Behind The Brand!
Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the world! There is so much going on today, and this is my little escape (besides making all my lovely things). This is where I share my inspirations, my hopes, dreams, and what I'm creating. Today, I just wanted to share with you what Blue Rochelle means to me. Why and how I got started on this crazy journey. Are you ready? Grab a cup of coffee, tea, a bottle of kombucha, or a glass of wine, sit back and read along!
I've always been the creative type. From writing short stories in elementary school, participating in photography club in high school, hand making gifts, majoring in apparel design and product development in college to now, creating handcrafted nature inspired porcelain jewelry, simplistic items to create a lovely and inspiring atmosphere. I create because it keeps my brain going. It keeps me busy, even though I'm busy being a wife, mom, and a quality engineer. Creating is just what I love to do! It's in my blood. I was always amazed how my grandpa would take scrap wood and make a little fence, plant beautiful gardens and my grandma making barbie clothes from socks and scrap fabric, to making a meal from scratch. No tv dinners! That spirit of creating, using my hands is what I know, and hope to pass down to my son.
A long time ago:
About 10 years ago, I thought I wanted to make handbags. I even went down town to register a business. I was official! The name was just awful. I don't even know if I'm ready to share with all of you the awful name. After making a few bags (not successfully), I realized my sewing machine wasn't capable to handle such heavy material. I also lacked the space in our tiny apartment at the time. My sewing machine was tucked away in a closet that was in the kitchen. It was the weirdest layout. I made a few bags here, and there and would give them to family. I never posted online, because that just wasn't my thing back then. So I tucked that little dream away, and there in stayed but never forgotten.
After awhile, life happened. You know, marriage, a son, buying our first home. Starting a business was the last thing on my mind. Sleepless nights, and just trying to stay awake during the day was all that I could think of and handle at the time. Our son had severe acid re-flux which went un-diagnosed for about a month, which made for some really tired parents. But as he got better, and we began to figure out our routine, life got a bit easier.
A few years ago (2018):
The dream of starting something creative began to stir again. What was never forgotten began to become a constant and persistent voice. I didn't talk to the voice, but I began to listen to it more carefully. I began to actually follow my intuition. One day, a co-worker began to tell me about lava stones. I loved how you could add essential oils to this stone, and wear it with you. I loved how simplistic her bracelet was. I wanted to make some beautiful pieces for my family and friends. So I went to the craft store (my second home) and began to create. I had no idea what I was doing. Learning wire wrapping, selecting jump-rings and lobsters clasp was something I would have to get use to. So with the help of youtube, trial and error, I really was hooked on making dainty pieces. They were so cute to wear to the office. I even kept a small bottle of oil at my desk.
I was really having fun. I work in the office by day, spend time with my family in the evening and make jewelry at night. I still didn't have a social media account. I was really tucked in my own little world of going to farmers markets in the summer, late night ice cream trips and hunkering down all winter long. But that gut feeling told me I need to push this somewhere. So I needed a name a proper name.
Blue Rochelle is born:
How did I come up with Blue Rochelle? It's actually simple. Blue is my son's favorite color. Will it change? I'm sure it will, but I simply asked him "Jax, what's your favorite color?" and he said "blue". I'm glad he said blue and not gold, or neon green because Neon Green Rochelle would not work for me! Rochelle is my middle name. I never really embraced my name. It wasn't like the others. The Jennifer's, or the Kelly's, or Amanda's. As I got older, and wiser, and appreciated being different, I not only embracing my name, my crazy hair, I embraced me. I decided to use Rochelle and let this company fully be a part of me and who I am.
Learning and Growing:
I spent the next year taking classes. As many classes that I could handle. From brushing up on my sewing skills, diving into water colors, hand embroidering shirts, natural dying, and pottery. Wow!, that's a lot of classes. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm always on youtube following tutorials. And plain on signing up for online classes while being home during this weird time in the world.
My first show:
My son's school had a craft fair. The cost to have a spot at the craft fair was not expensive at all. It wasn't far from home, and the money that was raised went to the senior class that year. Boy was I nervous. I bought fresh flowers for my table, did a practice run at home, and even had sweet treats for all of the shoppers. As I got comfortable, the day got easier, and I actually made sales. It is the most amazing feeling for someone to walk up to the table, and enjoy what I make. To pick something out for a teacher or a mother for mothers day. It's a beautiful feeling.
Porcelain and the future:
After taking an afternoon ceramics class at a non-profit organization, building the most basic, and not so pretty cup, I knew I wanted to use this material into my jewelry designs. Playing with the clay not only made me feel like a kid again, but I was sharing the moment with my son. Another thing we could do together. So I went head first into porcelain jewelry design, learning as I go, taking classes when I could. I bought a small kiln, and placed it in the garage. I dream up my designs at the kitchen table, while on lunch breaks, and late at night when I can't sleep. I roll out the porcelain and imprint it with nature. The left over roses from a bouquet from Trader Joe's, the wild ferns that grow in my yard, a pine cone that I picked up on our walk.
These flowers, the pine cones, the pieces of fern connects me to something bigger then myself. I think of grandpa every time I pick out flowers, or I remember what we talked about on our walk when I pick up the pine cone, or how just 10 years ago when we first bought the house, we didn't have pretty ferns growing around. I feel so at peace when I'm creating, and connecting. I will continue to create my porcelain nature inspired jewelry, and put all my beautiful skills that I've learned to use. Whether it's to grow Blue Rochelle, or simple to grow my mind.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story.