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Breakfast with Lisa

Welcome to the second installment of our new weekly series, “Breakfast,” where we get to know an inspiring, creative mother from the blogosphere, and be treated to a visual peek into her creative space. Meet Lisa Leonard, a self-taught jewelry designer, blogger, and mother of two boys, ages 4 and 5. Lisa’s customized jewelry is fresh, inspired, and hard to resist. Hand-stamped sterling? Love it. (Hey, if I order the “tiny squares” necklace I’ve been drooling over, can I write that off as some kind of blog-related business expense?)

CC: Please introduce yourself!Lisa Leonard
LL: I am Lisa, most of all wife and mommy, but also a sister, daughter, and friend. I love to create things that are unique and special, something that will touch your heart.

CC: How did you become a jewelry maker? What else do you enjoy creatively?
I started my jewelry business after my first son was born. Over the last 5+ years it has changed in many ways. It has grown beyond my expectations, which has been so exciting and also a bit scary! My designs have also changed and evolved. I also love to take pictures, do crafts with my boys, and decorate.

CC: What inspired you to launch a blog?
My sister started blogging and it seemed like such a great outlet for creativity and keeping in touch with friends. I have been surprised how many new friends I have made through blogging and what a connection it has been.

lisa_spaceCC: Where do you do your creative work?
I work from home and it is certainly nothing fancy! I started the business so I could be close to my boys, so working from the kitchen table [click on photo for larger image] or kitchen counter make the most sense.

CC: What do you struggle with most?
Balance is always a challenge. I thought working from home would be perfect, but then I starting feeling pulled between the boys and the mountains of work to be done. After a major meltdown I realized I needed help. At first I thought about hiring a sitter, but that meant less time with the boys. So I hired someone to help with the business. It was hard to let go, but it has been great for my sanity and for the business.lisa_leonard_necklace

CC: Where do you find inspiration?
LL: I feel like inspiration hits me all the time! It can come from other artists, such as painters, seamstresses, or poets. It often comes from nature…shells, sand, blue sky, or trees. Sometimes it comes from random things like the light through a window or two colors next to each other.

CC: What are your top 5 favorite blogs?
LL: I love: Tara Whitney, Sarah Markley, SouleMama, Flip Flops and Applesauce, and Bling.

CC: What is your greatest indulgence?
Man, I love a good pedicure. I get a couple every month and it’s my guilty pleasure. I also love time with my girlfriends, watching movies, reading magazines, sitting in the sun, and a gooey chocolate chip cookie.

CC: If you were having coffee with a mother of young children who wanted desperately to fit more creativity into her life, what advice would you offer?
Have fun with it! Start small and let it grow. Find something you love and do it a little every day. Always think of ways to make it more yours and more unique.

CC: Thanks, Lisa!

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great article, it’s like a intricate dance to balance the kids, artwork and promoting your work at the same time.

    June 13, 2008
  2. i have one of lisa’s creations and they do touch your heart.
    the craftmanship is grand. i have had so many compliments
    and inquirys. love her blog to. as a mom, i made the decision to freelance several years ago. i think of it as perfect chaos. thanks for sharing lisa’s world.


    June 14, 2008
  3. cathy #

    i went to lisa’s blog and was fascinated, not only with the jewelry, but with the calm serenity which permeates through her family photos and ruminations. having a son who also has his own challenges in communication, her poem to her son helped me step back and appreciate the intent of shea’s communication rather than what appears to the naked ear. thank you. she also manages to be creative in the midst of challenges for “extra”moms, like me. if she can, so can i!

    June 14, 2008
  4. Wait… that necklace in the post? PERFECT. So going to her blog/site now. I mean, it is a PERFECT give for any mother, grandmother… oh it is just gorgeous!

    And man, if that portrait is any indication of your photographic abilities Lisa… you’re good. Really good.

    June 14, 2008
  5. Jen #

    What a lovely interview — and a truly inspirational blog! I’m so glad I popped in for a visit…. thank you for the invitation. I’m off to read more!

    June 15, 2008
  6. Great interview, it’s interesting to see how other mothers do it. I’m in the process of starting slow and letting it grow.

    June 18, 2008

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