September 24, 2022: Our Story; Following a Dream
“Dreams are illustrations… from the book your soul is writing about you.”— Marsha Norman
It’s hard to believe that only twelve years ago, the thoughts of having a business that allowed us to work independently, while pursuing a love of jewelry design, was only a dream. Yet, it’s a dream that has continued to inspire us and bring us joy. We love creating unique pieces that our customers find meaningful. We enjoy the connections we make with other artists and our customers. We travel to places we wouldn’t normally have seen and treasure the friendships that enrich us. It’s been an unexpected journey, one that we couldn’t even imagine when it all began. Here is our story.
In 2010, I was teaching full time, easily putting in 60 hours a week. I loved what I did, but to be perfectly honest, it was a highly demanding and stressful job. At this time, I was also looking for jewelry to wear to our daughter’s wedding. I had found a beautiful, mother-of-the-bride dress, but couldn’t find jewelry to accessorize it. Fruitless searching through store after store, left me feeling frustrated at the lack of diversity, quality and high costs. A week before the wedding, I wandered into a jewelry store, that was connected to a bead shop. When I didn’t find anything in the jewelry store, I wandered over into the bead shop and immediately felt like I had stepped into Aladdin’s Cave…..the sparkle, color, textures and array of treasures immediately ignited a spark of creativity. Several hours later, I had a new bracelet that was just what I had envisioned. I had so much fun creating and found it to be so relaxing, that I started going once a week after school as a “stress buster”. While I had always loved decorating and gardening, I never saw myself as an artist. This new adventure tapped into a whole new array of possibilities in the creative world. It wasn’t long after that when friends started asking me “where I got my jewelry?”, and soon custom requests began to trickle in.
The following Summer, we had our first “show” at the annual Summerfest in Danforth, a small Maine town where our cabin is located. There is no comparison from that first “show” to our booth today, as it was simply a two-by-six foot folding table. Yet, it gave us the first glimpse of how rewarding it could be to interact with our customers and observe their enthusiastic responses to the jewelry. We decided to call our business Dreamscape Jewelry Design after the name of our Maine camp, as it was a dream of ours to finally own one and a great escape from the demands of a busy life. We registered the name in the state of New Hampshire and we were now “officially” a business.
The following year, we decided to spread our wings, applying to several shows and were absolutely thrilled when we got in. While Ron has his own dental handpiece repair business, I had never owned one and learned through trial and error all the complexities and challenges of running your own business. I read up on business management, asked and received advice from consultants and mentors, and gradually built the framework for what our business is today. As the years passed, we created a website, developed a social media presence, and expanded selling our jewelry to local stores and participated in even more shows.
“As soon as you start to pursue a dream, your life wakes up and everything has meaning.”— Barbara Sher
During this time, I also learned about photography, from the necessity of having to take quality pictures that best showcased our jewelry. The time and experiences with a camera led to a passion for nature photography which has evolved into our Dreamscapes: Visions of Nature Photography Collection.https://dreamscapejewelry.com/dreamscapes-visions-of-nature-photography/. In order to create eye catching posts for social media, I also learned how to create graphic designs, which eventually evolved into being confident enough to explore nature drawing and painting with watercolors; two activities I now love that I never would have attempted before.
“Leaving what feels secure behind and following the beckoning of our hearts doesn’t always end as we expect or hope. We may even fail. But here’s the payoff: it can also be amazing and wonderful and immensely satisfying.”— Steve Goodier
Although I was passionate about teaching and loved working with my students, the demands and stress were taking a huge toll on my health. In 2012, I made the difficult decision to leave teaching and with a leap of faith embarked on a new chapter as an artist. I knew there would be challenges, real (financial) and unexpected (all the “what ifs” that can paralyze us), but ultimately It’s one I have never once regretted.
“Every pro was once an amateur. Every expert was once a beginner. So dream big. And start now.”— Unknown
In the beginning, my husband Ron’s role was mainly encouragement and support. He referred to himself as the “roadie”, indispensable, but not involved in the design part of our business. One of Ron’s nicknames is MacGuyver, from the renowned TV series about an innovative problem solver. Whether it’s figuring out how to pack a whole 10′ by 10′ show set up, plus two golden retrievers into a van, or create a lighting system to illuminate our booth, all the way to the the actual displays themselves, his ingenuity is always a huge asset to our partnership. Although he was already comfortable working with intricate, tiny pieces through his dental handpiece repairs, Ron didn’t think he could ever be considered an artist. Yet over the years, he has become a talented silversmith. Eight years ago, a close, family friend and mentor, taught him the basics of silversmithing and his artistic talent blossomed. He now has confidence in both his creativity and unique jewelry pieces, and is an equal partner in the creative process of designing. A life-long “rock-hound” he now incorporates hand selected gemstones into his designs. Our Silverstone Collection features his one-of-a-kind creations. https://dreamscapejewelry.com/silverstone-collection/
Our partnership is the key to our success. We balance each other out with the responsibilities necessary to run a business, using our strengths to determine each role and responsibility. I’m better at creating visual displays, talking with customers, social marketing, and writing. Ron is more detailed oriented, a behind the scenes guy, who makes sure we’re organized, set up and ready to go. I’m more comfortable talking with customers, yet he’s the steady presence who calmly takes on any challenge of custom work during show time without getting flustered. Over the years, we’ve also learned when to ask for help, whether it’s the challenge of inventory (imagine thousands of beads), organizing a studio, handling a full booth of customers at a busy show, to learning the intricacies of marketing. These individuals are now treasured and valued members of our Dream Team. The work can be demanding, especially during show days, where the hours can be incredibly long, beginning at 5 a.m. to set up and not getting home until late. Yet we have promised each other that as long as we continue to find it meaningful, rewarding and most importantly fun, we will continue on this journey as artists.
“Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.”— Jonas Salk
Our dream flickered into life with a serendipitous foray into a bead shop; where a quest for a wedding bracelet and a simple meander literally changed the story of our lives. What dreams do you hold that can begin to bloom in your next chapter?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our blog and most importantly, the support you’ve given us through the years.
In looking for inspirational quotes, I found a wonderful site with many to choose from to light up your own dream path. https://bucketlistjourney.net/following-your-dreams-quotes/ . In the meantime, here are a few of my favorites. If you have a quote that inspires you, please share it. As always, we would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below and invite you to share this post with someone who might find it meaningful.
Wendy & Ron
Quotes to Inspire Dreams
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”— Walt Disney
“Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.”— Belva Davis
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve always imagined.”— Henry David Thoreau
“If you never dream, you’ll never know the endless possibilities of what you can become.”— Annette White
“It’s not enough to wish, dream, hope. Even children know this. We must set sail into the sea of uncertainty. We must meet fear face-to-face. We must take our dreams as maps for a greater journey. Dreams, to come true, need a good story. So go live one.”— Vironika Tugaleva
September 27, 2022
What a great story and so well written. It deserved to be shared.
December 13, 2022
Thank you as always for your ongoing encouragement and support!
Susan Joan Gibb
September 28, 2022
Congratulations on your many successes.
Susan Joan Gibb
September 28, 2022
Keep on dreaming and creating. Congratulations on your many successes.
December 13, 2022
Thank you so much for your ongoing encouragement and support for us and our jewelry which is greatly appreciated!