New Year, New Blog Post, New Pricing

I’m sitting here in a dark room willing myself to NOT get sick. Again. For the third time in the past month. I’ve been sick more since my girls started preschool than I have in the almost 9 years since I met my husband. It was a germy end to last year and a germy beginning to the new one.

I had a to-do list a mile long today and it went up in flames by 9am. I can usually push through this kind of thing, but I spent the past few hours just trying to get warm so I finally accepted that I was going to get nothing done today. This blog post though … I’m mustering up the energy for that because I don’t want another day to go by with it still on my list. Lucky for you though, it might be shorter than it probably would’ve been if I were feeling better. ;)

This past six months brought on a lot of positive change. We went to Bend, Oregon for an extended stay and we weren’t sure where we would land when it was over. I closed my studio down before we left with the thought that even if we came back, the age that my girls are at made it pretty tricky on most days to stick to an away-from-home work schedule and I wanted to try out my home studio again. I will say that it’s actually been a great choice for me, even though I have less space now. This setup is temporary though, so I’m confident I’ll survive.

In addition to the closing of my studio, I also stepped away from Etsy. This was probably the biggest thing that happened last year. While Etsy was a great revenue generator, I didn’t feel a connection to it at all. My website is my story, my family, the reason I do what I do. It’s my heart and soul. Etsy wasn’t a place where (most) people care much about the “why” behind the business or the maker - they just have a lot of options in one spot and it’s easy to go there because of the Etsy name. Unfortunately, Etsy has become bogged down in the past few years with hundreds of re-sellers and thousands of mass produced goods that it makes it next to impossible to search and find genuine, handcrafted pieces anymore. Sad, but true. Not to mention the fees … oh the fees. I kept wondering how much it was actually costing me with the fees, time, and energy that it was taking away from pieces of my business that I would rather be focusing on.

I started closing my Etsy shop down here and there throughout last year so that I could focus solely on the website and my pop-ups. With my husband gone on wildland fires in the summer, trainings and overtime shifts fairly regularly, something had to give and of all the pots that I had my hands in, I was willing to cut Etsy without really blinking an eye. Yes, I had to consider the decrease in revenue - I do have a business to run, after all, and this income is how I contribute to my family’s finances - but I tried to look at it as paying for time that I could now focus on growth in other areas of my business. After my husband’s initial shock wore off lol, he agreed that I just needed to do what I felt was right and that it would all work out as it was supposed to. I planned to open up Etsy for the holidays, but didn’t and I’m so glad. I was slammed and could not have kept up with anything else!

f1d37bc51d324936b613fe21291521ca.jpg

One of the things that we work really hard on is instilling a give-back attitude in our girls. The idea that we should always pay it forward and do things for others is a pretty big deal in our house. chip+chisel has afforded us the ability to give back in countless ways, most of which I don’t share with you because giving shouldn’t be about recognition. It’s something that we do because it feels good to help and we want our girls to see that. They know that daddy is a firefighter and helps people and they know that I love my job of creating special keepsake pieces of jewelry and connecting with my customers and the stories that they send me. They’re very different jobs, but both rewarding in their own ways.

I’ve had a couple conversations with my husband recently about the lessening of c+c expenses with eliminating my studio space and putting Etsy on the back burner to focus solely on my website. He knew that my goal was to take those things and pay it forward in some way. I’m sure it would make most business-minded people cringe, but it’s not all about money. Yes, you have your bottom line and all the numbers need to make sense in order to keep operating your business, but … I do love to give back and this is something that fills my cup. This is just another (different) way to pay it forward.

As I’ve done for quite some time, a coupon was sent with orders so that customers could enjoy future discounted purchases. I wanted both return AND new customers to be afforded the best pricing I could give, so I’ve taken into account the reduced expenses going into this year and kicked in an additional percentage of my personal profits to allow for an average price reduction on our listings of 15%. No coupon code necessary - the listings have been updated to reflect the new pricing structure.

