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/

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

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

New Year, New Beginnings

Happy 2018 friends!  I'm struggling to comprehend how another year blew right on past me?! Babies are another year older, chip&chisel celebrated its SIXTH anniversary, and I'm finally, after 2.75 years of "momming", figuring out that tricky little thing called balance.  I mean, I don't have *all* the answers (progress over perfection, right?), but I've had a much better handle on things recently and it's been life changing!

After wrapping up what may have been my favorite c&c holiday season yet, I'm ready to jump into the New Year!  With sleeping littles upstairs and tired eyes, I'm ready to wrap up this blog post and hit publish so I can share my updates and thoughts from 2017 and how they're propelling me into the New Year! .  

First things first, you may have seen the Concrete Boom social media post right before Christmas about the sale of that business. In case you missed it, most of you know I co-founded a screenprinted apparel company, Concrete Boom, back in 2016 which then launched this past summer. As business partners and two busy mamas that were trying to juggle family, our regular full-time jobs and run a brand new business efficiently and effectively, we ultimately felt it needed much more than we could currently give to grow it and be successful. We tried to strategize running it on a smaller scale but in the end it seemed impossible to move forward. At this time, as destiny would have it, a new friend, Tara, reached out as another mom looking for an opportunity to be creative and make something her own and a sale was born! :)  I’m so excited to watch her journey unfold and hope you’ll be cheering for her as well. I love to see other women pursuing their passions! Tara is a great fit for the brand and I know you’ll continue to be in great hands. 

So what will I be doing with all of my newfound time?  Oh, I don't know ... sleeping at night again, actually folding the laundry that comes out of the dryer, maybe cook dinner occasionally?  ;)  2017 was a rat race with oh-so-many teachable life lessons. I've chosen to take the positive from all of them in order to let them have the greatest impact on my life. When has anything good ever come from dwelling on less than stellar situations and circumstances? Yeah, never. Ever heard the phrase, "Grow through what you go through"?  That's where I'm at.  I've reflected a lot on those 365 days and have written down the three key points below in my planner to help keep me focused, avoid the burnout, and set myself up for success this year both personally & professionally.  I look at them every morning, expand on their meaning, and take them through my day.

YOU CAN DO ANYTHING BUT NOT EVERYTHING.  Do less and do it well.  I stretched myself so thin this past year and a half trying to run two separate businesses. I’m sure you’re thinking “well, duh!” … don’t worry, I did too. It was hard on me AND my family.  Have you ever read the 5 Love Languages book and taken the test?  My husband and I read it when we were engaged and scored the exact same for each category (compatible much?) with 'quality time' ranking the highest.  He's an amazingly supportive spouse and loves to see me realize my dreams, but if you asked him if he would like a repeat of last year, he would most definitely tell you no.  We had less time together than either of us liked and that's played a huge factor into the planning for chip&chisel in 2018.  Yes, you can do anything you put your mind to … but when you try to do EVERYTHING, it becomes all quantity and less quality.  Makes me cringe.  Choose the things you love and do those.

