We'd like to introduce you to one of our amazing artist that sells with us!
For this Meet a Maker series we interviewed Nikki Halgren, lovely creator of Gleeful Peacock.
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
The Awesomeness: earrings, necklaces, bracelets, headbands & hair clips.
How did you come up with the name Gleeful Peacock?
I knew that I wanted my name to really symbolize what I wanted my brand to be about. So I sat down and I wrote down all the adjectives and words that I felt really meant something to me and showed what I wanted to put out into the world. In the end all of the words fit into two main columns, colorful and happy. I had just taken a trip to the Zoo with my family and I spent such a long time staring at a peacock. I was so amazed with the intense colors and how interesting it was. It really inspired me so I knew that would be what symbolized color in my name. I decided that since I always seem to be drawn to things that are not so common I needed a happy word that was not commonly used. Gleeful was perfect since it was a throwback to a simpler time and not a word that was used in the everyday conversation. I asked everyone I knew for their opinion. I would say 90% did not approve of the name. I got a ton of funny looks. When I kept sticking up for it and defending it I knew it was the one. It was quirky and matched me and what I wanted in my business. After that, I stopped asking anyone of their opinion on it and decided that it would no only be the name of my business but a shorted manifesto for what I made and how I run my business.
Can you tell us a little about your background and what compelled you to start a craft business?
There was this watercolor I did in 5th grade. It was a Iris. The center of it bleed out and it made it look so artistic. It was a serendipitous moment. My teacher put it up on the wall of fame. I was so proud and at that moment a artist was born. I was very involved in art all through school. I identified myself as an artist. Then I got into my twenties and 'grew up'. I got a good job and worked my way up. I was all spreadsheets and sales reports. Then right about the time I hit 30 I realized that I had lost myself. I was no longer the artist and the quirky girl I had been. I was pin stripes and slacks. I was also way to serious and not so happy. About that time we moved to Tulsa so that my husband could finish his education. It was the perfect time for me to spend some time getting to know myself again. I got back into crafting and art. I started to find myself again. As part of my journey I got back to wearing clothes that spoke to me. But I just could not find jewelry or accessories that I thought were me. Rhinestones were everywhere and I am just not a rhinestone type of gal. So I decided I wanted to make my own. I taught myself the basics and the next thing I knew people were buying my pieces. One day a epiphany hit and I just blurted out 'I am going to start a business'. That was about 16 months ago. Here I am today, a full time small business owner.. and most of all I consider myself an artist once again.
Where does your inspiration come from?
As part of my journey I wanted to be more present in my life. Be awestruck by my surrounding and all that is beautiful in the world. That is the single most common way I get inspired. Colors speak to me very loudly. So if I am taking a bike ride with my daughter I notice how different colors in a garden make me feel. Particularly how they look next to each other. I also pay close attention to images on TV or in magazines. If I like how a yellow lamp looks on a teal table then the next time I am in my studio and yellow and teal headband might just be born. Although I still am a 5th grader art student at heart and I still chase after serendipitous artistic moment. So I tend to also paint trays and trays of pieces with certain outcomes in mind and then I sit down right before I set them all and place them in piles and they turn into something else entirely. I let what ever colors combination I am feeling at that moment take over. Some of my most favorite pieces and color combination's came about that way.
2 favorite websites:
I love facebook. I know.. not the most creative answer. But I love that it lets me connect with hundreds of people that get what I am doing. I also love to follow what other people are up too. I love to see that other people are making great things and living life to the fullest.
I tend to try and not spend too much time in front of my computer since I feel it can really eat away at my creating time.
What's next for Gleeful Peacock?
I am working on a wedding and a home decor line. I also plan on playing with some new mediums to keep me inspired and learning new techniques. I have so many ideas right now and I am so excited to get them out into the world!
Any tips or advice for anyone starting their own craft business?
The best advice I can give to you is to do your own thing. I can say I am not perfect at running a business and I am learning as I go. But I can say without a doubt that my work is mine and can come from only me. I see people trying to jump on the newest trend and make a business out of it. Producing something that is already being done makes it hard to stand out and lowers your credibility as a artist and a creative business person. Find your art, your style, your inspiration and then find your niche customer base. If you are making something that truly comes from you then you will be proud of it and stand behind it. Handmade customers are intelligent and they want something that you put your heart and soul into. Trends fade but creating something you love will always speak to someone. Also, surround yourself with other handmade business owners that you look up to and can learn from. Then pass along what you know to those starting up. What goes around comes around. You want good crafting karma.
5 random facts about you
1) I am the messiest crafter. I am so visual that I pull out everything out so I can see it. It makes for one messy studio!
2) I make up holidays since I feel like there are just not enough of them in the year.
3) I feel strongly that my most important job as being a mom is to teach her how to be happy. So far so good!
4) I am originally from Utah and have lived in Oklahoma almost 5 years. I dont plan on moving back, ever. I found my home here.
5) I seriously look at the boxes I am mailing out with my product and I envision my love going into them. I usually doodle a peacock or feather on almost all shipments.. even the ones the stores get. I want everyone to know that if they have a GP piece that I really did put love into it. Kind of a silly thing, but it makes me happy.
You can find Nikki's earrings, bracelets, necklaces, headbands and now hair clips at the felt bird!
Wanna know more about Gleeful Peacock?
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