You are important and my goal is to always consider how the changes I make affect you as a consumer. I wanted to take this opportunity to give something back to you - my loyal customers - as a way to say thank you for all of your support over the past 7 years. Every time you think of chip+chisel for gifts, share us with a friend or family member, comment or like our social media posts, share our products on your pages, you help us to grow and to be able to give back. You’ve given me the priceless opportunity to be home with my girls while doing something that I absolutely love. They get to watch me do something that my heart is heavily invested in. They’re by my side as I work and are with me on this journey as part of something that was initially built to bring them into our life. Do you know how amazing it is for me to see this all unfold and for them to grow up to know that YOU are the reason that we were afforded the ability to work to build our family? These girls and the love they’ve brought us is because of you. I think that’s pretty incredible.

As we’re already half way through the first month of the new year, I have so many new designs and styles of handstamped pieces in the works and am so excited to roll them out to you! I would love to know what YOU would like to see - no idea is silly and every single suggestion is appreciated. You can comment below, email them to me, or send messages through our social media accounts on FB and Instagram @chipandchisel.

Thank you in advance for considering my little business when shopping for yourself or others - you are beyond appreciated.

xo
lindsy

Movers Makers Hustlers Shakers

Hi guys! I wanted to jump on here and spill my heart out before things get completely crazy next week and time becomes even more sparse than it already is.

Through social media, I see SO many friends, acquaintances, and people that I’ve never met prepping their small businesses for all the Christmas shopping that’s about to take place and I had to give a shout out and tell you how much I admire all of their hard work. The majority of these small business owners I follow are also mamas and I wonder every single day how they make it look so easy! I know better though - they are busting their booties and killing it because they’re passionate about what they do, and because, let’s face it - we kinda like the crazy and most of us have bills to pay. ;)

As a small business owner myself, I know there is SO much more to running a business than just making the actual product - the behind the scenes for artisans can be absolutely NUTS and more often than not, it’s a one person show. It.is.hard. When people find out that I work a lot in the local coffee shop (its become my home away from home), the response is always the same. “Oh?! How do you make your jewelry there??” I don’t. The jewelry making is only part of what I do. What I do involves soooo much more than that! Those that have a little business like mine are probably nodding their heads, right? There is so much that goes into it all year long, but especially during the holidays when demand is higher. You want to prep and plan as best as you can, but it’s really a guessing game and you’re often left scrambling to try to keep up. It’s nonstop trial and error. Committed small business owners get knocked down, then get back up. They feel defeated, yet they keep chugging along. They get stuck, but they somehow find a way to power through. It can seem like it would just be easier to throw in the towel sometimes, but the feeling is temporary and tomorrow is always a fresh start. I remind myself of this often.

small business

I ask that you look around you this holiday season and make a list of the small business owners you know that work tirelessly on their craft year round - how can you support them this year? Maybe it’s a purchase? Maybe it’s sharing their social media pages to your friends and family? Maybe it’s visiting them at a show/pop-up/craft fair? Maybe it’s just a like or comment on the products they post? As it becomes increasingly difficult to be seen on social media, every little bit helps and I guarantee we all appreciate it!

I am beyond grateful to all of you that support my small business as I go into my 8th holiday season! Not only do I help support my family by doing what I do, but this business is how my family is able to give back in the capacity that we do. You’re part of a bigger picture and I can’t express how much we appreciate all the things you do to support this! A special shout out to the other businesses in the community that collaborate with chip+chisel - StarCycle Felida, StarCycle Vancouver, Barre3 Camas, Sass Beauty - you guys have been so good to me and my gratitude runs deep.

A huge thank you in advance for considering shopping small with chip+chisel this holiday season - you allow me to be home with my babies yet still maintain (most of) my sanity with this creative outlet of mine. ;)

xo
lindsy

For more ideas on shopping small, here’s an article I read if you’re interested: https://www.tabithaemma.com/7-ways-to-support-small-business-this-year-and-why-you-should/

How To Eat Your Halloween Candy

With a beverage, of course! I’m choosing wine - shocking, I know.

