Mum in Business Christina Lowry Designs.....

Christina from Christina Lowry Designs and I have gotten to know each other over time and share many things in common. We both have little men in our lives called Cohen that are the same age, as well as having some similar interests, passions and stories. One thing however we don't share in common is a talent for making and designing jewelry, that is a talent I do not possess but Christina does in bucket loads and she runs a successful business from home whilst managing her brood Cohen and Emerson all whilst expecting a new addition to the family as well. See! I told you, we have a bit in common, we like little people in our lives and keeping busy with family whilst honoring our passions.

I have fallen in love with Christina's designs and I'm quietly lusting after some of her pieces and will be dropping some hints to Ben and the kids for upcoming special occasions. But what I have also fallen in love with is Christina's words of wisdom and insights about having an at home business whilst being an at home mum. Here's what Christina wanted to share when I asked her to share some insights with you all.



How long have you been making jewelry?

I made my first piece of jewelry in 1999, as a seventeen year old, while studying a Bachelor of Fine Art/Visual Art at Griffith Uni. My romantic notions of being a painter had proven to be just romantic notions, but my passion for art, design and craft found their medium in the Gold and Silver Smithing studios. Form there I decided to work in the jewelry industry and attain an apprenticeship and continue gaining as much knowledge as I could in my field. As a result I learnt Diamond Grading and Pearl Threading, completed a Vocation course, as well as numerous design, casting and tool making workshops, all the while making jewelry.

What prompted you to start a work from home business? Were you going that before having children?

It was while I was pregnant with Cohen I started a blog and gradually, at the suggestion of family and friends, started creating jewelry to sell. Prior to that it was more of a hobby, and I made gifts and repairs for family and friends. I had thought I would wait until the child/ren were in school before starting by own business. But eventually I took the plunge, opened a bigcartel shop and have been stocking it with my handmade jewelry ever since. My shop has gone from strength to strength, with many loyal, repeat customers. I started accepting custom orders and pearl re-threading, and then attended my first market in November last year, after being accepted in to the Brisbane's Finders Keepers market. This experience really encouraged and inspired me and has lead to so much growth in my business - a new logo and packaging, new display, advertising, guest posts - and now being accepted once again to the Autumn/Winter Finders Keepers in Brisbane in July.

When do you create and how do you mange your time being a mum, wife and a creative?

Initially, when I had a little free time, I sat down and worked at my bench, it was a bit of a luxury . I had no set times or days, and everything else took priority. I attended the Big Hearted Business morning tea with Clare Bowditch in Brisbane, where she asked us to write down our answers to several questions, such as as where we wanted to be in five year time. I had a moment of realisation. In five years time I could have a clean house and both children in school, or I could also have a successful business. I just had to make it a priority. It seems so simple now, but that changed my entire mindset and the amount of time I was dedicating to my business. I took it all much more seriously, started keeping proper records of my income and expenses and surprised myself. You don't really know where you stand until it is all written down in black and white.


Now I am at the bench most days except Sunday, which is our family day together. I walk my son to and from each day, Emerson and I have a weekly Playgroup play date together, and I have an intern who comes twice a week who I am training and who helps out. The rest of my time is really flexible and I make the most of my daughter's naps to get things done, and work at nights sometimes too. Emerson loves to be in the workshop with me, and plays with my tools, draws, plays with play dough and dolls, and I am continually stopping to interact and play with her and to talk to her. I remind myself that she is the first priority, she is the reason I am at home and I am able to run my business as I do. So if she is tired or cranky, I down tools and go to her. Similarly, when I pick my son up from school I don't go back to the bench again until both children are asleep. I love having that  time to spend with them, even if it is just doing homework with Cohen and trying to keep Emerson from drawing on the walls (her latest trick).

*******
Christina is going to be back next week here on the blog sharing more insights into having an at home business, being inspired and organised as well as talking about her inspirations.




Labels:

My Vintage Childhood: Mum in Business Christina Lowry Designs.....

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mum in Business Christina Lowry Designs.....

Christina from Christina Lowry Designs and I have gotten to know each other over time and share many things in common. We both have little men in our lives called Cohen that are the same age, as well as having some similar interests, passions and stories. One thing however we don't share in common is a talent for making and designing jewelry, that is a talent I do not possess but Christina does in bucket loads and she runs a successful business from home whilst managing her brood Cohen and Emerson all whilst expecting a new addition to the family as well. See! I told you, we have a bit in common, we like little people in our lives and keeping busy with family whilst honoring our passions.

I have fallen in love with Christina's designs and I'm quietly lusting after some of her pieces and will be dropping some hints to Ben and the kids for upcoming special occasions. But what I have also fallen in love with is Christina's words of wisdom and insights about having an at home business whilst being an at home mum. Here's what Christina wanted to share when I asked her to share some insights with you all.



How long have you been making jewelry?

