Whimsical Wednesday: Why Sweet Stella's?

I was recently asked by the ever lovely Grace Kelly Cakes why and how I started Sweet Stella's.

What a great thing to ponder for Whimsical Wednesday!

Sweet Stella's was a long time coming for me. I've always been into doing crafty things, and recall endless hours spent with colouring books, pipe cleaners, googly eyes and things of the sort when I was a little girl. If I wasn't destined to be a biological oceanographer (aka marine biologist) I was destined to be an artist.

Throughout highschool, I worked very hard in the social sciences, specifically history and fine art. When it came to OAC Fine Art...let's just say that my teacher and I had creative differences. I actually stood my ground with her (something that I'm very proud of now that I'm creating for a living) and dropped out of OAC Fine Art.

Fast forward about 2 years, and I'm at Wilfrid Laurier University (Go Hawks, GO!) studying History. I stumble upon the Fine Art department and decide to transfer in. I don't have the pre-requisites...but somehow get in!

I worked hard, incredibly hard, and found inspiration from the best painting teacher I have ever known, Michal Manson. She was amazing. She had such faith in me and my ability to paint...she saw my vision and she encouraged my to reach out and grab it. I keep her in my heart (though in body, she has passed), and in the back of my creative mind, every time I pick up a brush and paint, paper and trimmer, markers...anything that my hands touch.

When I was pregnant with my son, I started thinking of my passion and often found that I felt sad, knowing that it had been a long time since I had picked up a paint brush. I was about to bring life into this world, and yet I was sad that my hands hadn't gotten dirty in a while? I felt selfish, knowing that the most amazing thing was about to happen to me. And yet...I still felt like I needed to breathe.

Now that I have Owen, I can't imagine life without him. He brings so much light into my life, and it's like seeing in colour for the first time. I can't imagine not being there every step of the way...so I started to think of how I could be creative, fuel my passion for art and still have balance as a Mom.

My husband and I started talking about the post-maternity leave period, daycare costs and what (if any) impact my salary would have on things. Was I happy at the office? Of course! The people are amazing, and working with them has been a delight. Was I fulfilled? No. Not in the slightest.

My entire being was craving to create. I started painting ornaments in the fall, and with some gentle encouragement from my friend Andrea over at Cup of Tea Photo Cards, quickly opened up my webs.com store. Within a few days, it was the highest rated new site...which prompted me to buy my domain name, start this blog and brainstorm other product ideas.

Now, I have a kiddo's line, am announcing a new product every week for the next five weeks for our new party line, and am starting a wedding line soon as well. What once started with a single, handpainted glass ornament is now a full range of items, all hand painted or papered, and all of which I love.

All I can say is to follow your passion. If you love to bake...then bake! If you love to paint...paint! If there's a photographer hiding somewhere inside you, pick up a camera. Don't ever feel limited, follow your passion and believe that you can achieve your dreams.

Art runs in my veins. It's the air that I breathe. Sweet Stella's is my way to...exhale.