This week’s Mentor Monday is featuring Paige Barbee of Paige Barbee Jewelry. Paige joined me this summer for the #writeyourlove instagram challenge and I’m so glad that she did. Her jewelry is so unique and interesting and I’ve loved watching her over the past few months. She’s got a lot going on these days including teaching classes, working on a new line, and more! You’ll want to go check her out and maybe start making your Christmas list!
1. Tell me about why you chose jewelry and what inspires your designs?
I’ve always been an artist and entrepreneur at heart. Early on I loved creating sculptures and was thinking about studying photography or fashion design. I later chose Metals and Jewelry as a major focus of study. Jewelry was something that combined my love of sculpture and fashion. Now I get to photograph my work too!Family and the idea of family heirlooms inspire the collection I’m currently working on. - @pbarbeejewelry Click To Tweet
I don’t know that I could pinpoint my inspiration. So many things inspire me; nature, architecture, music, history, and the list could go on. Family and the idea of family heirlooms inspire the collection I’m currently working on.
2. What are your must-have tools for your business?
If it is considered a tool, chances are I use it for my business. I use hammers, a saw, and a torch to create my pieces. I use pencil and paper to sketch out ideas, my camera to photograph my finished pieces and process, a computer and design programs to work on my website, blog, and social media.
3. Let’s talk about the elusive work/life balance. How do you handle it? What’s your secret?
That’s something I’m currently working on because creating has been such a big part of my life; it’s hard to figure out where to separate the two. My family will always take priority over work and I will move my schedule around to spend time with them.You don’t have to say yes to every opportunity that comes your way - @pbarbeejewelry Click To Tweet
Remember that you don’t have to say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. Last year I did anything that sounded remotely interesting and this year I’m just saying yes to the opportunities that excite me the most. Last year was a good learning experience to see what types of events and projects were worth my time and which ones I enjoyed the most.
4. What are three things that you must have to have a successful day?
I need music everyday. It helps keep my spirits high and hands moving.
If I don’t look at my calendar or write out a to do list for the day, I literally don’t know where to start.
I also think almost all entrepreneurs would agree that coffee is an important business tool.
5. What are your plans for the future of your business?
I have a new collection that has been in my head for months and I’ve been slowly refining my brand. Hopefully by next year this new direction will be a reality!
I do have goals for my business but I try not to focus too much on long term (which might sound like a bad idea to some). My goals and vision have changed so much in the last five years and I don’t want to focus too much on figuring out what I want the future to hold. Besides, I love surprises. My goal is to continue creating and to take each day and opportunity as it comes along.
6. What is the biggest business lesson that you have learned so far?
Listen to your heart…just because someone else is doing it and is super successful doesn’t mean it is right for you. Create the work that you truly love and you will find an audience who is passionate about it too.Create the work that you truly love and you will find an audience who is passionate about it too.- @pbarbeejewelry Click To Tweet
7. It’s important to have people in your life to bounce ideas off of and get advice from. Who are those people for you?
I always go to my boyfriend or parents first, they bring a different perspective. Even if they have no idea what I’m talking about it helps to talk it through.
I’m also a part of a group of women entrepreneurs that meets once a month. I love checking in with them, bouncing ideas around, and learning from their experiences.
8. Who do you follow online that we should check out also?
9. How can we keep up with you online?
Paige is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design where she studied Metals and Jewelry. She interned with Liz Claiborne in New York and studied abroad in Lacoste, France. She contributes her blend of style to these two wonderful, yet distinctly different experiences.
All of her jewelry is handmade in her studio just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. She uses ancient metalsmithing techniques mixed with modern technology such as laser cutting. Paige’s inspiration comes from the attention to detail in the Victorian era and the edge of rock icons in the 70s, she blends these aesthetics to create her one of a kind pieces.
I’m so excited to see Paige’s new line that is inspired by family heirlooms! And I definitely have some pieces like this necklace and these earrings on my Christmas list! Tell me what pieces speak to you from her collection. Her signature style is one of the things that I love the most about Paige’s line!