When I owned a clothing boutique I worked briefly with Liz Klafata, who is a stylist and worked part time at the boutique. Liz became very busy and left to pursue her full time job. I did not see Liz for a couple of years until last year when I read in a local paper about Liz renovating and renting out properties in Chicago and starting her own rental company. Firstly, the article caught my attention because it was Liz and I knew her and it was exciting to read about someone I know. Secondly as I rent properties almost everywhere I go, I was excited to know more about the rental properties. I recently googled Liz and came across her company website www.bangtel.com. In a word AMAZING. Bangtel properties are stunningly designed apartments that I just want to move into. I reached out to Liz and it was great to re-connect. I found out more about her exciting new venture. Liz was kind enough to give a fantastic interview.
Last December just before I was due to go to Hawaii I was contacted by Catherine Scott who told me about an eye gel she had developed and a company she had set up called Honest Hazel. Catherine sent me some samples and I tried the product on my trip to Hawaii. Basically the products are especially designed gel strips that are placed under the eyes. I found the gel strips had an immediate cooling effect on the skin. After 20 minutes the skin under my eyes looked less puffy and felt refreshed.
One day the mother of one of my daughter’s friends, Tasha Gelling emailed me an invitation to an ASH + AMES jewelry event. Tasha is a Brand Ambassador for the company and was hosting the event. I love jewelry and wanted to support Tasha so I went. What I discovered was firstly, the beautiful jewelry – unique pieces in wide ranging styles, hand crafted with gorgeous metals and stones. Secondly, ASH + AMES is a start up with a difference – while philanthropy is a side project for many companies, for ASH + AMES giving back to artisans who produce their jewelry, supporting them and encouraging their growth is woven into the fabric of this small company. Large proceeds of sales are donated back to artisan communities. Distribution is through Brand Ambassadors, women who are encouraged to balance family and career and can choose which charities to donate proceeds to. I reached out to co-founders Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile and was thrilled when they agreed to talk more about their business.
When I owned my women’s wear boutique, one of our best selling lines was Chikahisa Studio, a jewelry collection by designer Ann Chikahisa.
Ann was a weekly presence in our store, the reason being she had to continuously drop off supplies of jewelry as her designs sold out immediately. Our customers simply loved Ann’s organic, bold, creative and beautiful jewelry. The feedback was that it was exceptionally well made, timeless in design and can be worn with anything to anywhere. I thought Ann would be perfect to interview for this “Work” series.
A creative, an entrepreneur who has built her own business from scratch – I wanted to know more.
Our interview today is with Chicago based artist Josh Moulton. Josh began painting from an early age and specializes in photo-realism and urban landscapes. I reached out to Josh because I have always been fascinated with the life of an artist. I have a romantic view of what it would be like to be an artist – days spent sitting in a studio surrounded by paints, paletts and easels unleashing your inner Van Gogh, creating masterpieces that would be adored by the masses. What I wanted to talk to Josh about is the reality of making a career in art. While it is all very well creating the paintings, in order to make a living, an artist needs to have the ability to sell their product. I talked to Josh to find out more.
I have started a new category on this blog called ‘Work’. I aim to talk to entrepreneurs and creatives who have set up their own businesses.
One of the reasons I am inspired by these individuals is that I used to own my own business- a women’s wear boutique- for seven years. I know the challenges of taking an independent career path. People who work for themselves take a leap of faith, throw caution to the wind and just go for it. It is what makes America great – if you have a dream, a vision, and you work hard, there is a very high chance you can make your dream come true. Therefore, whether you have a designated career path or are unsure about your next move career wise, I hope there will be some tips, some ideas, and some inspiration you can take away from this work series.