SPOTLIGHT: Christy Rice

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Contact info:

Christyricephotography@gmail.com
Www.facebook.com/christyricephotography
Www.christyricephotography.com
IG: @christyricephotography

 

 

How did you get into photography?

I have always been drawn to color and light. As a child I would plaster my walls and notebooks with beautiful photos of people and landscapes, sunshine and bright colors. I enjoyed taking photos in high school and in the years following, when I’d borrow someone’s fancy camera or use my own cheap point and shoot, sometimes even disposable cameras when those were still a thing. But it wasn’t until friends from my church lent me their DSLR camera and several lenses that I really began to try and capture the beauty of God’s world in my own unique way. 

For several years, I enjoyed photography as a creative hobby, practicing on my own and capturing many images of my daughter and husband. At one point I agreed to do a photo session with my best friend and her kids, and it was a blast! My creativity flourished and I really began to find my own style. Soon other friends began asking me to take their photos and wanted to pay me for them, and several mentioned that I should think about starting a business. I bawked at this idea. Being a creative who adores the artistic side of life, I am not good with the business side and had no desire to delve into it. The seed was planted in my heart, however, and I began to pray about it. My husband encouraged me to do it, and I felt God leading me in that direction. I remember praying that if God wanted me to open a business, He would have to give me the patience, clients, and wisdom to do it right, because I had no idea where to start and no desire to be a business woman, ha! I took the plunge in 2012 and created Christy Rice Photography, which has been successful every year since, praise God!

What do you love most about it?

Capturing joy, color, light, and a glimpse into my subject’s personality that makes them unique and beautiful. 

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SPOTLIGHT: Jessica Bunn

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IG: @bunnyfarmgirl

 

 

 

 

Column by Jessica Bunn

Some of God’s greatest creative miracles are contained in the smallest packages! A few weeks ago I planted my first flat of China Asters on my kitchen counter, along with rows of sweet peas and Persian cress outside. It’s always amazing to take each minuscule seed, tweezering each one into the soft damp soil, fully believing that the information packed into each one (enough genetic information to fill a super computer) will miraculously grow into something beautiful that will fill the garden with color.  Spring is one of my favorite seasons because we are invited into the creative process God began at the beginning of time, nurturing the life He created and endlessly arranging it in ways that bring His beauty to the world.

For me, this journey started as far away from the land as it’s possible for a human being to get: growing up on a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But, after all those sea miles, I married a farmer. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with the land and growing things, which is good, since my family is in this profession. From learning how to grow flowers and vegetables in my own garden, I moved to managing and harvesting flowers on our family’s organic farm a mile down the road from my house. Now my hobby has woven itself into a job I get up at 5 am to do, harvesting 35-50 bouquets a week and hosting summer flower U-Pick events.

Throughout my life, I’ve often limited myself by saying, I could never do that. I didn’t grow up doing that. I’m not artistic. I’m not creative.… I’m not, I’m not, I’m not.  But recently, I’ve reached a point in my own personal journey where I realize that fear only limits our  potential to accomplish amazing things and experience all of the wonders that God our Creator has for us. Sometimes when I’m out with the flowers, completely overwhelmed by the lavish display of creative beauty, I hear God’s message so loudly: I created this. I created you. And I invite you into my process. Come on, endless possibility awaits!

These journeys of ours may start small. But seeds turn into beautiful flowers and words turn into worlds. You were designed by the creative force that shaped the galaxies, and layered a Double Click Cosmos just so. Let that knowledge water the seeds in your own hearts, and be amazed at what will grow!

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SPOTLIGHT: Maggie Sutherland

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Business: Green and Crumb Florals

Info: IG @greenandcrumbflorals

Email: greenandcrumb@gmail.com

 

 

 

How did you come to start your business?

I had always loved working with my hands and puttsing around the garden when I was little. I remember one spring my mom cleared out a section of our yard and let me pick out whatever flower seeds I wanted at the store, and let me go to town planting them in the space she set aside for me. I took such pride in every sunflower and poppy that came up that year. Through the years flowers have always been such a magical medium for me, so when a friends incited me to work in her flower shop in between my time living abroad, I couldn’t snatch up the opportunity fast enough. I started be cleaning buckets and taking orders. But soon enough she started letting my play with flowers and taught me all the ins and outs of floral design. 

