Ever since I was a little earth girl, about 9 or 10, I became obsessed with making things and selling them. I started with making gift tags. I'd stamp construction paper, cut around the stamped image and tied a piece of yarn to it. My 4th grade teacher needed a tag for a gift and I was there to supply her. That sale, although only 25 cents, really excited me. The thought of making money from the items that I created was very magical to me, and honestly, it still is.
Then my grandmother found a box of pieces of wood. They were scrap pieces but were sanded down and nicely shaped. Some were shaped like the head of a bird and, so, I found pictures of a Cardinal and a Chickadee and painted the wood pieces as birds. My grandmother was also having a garage sale, so I priced them and sold them at her sale. I maybe sold two, but this time at $2-3, and I thought, wow! I'm really onto something!
We used to have craft shows at our elementary school and I wished so bad that I could have had my own table to sell my crafts. I remember begging one of my friends, who's mother was selling her crafts, to let me have a tiny corner on her table to sell my items. Sadly, I was told 'no' but it definitely didn't discourage me.
Unfortunately, I didn't return to my art making until my early 20's. At that time, I was at my boyfriend's mother's house and she was making jewelry. She asked if I wanted to make a pair of earrings. And I just had this feeling before I sat down to make them; if I start this, it's very possible, I may never stop. I specifically remember thinking that. I must have intuitively known that I was about to open a door to a whole journey.
My jewelry started off as very chunky, earthy pieces. They were beautiful, and sold here and there, but something wasn't right. I tried making bags with postive sayings on them and colorful bound journals. They were also beautiful, but still, I didn't make enough money to support myself. I circled back around to jewelry, this time making the designs simpler and easy for everyone to wear. I attended every craft show, festival and market that would accept me. Sometimes I sold a lot, and sometimes I sold only one thing. But I kept at it, never ever throwing in the towel and giving up. Giving up was never an option, the only option was to become better; better designs, better marketing, better set up and website. Every aspect of my little business has been worked on and, slowly but surely, I began to see the established business Earth Girl Designs was destined to be.
I didn't realize at the time, but Earth Girl Designs grew as I myself grew. As I evolved, it reflected in my jewelry. Even still I see it in my pieces. As I fall in love with new ideas and things and places, there is sure to be a piece of jewelry that will reflect that new obsession. Now that I've "tapped into" the collective consciousness through my creativity (and, yes, you have access to it too, we all do!) my ideas for new designs, new color combinations, fresh energy, will never run out.
I am a truly blessed girl to now be able to fully thrive off of my jewelry designs. I get to live in my grandmother's old house that my father and I fixed up in Tupper Lake, NY, and work everyday on something I love. It's a simple story, but I have no doubt I've lived a life like this before. I bet I've been an artisan in many past lives, and that it would only be natural for me to be one in this lifetime; it's just too deeply a part of me.
This journey of 15 years has taken me places, taught me things, and opened my heart and mind in ways I never knew existed. I'm thankful for every part of it, every struggle and victory. It's not supposed to be "easy", and I'm glad it wasn't. Because, today, I am strong, beautifully independent and I have become the kind of woman that I would have truly admired as a little girl. And she's still there, that little girl, we are each other's inspiration.
And that is how I started making jewelry:)
Thank you for reading my little story, blissings to you, namaste <3
-Rachel (earth girl)