You all know how much I love a girl boss. In fact, nearly every one of my "You're Gonna Love" posts involves one. However, this one, is particularly special. When I gather information to post about the product I love, and think you'll love, I usually ask some questions; "How did it start?" "What are your goals?" "Where do you see the company in five years?"
Generally, these questions help me understand the woman behind the brand, and hopefully allows me to translate some of her unique personality into the post. This time, though, Annie from Anna Livingston Earrings not only answered my questions, she invited us into her soul. I'm not kidding, if you read her answers to my questions below, you can't help but fall in love with her and her beautiful work.
She actually reminds me a lot of Annie from Zevy Joy (whom we all love right!?). The type of woman who sees only the good in people, and who strives to spread kindness wherever she goes. Well, I have not had the pleasure of meeting Annie from Anna Livingston, but I think you'll agree with me when I say she's one of those girls. Enjoy her sweet words below, which I felt were best left untouched.
HOW IT STARTED:
I have always enjoyed creating. I started sewing probably earlier than my mom would have wanted me to play with needles, but my grandmother had this HUGE avocado-green box filled with a rainbow assortment of threads, scraps of fabric for patches, elastics, buttons and pins. Every time I visited, I persuaded her to drag the box out and allow me to “assist” her in the mending. This quickly turned into my grandmother allowing me to sew scraps together, and by doing so, something woke up in me, and I have loved sewing ever since. Growing up, I always dreamed of being a famous accessory, purse, bag, belt or jewelry designer.
I made my first earring in the Winter of 2013. My wedding was that Spring, and I wanted something unique and special to give to my bridesmaids. I thought it would be nice to give each girl a pair of earrings to wear on the big day! But in all of my shopping – I couldn’t find anything that felt special and unique. So I decided to create my own. A Few months earlier I had seen a similar style earring on the web somewhere, and loved the idea, I thought, “that’s something I COULD MAKE!” So I did. I was up the at 5am the morning of my wedding finishing the last pair – but I did it… I made each Bridesmaid and attendant in my wedding a unique pair of earrings. They were a HUGE hit at the wedding!
Since then, I made them occasionally to match outfits and for big events. Friends would ask me for “a green pair” or “something to match this” and I would make them. Then my aunt (who is a lot like me) asked me to make some to show her lady friends. I made 20 pairs (I went a little overboard). They loved them.
During those 2 months (of making the 20 pairs) my husband (who frequently was sitting next to me on the couch watching sports) started saying things like “You should sell those”, “That’s a great pair, I bet if you posted those, people would want to buy them.” I would immediately dismiss the idea – I was, after all, NOT doing this to make money! Then he started getting more insistent. “I want you to post these”, “Annie, you are so talented, I've never seen anything like that”, “Every woman that sees you working on these wants a pair.”
One day he overheard a woman ask me how she could find my earrings and, “if I was on Etsy?” He immediately started researching, and then he got my sisters on board, and I soon enough, I couldn’t go anywhere without them encouraging me to “sell these on Etsy” or “create a website”.
So I did. I did it to honor my husband – we brainstormed names together and landed on my formal name “Anna Livingston” and he researched the best website platform. Fortunately for me, I had all the resources I needed. One of my sisters is a photographer and the other builds websites.
Without my husband’s encouragement and the support of my family and friends I would never have had the guts to start Anna Livingston. Truth be told, I would dream at night of selling my art – but when the morning came – I was too scared. Fearful people would not like what I was creating, fearful of putting myself out there and scared to death to fail. The thought of rejection was paralyzing.
WHAT DRIVES ME:
The need to create. The love of creating something beautiful that someone will enjoy. The feeling I get when I finish a pair of earrings, it's like solving a puzzle. I love loving others and I love beautiful things.
It all goes back to the “fear of failing” thing I was talking about. I guess in my wildest imagination, Anna Livingston earrings would be “popular”, people would be willing to wait a month to get their hands on a crafted pair. Women would be wearing my earrings all over the world. They would pick a pair of Anna Livingston earrings for their “Big Day” and for their every-day. I want women to feel unique, beautiful and confident when they are wearing a pair of my earrings.