We'll be announcing our top 7 favorite submissions on Monday, September 21st for you to vote, and the winner ( whose design we will make available for ordering), will be announced later that week. Good luck in creating your #digalindadreamdress!
I am so glad you are here at the Statement Corner Booth!
Today I am writing about artist Janice Park. She is the founder and designer of The Pink Reef.
Janice makes stunning chic "statement" earrings. She assembles all her earrings by hand, using gems, acrylic, hand carved mother of pearl, hand cut fabric flowers, hand set Austrian crystals and hand tooled brass. Janice is known for her hand painted floral earrings and draws much of her inspiration from colorful florals and Impressionism art.
Janice is a classically trained musician, painter and Emmy-nominated journalist. The Pink Reef is located right outside our nations' s capital, Washington, D.C. When not creating beautiful ear baubles, Janice is often sailing with her family and yellow lab Rugby.
Can you tell our readers about yourself, where did you grow up and how did your childhood influence your life and your path? Were you always creative?
I grew up about 15 minutes outside of DC. Although I was so close to DC and in a huge metropolitan area, my actual town was pretty small. Growing up, I loved painting in the style of Monet and Van Gogh and even remember painting some Van Gogh reproductions for my high school French class. My teacher loved them so much, she asked to keep them!
I think painting and music go hand in hand. I played three classical instruments growing up and I see such a parallel between art and music -- they both make people very happy. Whether it is seeing a beautiful piece of art at a museum or listening to a gorgeous sonata from Beethoven, I believe art and music inject joy. I really hope in a small way, my earrings do the same.
As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
Not to sound like a total slacker, but I think I never really had a good life plan. I was a very good student, but lacking in the math department, which is strange because my father is a mathematician. I turned to journalism because I liked to write and wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. The amazing thing about journalism is that it is a window to the world, where you get to experience things most others don’t get the chance to, and are able to see things from a different perspective. I will never forget setting foot on a professional baseball field and looking up at the crowd in Baltimore, or covering protests from the eyes of a demonstrator.
Where did you go to college and did you learn anything in there that helped you do what you are doing today?
I went to the University of Maryland in College Park. LOL, I feel bad saying this but no, if we are talking specifically in the realm of the retail industry. When I was in college, I remember messaging friends using AIM, and facebook had just started. Instagram wasn’t even around! I feel like social media and multi-platforms are such a huge part of my business. The concept of being an influencer or a blogger in the sense that it is today wasn’t around in the early 2000’s!
What inspired you to start your business? I can see that your earrings are quite different, but you also do custom pieces right? I feel that nowadays people want something special, fun and practical.
I started my business because I’ve always liked to create things, and a business is your ultimate creation with tons of things to manage. I think I also have the small business spirit in me from my family. My grandfather was a commercial real estate developer and my family still runs that business today. My mother also owned a card shop that was failing when she took it over. It was amazing to see her quickly turn it around into a thriving business.
My father was a grounds operations director for a NASA satellite program, and I remember after he got off work he would strap on a back brace and deliver sodas at my mom’s shop! It showed me that having your own business is hard work. It also showed me that my parents' success didn’t happen because they were sitting around -- they were working long hours and hustling to become successful.
That's so true, having your own business is truly a lot of work! Now tell us about your earring making process and how the first idea to create an earring comes about and how you find these works of art that go on them.
I mainly focus on florals because they are universally loved by women. I also think there’s something really pretty about trying to recreate what’s so beautifully done in nature. I think this is a big world and florals are popular, so I’ve really been doing my best to source unique materials so that I’m not doing the same thing as everyone else.
The materials really inspire me and for my holiday line, I found the most gorgeous lapis, emerald colored, coral and opal cabochons. It’s kind of like cooking -- the ingredients make all the difference, so using quality components are important.
Yes I agree, that is so true! Do you make all your earrings yourself or do you have help? Do you plan to scale, if so then how do you plan to do that?
Right now I’m making each piece myself, which is a very tall order with three kids all under age four. I definitely plan on hiring as I continue to grow. I have begun relying on sales teams to handle orders and that has been a huge help. I think time is the biggest thing -- we all wish we had more of it. Time is also very valuable. No amount of money is worth losing out on precious time with your family. I think time management is a struggle for every small business.
