KIMBERLY OF LACELIT.
Today, we welcome Kimberly to the Journal, as she shares about her small business Lacelit & gives us a glimpse into how she fills the world with light through her artwork.
I’m Kimberly Taylor-Pestell, artist and owner of Lacelit, a stationery and lifestyle goods company featuring ink and watercolor design, hand lettering and modern calligraphy. Lacelit is about sending intentionality through the post and creating a starting point for meaningful, hand-written communication. I reside in Monrovia, Ca., with my lovely husband and our calico tabby.
Lacelit started as a bit of a daydream back in 2010 when I first started taking note of the entries in my journal and how my script changed into different fonts based on mood or subject matter. I also started paying attention to the geometric doodles in the margins of the pages and wondered if they might become something. Though I grew up in the performing arts with creativity and artistic expression as an important part of who I am, I had never given considerable thought to the wonder to be found in paintbrushes and ink pens.
It was a gradual process over the course of 4 years, beginning with doodles and growing into the first lace-like geometrics that launched Lacelit in January 2014.
Yet, now when I look back, it all seems to make perfect sense and I wonder why I never saw it before. Ever since ever, I've found beauty in stationery and sentence-strings and postage stamps. And among my very favorite things in the world is the intentionality that comes with sending meaningful thoughts to another in a lovely sealed envelope.
2 // What makes you want to create? What keeps you going?
Having discovered art a tad later in life, I am mostly self-taught and have very little artistic training, so this is a whole new world of creativity for me. I don’t know the rules of the medium—what to do or not do (and when it pertains to art, I don’t care for rules much anyways). :) With my late start, I just have so many ideas and my fingers itch to create them.
Sometimes, I start without an idea in mind. I begin with one of my signature, 6-tear-dropped “flames,” which make up each lace-like shape, and keep adding until it becomes a more complex geometric. This inventive aspect of creating is what excites me most. I love how I never know exactly how a new shape will turn out until it is finished. Last year, I incorporated freehand watercolor patterns into my work as well and I love working with both styles to create imperfect symmetry.
In Lacelit, I have found something that is 100% genuinely “me,” and while I get tired from it, I never tire of it. Now that I’ve finally found my passion, I’m never turning back.
3 // What has been the most challenging part of your business?
That would definitely be time. I have a full-time job outside of Lacelit working in higher education communications and marketing, so my average combined workweek is around 80-90 hours per week with weekends as the primary time to tackle larger projects. This doesn’t leave much time for family, friends or sleep. Though it’s definitely tough to maintain focus and energy with both jobs, I am grateful for my full-time job. It provides the means for me to make art and grow Lacelit, and I am quite fortunate because I work alongside an artistic team of creative experts who I learn and glean from everyday, and who are supportive of my artistic pursuits. So, even though the workload is a lot, I’m so grateful.
4 // What advice do you have for other, perhaps newer, makers?
I’ve found such value in being part of a community of creatives who understand what it means to be an artist and creative business owner, and who share the same level of commitment and integrity for their business as you do with yours. It is invaluable to have people in your circle you can trust and depend on for sound advice, honest and insightful perspective, and accountability as well as fun collaborations and meet-ups. I learn and grow from the artists who have become trustworthy friends and colleagues, just as I continue to learn from having the opportunity to contribute back to them in meaningful ways.
Another important factor is research. Knowing that I’ve done what I need to do to set up my business the right way puts my mind at ease, and while research may not be the fun part of starting a business, it is crucial. As part of this, I’ve invested in e-courses produced by trusted creative business experts to shed light on areas where I am inexperienced. These have helped me start off on the right foot without having to trouble-shoot everything along the way. There is a lot out there, so just be sure to take the time to look into which resources are best for your business and make sure that the instructors really know their stuff.
5 // Are there any exciting projects coming up for Lacelit?
I have an exciting collaboration coming up with two light-filled wonders, Fig + Bleu and Laite Atelier. Mum’s the word for now, but stay tuned! I also just launched an exclusive pre-order opportunity for Lacelit’s two 2016 calendar editions. Pop over to my site to check out previews of the calendars and subscribe to my newsletter to receive your special pre-order code.
6 // How can people follow you and keep up on your business?
Yay, let’s keep in touch! You can find Lacelit here:
You can also subscribe to my e-newsletter at bitly.com/lacelit to be the first to know about exclusive offers, special events and new products. Be sure to include your birthday so I can send you a special birthday treat!
Special thanks to Kimberly for sharing her story and giving us the history and insight into her beautiful artwork & small biz. Be sure to catch up with Kimberly on her social networks & let her know we sent you!
If you would like to be featured as one of our #waketomakers, please fill out the form on our submissions page here.