The birth of Teatime Designz has been an evolution of design, patience and intention. Puns came later!
The year was 2009, I had been a college graduate for 2 years and working full-time, for the first time in my field, as a Motion Graphic Artistic. Life was decidedly better and it was during a time that I was experimenting with jewelry. Creating beaded bracelets, necklaces and learning what the hell, crimping was.
These early designs were very traditional and were given as gifts to family and friends at the Holidays. The idea of Teatime Designz did not germinate till later that year. Like any good Graphic Designer, I started with my name and logo. This gave me an identity and a theme. Teatime Designz with a ‘z’ meant it had pizzazz!
Diving into research mode lead me to Etsy, a platform for creative people like myself. The excited and inexperienced jewelry designer that I was, thought, “My designs are going to be so well received and people will find me.” As you might have guessed, this did not happen and like so many creatives and entrepreneurs, when the going gets tough, we stop going. In my defense life was about to get really hard and Teatime Designz would have to wait.
“Never let a stumble be the end of your journey.”
I’ve been wanting to write about my journey for awhile, but was partly embarrassed to share my struggle. I’ve learned over time that there is no embarrassment is learning, struggling and failure. The knowledge I’ve gained has made me a better business person, more confident in my work and has opened doors to new creative endeavors.
Teatime Designz laid dormant for a long time. Old jewelry designs were either lost, given away or packed for another day. For the next 5 years, I would jump from design job to no job, to hard labor to freelance. Gaining experience, character and knowledge along the way.
“We fast-forward to the year 2014”
All my design experience and freelance work had taught me a lot about websites, blogs and social media. I wasn’t by any means an expert, but I could rely on my skills to build my own website and slip away from Etsy. Teatime Designz had a new resurgence and this time around, I decided to focus on the ceremony of tea to influence my jewelry.
I was so excited about these pendants. They were new and completely different from what I had done in the past and were authentically me. Following trends can possibly get you that big sale, but there is no longevity in it and for me personally, it wasn’t honest. Why create something you don’t believe in?
Resin was my newest obsession. I filled the tiny teacups with resin and a mix of acrylic to get a dark, black tea. The metals I worked with were aluminum, steel, brass and copper. I Loved the look of exposed gears and steampunk attitude and imbued that influence into one of my pendant designs called, “Tea Punk.” Here starts my punny journey. 😉
My photography had improved as well as my knowledge of creating a story and building an audience. I remember when I reached 100 followers on Instagram and thought, ONE HUNDRED FOLLOWERS!!! Gotta love the excitement of new beginnings. Shortly after, I had my first sale, my first share, my first like….it was the energy I needed to keep going and believe in myself. My connections grew online and soon I was apart of tiny communities, all in love with tea.
My first complaint. One of my resin pieces fell apart and to make matters worse they were in a foreign country and I had to explain, over email, how to repair it. This knocked me down a few notches and forced me to rethink my designs aesthetically and practically.
The last half of 2014 was the starting of a new cycle.
I was back working full-time in the design industry and was able to save money for the first time, in along time. I managed to save enough money to surprise my Husband on our Anniversary, with a trip to Las Vegas for Christmas. We had such an amazing time. Time away from the day-to-day, social media and Teatime Designz, allowed me to think clearly and recharge. Christmas Eve, while at a jousting tournament, (not kidding) I had the brilliant idea to use actual tea leaves in my jewelry.
When we arrived home, I began to steep on my idea of working with real tea. The trial and error an error process of resin and organics began. At the time, there was little information about this concept online and was forced to just figure it out on my own. When I felt secure about my work, I had my first Instagram Giveaway.
Furthering my knowledge on crystals, gemstones, energy and tea was a must.
“And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that never were.” “Rather than turning the page, it’s much easier to just throw the book away.” “Begin today. Declare out loud to the universe that you are willing to let go of struggle and eager to learn through joy.”
2015 was my year for Spirituali-tea. It was this year, I learned to connect with my Spirit Guides, feel crystal energy for the first time and begin to learn about the importance of chakra energy and balancing.
