|Lise Spence-Parsons of Lottie's Trinkets|
Lise Spence-Parsons is owner and creator of Lottie’s Trinkets. I had the good fortune to meet Lise at a recent craft show where she told me I had an “Accent. “ Lise specializes in unique, handmade jewelry, designed with quality semi-precious stones, glass, Swarovski crystals and pearls.
Lise is originally from the London area in the UK and relocated to the United States in 2002 for her husband’s work. (She has s bit of an “Accent" herself) She says; “I am from an artistic family on my paternal side and most members of my family have an artistic passion of sorts.” Her family is small, with a sister and mother in the UK and some close family in Sweden. Her husband’s family is small as well and also live in the UK , they are the only two that moved to the US.
Lise currently resides in Maple Grove, MN with her husband and two kitties. She spends most of her time at home doing domestic things and also running her business, which has been trading successfully since 2005. She says; “I use one of the rooms in the basement as my “Studio” and “Lottie Trinkets” headquarters. I dream of having a real studio and/or shop to make and sell my work, we shall see.”
Lise likes to call herself an “Art Jewelry Designer” she says; “ I work hard at developing my ideas and try to push boundaries just a little. I generally stick to necklaces, bracelets and earrings. I enjoy using all sorts of materials in my work and really enjoy recycling old antique and vintage beads and findings and make something new for someone to enjoy.”She describes her style as “European” and states “You can take the girl out of London, but you can’t take London out of the girl.” She adds, “I would say I am eclectic and experimental with style and color combinations. To me it’s all about form, function and design. Each piece I design must be balanced in all aspects before it goes out for general review and sale.”
Lise’s artistic talents have always been “Lurking inside of her and burning to get out.” She recalls, “Some of my earliest memories are of myself are drawing, coloring and making things fit together. One of my best presents ever was a package of color cards and a pot of cow gum (glue) and a pair of scissors…..joy!” She shared with me that she never formally studied art and merely followed her family’s art forms being practiced from painting and photography, to fashion design and music and that it is all second nature. Lise was an accountant for 17 years in London and “The artist” did not escape until they came to the US to live. She became interested after attending a class with a friend where she learned to wire wrap beads. She said;”I knew I was hooked and Lottie’s Trinkets was born 3 months later.
I asked Lise where she draws her inspiration from? “Inspiration comes in many guises, sometimes so subtle you don’t even realize it. However, most of my ideas come from reading books, I imagine a character wearing a certain item…sometimes it’s TV or on the street, you see someone wearing an item and think “yeah, I could use those beads I bought…”
Her ideas for her actual design of a piece can take a long time. “I like to lay the beads out and walk away, come back and look again, move some around and then take or add some others. I can make pieces up and later break them down again to tweak as it does not hang correctly or the colors are wrong for each other.”
What skills have you found essential in your work? “Skills required in my work are infinite, as I run my own business I am the designer, maker, supplies purchaser, marketer, accountant, booth agent, salesperson etc. However, one skill I have found invaluable is patience…it can be applied to all of the disciplines above. Another is to have a humor and be prepared to laugh at yourself.”
How often do you work? “I try to work most days, probably 30% of my time is designing and making the pieces, the remainder is looking/shopping/sourcing antique malls for supplies, book-keeping, locating and applying for art fairs and then general administration.”
Have you worked with any organizations to further your career as an artist? “I actually do volunteer my time to local charity groups for special needs kids in the metro area. I teach jewelry making for about 16 girls for a few Saturdays and other days throughout the year. This is my 5th year of doing this and I find it very rewarding and the girls love it!”
What advice can you give people just getting started? “This is a hard life and not an easy fix; do not expect results, sales/profits immediately. All art forms are competitive, but jewelry design is one of the most oversubscribed. You have to be different, your designs unique and you must live the passion.”
If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it? “After doing all the normal family things, I would travel the world and experience different cultures. I’ve traveled a lot in my life so far and there is nothing that expands my mind more. I would also invest in myself and get that studio/shop and make my dreams come true?”
Lise ‘s website is www.lottietrinkets.com it is linked to PayPal to facilitate payments. She also sells the same items on http://www.artfire.com/users/LottiesTrinkets and http://www.madeitmyself.com/user/lottiestrinkets.aspx