Years later (after getting married and having two daughters), a friends was getting married and asked me if I would be free to do her flowers. I told a very excited “yes!”, even though I had never done a wedding on my own before. My friend and I had so much fun creating florals for her gorgeous wedding. I’ll always be grateful to that friends for believing in me and trusting me with one of the most specials days of her life. 

From there I started booking smaller weddings and events. I was a lot of trial and error as I navigated the creative parts that I adored, while also balancing the business side of things that are hard. I learned much in that first year, and realized that this was something I wanted to pursue more seriously. It’s been almost four years since then, and I am so proud of how my business has grown and thrived. It’s not lost on my how many incredible people believed in me, supported me, sent referrals, or worked with me. 

What do you love most about your work?

It’s such an honor to get to play a small role in one of the most important days in a couple’s lives. I love getting to create an overall vision with a bride, dreaming up ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas to bring to life. My work is very personal and sincere. I love getting to know each couple and what moves and inspires them. From there I create a custom floral design based on their personalities, and often their story as a couple. But I think handing a bride her bouquet and seeing her eyes light up will forever be my favorite part of the job. It is magical and always moves me. 

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How does creativity play a role in other areas of your life?

We grew up in a very creative family. I am so thankful for how my parents always lived out their creativity, but also made a space for me to try anything and everything. I love getting to create space for my girls, but to also show them an example of how creativity brings me so much joy. In addition to florals, I also love interior design. My husband and I just bought a charming 1930s fixer upper and it has been such a fun project to renovate and design together. It ties together our love of working with our hands, design, and resurrecting historic homes. 

I just got a book on water coloring so we’ll see what fun that unlocks too! 

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SPOTLIGHT: Rebecca Baldizon

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What’s your background with horticulture/gardening/landscaping?

I have always loved it. I can remember being excited about gardening, caring for plants, and browsing nurseries as a child. I have a BS in Biology with an emphasis in botany. My favorite class in college was “plant classification”. We studied the small details of what made plants unique from each other. Noticing uniquenesses were how we could differentiate plants into groups. God is the ultimate designer and creator and it was a delight for me to study plants and learn about details in His creativity. 

 

What do you love most about it?

If I had to describe myself I would say I am a science mind with a bit of creativity blended throughout. Gardening, etc. fills my science niche. Maybe I will experiment with a new crop in my garden. Maybe I will try a shade plant in a light sun spot. Maybe I will take a crop plant and try to make it more ornamental and suitable for the front yard. I conduct experiments while I plant. I don’t get frustrated when a plant may fail. This is just more data for the next time I experiment. It’s a great reward and I feel a sense of accomplishment.

 

I also love the blending of function and beauty with gardening/landscape design. I love the challenge of making the practical pretty. My chicken coop is an example of this. I love the color variety of gardening. One of my favorite color combos is purple and lime green. Grapes about to turn purple is a great example of this. I chose one of my nectar trees because of pretty speckled fruit it produces. One of my tomato varieties have a purple hue. I purposely go to great lengths in choosing my chickens so I can have a rainbow of egg colors. 

 

Lastly, I love being outside. Gardening is a great excuse to breathe some fresh air and enjoy God’s creation.

 

SPOTLIGHT: Amber Bishop

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Age: 36

IG @amberleifa

 

 

How did you get into photography?

I’ve had an interest in photography since my late teens, however it’s only been in the last 5 years that I’ve really pursued it as a career. I started out as just a mom with a camera. I wanted to capture so many precious moments that occur on any given day in my four children’s lives. I found the more I searched for photo opportunities, the more observant I became and as a result I started seeing so much beauty everywhere! And not just in my children, but with other people, their children, my surroundings, sunsets and sunrises. All golden moments.

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What do you love most about it?

I love the surprises. You could be in a concrete jungle and a muddy puddle could reflect a plane going overhead and it could just be magic! To the untrained eye one might look around in a situation and miss the beauty, but if you’re looking for beauty it can always be found. I’m so grateful that I have the opportunity to look at life through a lens and capture a certain perspective that is uniquely mine. It’s an art form in itself and I feel like with the technology available today, the sky is the limit in regards to learning new skills and capturing more and more of what’s all around us. 

