This month's special guest is the amazing resin geode artist, Emily Hutchinson from Massachusetts. She creates such unique pieces like I’ve never seen before - most of them looking like ocean waves just washed up and stayed on pieces of wood forever! We’ve been in contact for some time now and she‘s so awesome to work with! Emily is a true professional and is coming up with new, gorgeous pieces every day. She was even kind enough to send me over a cutting board! The minute I received it I knew I had to order something, so I ended up buying a breathtaking Lazy Susan! Check out the conversation I had with Emily as well as the one of a kind pieces I received from her below:
Ashley: What made you get into the resin geode art business?
Emily: I had made a large scale geode type painting for my living room and looked for a way to seal it and stumbled across resin. I started using resin to seal my paintings, I thought the hardened glossy/almost glass-like surface was so neat. The more I researched resin the more I learned there was a whole art form for it! I had to learn how to make these gorgeous geodes and art pieces myself! I delved in and read every blog, watched every video, followed artists, and read resin company's blogs - I asked artists questions before I took the plunge to start experimenting.
Ashley: How long ago did you begin?
Emily: I began July 2019. I actually did a lot of knitting 2 years ago, I was a surrogate and ended up getting unexpectedly sick and had to be home much more than planned - I knitted to stay busy for my sanity. I started to share that on social media and people responded! So I started an Etsy account and did a craft fair - I couldn't knit the hats as fast I was selling them! It was then I knew that I was capable of launching a social media based business!
Ashley: You seem to be still coming up with a lot of new designs and products, which is so awesome! Where do you get your inspiration?
Emily: Instagram, Etsy and of course Cape Cod. I follow and have connected with so many other resin artists from all over the world - they all have such different styles, schemes and mediums. That and staring at the CRAZY amount of pigment pastes, powders, glitters and paints all together - I sit in front of them, think about new designs I'm going to create and get so inspired and excited!
Ashley: Was it difficult to learn everything it takes to make these products?
Emily: YES. There aren't many learning resources for this type of art, and the few ones that do exist you have to pay for and are PRICEY. The resin is already pretty expensive so its daunting to have to think about paying for a class as well, especially when you have no profits yet. Some artists will answer questions, others won't, some are too busy. There are a lot of time lapse videos, but they don't explain processes or special tools. You learn by absorbing so much from all different avenues and piecing them all together.
Ashley: Have you found there to be any challenges that you've come across throughout this journey of being a self-run business owner?
Emily: You wear ALL the hats: marketer, shipper, buyer, seller, scheduler, creator. You are also relying on others buying your art to support your family, which is exciting but scary! I work twice as hard as I did at my day job but its so worth it because I love what I do so much.
Ashley: Do you find it difficult to run a business and have a balanced family life at the same time? Or is it a routine that you've gradually gotten into?
Emily: I'm so new into doing this full time - before it was insane. I am very active with jiujitsu, I competed, and won, in June at my first tournament and just recently just got my blue belt! It is so physically and mentally taxing, and demands a lot of time. I also have an almost 9 year old, which means school drop off and pick up, plus his daily routine right up until 730/8pm bed time. In between I had my day job at an office - if my boyfriend and I didn't live together I'd never see him! I would only be able to work on nights I didn't have jiujitsu after the day job, and those nights after Landon was in bed I'd be packaging, shipping out items and pouring until 12am. Having a solid 8 hours every day to perform business wise has been amazing thus far! Once the summer hits I know my schedule is going to be crazy again, with all the art fairs and shanty rentals I have agreed to, but I'm super excited for that!
Ashley: What would you give as advice to those who may be struggling with this?
Emily: For people trying to do it all I'd say making a schedule is your best friend. Do shipping two nights a week, art another two, then leave the other three open for random stuff and personal time. Also TRACK all your finances in and out, google sheets is your best friend for this. DO it daily so you don't lose track of your spending and income! Communicate with family members about new roles in the home, and make sure you tell them how much their help is needed and appreciated. In the six months I was trying to do it all, Mike really stepped up and handled most of the household tasks that I couldn't make a priority.
Ashley: You have so many intricate looking pieces, most of them revolving around the ocean look! If you had to choose one of your favorites pieces, which would it be?
Emily: Oh god, such a hard question. They are all my babies, you can't make me choose! I think right now the ocean wave art is my favorite just because I have recently worked really hard on getting the waves to look realistic. That and the custom geodes because I love working with clients and hearing their vision only to make it come to life for their personal space in a big way.
Ashley: On a side note, how awesome is it living in Cape Cod? I’m sure that comes as such a huge inspiration in itself!
Emily: I was born and raised in Cape Cod! All my friends would always talk about how they couldn't wait to get off the "island" but I never felt that. Mike and I have plans to travel once Landon is grown, just because we love to do that. I know the world has so much to offer outside Cape Cod, but I feel beyond blessed to live in a place where the beach is everywhere and also is a place that offers such a diverse community of people and options - from Provincetown to Boston being just an hour away! The Cape is also a monumental inspiration for some of my works, as you can tell with my ocean themed and recently shark related pieces!
Thanks for sharing Emily :)