Here we are again with yet another #marchmeetthemaker challenge prompt that is too long for #instagram! Focus & Priority brings several items to mind so lets kick it off with the list then I'll break the list down. Citrine Tangerine as well as Smokey Citrine are my focus & priority right now. Both are gemstone jewelry businesses with lifestyle products. It's become ever so important to highlight and design with recycling in mind or to up-cycle materials, yet another focus & priority. Doing all of this while looking and feeling great, you got it, another focus & priority. Beyond the businesses, which have both recently become LLC's btw, I've been working on some personal goals. I'll write a little about those last.
It's no surprise to anyone, if you who know me, when I switch from one medium to the next. At any given moment I'm practicing a few skills, that's the life of an artist and entrepreneur. Lately my focus has been to build up my gemstone jewelry catalog as well as lifestyle products for Citrine Tangerine and Smokey Citrine. Before launching these two businesses, it clicked that I could truly give my all to a jewelry design business. It encompasses many of my passions; Photography, working with people, gemstones, colorful design, travel, exploration, and fashion. If you've noticed I am not offering as many photographic or video services publicly. I've still been painting too but realized that painting is very personal and therapeutic to me so I'm not turning that into a business like I have with jewelry. I do have a few painting for sale and on occasion I will take a custom order for painting. The same goes for photography. Please reach out if you'd like to employ my well trained eye. For now, until I reach a point where Citrine Tangerine and/or Smokey Citrine are running themselves, I'll be putting my entire being into making sure these two succeed. I won't harp on what success means for CT & SC, I wrote about that in my previous blog - Learning Curve - but in general I want to have a studio space, store front, and hire employees. All in time!
Another focus & priority has been on recycling or up-cycling materials. When it comes to Princess Tea, the containers were once spice jars, cleaned and stickers removed. Currently I source my ingredients from Tea Lyra for that blend. I'd love to have a garden where I grow my own ingredients but that will come with time. The Crystal Candles at Smokey Citrine are made in containers that once held yogurt, cleaned and stickers removed. I am trying to figure out how to create an ecosystem where the candle containers and wick clips can be returned and used again but there have also got to be ways these glass jars can be useful around the home once the candle burns out. (Perhaps a blog about that will be created for inspiration.) Lately, I've been craving using my hands and learning new skills. Being mindful about making fewer jewelry pieces creates more time to imagine what could be repurposed or recycled in my home. Helping to remove items from my recycling bins. The next item I'll be creating is recycled paper for stationary which will also be screen printed. Fingers crossed the experimental phases of this process go well.
A focus & priority that's been around since the inception of Citrine Tangerine is to look and feel good while wearing your jewels. How do we do that? Every piece is made with the same love they've always been made with, maybe even a bit more. Being more thoughtful about where beads and gems are sourced from means there's more love involved. Making smaller batches and adding older pieces into newer collections also breathes fresh love into the jewelry. This process has allowed me to clear space in the studio for new ideas, give more attention to Citrine Tangerine's other facets and work on myself. Getting more in depth with the gemstones used in the jewelry has been incredibly inspiring. Last month for February I wrote up an Amethyst meditation with focus on creating a purple aura for protection. Activities like this correlate looking and feeling good together while practicing our imagination skills. The work on self love is constant and some days are harder than others to have an optimistic outlook on life but my focus and priority is to continue challenging any invasive pessimism. When we connect with the gemstones, like I wrote about in another recent blog, Crystal Care - To Heal & To Cleanse, next to nothing can stand in our way. This is the power of our own will amplified by intention and crystal wisdom.
Honestly though I've been putting a ton of work into my businesses and it's taken a toll on my personal well being. It feels a bit like I over did it. (the hard work did pay off to be fair!) It's just time for a short break. When we put 110% of ourselves into something, any small happening can knock us right into exhaustion. That's how I've felt the last couple days. My personal life got a little complicated, which is why some of my focus & priorities are going to shift back onto healing myself. After a year in quarantine my body feels unhealthy. I'm returning to the gym on a daily basis. Working out is huge for stress relief in my life. I've also been thinking about seeking out a therapist to talk through some of my past traumas. It's now, years later, that I finally feel ready to confront some of these moments that can trigger me at any given time. It's absolutely terrifying me but this is something I've known I need to do for a while. Confronting my fears has been experimental but now I think it's time to see where I'm at through the lens of a professional. The other day I woke up feeling.. far away from myself. Physically here but mentally floating away like a balloon tied to my wrist. Stuck but drifting, if that makes any sense.. I'm going to step away from the social media, try to write more, read more, and work on some of my past that continuously confuses me.
About the Author & Artist
Megan LaCroix also known as Citrine is the daughter of a Navy Veteran. She’s lived all over the US but has roots in Michigan where her family is from. Spending summers in Northern Michigan exploring nature inspired her to create art work starting with jewelry and photography. She’d spend hours looking for rocks and creating assorted beaded jewelry with her sisters. In 2014 She graduated from University of Michigan School of Art & Design with a BFA then moved to Detroit where she is currently living and working. She is a multi-media artist with ever expanding skills but is best known for her jewelry, screen printing, photography, and paintings. Detroit Graffiti has a significant influence on her painting and drawing style. She’s participated in ArtPrize 2015 & 2021 and currently has a studio in the Village Arts Factory of Canton, MI.