We had the good fortune of connecting with Elizabeth Marinovich and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Elizabeth, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?

It’s been a challenging road managing my work-life balance since the very start of Elizaberry. I started my business on a whim, not anticipating how motivated I would be to strive for its’ growth and success. It seems like a no brainer to run with that motivation, but I had an obstacle. I began this journey with another career to manage, a full-time teaching and assistant director position at a preschool.

In the beginning (My first Etsy sale was in December of 2018), I would set aside time to work on jewelry almost every evening after teaching and on the weekends. Every sale or Instagram follow was a push to create more. I quickly became mentally and physically exhausted considering the amount of time I spent teaching and creating each day. It was both thrilling and challenging watching my business succeed, but I knew something needed to change.

I’m starting my fourth year running Elizaberry, and I still hold the same full-time teaching position I started with. The biggest change I’ve made in managing my work-life balance is to actively take breaks from Elizaberry. You heard that right. I’ll let baked clay pieces sit for days or sometimes weeks, left unassembled; I’ll tuck away the pasta machine I use to flatten the clay; I’ll ignore my instinct to create content on social media.

Ultimately, I attribute my business running smoothly to two things: Keeping inventory and fueling my artistic drive. By having items ready to ship as orders are placed, I avoid scrambling to make a pair of earrings. With that in place, I’m able to focus my energy elsewhere. I fuel my artistic drive by taking breaks to reignite creative inspiration, that I know will return when all is said and done. Work-life balance is incredibly important to me, and I believe it is the key to the joy of creating.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

Elizaberry was created after some friends and family urged me to start selling the pom pom earrings that I made for them for the holidays. I created funky pom pom earrings to sell on Etsy for the first four months of my business. Once Spring rolled around, I decided I would apply to sell at my local Farmers Market. I received an email denying my request to participate in the market, along with some ‘friendly’ advice that my work “looked like a child made it.” Heartbroken was an understatement, considering all the work and effort I had put into my business up to that point. After many uplifting conversations with family and friends, I decided to brush myself off and try again. Only this time, I decided I wanted to try a new medium: Polymer Clay.

I had only used polymer clay in a past job teaching art camps to grade school children. I knew very little about the medium, but jumped right in. I watched tutorials online, found inspiring polymer clay artists to admire, and began a journey of trial and error. It’s been a long journey since the beginning days of experimenting with polymer clay, and I continue to learn new techniques and ways to elevate my jewelry each time I work with it.

I now feel grateful in some ways for that hurtful [denial] email. It opened a new door to experimenting with polymer clay; It helped me realize that not everyone is going to love what I create; It shined a light on those who encourage and support my growth and success. If the world needed to know one thing about Elizaberry, it is that it is a brand that aims to add a little bright to your vibe.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to thank my first employer out of college, Stacee Gillelen of Dragonfly designs and all my coworkers, who taught me everything I know about assembling jewelry and working with all kinds of mediums. I’d also like to thank my co-worker and friend, Stephanie Hayes of Hayes Ceramics, who educated and encouraged me to keep pursuing all my small business endeavors. Lastly, my mom, dad and boyfriend, Ben, who have supported me since the very beginning.

Website: elizaberryshop.com

Instagram: elizaberry.shop

Image Credits
MANMAN Studios and Daniella Dolenc Belshiem

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