The Recharge Challenge by RTS

Happy Monday loves!

Guess what?! I am participating in my first Instagram challenge, the Recharge Challenge, hosted by The Rising Tide Society.

I'm usually not very good at committing to these type of activities but I figured, as we countdown to the new year, now would be the perfect time to begin reflecting on my creative journey and planning for 2017. It's day 1 and I'm already thanking myself for joining in this mini movement.

As a warm up session, we were asked to research a few inspirational quotes and select one that will keep our business anchored in 2017. I selected one of my favorite scripture verses and it will anchor me in my professional pursuits and in my personal journey.

Let all that you do be done in love
— 1 Corinthians 16:14

If you're following me on Instagram you've gotten the quick 4-1-1 version on why I selected this particular quote and here's the full story!

  1. FEAR
    When I rang in 2016 with a boisterous 'HAPPY NEW YEAR', I was unaware that my year was locked and loaded with the worst kind of ammunition I could think of: FEAR. I celebrated the new year In Market Square, Knoxville, Tennessee. It was a beautiful ball drop and fireworks affair which left me feeling mildly nostalgic and hopeful. Tennessee was my last-stop on my cross-country relocation trip from California to Maryland. Maryland awaited with more uncertainties than I cared to admit, but I approached the new year with a bring-it-on attitude. I wasn't ready (Kevin Hart voice-over lol). My determination and positive vibes were being depleted at a quicker rate than I could restore. What kept me going? My love for community and creativity surpassed my fear.
     
  2. CREATED TO LOVE CAMPAIGN
    In 2017 I will be implementing a few Created to Love initiatives. Yes I know, it's about time! My focus will be on enhancing the well-being of our fellow sisters and strengthening our sense of community. I want us to be more intentional with our expression of love for each other. Stay tuned for the details. 
  3. LOVE
    I love love. It's fuels me.

What about you? Do you have an anchor quote for 2017?

Meet the Artisan: Ashley | the Rustic wren

Welcome to the first feature of my Meet the Artisan series. This post is the beginning of a weekly artisan appreciation initiative that I've been dreaming of for almost a year. Being a creative myself, I know the time and care that is poured into a creative business. It is this behind-the-scenes effort that allows us to create the unique, exquisitely-designed handmade treasures you love, so join me. Together we will meet the lovely makers behind the best local handmade brands across the U.S. Our first stop is MARYLAND; meet Ashley Fowler, the creative mind behind Birdcage Creations. (Update: Name change to The Rustic Wren)

Meet Ashley Fowler, the beautiful creative mind behind Birdcage Creations.

HELLO ASHLEY

Ashley is a true Marylander, born and raised in beautiful Southern Maryland; she is a nature lover, home décor enthusiast, music fanatic and art zealot!

Birdcage Creations features unique, hand-painted, rustic-elegant signs. Each piece is handmade from reclaimed wood gathered from Ashley's family's farm, and each treasure is sanded and stained for a smooth finish. Quotes and special memories in crisp white lettering adorn the surface. Custom designs are her specialty!

Over the past few months I've grown to know Ashley through our shared creative communities: Etsy and Rising Tide Society. In addition to being talented, she is supportive and inspiring. It should therefore be no surprise that she was one of the first creatives I approached to launch my Meet the Artisan series. 

... it’s so important to not compare your beginning to someone else’s progress. If you have the perseverance, you can transform yourself into anything you want to be and reach new heights.
— Ashley, owner of The Rustic Wren

Q&A WITH ASHLEY

What's your favorite part of your creative process?

My absolutely favorite part of the creative process is that THERE ARE NO LIMITS, and that your ideas are your very own! It also helps when you put your heart and soul into your creation and receive positive feedback - that's always a major boost!

What's the best advice you've gotten along your creative journey?

It's important to remember not to compare your work with others. Everyone's [creation is] going to be different and unique in its own way, and that's why it is essential to embrace your own personal creative process.

What's your Favorite book or author?

My favorite author is Mitch Albom, and one of my favorites by him is Have A Little Faith. His stories are so simple, yet extremely powerful and relatable.

What are you most thankful for this holiday season?

I am most thankful for the support of my family and my boyfriend, Michael. Michael is the man in the workshop, and is also so loving and makes everyday fun. My family has been my backbone since the very beginning. Without them, I would be completely lost and I wouldn't be where I am today.

STOP BY & SAY HI TO ASHLEY

Instagram ↠ https://www.instagram.com/rusticwrensigns/ (@rusticwrensigns)

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