Giveaway: Anna Livingston
Hey friends, today we're doing a giveaway!
I'm so excited to share a friend of mine, designer Anna Livingston. For anyone who knows me, you'll know I'm obsessed with jewelry and have quite a few friends who are jewelry designers. Anna graciously designed me a custom pair of her hand made earrings matching my favorite colors and textures.
If you know me, another thing you know is that I'm in full support of small businesses run by women. Anna's business is a huge inspiration to me and her story is tremendously motivating to any woman with a passion and big dreams. Here's Anna's story...
HOW IT STARTED:
I have always enjoyed creating. I started sewing probably earlier than my mom would have wanted me playing with needles- but my grandmother had this HUGE avocado green box filled with everything! A rainbow assortment of threads, scraps of fabric for patches, elastics, buttons and pins. Every time I would visit I would persuade 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. Something woke up in me and I have loved sewing ever since. Growing up I always dreamed of being a famous fashion designer of accessories, purses, bags, belts and jewelry.
I made my first pair of earrings in the Winter of 2012. My wedding was the following Spring (May 25th) 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 and 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 have 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 friends. I went a little overboard and made 20 pair.
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 NOTdoing this to make money! Then he started getting more insistent. “I want you to post these”, “Annie, you are so talented, Ive 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, mom and friends on board and I soon enough I couldn’t go anywhere with them 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” (my full name is Anna Livingston Coe Wagner Jubb) 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 and my mom and dad are long time entrepreneurs.
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. Basically, 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.
Growing up I never felt beautiful. Even now I struggle to love myself. I have also suffered from depression most of my life. I know it might sound silly but I have always felt more beautiful when I am wearing a beautiful pair of earrings. Its like something in me lit up, even if just a little bit. When I am making a pair of earrings I always envision a woman putting them on, looking at themselves in the mirror and liking their reflection, liking themselves. The thought that something I create could possibly make someone else feel more beautiful is what drives me to continue to create.
ABOUT THE PROCESS:
Each pair of earrings takes anywhere from 3-5 hours to make. I have always been a "get to the point" kinda person. I joke that "I am happiest when I am living efficiently. I constantly think of changing a route so that I can cut out a minute off travel time.
But I decided with my earrings I would never "cut corners". So that means that all of my supplies are of the best quality. I only use the best. With earrings, I am most successful when I take the time and think through every stitch.
Once the earring is made I then sew the pouch they go into and make their name tag. The presentation is important.
This one is tough…it all goes back to the “fear of failing” thing I was talking about above…dreaming is hard when the dream is about me. I can vision cast for other people like crazy! I guess in my wildest imagination Anna Livingston earrings would be “popular”, people would be willing to wait a month to get their hand 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.
In 5 years, I see myself as a wife, a mom (hopefully to a still growing brood), a sister, daughter and friend and if I am lucky I will spend every free moment creating Anna Livingston earrings for women who cherish them!
Let's take this weekend to support Anna and other like her. Let's support women who follow their dreams and work hard to build a life that they are proud of. Go snag a pair of these lovely earrings from Anna Livingston by entering our giveaway and get your coupon for 20% off your first order!