Meet another member of the Cross Marketing Team...Lisa from jYoulry. Her shops feature personalized photo items--great gift ideas for Father's Day!
How did you get started with your craft/art?
Several years ago I "discovered" photo jewelry... I had a necklace made with a photo of my twins which were 3 at the time. When I was pregnant with my baby, I contacted the woman that made it to order a new one when the baby was born. She was no longer making them, which of course turned into a great thing for me! I was really sad at the time because I loved my photo pendant of the boys and really wanted a new one of all three when the baby arrived. So I decided to make one myself! It didn't take long to realize I could not only make myself one, but I could sell them too. And that was the beginning of my new business endeavor...Now I am also adding a private collection of sterling silver photo jewelry I am designing myself!
I’ve worked from home since I found out I had a high risk pregnancy over 7 years ago. I love it. I get the best of both worlds, I can work, be creative, earn a living and also be home with my kids!
Well most importantly I am a mother of 3 beautiful boys! My twins are almost 7 and my baby just turned 1. Of course I love to show them off, hence the photo jewelry, LOL. I am also an interior designer. Before relocating to Panama, yes the country, I lived in sunny SW Florida and had a very successful design firm. Unfortunately with the economy the way that it is... we decided to close the firm and move to Panama, where my husband is originally from. Because of the language barrier, my Spanish is not that great, I decided not to continue to design here. Although 3 boys keep my life spinning in circles, I needed something creative to do, so when the opportunity to make and sell the photo jewelry presented itself... I took it. Now of course the designer in me just had to come out sometime and that's when I created the "jYOUlry Signature Collection" a line of sterling silver photo jewelry designed by me (more to come).
DESIGNING, hands down! It’s what I do, I am a designer. If I had someone else to do all the other stuff I’d let them. I love designing and creating new and beautiful things. That’s what I am working on now… designing a custom collection of quality photo jewelry you won’t find anything like it anywhere else!
What is the most challenging aspect of running your business?
Although they are my inspiration, my family also plays the most challenging part in my art. With three boys it is difficult to find time to myself to do the research of new products, to market my shop and to actually make my art. I am up a lot of late nights when the house is finally quiet. But in the end it is worth it to be home and watch my boys grow as well as have a fulfilling art hobby that brings me so much joy.
How did you come up with your shop name?
I sat with my laptop and just wrote down words, like picture, photo, design, etc... and played around with them trying to come up with something creative, something that wasn't already used. I was also playing with combining words and had inadvertently come up with more of a tag line, like "photo jewelry, where the jewel is you" and suddenly it hit me, the jewel is you... jYOUlry! I loved it instantly. I googled it and checked it out on etsy and no one was using it!!! So yeah, I found something unique, creative and describes what it is I do, at least I think it does, LOL.
Actually as I said my favorite part is designing and right now I am trying to grow my wholesale program so others can handle the selling and I can concentrate on designing new and unique pieces of photo jewelry. I want jYOUlry to become a brand of photo jewelry people look for, not just an online store to shop in. I would love for it to be sold in boutiques internationally and worn by Hollywood’s best moms and dads!
What balance…Was I supposed to be balanced? Honestly I don’t know. Most days I get my online stuff done when the baby is napping and make my orders at night once all the kids are sleeping. Other times I am up all night catching up and begging hubby to help me with the kids on Saturday so I can work. I guess it just depends on the work load at the time.
What is the funniest/craziest/most touching thing that has happened while having a business?
Well, because what I do is so personal. I mean complete strangers are sending me photos of their most precious possessions, their kids, we usually tend to get very close. It may be for a short while and only via email but when they receive their orders, even though they knew the item and the photo they are always blown away. It is so touching to be trusted with their gifts and to read some of the feedback I get once they’ve received their items. Lots of letters have left me in tears. I have done a lot of memorial pieces too, meaning with photos of a loved one passed away. To see the joyous tears on the face of the receiver is just so touching, that I could help to make a memory come alive for that person. It's truly humbling.
Can you give us some links to be able to follow you?