You know what makes my heart happy? Connecting with other like-minded entrepreneurs and telling their story through branding photography. It’s a privilege to peek behind the scenes and see what makes them who they are as business owners and artists. My favourite part is learning the “why” behind it all.
Working with Ariel from The Clay Edit was all this and more. From the second I walked into her adorable apartment in downtown Norfolk, VA I knew we had a great session in front of us. Ariel is the owner, maker and inspiration behind ‘The Clay Edit’. Based in Norfolk, Virginia, she specialises in small-batch, lightweight clay jewellery with a focus on earrings.
My favourite part of Ariel’s story is the fact that she’s an “accidental entrepreneur”. It all started when she began to make earrings in the evenings as a way to unwind after work. She loved the process and didn’t have any intention of stopping anytime soon. But her house was filling up with earrings and she “had to get rid of them somehow”! She set up an Instagram and Etsy store in July of 2019 and by October was able to resign from her full time job! Talk about wildly successful!!
What inspired me most about working with Ariel was her entire mindset towards creativity. Those of you who are artists or creatives know about the dreaded ‘creative blocks’ that hit from time-to-time. Ariel’s philosophy is that inspiration does exist- but it must find you working.
In her own words: “The best thing you can do if you’re a polymer clay artist is to be constantly working and creating. It’s going to become so fluid and natural for you that you’re going to be able to not have a plan and still come up with something totally beautiful. Good things are born out of repetition and process as you get to know your medium better. Whenever people ask me for advice I tell them to sit down and start working, even if you don’t have any idea, it will come to you.”
As someone who struggles with creative blocks & fixating on the end product before I’ve even started, I loved chatting to Ariel about her creative process. She’s really big on not forcing herself to be creative if she isn’t feeling it – because she knows she won’t like the final product. So much of creativity is leaning into your intuition and going with the flow. This is much harder when you have a fixed idea of what the end product should look like! When you’re guided by your intuition your style will find you.
Ariel wants her jewellery to speak to the intelligence and style of a person rather than screaming “I like expensive things”. She’ll be the first person to tell you that you don’t need her earrings, but hopes that if you do choose to wear them that they’ll give you a confidence boost and bring some happiness to your day.
What stuck out to me most about Ariel was her incredible humility and gratitude for the journey she’s been on and the support people have given her business. I highly recommend you pop over to her website to check out more of her incredible work: https://www.theclayedit.com/ or visit her on Instagram @theclayedit.
Ariel, thankyou from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity to hear more about your story and to take a peek behind the scenes of The Clay Edit. I can’t wait to see the places your business takes you and wish you all the best in your small business journey!
If you’ve been looking for branding images that speak to your personality while presenting a professional and consistent message across all of your platforms, get in touch, I’d love to work with you!
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