researcher in me looked at this creative journey as an experiment. If I followed my heart, my joy, my curiosity, my enthusiasm… where would I end up? Would my worst fears be realized, and I’d end up jobless and homeless and starving? Or would I find a way to make a living through my creativity—the very thing that lets me feel most alive?

So far, my experiment has brought me here—to Wholehearted Empire!

Wholehearted Empire is a set of online shops where I sell my handmade earrings. I did not begin this experiment with the intention of creating a line of remarkably lightweight, hand-painted earrings. The first pair of earrings I ever made were actually created on a whim from materials I had on hand for other creative projects. But, I loved everything about them, and lucky for me, so did my Instagram followers. So, I made more…

I never would have imagined that my creative journey would lead to me to where I am now. But, I am so glad I am here, and I am glad you found your way here too. Take a look around the shop and feel free to reach out!


P.S. I'd love to connect with you on Instagram, you can find me there @WholeheartedEmpire.

Shop members

  • Annie

    Owner, Designer, Customer Service

    I've been many things--a waitress, a military member, a healthcare provider, a researcher. These days, you could call me an artist or a designer, but the truth is creativity sets me free and allows me to be me. So, you can just call me Annie.

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