My packaging also improved. With every sale, I cleansed my jewelry pieces with collected moon water and provided a personal letter about the jewelry with every purchase. I began to develop a real sense of togetherness and understanding of my jewelry and learned that in-fact, what I was creating was not jewelry, but Totems also known as Talismans. This is something I talk about immensely in another blog and it gets personal. If you care to read, follow this link. I love creating totems and feel this is one of my gifts for helping others. If you are interested, you can learn more here.
2016 would further this knowledge. Bought a new XLR Camera and this greatly improved my photography. More and more my story was emerging. I had an idea, back in 2014 about tea and spirituality. The thought of tea actually having spiritual properties began to intrigue me. Again, this was a topic NO ONE was talking about. When you researched tea and spirituality, my search results were flooded with pages on tea leaf readings and that was not my intention. At shows customers would talk to me about my jewelry and we would discuss moon energy, spiritual energy, elemental energy and tea energy. These discussions and their interest let me know I was on to something, but the “How” was missing. How was I going to bring this concept to fruition? How would people receive it? How was it going to look and in what form, would I choose to educate people? This would continue to allude me till the middle of 2017.
Bracelets, Bracelets, Bracelets
Awe, 2017 you gave me a rough start. The stable job I had was no longer and found myself unemployed on the 6th of January. This experience was one of my darkest and all my new ideas, shows and content were all on hold and for a long time. I’m a firm believer of going through the emotions and stages of loss, so you can come out stronger on the other end. My stages of loss lasted for quite a long time and with every let down and set back, it through me into a tailspin of grief and negativity. In the end, it was myself that decided enough was enough and started a gratitude journal plus changed my eating habits. After these changes and before my big break, life was feeling much better.
September brought happy news and I was again employed. It was a new business and I would have a big role and this was exactly what I needed to jump-start my life and Teatime Designz again.
Bracelets! I had been asked at shows and online about the possibility of bracelets, but I didn’t know how to got about it. It had to incorporate tea, but how? What about creating my own beads, I thought and there in-lies my journey into bracelets. They made their debut this year at the end of July and were LOVED! People could not believe I made the beads myself. It was good to wait. Rushing creativity is never an option. Putting time, thought and hard work behind an idea always prevails. You can see more bracelets here.
What does the future hold?
I’m so glad you asked! BIG, HUGE things are coming for the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018. My Spirituali-tea project has found it’s voice and I’m pushing forward. In-fact, it’s going into production this weekend! Remember all those notes I told you about, well after I got my job and financially, things started to improve… well, so did my focus. I meditated on my special, TOP SECRET project and asked my faires to help. Yep, I have fairies. We all do. Any ways, I had the concept down, but needed the way or vision to bring it all together in an easy-to-understand approach.
I was eating crackers with cheese, meat and yummy spices. I put everything neatly onto a plate and began to eat lunch and meditate on my project, asking my fairies for help. Call me crazy, but while I was eating my last cracker a little voice said, “Look for a sign.” Sitting in-front of me was my plate, minus the food and there was my design. The spices and eaten food had left in their wake the answer to my quandary. I feverishly went to my notebook and drew what I was seeing. So excited that I finally had a layout and direction for my project. As much as I want to spill the beans, I have to wait and be patient. Once this is in print and in my hands, I’ll share my concept. With that said, I’m funding this project entirely by myself and that’s another reason why it’s taken this long. Fear not, I will be a chatty cathy when it’s available.
Okay, on to the next step in this process. I will be starting a Patreon, once I launch this idea. After much thought and loving support, I realized to build a community of like minded individuals and to teach this new theory, Patreon would be a better platform. Here people are joining to learn and engage and it can be a safe place for me to share these new teachings and support others in their learning. More to come on this when it’s available and my Newsletter, Tea Timers will be the first to know!
So there you have it, the evolution of Teatime Designz. Thank you so much for following my journey and being so supportive while I grow. As a treat, I’m offering FREE SHIPPING to US and Canada from now until Christmas on ALL jewelry! So steep your cup of tea, sit and stay awhile with me. A lot of NEW Pendants and offerings including, “Day of the Dead” Pendant, Altarpiece and Bracelet.
Until next time, Tea Blessings to You!