Sunday, January 4, 2009

Another Star is Born!

I have the greatest friend near Atlanta who constantly amazes me with her energy, stamina and ability to market and sell. And she's another success story I'd like to tell you about! When I had expressed an interest to "officially" interview her and write a story about her, the businesses she operates, etc., she saved me the work. Lori sent me a wonderful write-up about herself, her busy life, family and all that she puts into Cherry Matador Designs and Lucky Lather Soaps. Here it is....I hope you enjoy meeting and learning about Lori. -- Jill

My name is Lori and I live near Atlanta, Georgia. I am the owner/artist of Cherry Matador Designs (jewelry) and Lucky Lather Soaps. I wish I could say that I lead a glamorous life but that would be a bit far-fetched. In truth, I am the mother of a 4-year old son and a 7-year old daughter, one short-legged dog, and a very anti-social hermit crab.

I run my household, take care of my kids and run both of my businesses from home. In my spare time (when is that again?) I love to cook, read anything I can get my hands on, watch old movies, make people laugh, write poetry, draw, and explore the great outdoors.

At my core, there is a serious multi-tasker and an incurable perfectionist. Each and every day is like a game or challenge to see how many things I can do at once and how much I can accomplish. I push myself pretty hard (too hard at times, I am sure). However, I always have ideas floating around in my head to experiment with, goals to accomplish and a perpetually long ‘to do’ list. There’s that old saying, “You never know until you try”. I’ve sort of adopted it as my motto…as in, “Could I make this happen?” or, “Can I really do this or that?”. I figure, why not? I’ll try it!

I have always had a great appreciation and love for the arts, creativity, and self-expression. I went to college and, ironically, majored in Geology. I worked for a bank, an investment firm and a few law firms over the years and developed quite an impressive resume. Once I had my first child, I began to realize that the long office hours didn’t seem to agree with me anymore. I truly longed for something different. Thus, I left the professional world to stay at home full-time with my children while still pursuing some of my personal aspirations and dreams.

I began making jewelry about two and a half years ago. My mother already owned a very successful hand-crafted jewelry business (that took at turn for the worse like many other small businesses after September 11th). My best friend, Tara, often used to help her during craft shows and festivals and soon became interested in making jewelry herself. Tara bought some supplies and gave jewelry-making a try but decided it wasn’t really her thing. She handed her supplies down to me thinking I might be interested and things pretty much started there.

With a few, helpful hints from my mother, I was stringing beads and creating beautiful jewelry while enjoying my new creative outlet and hobby. Over time, I have taught myself many new techniques and refined old ones to develop my own unique style. In the beginning, I worked mostly with sterling silver and any type of beads that I could get my hands on. Then I discovered amazing brass supplies from Brass Bouquet. They were exactly what I was looking for. I absolutely love the vintage feel and look of Jill's brass. It is timeless.

About a year ago, my hobby turned into my flexible profession. I have a successful shop on Etsy. I also have jewelry on consignment in shops around the Atlanta area. My jewelry is purchased and carried by two local boutiques. These boutiques also carry my luxurious, handmade Lucky Lather Soaps. I have had an amazing response in the boutiques and at craft shows and festivals.

Also, I cater delicious desserts, from time-to-time, for friends and family. I have always dreamed of attending culinary school (as my best friend did). I may pursue it in the future when my children are older and I have more time to dedicate myself to it. For now though, I am giving my jewelry and soaps everything I’ve got. In a way, they are still very much like cooking, too. You choose your ingredients, toss them all together, and see what you can create. I strive to create what is in my heart and head. I honestly don’t want to be doing what everyone else is doing. I want to be original.

I am doing what I love to do and am passionate about. I am constantly brain-storming, trying out new ideas, and getting feedback from friends and family. I truly believe in what I am creating. I pour my soul into it and take great pride in the quality of my work.

Life can be pretty crazy and this business can be extremely slow and discouraging. But I have discovered that, no matter what is going on, everything has this magical way of working itself out. I just try to be as productive as possible and remain focused on the positive things going on in my life - the things I love and am passionate about - and keep moving forward as much as I possibly can. Most importantly, I want to keep creating. I want to take in all the world has to offer and be inspired by it. And, hopefully, along the way, I will inspire other people to do the same.

(Above: A piece from Lori's jewelry collection, titled: "Little Dragonfly's Lilypad")

Time for YOU to become a Star in the making! Write me at and tell me a little about yourself. You could be chosen to be blogged about. Hey -- you get a $20.00 gift certificate at the Brass Bouquet, so it isn't all that painful, now is it?

Jewelry Designing Contest! Don't forget our contest! Closing date is midnight, January 20, 2009. There is a winning spot for each category: Earrings, Bracelets, and Necklaces.

Rules: Create an inspiring piece of jewelry using any shades of purple, along with Brass Bouquet brass findings and components -- using at least one of the new Scrolled Floral Rings. Purple must be pronounce -- you know me, purple is my favorite color -- but burgundy, plum, even deep red can be used.

Email your photographs in 500 dpi (jpeg format) to for submission. All photos will be posted on the blog and available to the public for voting purposes. Each winner will receive a $25.00 shopping spree at the Brass Bouquet, be featured in the Brass Bouquet Blog and a link will be available to their website or sales site.

Submissions are due no later than midnight, by January 20, 2009. Final voting tally will be completed by January 25. Winners' names will be announced on January 26, 2009, here at my blog and in my newsletter.

Until next time.....Pay it forward. -- Jill

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