Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Art Walk Interview: Meredith's Tips for Creative Business Success

Artist Meredith Grace is a full-time jewelry designer and antique reseller than turned her love of vintage into a full-time job. Her line, called Lemoree's Lost Buttons (Or Lemoree for short) is staple in Hemming Plaza at the Jacksonville Downtown Art Walk, and her booth is always packed!

She took some time out for me during this month's Art Walk to answer a couple of questions about her success as a designer/antique reseller and provide tips for us would-be designers, artists, and creative dreamers!

It's clear to me that many of your supplies are from shopping second-hand. Any favorite thrift stores in town?
Yes, my supplies are mostly found while thrifting. There is some stuff I buy wholesale as well. I love The Thrift Store and My Brother's Keeper.

Is this your full-time job and how much do you dedicate to this every week?
Yes! I was laid off from my job in February and now I do this full time. You can make a living from this! I dedicate a lot of time to it! I spend probably 60 hours a week just on selling and making stuff for Lemoree.

 [One of my favorite Lemoree Designs: A coffee cup ring. Available in the Lemoree Etsy Shop.]

You're so prolific! How do you stay motivated?
I think shopping all the time helps. Always seeing new things is an inspiration. I look on Etsy a lot.

What influences your staging and how does staging affect sales for your?
I try not to buy anything made to be a display, I like to give things a different purpose. I like to make and salvage as much as I can.

I think staging draws a lot of people over. I have these big owl figurines out, people always try to buy them and it draws people in. I use playing cards for tags and displays, it adds a lot of character.

Do you sell better in stores or at art fairs and markets?
At art fairs for sure. Our prices are lower. I don't get to do as many as I'd like to.

How did you transition to working on Lemoree full time?
It kind of came out of necessity. What was supplementary had to become income I could live off of! I always knew this was what I wanted to do when I finished college. I knew I didn't want to work a normal 9-5.

What websites do you  use to sell your work online?
I use Facebook, kind of, but I'm not that good at using it to market online. I focus on my Etsy Shop.

What did you go to school for?
I have a BA from UNF in History. Totally useful! (Laughs)

What is the inspiration for your line?
I watch a lot of period dramas!

How do you keep yourself motivated to hit your sales numbers?
I think being broke is the best motivator! Wanting to buy things, wanting to take trips! Wanting to buy things I don't need! (Laughs)

What sells particularly well for you?
Mostly my button earrings, although my map jewelry has taken off lately. My bread and butter are the button earrings, especially the taco and owl earrings. The quirky stuff sells!

What sells well for you at the Southern Crossing Antique Mall?
Nothing sells consistently- it's hard to pin-point it because my booth is mixed with antiques and handmade jewelry. If I double or triple my rent, then it's all good.

Do you have any tips for beginners?

Don't give up! It's easy to give up, but keep at it. Keep going to thtirft stores, I look at all your stuff [referring to the Thrift Core antique store booth] and I don't even know where you keep finding this magical stuff! Sometimes you will find nothing, but keep going.

You're not going to be rich [on this career path], but it's you're okay with that…there's so much you can do yourself, it's crazy!

 [Shop the wide selection of goodies in the Lemoree Etsy Shop]

How does it feel to live the dream and be your own boss?
The days go by faster. I don't get as much done as I want, I don't get to garden as much as I want, but it's amazing! And I don't have to set an alarm clock!

Meredith's thrift store and vintage inspired work and success is truly an inspiration.  She's transitioned from the 9-5 to full time creative work, and she's quite successful at it, too! Thank you for answering my questions amid the flurry of activity at your booth! You can buy Lemoree pieces in the Lemoree Etsy Shop, from the Lemoree Facebook Fanpage, or the Southern Crossing Antique Mall. (Where I've set up shop, too!)

Related Articles:

- Art Walk Interview: Animated Thrift Fun with Old School Junk
- Artist Interview: Edbot5000 and His Retro Robot Nintendo Art
- 5 Lessons I Learned from Being a Vendor at the Riverside Arts Market
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. no wonder lemoree's booth is so busy.. so many interesting little things to look at! i'd probably spend a good chunk of time there too. and yeah, money (or lack of it) does seem to drive a lot of things huh! :) fun interview.

  2. I loved this interview, she sounds like a fun person. I definitely can see why her booth is packed, from the pic it looks awesome. Once again Van thanx for sharing awesome stuff :D

  3. Ana: I forgot to mention, her pieces are very reasonably priced! This must lend another layer to her success! It reminds me of the "Walmart" pricing method mentioned by Becke in my recent interview with her:

    I'm going to try this method!

  4. Miss Lou: She is definitely fun and sweet! :)

  5. What a great interview! I truly feel encouraged. At the antique mall that my booth is in handmade items rarely sell, so I gave up making things and concentrated on finding cool thrift items. Now I know that I don't have to give up the handmade stuff and can have the best of both worlds. BTW, History is my degree as well!

  6. Great interview! I'm feeling inspired =D

  7. ladydianab: Make sure you have a wide selection of handmade for them to choose from, and rotate items often. Let us know how it works for you!

  8. Flo: Me too! It's been energizing to interview so many successful creatives.

  9. Very cool! She definatley has some fun things! My daughters love her booth and have made a couple purchases there!

  10. FAB interview! This is truly inspiring! I really like the part about just setting the expectation that it won't make you filthy rich, but sometimes, I think the freedom and flexibility mean more...of course, as long as things are selling. :)


  11. Michelle: Her line is addictive, there's so many fun pieces to collect from it. I have a weakness for her nautical bits!

  12. Stampin D Amour: I like how she lets beginners know that, too. Hell no you won't get rich, but I'd rather do what I love than be rich and miserable.


I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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