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SPOTLIGHT: Zachary Ayers

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Wedding and lifestyle photographer/videographer and all-around adventure story-teller

Age: 19

Info: zachayers.com and IG @zach_ayers

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How did you first get hooked on photography and videography?

My older brother Ben has always been a strong creative role model in my life. I grew up in his recording studio and watching music videos being filmed in our backyard that got millions of views. Eventually I asked Ben to teach me how to make a video. He set me up with a camera and some editing program and told me the basics. He told me, “If you have any questions just Google it!” Beyond teaching me the basic technicalities, he empowered me to learn how to teach myself. And that is what has taken me to where I am.

I quickly fell in love with the camera for how it enabled me to capture the world around me. At the time, my world was low-key, pretty much just my cute little niece playing with her toys. But I kept filming and kept filming everyday because I was so ecstatic to make passing moments tangible and re-livable. Getting into videography has helped me seek out a more exciting and adventurous lifestyle. Video has not only helped me capture what goes on in my life, but now creates so much of my lifestyle. 

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What do you love most about it?

I can go on and on about how amazing it is that we have the power to capture moments and emotions–that’s a huge part of why it drives me. I love how dynamic the medium of film is and how it allows me to be creative despite feeling like I don’t have a “creative personality”. I operate off of a very methodical and practically-based mindset. I think strongly in numbers and systems, and while of course I am emotional, I still have issues connecting the fine arts or musical mediums of creativity. But through film making, I have found the space to use systems and formulas to be creative, while also being as original as I please. 

How do you use creativity in your work?

I have the immense privilege (but also curse) of my career being my creative hobby. I am a freelance film maker doing primarily wedding films, but also an array of other films. I love doing weddings because I’m invited into one of the most intimate and exciting days of peoples’ lives and am asked to capture every little moment of that day. As someone who’s driven by capturing moments, of course doing weddings is one of the most exciting and rejuvenating things I can film! 

Check out his website zachayers.com for video clips of his work and info on his services. He is currently booking for 2019-2020.

SPOTLIGHT: Anne Castillo

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Age: 21

Job: Nail Technician

Contact: acastillo12397@gmail.com, IG @nails_by_anne54, FB Nails by Anne

 

 

What is your background with nail art?

I got into nail art when I was 13. I was bored one day and went online to a website called stumbleupon.com that brings you to different web pages at random, and I stumbled across a tutorial for nail art. I started practicing on myself almost everyday (I went through a lot of nail polish!) Eventually people started noticing and they kept telling me I should use my skills on other people, so I decided to go to beauty school and get my license. 

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What do you love most about it?

I love getting to use my creativity for a living. What started as a hobby has turned into a job, which I think is pretty amazing. Sometimes clients tell me what they want and it’s up to me to execute it. It’s pretty fun to use my imagination to create fun new designs.

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Are there other areas in your life where you exercise creativity?

Nail art is the best outlet I have for my creativity, but I also like to get creative in the kitchen. I know it’s a different kind of creativity, but I like to experiment with baking and cooking new recipes. 

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What to Wear

Do you get in a rut with your wardrobe? Do you box yourself in with wearing the same combos, like always this shirt with that cardigan and always those earrings with that dress? Do you have mornings where you stare at your closet much like the fridge, hoping an outfit will just magically present itself?

I have been feeling this a lot lately mainly because I’m pregnant and the bump is out there and I’m adjusting to my new body. But I have felt this occasionally whether I had a baby bump or not (major post-pardom-body dilemma too!) So lately I’ve taken some time to play in my closet and experiment with new outfit combos. I tried to approach my wardrobe with fresh eyes and physically move my clothing around. Then I snapped some photos of my new outfits to reference on those days when I have no imagination. It has been so helpful!

Here are some tips:

  • Set aside 20-30 mins to work (make it extra fun by having a friend over to bounce ideas off of!)
  • Take one top (shirt, tank, blouse, etc) at a time and see how many different bottoms (jeans, skirts, shorts, etc) and/or outer garments (cardigans, vests, jackets, etc) you can pair it with.
  • Hang/layer garments together on one hanger as you would wear them
  • Bonus: add a necklace or a scarf to the outfit by hanging it on the hanger too
  • Hang outfit up on a door jam or empty closet rack and take a picture
  • Keep all your outfit pictures in an album on your phone to reference each day
  • Branch out and take risks! Even if you’re not sure, try it anyway. If you don’t like it, delete the pic. But you may be surprised what does work and you do end up liking!

