Welcome to the first ever Magical Monday Feature! I hope to be able to bring these posts to you to showcase some amazing people! Whether they be small shops, artists, influencers, vloggers, etc. You will be sure to find someone new to follow and fall in love with what they do and create!
On this Magical Monday, I am pleased to feature Danielle Jade – owner and artist behind R2Jade2. I have been following her work for about 6 months now and she keeps astounding me with her creations. Read on to learn more about her and her work!
Tell me a little about your shop! Who are you, when did you start it, and how did you start it?
Hi! My name is Danielle, I am a mother and artist! I paint with a variety of different mediums, but at the moment my focus has been on hand painting custom cups/tumblers. I love the idea of being able to show off art in such a fun and portable way! Something that you can take with you and enjoy all day long. According to Etsy, I started my shop in 2011. I was painting shoes and wine glasses, tea pots, anything really. I never really took my art too seriously when it came to making money. I would give them away at Disneyland or have giveaways on MouseWait which was the original Instagram lol. I never felt my work was worthy of being sold at that time. I just enjoyed sharing my work. And through MouseWait I was able to do that and I made a ton of friends and met people I still talk to till this day. Some have even grown into my family!
What was the driving force or the inspiration behind starting this dream of yours?
I have always loved to draw. My dad was a painter and I would watch him a lot. He would surprise me and my brother by painting poster-board size characters for each of our birthdays. That’s something I’ll never forget. He would be in the garage painting at night and then when it came time for our birthdays, the house would be decorated with his art. Another inspiration is Disney. Since I can remember I have always loved Disney. It sparked such happiness and comfort. I wanted to draw what made me happy and that’s exactly what I started doing. Disney has given me so many memories with my family and friends. When I’m surrounded by it or drawing Disney related things, it fills me with this excitement that anything’s possible. I know it sounds cliche, but that’s what I feel. I try and reflect that in my work.
How has your shop developed over the time that you have been operating it?
Well! I can tell you this much – I never thought I would be able to sell my work, so the fact that people keep coming back and wanting to purchase my art amazes me. Not because I don’t think my art is good enough, but I tend to think that people would want to spend on more essential items than my work.
What currently inspires you to create new products, or where do you draw inspiration from?
For me, now that I’m a mother, a lot of what I do is for my son. I still create because I love it – it’s what I was meant to do. But now I have more purpose behind my art.
What is one of the biggest highlights of your small shop career?
I think one of my biggest highlights is when someone can tell my work a part from another artist. When someone stops me to ask if that’s r2jade2’s work (I’m usually holding one of my cups or wearing something with my art on it), or when they recognize me and stop me to say hi – yeah those moments are big for me. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. Even though I’m not as big as some artists or I may not have a big following, but just having one person know my work or recognize me makes me feel amazing.
I was at Aulani visiting for the day and someone had messaged me saying they were too nervous to say hi and didn’t want to interrupt my dinner. I told them next time to say hi! I don’t mind. She ended up finding me in the gift shop and we took a picture together! That made my whole trip!
What big challenge have you had to overcome?
The biggest challenge would have to be DOUBT! Phew “doubt” can really mess with you. I’ve doubted my work many times – asking myself why would someone invest in this painting, why would someone want my work. Truth is that I still do that. I could be packaging cups and a wave of doubt comes over me. It’s a funny thing, but I also think that keeps me humble and wanting to push and learn new art techniques.
Tell me more about you, the creator! Is your shop your full time job or do you work elsewhere? What other things in your life are you passionate about or what kind of hobbies do you enjoy doing outside of work.
I am a single mother of a 2 year old. Being a mom is my full-time job and this is my side hustle lol. But my work is how I support us. During the day it’s mom duties, and when he goes down for his nap and bed time that’s my time to work on my paintings. Before he came along, I would sit and paint all day if I could. But now my time is short and I paint when I can. I love creating art with him and I try to have him play with paint everyday.
When we are not having fun with paint or when I’m working, you can find us at Disneyland or somewhere outdoors. I love being in nature – it gives me a different sense of life and creativity.
With everything that our world is facing right now, sometimes it’s hard to feel magical. I think we can all agree that we are out here just trying to do our very best. But that doesn’t always necessarily mean we still don’t need some help. Can you give my readers some encouraging words on how you are staying positive or maybe even advice on what they can do to stay positive?
The world seems to be changing drastically from one day to the next and of course there are days where inspiration and creativity feels lost, but on those days I try and step back and enjoy what’s in front of me. Try to find the good and inspiration in situations.
During the quarantine, even though we were kept inside, I found gardening to be a sense of meditation for me and it gave me something new to do with my son.
What I’ve been doing is trying to find one thing I can do to help the world, someone, or myself – even in the smallest ways. Kindness can be contagious. Try and lend a hand where you can. Doing something nice for someone without expecting anything in return or any type of recognition helps feed the soul, and that is carried on to the person that received the gesture.
Even though change is scary it pushes us to grow and to open our eyes to things we may not have noticed. So keep growing, listening and learning, spread kindness where you can and embrace what’s in front of you.
Coming from a reliable source such as yourself, what advice do you have in starting a small shop and becoming as successful as you are?
Oh goodness! hahaha Ok well the one thing I will say is, don’t listen to the naysayers. Trust your work, and don’t let anyone bring you down. I know there’s a lot of that in certain “small shop” communities. Just focus on getting your work out there. Whether its clothing, crafting, art – make yourself seen without stepping on anyone. Reach out to people that can help. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be yourself – your work will reflect that.
Lastly, where can my followers shop from you and learn more about shop updates?
As of now, my work is made-to-order and I don’t have have any pre-made items to purchase. I can always be contacted through my website or my Instagram. I’m not so big as to have a social media assistant lol. So you will always be talking to me when you message me 😊
Make sure to follow! I’m going to be coming out with some new things (wearable, wink wink).
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