My scented mug huggers, scented bookmarks, and ornaments are now available at the local Burbank gaming and tea shop, Geeky Teas! Now, when you stop in for your favorite loose leaf tea, also pick up a mug hugger to go with it! Here are just some of the suggested pairings...
Bergamot Scented Star Trek Mug Hugger with Earl Gray Hot
Icing Scented Superman Comics Mug Hugger with Oliver Green
Icing scented Orange and Blue Planets Mug Hugger with This Cake Is A Lie
At my most recent event, a customer mentioned how cool they thought it was that I had very ancient symbols, such as my goddess fairy door, and some newer symbols, such as my Mockingjay inspired ornament. I had something for everyone, they said. As Seeds of Inspiration put it when I was talking to her about it, it’s almost like a secret handshake. Whether it’s the knowing look and smile I receive from a customer picking up the goddess fairy door, or the squeals and shouts of excitement over my TFIOS inspired products, it kind of feels like a secret handshake. The customer and I share more than a mutual understanding and knowledge; we share a connection.
Certain symbols like that of the goddess or the okay… okay clouds from TFIOS fit into certain niches. If you know Divergent you recognize my Divergent door. The same can be said for many of the symbols I use. Some people who have never heard of TFIOS will buy a TFIOS inspired fairy house because the glow in the dark infinity sign on the top reminds them of their wedding. Most of my sales, though, when it comes to a more specific audience comes from people who fit into the niche. Teenagers tend to gravitate most to my products that are inspired by young adult fiction. A woman wearing the celtic knot necklace and matching earrings is more likely to pick up my celtic knot tree of life door.
That being said, there are certain universal symbols, recognized by all and it is all who seem excited to see them. A sixty year old man will pick up the same spiderman fairy door that a six year old girl picked up not five minutes ago. An eight year old boy will gush over the same Lorax fairy door that a thirty year old woman gushed over an hour or so before. There is a connection there, too. Everyone knows Thomas The Tank Engine. Anyone can recognize Thing One and Thing Two. There is no one who does not know the Batman Symbol or The S Superman wears on his chest.
Then there are the personal symbols, like my logo. This is not universal. This does not fit into a specific niche. No one I have ever come across knows the artist. But it’s not so much the artist. It’s not even so much the artwork itself, though it is a huge inspiration. It is a connection, too; a connection to my grandmother that I then share with my customers.
Deep down all symbols are somewhat personal, even the most universal. There is a reason we feel drawn and choose certain symbols over another. When it comes down to it, it can be as personal as scent, and yet it still holds a capacity to connect two total strangers.
Acorn Tops is proud to be able to have a little something for everyone. I extend my hand… you know the handshake.
Originally posted on Acorn Tops Tumblr: On Fairy Wings and Acorn Hats
In the type of business I am in, it is important that the tap of creativity does not run out. Whether or not we think creativity is as endless as Legolas’s arrows, there are times where it feels like the well is dry. We’re scraping the bottom of the barrel. We’ve hit a wall, a block, call it what you like; it is frustrating.
After banging your head against the wall and pulling out large clumps of your own hair, and still getting nowhere, the question is how to get out of this creative slump. How do you get passed this?
You remind yourself you need to make product because this is your job, it is your livelihood. No one else is going to make it if you don’t. And if you don’t make it, you can’t sell it, and if you can’t sell it, you don’t make money and now, if you are like me, a thousand worse-case-scenarios are popping into your head. Not to mention, you already said you would be at two shows. This only adds on more stress and pressure, which does not help this creative constipation.
In a handmade business, creativity and inspiration is key. Instead of pressuring yourself to make something, take a step back and look for that creativity and inspiration. Sites like Pinterest let you search through countless photos and can give you countless ideas.
Find the internet distracting? Find yourself drooling over snapshots of someone’s dinner or cooing at the adorable puppy your friend posted rather than searching for ideas? Get off the computer and go green. Return to those third grade “what I did this summer” collages. Finally those stacks of magazines and catalogs collecting dust in some corner can be put to good use.
At a Handmade in South Bay meeting, one of the activities we did was a vision board. After creating a fairy house I was less than happy with, I decided to take that idea and run with it. Searching through magazines and catalogs for anything that could inspire new designs of fairy houses and fairy doors, I took some time away from carving and painting and became more inspired than I have felt since my last show. It took some time, but it was fun and it was worth it. Now, I’m itching to get creating.
Other ways to return to that endless quiver of creativity is to return to your roots. Think of the people around you. What do they like? What reminds you of them? Make something inspired by the people in your life.
Go with what you love.
Go with nostalgia.
If you’re seeking inspiration and creativity go with what you’re passionate about, be it a book, a movie, a television show, pop culture, or video game.
Get out of the house and go play on a swing set. Put away the serious, brooding, anxiety-ridden, deadline-procrastinating businessperson whose constantly checking the wallet, phone, or watch every two seconds and go for a walk, watch some clouds, take a breath, and watch the world, even if it’s just for ten minutes.
Inspiration doesn’t always hit at the work table, and the more you force it, the less willing the muses are to help.
Originally posted on: On Fairy Wings and Acorn Hats
One of the reasons I love what I do is the freedom to create what inspires me and to incorporate what I love. This allows me to geek out as part of my work. Tardis Fairy House anyone?
The other benefit is creating what I love and being able to use what I love to make a difference. Items inspired by the fantastic book, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, are sold to help This Star Won’t Go Out. This foundation helps children with cancer and their families. Other small, handmade businesses like Seeds of Inspiration gives 10% of their proceeds to a new charity each quarter. This quarter all proceeds go to Paws for A Cause. In the past, they made special scented apples for Reading is Fundamental. Jessie’s Custom Greetings has been working with Packages for Patriots, giving 10% of their proceeds, as well as buying one of her handmade cards to send to troops. Cholie’s Hart makes special crocheted caps for San Pedro’s Relay for Life.
When the proceeds do not go to an organization, foundation, or charity, I also can make a difference through various forms of “protest art” like my Beehive Fairy House that reads “SAVE THE BEES.” If I do not give money, I can spread awareness.
Sometimes the difference I can make with my art is not just in giving money or spreading awareness,but in the smiles my products can create. Two adults see a Where The Wild Things Are Inspired Fairy House, smile, and start reminiscing about childhood memories or a child gets excited about seeing a Thomas The Tank Engine Door or a Fairy Door of their favorite superhero. Sometimes the biggest difference I think I make, is in the creation of smiles or making someone’s day. I might not have a lot to give, but at least I can give that.
On Fairy Wings and Acorn Hats
The magic behind it all!