I’ve met Marisa a couple times at local shows, and I was so excited when Dorene tagged Marisa as her creative crush!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS : I am deeply passionate about running my business, as I think most all small business owners are, especially when it involves something creative and close to the heart and spirit. It has helped me really get to know myself, which is both rewarding and challenging. I love all aspects of it, the creation process, juggling wholesale/retail/personal client relationships, and sharing my work independently in a show setting. Being the face of the business really allows me the opportunity to get to know my customer, who over time, starts to feel like a friend. Its really wonderful.
FAVORITE CANDY/TREAT : Hmm, this definitely changes with the seasons, these days, abbotts chocolate almond frozen custard. In a waffle cone. With sprinkles. Deeply satifying but not overwhelming. I’ve only had that once this summer so far. That needs to change.
WHAT’S A RECENT FAVORITE FIND : This sounds super nerdy, but I recently discovered a tool supplier on-line called FDJ tool. In preparation for my upcoming studio move, (to The Yards at Rochesters Public Market, for those of you are are familiar) I’ve needed to pick up a number of quality specialty tools. They have a vast selection ranging from beginner economy tools all the way to professional grade. Their customer service is exceptional, rates competitive and the owner seems like a pretty upstanding, transparent guy. They even send a free T-shirt when you spend over $150. I might be wearing mine right now.
TELL US HOW YOU GOT STARTED WITH YOUR COMPANY : I got my start in jewelry in the same way I have done most major things in my life. I put myself out there, at the right time, to the right person and things connected and took off. Fast. I met local silversmith Sharon Jeter five years ago this August. I was selling some of my art work at the time on a brief (or so I thought) visit back to Rochester (I am a native), looking to move back down to Ashville, NC where I felt like things were really connecting for me creatively. Long story short, Sharon and I got to talking and I asked if she would ever be interested in having studio assistant. She suggested I connect with her the following February which I did, picking up a part time job locally in the meantime. Helping Sharon with her needs 8 hours a week really helped me get to know the tools and materials. Meanwhile, I was applying to the small crop of craft shows springing up around town, and started to come into the studio a little extra to try and make work to show and sell at these shows. By July 2010, the part time job I held was no longer an option, so I just jumped in head first. It was through Sharons generosity and trust that this path opened up and became possible, and through my leap of faith that the dream became real. I see so many makers tettering between both worlds, of being employed by and outside source and trying to hussle their wares, struggling and frustrated in both. I really believe that this is not how we are intended to live. By making that jump, you will be amazed by the flow of life you have now allowed in, becoming one with it and allowing its currents to carry you. It’s how life should be and only through resistance do we suffer. Its also important to remember, the world doesn’t owe you anything, and only through handwork, discipline, and taking care each other do we achieve our goals. You’re not going to come out of the shoot landing your dream job, you have to earn it and show the world how bad you want it.
ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW ENTREPRENEURS : Network, take every opportunity you can to be out there (especially early on), be a kind, compassionate, understanding human being, and DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY. Also, reading the 4 Agreements by Miguel Ruiz is a must. Treat everyone like you would your best friend/client ever. Be your awesome, genuine self. No one else will do and everyone can see through the alternative.
WHO’S A FELLOW ENTREPRENEUR YOU’RE CRUSHING ON RIGHT NOW : Oh jeeze, my Rochester pride is going to pour out here… I hope I can name a few because these ladies are all on the level. Starting with the paintings and illustrations by Sarah C. Rutherford and Lea Rizzo. These ladies are beautiful, selfless people and their work empowering and enchanting. They are the founders of the Yards Collaborative Art Space which serves as a hub of creativity and community involvement in the arts here in Rochester. Through the Yards so much has become possible for area artists and makers. Shawnee Hill is another Yards member and favorite painter/illustrater of mine. She is apart of the Wall Therapy project this year, which works to beautify neighborhoods and inspire communities through public murals. Her line work is breathtaking. For the sake of keeping this list short because I could go on in Rochester alone for a good while (and that’s just Rochester). I have to include Ashley Jean Landon, better known as The Knotty Owl. This girl. So many levels of awesome. She is my rock in the jewelry world, an inspiring, supportive powerhouse whom I have developed a close friendship with over the past few years. She is best known by her fans for her colorful geometric wood jewelry. I just love her. We are currently involved in a most exciting new project together, a collaborative brand we are calling TRINE Adornment with another amazingly talented jewelry friend of ours Amber Dutcher. We are set to launch Park Ave Fest weekend sharing a tent space with three other ladies who have running a collaborative business down, Devil May Care and Kiley Kouture.
If you want to catch Marisa in person, check her out at these shows:
Park Ave Fest: August 2nd + 3rd, Rochester, NY
Clothesline Arts Festival: Sept 6th + 7th, Rochester, NY
Crafty Bastards: September 27th + 28th, Washington, DC (sharing a space w/TKO)