I found this handy little cheat sheet on Pinterest and thought I would share. You never know when the mood will strike to sit down with that leftover Halloween candy and enjoy a piece or two. And if it happens to be wine o’clock, no need to waste time with the guesswork of which adult beverage to pair with it! You’re welcome. ;)

wine pairing with halloween candy.jpg

Happy Halloween!

xo
lindsy

How To Remove Patina From Your Brass Jewelry

I don’t offer much in the way of brass jewelry, but these cuffs have been faves of mine forever and I’ve kept them in the lineup for quite some time because of it. If you love them too, this blog post may come in handy for you!

2018-09-27 13.38.25.jpg

brass cuff love…

I’ll make this super easy. Toothpaste, ketchup, vinegar - all things you have around the house that can double as brass jewelry cleaner!

Brass is a metal that will quickly oxidize and develop a patina, especially if exposed to sprays, chemicals, water, etc. While this is a process that lends to the uniqueness of each piece, some prefer to maintain that shiny new finish instead.

Below is a link to an article with 5 of the easiest ways to remove the majority of the patina that your brass pieces develop. There are lots of other methods out there, but these happen to be my faves and relatively easy so I thought I would share!

https://www.bhg.com/homekeeping/house-cleaning/surface/how-to-clean-brass/

Have a tried and true way that you use to clean your brass jewelry? Share it below!

xo,
lindsy

Why It's Absolutely Okay To Prioritize (and make cuts!)

How often do you catch yourself thinking that there just aren’t enough hours in the day? I say this all. the. time. I’m guessing I’d need about 10 extra hours each day to really stay caught up - anyone know a way to make this happen? I’ll pay top dollar!

Now that we’re back from our extended stay in Bend and settled in at home, I’m gearing up for the craziness of the holiday season! (Christmas is less than 9 weeks away, BTW!). I have a couple new c+c projects underway which is prompting me to make some changes to accommodate this new chapter of life with our girls in school and the (constant) struggle to balance it all. I wanted to take a minute to fill you in - I appreciate transparency and thought some of you might too. :)

It comes as no surprise that I’ve really scaled back on work since having my girls - pretty inevitable. With them starting kindergarten sooner than I care to think about (cue the tears), I’ll be spending the next two years leading up to that slowly getting back to working a bit more like I did pre-babies. I’d hate to get bored when they’re in school full days and have to spend my spare time cleaning or something. ;) There have definitely been days where it’s hard to go at this slower pace and not devote the extra hours to c+c here and there like I’d prefer, but time is FLYING and I’m determined to soak it up with my babes as much as I possibly can! The goal is the same as it has been - to be able to do what I love while still being very present for my family. So here I am - prioritizing and implementing small changes where necessary. With some behind the scenes chip+chisel action going on, that means I’m going to take some of my time and distribute it a bit differently moving forward.

I will be purchasing rings (finger rings - both standard and midi) pre-soldered through my supplier(s). This means that the ends of the metal rings will no longer be soldered in-house and the sizes I can get will be the only sizes I will offer. I will no longer be customizing these pieces or the sizes available. Earring posts will be purchased pre-soldered as well. The metals, quality, and styles will remain the same, so no worries there!

I will no longer be setting crystals into metal. This will eliminate most of the STATEwide collection and a couple bar necklace styles. The heart STATEwide design is still available and a favorite of mine, so be sure to check that one out!

I’m in a place where I have to take time from somewhere and this is all I feel comfortable giving up. The soldering truly is a very small detail (albeit super time consuming), I know, and I’m sure a lot of you are thinking “no big deal!” but for those that may have been disappointed to find this out after you had made a purchase, I wanted to fill you in, just in case! :)

After the crazy struggle to get pregnant, I knew that being home with my girls during these younger years would be the only way for me - you guys are the reason that I’ve been able to do this and I can’t thank you enough! I appreciate your support over the years and am so, SO grateful every time you choose chip+chisel for your jewelry needs! Words can’t express my whole family’s gratitude for each and every one of you.