In terms of scaling, I plan on hiring people to help me assemble the jewelry. I think if the virus has taught us anything, it’s that we should try to end our reliance on cheap goods made overseas and try to support local makers that produce high quality, unique products. I think we are all guilty of loving the convenience, accessibility and price of mass produced goods. But I hope if anything, coronavirus is a spark for Americans to once again value local makers and exceptional products, even if they are a few dollars more.
I could not agree more! I love how creative you are, how do you pick your accessories for your earrings, how do you decide which pieces or adornment goes on an earring?
I just look, look, look and pick things that spark joy in me. I design a lot late at night, when the kids are in bed and just put different stones and pearls together, until I feel like it looks really pretty. Not every design is a hit, but you just have to keep trying!
For sure! However I find that all your designs are so beautiful! All right now, for someone who does not know of The Pink Reef, can you describe the Pink Reef to them, also what's your price point?
We create beautiful, feminine statement jewelry with a focus on florals. The price point ranges from $60-$150.
Why do you think people love your earrings, what is some of the feedback that people give you?
I feel fortunate that people like my styles based on how different and distinct they are. My earrings are unique in that they are all hand painted and hand assembled, so you know you’re getting something very unique and special. They are also bold while being feminine. You either love the line or it’s not for you. We have some Pink Reef collectors who have 15-20 pairs apiece! I love knowing that some customers love the brand so much, they are amassing a collection.
That’s really awesome! Now can you tell me how do you motivate yourself to keep the business going?
Running a small business is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done and that’s saying a lot! While the business never stops, consumes long honors and creates huge stressors sometimes, it also is the most satisfying experience as well. I talk with my husband about small businesses, and we both agree that every ounce you put into it is for the direct benefit of your family. There really is something to be said for being your own boss and having the opportunity to treat your employees and customers with the utmost respect, kindness and a thankful heart.
What do you like to do on your spare time when you are not working?
My family loves the water. Our family has a lake house in Northern Michigan and I swear it’s the prettiest and most peaceful place on earth. I was luckily able to spend 5 months here this year because my husband has been teleworking. With water comes boats of course and we love sailing hobie cats and cruising the lake on our power boat. The air just seems fresher here, the sun sunnier and the skies clearer.
It sure sounds like a very beautiful place. How has your business grown and what has the journey been like?
I am very proud to have grown my business to over 60 locations in the past year and a half. It’s not a huge number, but I am proud of it. I think working with talented sales people and continuing to engage with influencers and customers will be key to growth. I have recently added a rep and ambassador program that allows anyone who loves the brand to sell The Pink Reef. You can find more information at hellopinkreef.com.
That’s awesome that you are in retail stores, which ones, how can people find those stores, and find you?
I list all my fabulous retailers at hellopinkreef.com.
Where can people find you, let us know your website, your social media handles, all that.
web site: https://hellopinkreef.com/
Thank you so much Janice, it was a pleasure having you in this space!
My pleasure, thanks so much, Ceci. Meeting other wonderful business owners like you is an amazing part of this journey as well. Xox, Janice
I am totally into gingham lately, who is with me? That look goes so will with so many things. I made some Father's Day gift art prints, greeting cards and also gift tags that you can download and print right away. You can have the kids sign an art print and make it so very special for dad, please visit my Gingham collection to see what I keep adding to it every week.
Today I have a sale of 75% OFF on all instant downloads, that way you can keep that file forever and enjoy, the link is below.
Hi friends, I just updated my site with pretty designs and beach pictures, please take a look! My name is Ceci Mason, I currently live in Maryland but grew up by the beach in the south of Portugal called "Algarve" where there's good food and 365 days of sun! ☀️
I love anything to do with the ocean and I am obsessed with flowers! I hand paint uplifting designs to bring every woman joy and inspiration. The name Diga Linda which means "Say Beautiful" is inspired by my moms name Clarinda (she is flower obsessed too, lol). Clarinda means (Clara + Linda), bright and beautiful and I infuse that light into all my designs. So grab your drink and take a look at some beauties.
My "Statement" fashion graphic tee designs, are stylish, uplifting and fun. Be ready for some compliments!
If you know anyone who likes hand painted art, the beach or flowers, send them my way or surprise them with a chic hand painted tee that they can wear.
Another thing I love doing is partnering with other small businesses, by either talking about them or doing giveaways with them.
You can follow me Facebook @Diga Linda and Instagram @diga_linda for more
I share a lot of painting videos there, so go be part of the fun and join me!
PS: Click HERE to see my hand painted graphic tees!
