Hi All! So, I took a hiatus from travel blogging the last several months. Eek, I’m sorry!
I’ve still been traveling, and I have a loooooong backlog of posts to write. In my queue to name a few: a road trip through Maine, including a visit to the quirky art colony on Monhegan Island, a beach getaway to North Captiva in Florida, and a festive Halloween weekend in Big Sur. So stay tuned.
Now, the reason for the blogging hiatus: a heck of a fun year with a whole lotta change. I started this blog a couple of years ago when I was stuck at a job that just wasn’t meant for me, and I was down on my luck in love. Since then, I quit. HORAY! Traveled. HORAY! Launched 2 new careers. HORAY! And got engaged. WAHOOOOO! It just goes to show once you shake up what is not working in your life, even if you have no freaking idea what the alternative future may hold, things start falling into place.
I wanted to share my newest endeavor – creating art. I’ve always been crafty, and I had had countless discussions with my previous manager that I wanted to create, to make things with my hands that people could touch and feel. I wanted to produce a thing, rather than doing the intangibles I did at my cubicle all day, so that the thing I made could be carried home with someone and hopefully make their day a little brighter. Following that crazy dream, I spent the past year painting and creating cut-paper collages and then figuring out a business plan to sell it.
When I hit the ground running, I like to sprint. So I did my first test run this summer, selling my art in Nantucket at the Sustainable Nantucket Farmers & Artisans Market. And boy did I have fun! Never have I ever loved going “to work” so much. I loved thinking about how to design my stand, getting up early on Saturday mornings to set up shop among all of the other vendors, and being in the sunshine talking with customers. The best part of all: seeing the faces of people light up when they approached my table and hearing remarks like “Her art is so cheerful!” or “I love the bright colors!”
Really, me? You like my stuff? I can actually do this? It was incredibly rewarding. I loved interacting with each and every one of my customers, and learning where my art was going to live in their homes. Like the man who bought his wife a print for an anniversary present — aww, cue heart melting in happiness. Or the woman who bought an original piece as a christening gift for a dear friend.
After a summer of positive feedback and happy buyers, I spent the Fall creating a marketing plan, pitching to stores and magazines, making new pieces, and gearing up to launch an online store. As of this week, I’m happy to say I just launched my online Etsy shop. My store name is NikkiReneStudio, so let me know what you think! Or visit my art website at www.NikkiRene.com.
Because I love the great outdoors so much, I’ve committed to donating a percentage of all online sales to the Yosemite Conservancy. Your purchase of my products helps trail maintenance, youth programs, wildlife protection, habitat restoration, and more.
Thanks so much for your support along my journey all! Paint splashes & hugs!
I spy my Cisco Mermaid (original cut-paper piece) at SPACE in Nantucket’s Old South Wharf.