Today we’d like to introduce you to Kesha Lacy.
Hi Kesha, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I’d like to think that my artistic skills is a gift that flows through my family. Growing up, I watched my mother make, craft, design, paint, draw, sew, build…you name it, and she could do it. As my older sister grew older, I watched her flourish in her art of choice, cosmetology and same with my younger brother, graphic design. As I grew older, there were many things I wanted to do/try but never could nail down the art I liked the best. So, throughout the years it has always come natural to me to create or design just about anything. At some point, I found interest in photography and graphic design, so I taught myself most of what I know. But everything I did never felt like it was anything more than just a hobby or just something I could do for a friend.
And though I am confident in many ways, I like to blame the lack of confidence on the little voice in my head telling me that my talents were worthless. It told me things like; I am too lazy, I am not educated enough, everybody can do the things that I can do so why would my talents be any more special than the next persons, oh and that person is better than me. And even after years of my friends and family telling me how talented I am, I still never felt like I could exceed on my own with those said talents. It wasn’t until my late 30’s when I realized (with some help from a friend) that maybe I needed to check on my mental health. I did just that…and man did I feel like a new woman! I was confident in my skills, had courage to act on them, and motivated to learn more…and to clean my house (sometimes). Now with my newfound confidence and self-awareness, I just had to figure out what creative avenue I wanted to apply myself to. I tried sewing hats, decorating cookies, I even made a bunch of random jewelry for a pop-up event that I failed miserably at (although I had just had a new baby). Then after finally figuring out all the things I did not want to do or repeat, we can fast forward to July of 2019 when my husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with friends on the beach.
For the occasion, I made an easy tropical dress with a super fun pattern, so of course I needed matching tropical earrings. I scoured the internet to find an equally fun pair of earrings but had no luck. Then I scoured through my craft supplies for materials to make my own. I ended up finding a pack of lime green and teal polymer clay that was purchased 5+ years ago for a different project. It was still usable, so I whipped up my very first vibrant pair of clay earrings, and they were a hit! A month later, I made a set of earrings for my lovely sister-in-law for her birthday, and she also loved them! From then and after some strong encouragement from the people who love me, I decided to start an online store selling not just polymer clay earrings but all sorts of different mediums and other types of jewelry and accessories. With this business that I started, I feel like I am finally accomplishing something with my birth given talents and all those somewhat random crafts I have learned throughout the years are all becoming particularly useful in this new career path I’m on, and I hope to build an inspiring, ever-changing (to keep it fresh) but solid, business.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
As with anything worth doing, I have encountered my fair share of hurdles to overcome in my journey to this point, both internally and externally. But I would say the most difficult struggles to overcome are the internal struggles. For years I had told myself that I had no business starting my own business for so many reasons. For example, I am reminded by every creative-type professional job application that I did not go to college, so I felt like I wasn’t educated enough. Or the mom guilt I get (which is very real) when I try to do something other than tend to my kids during “normal” work hours reminding me there is no room for me to be the earner in my household since my job is taking care of my kids 24-7. Now that my business is up and running, I have to remind myself things like: I simply just can’t say yes to all of the amazing vendor events in our area; and just because there are so many other amazing custom jewelry makers at those events doesn’t mean that there’s not a place for me; and to just continue doing what I do with the same passion and I will be successful in my own standards!
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
The part of my business that I love the most is the opportunity for details. I am blessed to be able to put my personal creative spin on every aspect of my operation. I enjoy using my photography background to showcase my products on my website, graphic design skills to make my own logos and booth displays, and all the extra little touches I add to my set-up to really stand out! All that said though, I am most passionate about the product development piece because there are literally no boundaries to the colors, shapes, materials, or styles that I can incorporate into my products. Once the inspiration has struck, I try to work on that idea for a new design that same day and I can stay up almost all night making it come to life. I believe the labels ‘hand-crafted’, and ‘creator’ mean going beyond outside the box to design and create something unique that no one else has thought of before. I also believe it is ok to avoid focusing in on just one niche material and/or design-style because in the end we are all unique and I want anyone to be able to feel great and genuinely enjoy wearing a one-of-a-kind creation from Ivy Lena.
What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
I would say my most essential quality for success is that my creative brain is always working. My eyes are always open for inspiration whether I am grocery shopping, chasing my kids around the park, or making sure they don’t hurt themselves at the pool.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.ivylenashop.com
- Instagram: @_ivy_lena_
- Facebook: @ivylenashop
- Youtube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCjonDXApjfMOok1NOC40iAw