I made my first piece of jewelry in 1999, as a seventeen year old, while studying a Bachelor of Fine Art/Visual Art at Griffith Uni. My romantic notions of being a painter had proven to be just romantic notions, but my passion for art, design and craft found their medium in the Gold and Silver Smithing studios. Form there I decided to work in the jewelry industry and attain an apprenticeship and continue gaining as much knowledge as I could in my field. As a result I learnt Diamond Grading and Pearl Threading, completed a Vocation course, as well as numerous design, casting and tool making workshops, all the while making jewelry.

What prompted you to start a work from home business? Were you going that before having children?

It was while I was pregnant with Cohen I started a blog and gradually, at the suggestion of family and friends, started creating jewelry to sell. Prior to that it was more of a hobby, and I made gifts and repairs for family and friends. I had thought I would wait until the child/ren were in school before starting by own business. But eventually I took the plunge, opened a bigcartel shop and have been stocking it with my handmade jewelry ever since. My shop has gone from strength to strength, with many loyal, repeat customers. I started accepting custom orders and pearl re-threading, and then attended my first market in November last year, after being accepted in to the Brisbane's Finders Keepers market. This experience really encouraged and inspired me and has lead to so much growth in my business - a new logo and packaging, new display, advertising, guest posts - and now being accepted once again to the Autumn/Winter Finders Keepers in Brisbane in July.

When do you create and how do you mange your time being a mum, wife and a creative?

Initially, when I had a little free time, I sat down and worked at my bench, it was a bit of a luxury . I had no set times or days, and everything else took priority. I attended the Big Hearted Business morning tea with Clare Bowditch in Brisbane, where she asked us to write down our answers to several questions, such as as where we wanted to be in five year time. I had a moment of realisation. In five years time I could have a clean house and both children in school, or I could also have a successful business. I just had to make it a priority. It seems so simple now, but that changed my entire mindset and the amount of time I was dedicating to my business. I took it all much more seriously, started keeping proper records of my income and expenses and surprised myself. You don't really know where you stand until it is all written down in black and white.


Now I am at the bench most days except Sunday, which is our family day together. I walk my son to and from each day, Emerson and I have a weekly Playgroup play date together, and I have an intern who comes twice a week who I am training and who helps out. The rest of my time is really flexible and I make the most of my daughter's naps to get things done, and work at nights sometimes too. Emerson loves to be in the workshop with me, and plays with my tools, draws, plays with play dough and dolls, and I am continually stopping to interact and play with her and to talk to her. I remind myself that she is the first priority, she is the reason I am at home and I am able to run my business as I do. So if she is tired or cranky, I down tools and go to her. Similarly, when I pick my son up from school I don't go back to the bench again until both children are asleep. I love having that  time to spend with them, even if it is just doing homework with Cohen and trying to keep Emerson from drawing on the walls (her latest trick).

*******
Christina is going to be back next week here on the blog sharing more insights into having an at home business, being inspired and organised as well as talking about her inspirations.




Labels:

16 Comments:

At May 1, 2014 at 2:42 PM , Blogger Jess Clayton said...

My most sentimental piece of jewellery is my Grandma's eternity ring which I received when she passed away. I always wear it and think of her and feel a little like she watches over me in times of challenge like childbirth!

 
At May 1, 2014 at 3:01 PM , Blogger Rie said...

Hmm, my most sentimental piece of jewellery is the piece of cardboard that was cut into an odd triangle shape by my 3yo son, glued onto yarn scrap & coloured with texta & a googly eye = he then gave it to me & said happy birthday (it wasn't my birthday) & told me to wear it on my head!

 
At May 1, 2014 at 8:12 PM , Blogger Dee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At May 1, 2014 at 8:13 PM , Blogger Dee said...

When I was about 8 years old, my godfather who is also my Uncle gave me a ring. It is a puzzle ring (wedding ring?) from the Middle East (Turkey?) which he brought back from Lebanon when he served there as a peace keeper with the Irish navy in the 80's.
It was the most precious and exotic thing I had ever seen (not hard growing up in Ireland in the 80's) I could never wear it, as it was (and still is) about 10 sizes too big for me, but its the most sentimental piece of jewelery I have.

 
At May 1, 2014 at 9:06 PM , Blogger Sunae Reilly said...

Wow, I am totally in love with this jewellery, Trudie!
You know I love my jingly jangly jewellery but I don't think I've bought a single piece that i wear everyday for myself. All my jewellery has been gifted to me by people I love and so it all holds sentimental value for me. Probably my most sentimental pieces are my gold nugget, which has a really interesting shape and was melted down for me out of spare links from my nan's favourite bracelet when I was just a baby. I've had it my whole life and wear it often. My other most sentimental piece is a little gold pendant of two little lovebirds that I found in my Aunty's house when we were packing it up after she passed away. My cousin told me I could have it since I found it and I've treasured it ever since because it's all I have to remember her by.

 
At May 2, 2014 at 3:34 PM , Blogger Vintage Bird Girl said...

