Monday, February 9, 2009
Gorgeous, right? This week's featured artisan is none other than Linda Lee Tritton of Linda Lee Studio. Linda Lee's Etsy shop is filled with gorgeous and unique handcrafted jewelry with a fun, fashion-forward vibe.
Tell me a little about yourself and what you do.
Designing jewelry is one of my biggest passions. Apart from that, I am married to a fantastic man named Brett. He is fully supportive of me in every way. Currently, we have 4 kitties and a dog.
I am self-employed as an instructional designer/training specialist—I design and help develop online training courses for companies (large or small). The courses I create range from soft skills, like customer service and leadership, to technical skills—such as learning an internal computer program for monitoring sales.
I devote a lot of my extra time (what's that again??) to friends, family, and volunteering in an organization called Pathways, which is an experience-based training where you can work through past events and craft a life that you're excited about. The program changed my life, and it is a privilege for me to give back to it.
What 3 words best describe your work?
Whimsical, sophisticated, and unique
What inspires you?
Honestly? Everyday life. Once last fall, I sat in Starbucks and I gazed over at the coffee mug display and saw different colors of coffee mugs smushed together. My brain started going wild with design ideas. I specifically buy or make lampwork beads and gemstones that speak to me, and I love challenging focals.
I once received a free set of beads from a lampwork artist that were technically wonderful, but the color combination was a bit of a stretch. These beads weren't the most appealing to look at on their own. I let them sit in my bead box for almost a year, and then one day when I was bored, I pulled out that set of beads and turned them into a necklace that makes the color combination successful. Occasionally I will place limitations like that on myself specifically to flex my design muscles.
I love color!! I used to say that I liked every color but yellow (long story!), but right now I'm working on a piece with citrine as the central gemstone! Color, autonomy, fun, and individuality are imperative in my life, and I like to let my jewelry tell that story.
What drives you to create what you do?
I am an artist at heart-- always have been, always will be. I also love sparkly things... and yet-- there is a side to me that's very earthy as well. These characteristics definitely show in my work.
I am driven to create because I can't NOT create!
One of my biggest thrills is watching a customer's face light up when she finds the perfect necklace. Everyone deserves to feel special. I feel like my creations are a tangible reminder that whoever is wearing the piece deserves to feel beautiful! That may sound corny, but it's the truth.
What makes your work unique?
I think jewelry should be fun and colorful, and it should brighten your day. I create pieces that evoke feelings. If I'm feeling a little blue, I have certain pieces that literally cheer me up when I put them on.
I also think it's important for jewelry to be fashion forward yet sophisticated.
The biggest thing that makes my work unique, though, is that it comes straight from my heart. I've never seen anyone create jewelry quite like mine, and I dig that.
What role does your work play in your life?
At this point in time, jewelry design is a passion that I cram into the tiny slivers of time when I'm not working my day job, volunteering, or spending time with friends and family.
What role would you like your work to play in your life?
I would love for it to play a much bigger role. If we were in a position for me to be a full time jewelry designer, I'd already be doing it! That is my goal, though.
How do you see your work and/or your business evolving in the next five years?
I've tossed around a lot of ideas and thought about this very question. The struggle is finding a balance between growing my business, concentrating on expanding my customer base, and keeping my designs fresh and full of passion.
I am careful to take a break from designing when I feel my designs reaching a plateau, or when I feel my passion waning. That being said, I have been featured in boutiques in New York City and Dallas, and I hope to continue adding more boutiques to the list.
My biggest goal this year is to get my website up and running. I would also like to get my lampwork studio built, so that I can start making lampwork beads at home.
Where can we find you on the web?