 

SPOTLIGHT: Diana Gabriel

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Business: consignment boutique Change of A Dress in San Luis Obispo

785 Marsh Street Suite B, SLO, CA 93401

(805) 544-8288

slochangeofadress.com

Email: changeofadress2@yahoo.com

IG: @slochangeofadress

FB: Change of A Dress Resale and Consignment Boutique 

What is the story of your shop and what do you love most about running it?

Change of A Dress was started by Suzanna Clover and myself in the fall 2008. We were neighbors, were moms, and we knew each other because of our kids and husbands. We became closer through the ending of both of our marriages which happened around the same time. We had been staying home to care for our children. At the time I was also losing my jewelry business which I had successfully launched 10 years earlier, but due to the recession my sales plummeted.

What could two newly single moms do? How could we make money, be there for our kids, be near to home, and be fashion forward on small budgets? Change of A Dress was born. We opened the store with beautiful wardrobes we were no longer wearing. The store was an instant success with the community coming in with their items that were too nice to donate. The store was constantly growing. 

When Suzanne decided to retire in 2014, I took over the shop. I relocated to a space on Marsh Street in San Luis Obispo. With more floor space, I could bring in housewares, more clothing, and expand the clientele to all ages with all budgets. I love what the store has become over the years. We have clients that have been with us from the beginning. I have seen young ladies become women and have children of their own. I never tire of seeing the beautiful clothes, shoes, and accessories that women bring into the store to consign with us. It’s a great feeling to know we provide a service to the community to both our consigners and shoppers.

How do you use creativity in being a shop owner?

I have a background in merchandising and marketing, so I felt very comfortable in decorating the store myself. I love making montages of interesting objects, and plants with personal effects. I love layers and textures and light. I try to decorate the store like I do my own home, something that I look forward to everyday, and imagine how someone else might use it in their environment. Putting outfits together can be challenging at times, mostly because everything has to fit and women are all varieties of shapes and sizes. 

What is your personal connection with fashion, apparel, and accessories?

I was a jewelry designer in the community for over 10 years. I sold to many local boutiques in San Luis and across the country. I still make pieces for the shop with broken vintage jewelry and also have a line of pieces going to all my original stores in San Luis this coming summer. 

Lovelies to Be Seen

A lot of creativity can go into how you dress, but also how you organize and keep all your dressings. One of the biggest challenges I always face is how I store my jewelry and accessories. I’ve had shoe bins and racks, purse bins and racks, jewelry boxes and pegs. Through the years, I’ve learned a few things that have been helpful:

  • If I see it, I’ll wear it
  • If I can easily get to it, I’ll wear it
  • If it looks pleasing, I’ll wear it

So following these truths, I’ve come up with some fun, inexpensive, and effective ways to store and display my jewelry and accessories.

img_1847For my stud earrings and small dangly ones, I made a little display frame. I bought a cheap frame and removed the glass and backing. Then I bought some lace. I went with black because it creates a contrast to my earrings and showcases them better. I stretched the lace over the frame and hot-glued it in place on the sides. This little display is easy to  get to and allows me to see all my studs.

 

 

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I love little dishes! I always come across cute ones at TJ Maxx and Home Goods, but I never knew what to do with them. So I put them to good use holding and displaying my rings and chunkier bracelets. These are set on a mid-height shelf in my closet.

 

 

 

img_1846A majority of my jewelry is kept and displayed in this great jewelry organizer. It hangs on a high rod at eye level. Each piece is clearly seen, and protected from dust. I keep a charcoal tab in each pocket to ward off tarnishing. This is especially important for my Noonday pieces. My sentimental jewelry, heirloom pieces, and holiday jewelry are kept in antique stationary boxes from my grandmother that I turned into jewelry boxes.

 

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For years I kept my purses in bins. But I used them less frequently because I would forget about them. I also found they got smashed and warped. So I tried something new. I now hang my purses on hangers on a rod where I can see them all and they maintain their shape. (One of the reasons I have empty rod space is because of my Seasonal ‘capsule’ wardrobe method. See Feb 11 post).