Hollie Chastain

I don't remember where I first saw the work of Hollie Chastain but I DO remember how magical it was! One of the joys (for me personally) of being a highly sensitive person, is that some moments feel like utter magic. The sights, smells, and feeling of a moment can be overwhelmingly emotional or inspiring - time stands still for just a moment while the magnitude of the experience settles into your bones. Discovering Hollie's work was one of those moments.

The first time I saw her collages, I gasped out loud and in such a weird way, it felt like coming home. Her work has continued to inspire me each and every time I see it. There is something so special about her work, I find it hard to put into words - it feels both fresh and modern and also like that treasured old letter you have from a loved one.

I couldn't help but be inspired by her work as I began the new collection. Just look how amazing it is:

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What I have hoped to capture within the Hollie color story, is that beautiful marriage her work has of being both beautifully antiqued and modern at the same time. And while I would need no excuse at all to combine pink and mustard (seriously my favorite color combo at the moment!) what I tried to create were shades of dusty pink and mustard that have a worn in feel to them - like that favorite pair of perfectly worn in jeans.

I also love the blues she uses in her work and tried to find shades that would compliment the pink and mustard. I love the final result and can't help but think of Hollie and her incredible work every time I see in piece in the color story she inspired!

 

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When I began the new collection, I spent hours and hours choosing colors. I scoured the paint departments of Fred Meyers, Home Depot, Miller Paint and others, leaving with giant fistfuls of paint sample cards. I'd pour over different color combinations within those handfuls of swatches, swapping one shade out for another until I found something that felt [in my best Goldilocks voice]...just right. I also spent my fair share of time on Pinterest, studying colors and seeing what combinations caught my eye. Of course, all those hours on Pinterest had nothing to do with my Pinterest addiction, it was all in the name of research...very serious research I tell ya!

I'd mix paint and tinker until I got the colors I wanted. Then I'd paint a batch of beads only to realize that the wood beads made the color much darker than I anticipated, so I'd tinker some more and try again to get the shade just right. I've since learned to make my colors a bit lighter and brighter before painting them on the beads. It's saved me a lot of heartache because boy let me tell you, in those early days, I was sometimes repainting beads 4 or 5 times until the color was absolutely perfect.

During that same time, I was also thinking about how I wanted to incorporate some of the women that inspire me into the collection. I've often named pieces after women I admire and was thinking I may do the same for this collection. But as I studied color more and more and began thinking more about the women that inspire me, it seemed fitting to create color stories based on real women that have influenced me in some way.

In the coming weeks I'll be sharing about the women behind the color stories, but for now, I just wanted to share a few of the color combinations you can find in the new collection. I've made it so most necklaces can be made in each color story.

Which one is your favorite?

 HOLLIE

HOLLIE

 NIKISHA

NIKISHA

 HEATHER

HEATHER

 TIDE POOL

TIDE POOL

I'll also be offering a mix + match option - an "artists choice" if you will, where I'll create the style necklace you choose but in an assortment of colors that I pick. It's perfect for the lady that can't decide on a color or for those that are a bit adventurous and love a little surprise!

Pouring my heart out...

The past few days, I have been so inspired by Eryn Eddy and her recent blog post where she spilled open her heart and shared parts of her journey over the last year. Her post has both haunted and encouraged me. I saw parts of myself reflected in her words and I related to so many of her thoughts on processing grief.

These past 18 months have held so much grief, in many different layers, yet it has also held so much beauty for me. To be reminded that processing grief, being vulnerable and truly showing up in life looks different for every single person, was such an encouragement.

Her post inspired me to share more of my own heart, and I'll be honest, preparing for this show has been an exhilarating, exhausting, amazing, and nerve-wracking whirlwind.

I haven’t shared myself like this before, and there is a huge part of me that wants to run the other direction. Sharing this collection and this art feels vulnerable in an entirely new way. And as I finished setting up the space yesterday, I couldn’t help but feel a bit emotional. I may have spent the day straightening out jewelry on displays and hanging art on the walls, but it truly felt more like I was putting a piece of myself up on the wall for all to see.

I felt overwhelmed with excitement as I got to see these artworks up on a wall for the first time ever. I was a bit shocked by how it poured over me, a sense of wonder…a sense of pride. I made these things, I put my heart and soul (and literal blood, sweat and tears) into these things.

These simple objects are a complex and outward show of what’s in my heart, what’s in my soul. It’s a concentrated version of who I am at my very core.

To say that I feel vulnerable sharing these things is an understatement. To say I’m nervous is an understatement too. But mostly, I feel proud and I feel excited. Although it is quite scary, being able to show the truest parts of myself is exhilarating in a way I just can’t seem to articulate.

So here we are, hours away from my biggest show yet and I couldn’t be more proud or excited to bring these pieces into the world for everyone to see. Sure, I’ll probably have a vulnerability hangover tomorrow. I'll enjoy a nice big coconut milk Chai to ease the pain a bit - it helps make everything better. And I'm sure I’ll wrestle with how to determine if this show was “successful” or not, but more importantly I’ll be in a whole new place. A place where people will have seen me like never before.

And just like Eryns’ post has inspired me so much the last few days, maybe someone will see a part of themselves in my work and be inspired to share parts of themselves a little more honestly and a little more bravely.

And I can’t think of anything that could be more beautiful than that, can you? So, maybe the vulnerability hangover won't be so bad (fingers crossed).

But I'll get that Chai ready just in case...

 

Rebirth

Welcome to the brand new seek + be site, I'm so glad you are here! 

Maybe you've followed me for a while, or maybe this is your first introduction to seek + be. Either way, I couldn't think of a better place to start than right here. Because here is a moment of rebirth.

This is a new chapter in the life of seek + be. In fact, this is a new chapter in my very own life. The last 18 months, while some of the hardest, were also filled with the most personal growth I've ever experienced. I can't wait to share more about that on this shiny new blog! 

When I put seek + be on hold about a year ago, I didn't know what the future held for it. At the time, my husband was newly diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. To be honest, I didn't even know what the next day held, let alone days, weeks or months into the future. 

I just knew that my one and only priority was caring for and walking through that journey with my husband.

As is the case with so many life changing events, suddenly life becomes so much clearer. You see everything with a new perspective. 

And while it took some time, one thing that I knew for certain with that new clarity was that seek + be did in fact have a future. 

With that clarity, also came a vision of what seek + be was truly created for. More than ever before, it is clear to me that the purpose of seek + be is to serve women; to create and connect in meaningful ways and to inspire women to live bigger, bolder and more creative lives.

With that purpose as my guide, I am creating with more clarity and passion than ever before.  From this new blog, to the website, to packaging and sourcing materials, everything is being thoughtfully curated to bring that vision to life.

seek + be has been reborn from the inside out and I am so excited to share this next chapter with you!