Also I just found the link for a live camera of Rehoboth beach so I can see the ocean moving and people walking along the beach and board walk! Click HERE to see that!
Thank you so much for visiting.
We all have those days where things do go as planned and being stuck at home during quarantine does not help either.
Here are some ideas that can help the situation:
- Light a candle - flickering flames (contained) can help us feel better and burn stress. Also the fragrance can have an uplifting both on the body and mind.
- Exercise, jump around, dance, do a kickboxing class online - when you exercise you feel rejuvenated, refreshed and more energetic. Find out about endorphins, serotonin - a mood-boosting neurotransmitter also known as "happy chemical".
- Buy some flowers (or one of my floral print product) Find out why Flowers make us so happy and more energetic - Studies find that they provide an instant and lasting mood boost.
- Count your blessings. Think and write down what you're grateful for. When you express gratitude, it creates an immediate mood boost.
- Cuddle with a dog. just hanging out, playing or teaching a new trick, can help us feel happier, healthy, fit, less stressed, more loved.
- Listen to a favorite song. You have loved that song forever and it makes you want to dance, it's easy and quick, an instant mood-lifter.
- Go to a quiet place for a few minutes - When you take a few minutes for yourself, it can do wonders for your mood.
Get some FREE FLORAL fine art prints and more, I sell these on my site but since you came to visit, they can be yours as a gift to you. just sign up when you click the picture.
PS: One way that I boost my mood in minutes is by painting. I share those moments in Facebook and Instagram stories.
I just finished this design today and it just feels so fresh with all the lemons. The flowers are small and cute and the color pink is the color of happiness, so I gave this statement graphic tee the name "Hello Sunshine". It was just released today and it comes in several colors with crew neck and white triblend super soft in white. To find out more click the picture.
🌟Please join the DIGA LINDA GROUP VIP on Facebook, HERE I am inviting you to join this group because I will be posting tons of content from the past Azalea Festival (and Green Sale) pictures, videos of clients, vendors and the school from previous festivals the school has done in the past. People love to connect and since this year we are staying at home, this is one essential way to see what's offered in our community!
One thing that I learned from being on TV so much last year, is that you interview others (vendors), give them as much exposure as possible and the customers will appreciate that.
They love when I go with the camera around talking to vendors asking what their best seller is and see who is selling what so parents can plan their trip to the school! Vendors will also be posting on that group as well, giving interviews etc, so please join us and help us build our community there.
So join the group and invite people who are part of the Landon/Holton community, Alumni, friends and family who live near or far. Can you imagine not having to worry about the weather? When it rains, vendors like me know that people won't come visit the booth, but this way it's on rain or shine, how awesome! Imagine inviting someone who lives in another state to participate! Ahhh what a delight that is! Share the good news with your friends and family and I will see you on our VIP group! This is one way we can all help each other and most of all help the school, their programs and the community that we love.❤️
Congratulations to all the seniors at Landon and Holton
The last few weeks have been so different from anything we have ever seen before. it's hard to imagine such quick changes we have to do to our daily lives and the worry and anxiety that we are all going though just thinking about how cautious we all have to be to stay healthy and safe! We hope and pray that our family and friends here and far away will stay safe too.
Many things are changing and being on the internet -online is new challenge right now for school distance learning and for other events as well. We know that although it's not possible to have the Azalea Festival at school, the good news is that Landon will still be having it but online this time.
To see a list of all the vendors that will be participating look HERE
This festival will be different from the previous 65 festivals and what we need to keep in mind is that because it's online, we have an opportunity to make it very special and meaningful for the community. We will not have to worry about the weather conditions and if people can go shopping in a day where the rain does not stop. Also vendors do not have to worry about sett up and take down, although that part I really enjoy for some reason. I love making it all pretty so you can come visit!
We are so thankful to the Landon faculty and staff for all the work that is being done in order to support our school kids. Landon opened it's doors to 22 students in the fall of 1929 just months before the beginning of the Great Depression. It was with a great commitment, dedication and courage that the school persevered back then and it's with that same spirit of strength that the school will persevere again this time. This year is specially hard for our Seniors. I know for I have one and he will be missing a lot of fun events, but memories will be taking shape in a different way. There will be social events taking place but online this time and when this is all done, he will remember all those moments. People have the opportunity to connect so much online with Facebook, Instagram and with so many other social media platforms.
We hope that you will be excited about this festival coming up just as much as I am. See you here in another blog, talking more about our festival coming up.
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