YOUR CHOICES REFLECT YOUR PRIORITIES.  My priority is my family and my business.  I am not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom ... I'm also not cut out to be away too much. I'm hugely fulfilled by chip&chisel and working hard, but there's a balance between the two that I've spent the past couple months trying to figure out how to actually attain. I made the choice a little over a year ago to go back to operating chip&chisel on my own. Not because I didn't have great ladies working with me, but because staying on a schedule and fulfilling my role so they could maintain theirs felt so overwhelming at that point in my life.  With two little ones and working hours that were super inconsistent and really testing my sanity, I couldn't keep up.  I scaled back.  I took on an amount of work that I could handle on my own and decided I would stick with that for a while. I put Etsy in vacation mode a lot so I could focus mainly here on the website and took care of key pieces of the business, but I was looking to just keep it manageable.  Well then I got bored.  Instead of getting back to "normal" with chip&chisel, I took on a whole new business.  WHY?  I don't have an answer other than that I'm just meant to be busy, BUT ... not in the way that I was up until the sale of Concrete Bloom.  So, I sat down and I prioritized.  I want to be home with my family but I also know that the growth and expansion that was planned for c&c back in 2015 when we launched the website has been on my brain for over two years now.  I'm in the best place I've been professionally since having my girls and I feel good, ready to grow again. chip&chisel is my heart - it's the reason my girls are here (Are you thinking “what?”? Read our story!), it's how I've formed so many great friendships and connections, it's so much of my purpose.  Showing my girls what it means to do something you love, something you're so passionate about, something that allows you to give back (more on that to come!) ... well that's everything to me.  So, with much excitement, I'm bringing back two of the ladies that used to work with me and we're diving into this New Year together!  These ladies know me, they know my brand, they know how crazy I am about what I put out there and how hard it is for me to let go and give pieces to others to manage.  But you know what?  *Because* they know that, I trust them even more.  I have learned that I can't do everything and do it well and that is okay! They will help me execute day-to-day functions in the studio and assist with the growth and expansion that I've been envisioning for some time now.  The help allows me to put my family first while still doing what I love ... connecting with and creating for YOU!

DON'T LET FEAR HOLD YOU HOSTAGE.  Growth and change is scary.  It's so much easier to just do what you've been doing because it's familiar and safe.  But taking risks is how you break out of your comfort zone and do amazing things!  I know, I know - what if you fail?  Yep, it happens.  But it's part of what makes you great!  In every aspect of my life ... as a wife, mama, woman, and small business owner ... I fail at things I set out to do (like keeping this blog post short and sweet). ;) I don't let those moments define me though.  They're life's learning lessons and you'll always encounter opportunities for them.  Consider yourself lucky - growth happens in the midst of difficult circumstances and you'll be a better person for it if you embrace it. 

Do you have a mantra or phrase that you’re bringing with you into 2018?  I’d love to hear it!

I’ve welcomed this New Year with open arms and it feels oh so good! A fresh start, a clean slate, 365 chances to write a new chapter. I am so grateful for your continued support over the years and beyond thankful to have you along on this journey with me, truly.

Sending you big hugs and the best wishes for an amazing 2018!
xo,
lindsy

Put A Ring On It!

There's really no wrong way to stack or wear multiple rings. Sticking to a particular metal or motif is one way to do it, but mixing stones, metals and jewelry styles can look just as fab! Your look will be more balanced and more comfortable if you wear your smaller rings on top and your heavier statement rings on the bottom, but beyond that it's really just a matter of personal taste. 

I'm loving the wide band ring pictured above, which is now also available in a hammered finish...wear it plain or have it handstamped with up to three lines of personalization.  You can even personalize the underside of the ring with hidden initials...LOVE! See our entire collection of rings HERE.

xo

Thank You For The Inspiration!

“Lindsy, I have been meaning to write to you since Christmas. My husband ordered me a necklace for Christmas from my boys, Landon & Colton. I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me. I was diagnosed with AML on January 1st. I have been wearing my necklace every day to remind me why I’m so positive. Thank you again for the amazing necklace!”  
~ Lesley                                                                                                          

We love hearing the stories and meanings behind the pieces we create for our customers and feel so blessed to be able to do something we are so passionate about and that others love and appreciate as well! As a new mama to twins, it’s been a real challenge to find a work/life balance and I can’t tell you how much it means when that work is validated by your positive comments and testimonials.

A huge thank you to our customers around the world…we LOVE being your source for personalized, handstamped jewelry and are continually inspired to create each individual piece with love and the utmost attention to detail. After I personally handstamp each piece, it passes through two more sets of hands for a little extra TLC before I give the final seal of approval for it to be sent on its way to you.  We are confident that every detail has been taken care of and your purchase is something we’d be proud to wear ourselves!

We’d love to hear more of your stories, the meanings behind the pieces or any general feedback you’d like to share, so please feel free to comment below or send us an email if you’d prefer. We hope to feature more testimonials on our website in the future!