Last week a long time "someday" dream turned reality....and it's with all the excitement (and nervous stomach) I have that I introduce our new little shop baby, Lily Joy Designs!
Opening a shop has been in the back of my mind for awhile now. Like years. I've made quite a few art prints and organization printables over time and whenever I saw a shop pop up offering those things, I would think "Hey, I could do that!". So, that was always the plan - open a little shop with inspirational art and organization prints for the home.
But I wasn't an expert in the programs used to make them (so it took me forever to create the products) and the art ideas didn't always come readily. They usually seemed sparked by other ideas instead of my own, except the ones born out of necessity, like our printable moving binder or the prints I designed when I couldn't find what I was looking for elsewhere (that never quite turned out the way I envisioned them in my head).
If I were to open a shop, I wanted it to be 100% me....my ideas, my concept, my design. And the timing up to this point never seemed right. Every time I made a push to open the shop, some sort of road block or other sign popped up that say No. Not now. Not that way.
I started to get frustrated with myself. Deme, just make the commitment and do it already! The timing will never be perfect!
Today, I'm so grateful that I didn't push forward with an idea that wasn't supposed to be. Waiting sucks, but when it comes to waiting on God's timing and vision, it's always worth it. The shop we launched this week is totally different than the shop I thought I would open.
We're making a physical product, which I was totally against. I wanted to create something once and then have it available for digital download. No dealing with keeping an inventory, supplies, continuous production, and (heaven forbid) the POST OFFICE.
But I have to confess, this has become one of my favorite parts of this business. I personally love getting something in the mail and opening it up to fun, thoughtful packaging. I love being able to add personal touches like a handwritten note, and help someone with sending a meaningful gift, packaged with as much love as went into to making the gift itself. Etsy really does make the mailing easy and I laugh now that the very thing I avoided like the plague has turned into a great joy.
Here's how it came to be...
I remember wanting to find a special gift for my godson last year, but struggled to find something that felt modern and unique, while still carrying the all the tradition of our catholic faith. What I really wanted was something his mom could hang near his crib, that would grow with him throughout the years.
I thought of the faith-inspired pieces of art in my own home and quickly came to my very favorite one: a large wall rosary made of dark wood beads and a lovely depiction of the Blessed Mother with Child in the center made of ivory. It was beautiful in it's simplicity and striking in it's size. And I had never seen anything else like it.
I loved the idea for my godson, but dark wood felt too grown up for him. What could I use that would be kid-friendly and give a youthful, whimsical vibe? Felt Balls! There were so many colorful options and when I thought of how I wanted to assemble the piece, I realized we could have a lot of fun using smaller beads to hide the string and create a more substantial piece. We made the rosary, and then my daughter asked if she could make one for our friend's Confirmation. Then another friend asked if we could make one for a gift, and another....at which point, I realized we might have created something that people really liked.
Those first rosaries weren't quite the product that we offer today. We've spent a lot of time since then researching quality materials, learning better techniques, and finessing the details that make a product superior in quality and design. We've also created a whole additional line of products using natural birch wood beads that we hope strike that magical combination of beauty + meaning when it comes to home decor. And that last part is what hits the heart of my passions: encouraging one another as we make our homes a beautiful, inspiring, and peaceful haven for our families....even amidst the laundry bombs.
When I became Catholic 10 years ago, I had a difficult time finding religious art that I related to. Most people that grew up in catholic homes with traditional art probably found comfort in those things, but they were foreign to me at first, and therefore made me feel a little uncomfortable. That's not the effect we're looking for when it comes to art in our homes, especially art meant to spark our faith. As I've grown in my catholic faith, the more historic sacred art speaks much more deeply to me now, because it holds more meaning. But I still enjoy finding modern catholic art pieces that can be incorporated into our home's particular style without sacrificing any of the beautiful tradition.
My hope is that we can offer modern, unique, faith-inspired decor that will be treasured pieces in your home for years to come.
So, what's ahead?
In prepping to launch the shop I thought I would pick a few colors schemes and make multiples of those items, but instead I decided to have fun creating a bunch of different color and material combinations for this first launch. You can see them all here. I'm also reserving 8 spots per month for custom orders. So, if a color/style you like has sold out for the month, I can make that for you or you can pick any color/bead combo you like. I will restock the more popular colors with multiples monthly along with seasonal/holiday collections.
The felt ball and wood bead wall rosaries are the signature item in the shop and what started the whole thing....but later this week we're rolling out 2 other designs: smaller decade versions of our beads and a more general prayer beads for our non-catholic friends.
So, that's what we've been up to! We would love for you to stop by Lily Joy Designs and take a look around! We've set up a separate account on Instagram @lilyjoydesigns for the shop, so that shop stuff doesn't take over House For Six. We'll only be sharing occasional shop updates here, but do hope the two will compliment one another. To celebrate the launch we're running a giveaway on the shop's Instagram account for one custom wall rosary (ends at midnight!!) and everyone can enjoy free shipping through the rest of the week with code LJDFREESHIP. Enjoy!