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Handcrafted Rose Gold & Silver
Jewelry by USA Artisan  Leann Maxwell-Burr

BE Who You Are, DO What You Love...

I haven’t written a blog post in a looooong time. Not for any particular reason, I have just been busy. As a one woman business there is a lot to do, and I love every second of it. I’m taking a tiny breather today in the midst of busy season, so here I am.

I recently found out that one of my heroines in the creative business world, left her mind blowingly successful start up to move on to her next chapter in being who she is and doing what she loves. I am talking about the famous make up artist Bobbi Brown. I have been a Bobbi brand devotee for years. (Self confessed skin care/make up junkie: Been there, done that, tried every brand out there....there is NO brand I love better than Bobbi Brown, for skin care and make up, with the exceptions of Laura Mercier for finishing powder, and Aveda for their Beautifying Radiance Polish.)

Anyway, back to being who you are. If I had a young person walk up to me and ask me for my most important advice now that I am in my mid 50’s.... It truly WOULD be “Be who you Are, and Do what you LOVE”. Yeah, yeah.... I hear many of you saying “but you have to pay the bills etc”. Yes.... this is true. There IS a balance. And if you are determined, you will find it.

When I was a kid, my father joked that I took every available Art class in school just to up my GPA. He also said that a life in the arts would never feed me, and certainly never pay my bills, and insisted I go to school for business and accounting. Ok. So i did. AND...I said to him “I WILL make a living with a brush in my hand one day!” ;-) Fast forward... I worked for years in corporate HR & accounting roles, then when I had my kids and wanted to be around for them more, I headed back to school and opened a local nail & skin care salon. (An Aveda Concept Salon actually, BECAUSE I loved their products, not the other way around, point being, I followed something I loved.) At the same time, I was making beaded jewelry to sell on the side to make sure my kids could do their activities. While making/selling my jewelry, I had been dreaming for YEARS of learning to melt metal. I used to say to my hubs, (insert mad scientist voice here) “one day, I will melt metal!” Eventually I sold the salon and made the time to take metalsmithing classes. I FELL IN LOVE.... with something I had been longing to do. (Longing... is a key to what is in your heart btw) Sure, there were many opinions about what I should or shouldn’t do and why...and I didn’t listen, I followed my heart/gut.

When in metalsmithing school, I was creating pieces of jewelry that were classic in design, balanced, sleek, feminine, timeless... and I had an older very experienced metalsmith say to me “That is lovely dear, and one day, you will feel comfortable enough to step out of your box”. WHAT? I smiled at her. In my head I thought “I LIKE my box, this is who I AM, I am not the funky quirky asymmetric earth mothery jewelry maker you want me to be. I AM Classic, timeless....and unique. My particular style of jewelry is ME. I stuck to who I know I am...and what I LOVE. I have also been told “no one really likes flowery/flourishy jewelry, you should make XYZ trends...blah blah blah....”. Nope, didn’t listen to them either. There are also marketing thoughts around making what “will sell” versus making what I love to make. Whatever. 

Today, I DO what I love.....I MAKE what I love. And, there are many of you who love my work, who collect La La Bliss pieces and enjoy wearing them daily and mixing them in with your other beautiful classic jewelry. You have no idea how thankful I am for that! (Thank You, Thank You, Thank You)

I share this with YOU, to encourage YOU to BE who you are....dont conform to someone else’s definition of you, .... DO what you LOVE. You will never regret it. <3

Here’s to YOU living YOUR Bliss..... xo

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