Let me love you a little more before you’re not little anymore.
— Unknown
fagan-2018-18.jpg

xo
lindsy

On The Move

"Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that's the one that is going to help you grow."

Hey Guys!  What an insane past few weeks. We've been living in a little bit of chaos but things have finally calmed down and I'm breathing again.

I have a few blog posts in the works and figured I should start getting them posted.  This one first so I can get you up to speed on what in the world is going on over here! 

I closed my chip+chisel studio at the end of July, my husband was out on a wildland fire for 22 days (read: me, alone with my kidlets - eek!), we packed up and headed down to Bend, Oregon for a few months the day after my husband came home, and now we're working on getting settled down here.  That's right - chip+chisel has a new home for a bit!!

First thing's first - the studio closure.  I went back and forth about this for months before finally making a decision.  I started toying with the idea at the end of last year.  As much as I loved having the space to work outside of our house, I struggled with the inconvenience of only being able to work at certain times.  When my husband is on shift and my girls are in bed, I love to use that time to get in a good chunk of work but I can't exactly leave my kids home alone so I can go into the studio at night.  I also love to be able to accommodate last minute orders and it's hard when I have to schedule that time away - so much easier to step into my home office space and take an hour or two here and there so I can get those last minute pieces shipped off to you.  I thought about it for a good six months and finally decided to go for it.  At this stage in our life with the girls not being in school full time yet (cue the tears - it kills my heart to think about it), it's been HUGELY convenient to have everything so accessible.  The need to coordinate schedules with my husband or a sitter is no longer an issue and I get to enjoy the ease of a lot more flexibility.  I may explore a studio setup again under different circumstances (never say never!), but for now, our plan is to build a small studio as an extension of our house so I can still be at home but technically leaving the house for work.  Everything is always changing, always evolving, and I'm just learning to go with the flow.  :)

After the move from the studio, we packed c+c up AGAIN this past weekend and hauled her a few hours away to Bend, Oregon!  Who knew she was so mobile?!  We vacation here regularly - my husband went to college here, is obsessed with it and now my girls are obsessed with it as well.  Yes - at 3 years old, they talk about it nonstop!  All I heard for 3.5 hours on the drive down is "we want to go to Bend! Are we in Bend yet?".  :)  We decided a few months ago to take a little adventure and see what it would be like to spend more than a week and do a little trial period of actually LIVING here.  So here we are, half a week in and already my kids freak out at any mention of "going back to the house" which they think means going HOME lol.  It's pretty clear that my husband has converted them to being little Bend lovers!  Who can blame them though ... what's not to love?!  It's a vacation destination for a reason and I can't say enough good things about this place.  If you haven't visited, you should really consider it!  

We've had a LOT of change over the past month and honestly, I am not good with change.  At all.  I crave a routine, a sense of normalcy and like to sit smack dab in the middle of my comfort zone.  What we're doing is none of those things, but even in the midst of all the challenges of getting down here, I recognize how good this is for me.  I like that I'm being pushed to explore a different place, a different way of living, taken away from my "stuff" that I seem to place way too much importance on, and to have an experience with my family that if I had stayed in my comfort zone, I most definitely would not be having.  A little change and growth never hurt anyone, right?

So for now, I'm working on finding my new "normal", developing a routine, and procrastinating like crazy on putting the rest of our clothes away.  ;)  I'll be sharing our adventure regularly on our Insta stories, so be sure to connect with me over there - @chipandchisel.

girls in bend.jpg

xo, lindsy

Hi, It's Me!

Hi guys!  One of the things I love about doing events & pop-ups is that I get to talk with people in person, ask questions, kind of get to know people a bit, and connect.  It's harder on social media because the vibe is more scrolling, less reading.  :)  With all the questions I get when I'm doing in-person events, I thought it would be fun to start answering them here on the blog and also try to share a bit more personally.  The connections I've made through the website and by sharing our infertility story have been amazing and my hope is that it will only continue!