That's one hard question for a jewellery lover like me! I think my most sentimental piece is probably my most recent. Seeing as my wedding band doesn't fit anymore, my mum gave me her original eternity ring (circa 60's) to wear, as she had outgrown it. Now I look at it beside my rings from Paul & I'm reminded of my mum who I absolutely adore. Xx

 
At May 2, 2014 at 8:28 PM , Blogger Rachel Kriss-Newell said...

Getting my first job out of school, saving madly I invested in a cluster 9 ct gold emerald ring. Being just out of school I asked mum and dad to come with me to the jewellers and help me choose my ring. Dad saw my ring in the cabinet and I fell in love with it. I've referred to this ring as Dad's ring ever since. Dad passed away 5 years later. Down organising his funeral, I bought a milkshake for our 2 year old. Spilling it all over my hands, I flicked the milk off my hand, and unbeknowns to me, also the ring. Some 2 hours later I realised my dilemma. We returned to the football field size parking lot, in the dark with torches. The chances of finding the ring were next to nothing. I prayed out loud for Dad to help me find my ring. I closed my eyes, something told me to walk to an exact location, I shone my torch and there it was. Still in one piece with just one emerald moved off centre. I know in my heart that it was Dad who helped me find this ring. It could have been caught up in the tread of cars, kicked to somewhere else, picked up, squashed into the bitumen. This is my sentimental piece, my link to my gorgeous Dad and I will treasure this ring for the rest of my life.

 
At May 2, 2014 at 10:14 PM , Blogger Cathy Stone said...

My most sentimental piece of jewellery is a gold and blue sapphire ring with diamonds. It was given to me by my parents for my 21st birthday to mark this significant occasion and was such a beautiful gift. I loved it so much and wore it everywhere. Unfortunately, one day, I caught it on the seat of a train as I was going to work. Somehow one of the stones also went missing. I was devastated as it is such a sentimental piece to me. I have never had the money to get it fixed, so have never been able to wear it again. I often look at it in my jewellery box and reminisce and it takes me back to all the wonderful memories and times I shared when I was 21. One day, I hope to get it fixed and pass this sentimental ring and stories onto my kids who admire and love it just as much as me.

 
At May 3, 2014 at 12:15 PM , Blogger Chris said...

Hi Trudie, some really nice stories here. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

 
At May 4, 2014 at 9:35 PM , Blogger Anna F said...

When I was around 13 my Mum gave me a silver necklace with a tiny silver horse on it. She told me it was the most special piece of jewellery she had and one of the only things she owned from her childhood. When my Mum was telling me this I could see on her face just how special the necklace was to her and I was in awe that she was giving it to me. I wasn't particularly good at keeping track of where things were (yes, I was a messy kid!) so this seemed an enormous responsibility and an even more enormous act of faith on my Mum's part. I loved that she wanted to give me something that was so special to her and she trusted me with it. I still keep it in my jewellery box and when I had my daughter a few years ago I asked Mum if I could pass the necklace onto my daughter when she is a bit older. My Mum had tears in her eyes at the thought of her cherished grand daughter wearing her silver horse necklace one day, I think I'll always remember that moment and I'll definitely tell my daughter about it when she's older and can appreciate it.

 
At May 4, 2014 at 9:51 PM , Blogger Kim maxwell said...

I have my Nan's eternity ring. I feel like it has special "Nan" powers which I don't want to use up, so I keep it to wear on special days when I need Nan with me, I love that even though she died 20 years ago, she is still with me.


Kim
galwayst@hotmail.com

 
At May 4, 2014 at 9:52 PM , Blogger Kim maxwell said...

I like Christina's facebook page too

 
At May 4, 2014 at 10:47 PM , Blogger Alex Cole said...

Hi. I love Christina's jewellery, and have one of her sets of beads that was a favourite this summer. I am sentimental and love wearing special items of jewellery, feeling that I can draw on the energy of the giver when wearing them. My very fave is a watch from my partner for a special birthday....it never leaves my wrist and I have been known to stroke it at times of need!

 
At May 5, 2014 at 9:53 AM , Blogger kk said...

My engagement and wedding ring set. It's a daily reminder that I am now married to the man of my dreams....and it's also the most expensive item in the house!

 
At May 5, 2014 at 2:40 PM , Blogger Iliska Dreams said...

I love this statement "Initially, when I had a little free time, I sat down and worked at my bench, it was a bit of a luxury ". This is how I feel when I set aside time to sew. I need to take Christina lead and try to get myself in a different mindset.

 
At May 5, 2014 at 8:16 PM , Blogger Jemma Hansen said...

Around my 21st birthday I was desperate for an a gold fob chain necklace. Mum offered me the choice of a necklace or party to the value of $1000. I chose party. On the night of my 21st my grandparents presented me with an antique gold fob necklace as my birthday present One of the biggest surprises of my life that was so special. I wore it to my 21st and I've worn it a lot since and now that my grandparents have both passed it is extra special to me.

 

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