So, if you know me well, then you probably won't find anything too shocking here ... buuuut, if you don't, well now you'll know a bit more about this person over here behind chip&chisel!   

#1 - I'm 36 years old and an aries.
#2 - I was raised by two amazing people, neither of them are my bio parents.  They are the definition of selflessness.
#3 - My husband Ian and I are celebrating 7 years of marriage next month!
#4 - I was married once before in my mid twenties.
#5 - I met Ian at the gym during my divorce - he was also going through a divorce. We thought the timing couldn't have been worse, but turns out, it couldn't have been better!
#6 - I never wanted kids before I met Ian.
#7 - We went through 6 IVF cycles to conceive our miracle girls.
#8 - I'm a firefighter wife and proud of it!
#9 - My husband and kids are literally EVERYTHING to me.
#10 - So are coffee and wine. 

You can find me here each week sharing answers to the questions I get and if you have something you'd like to add, throw it my way!

xo, lindsy


 

You Asked, I'm Answering

Hi guys!  A few weeks ago, I wrapped up an event at Vivi's Vintage Market in Sherwood, OR - such a beautiful event and so well done.  Everything from the colors to the location were totally my vibe and I walked away so inspired and feeling so great to have been a part of something revolving around such a great cause.  To learn more, visit www.vivianleefoundation.org. 

After my Valentine's pop-up at Wishbone Home Decor & Design in Lake Oswego, I started writing down a list of the questions I get when I'm onsite at events and thought it would be fun to start a little Q&A series here on the blog!  I've kept the list going the past few months and it's grown and grown, so I'm just gonna dive in and try to start answering one question each week.  (oh the anxiety brought on by the commitment of a blog post each week, haha!).  The questions range from family, to jewelry, to our IVF experience ... if you have any to add, feel free to email me at lindsy@chipandchisel.com or send a message through the website via the 'contact us' page.  

xo, lindsy

Beautiful Chaos

So yesterday was a bit of a whirlwind - who can relate??  If you could've seen me at the end of my chaotic day, you would've witnessed me walking in the door at almost 9pm, eating a heaping plate of doritos and avocado while standing alone in a dark kitchen ... i'm calling it a win because avocado is very healthy, my friends.  ;) 

After a rough first half of the day that included my phone dying, having to drag two little girls around while trying to get a new phone while being totally unprepared to be out and about for hours and hours (never good with kids!), then deal with all the hooplah that inevitably surrounds driving across the city to actually pick up the new phone ... well, I wasn't feeling super great by the time I got home. I missed out on hours of prep time and was totally frantic once I actually got into the studio. Life, right?  I was overwhelmed, super tired, and felt totally unprepared.  Don't you hate that feeling when what you really need is to be "on"? Seems like the two go hand in hand more often than not.  Well regardless of how I felt, the shoot (luckily) went off without a hitch!  The models (baby too!) were amazing, the photographer, Whitney Summers, was incredible as always, and to top it all off, we got super lucky with the lighting and a beautiful sunset!

These ladies made the jewelry look gorgeous and they did it all so effortlessly!  I headed home last night with a full heart, feeling so lucky to be surrounded by such strong and big-hearted women.  

I can't wait to share more pics with you guys along with some details about how I was lucky enough to have these ladies come into my life, so stay tuned!  

xo, lindsy

All the Pretty in a Cocktail

Spring brings the pretty floral feels to everything - cocktails included!  I was browsing Pinterest yesterday (getting sucked in as always) and stumbled upon some pretty eye catching adult beverage!  Guys - Kiwi Margaritas.  K I W I.  I have a real obsession with that fruit right now.  Click through for recipes and let me know if you run across anything else that looks amazing!

Now tell me those don't look (and sound!) absolutely delish?  This weekend full of sunshine is about to have me enjoying a little happy hour on the front porch ... what about you?  Don't forget to report back if you try one out!

Have a great weekend, friends!
xo, lindsy