Designer Spotlight: Lisette Fee

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A brief story of what you do and why you do it.

I find inspiration from the local people and wildlife in the places where she has lived. Humans have always had a strong bond with totem animals. In Eilisain Jewelry you have the chance to feel the spirit of animals that might otherwise remain unfamiliar.

How did you get into jewelry design?

I always loved making things, from kachina dolls to friendly plastic brooches growing up but it wasn't until I rekindled my love for jewelry my last year in college at the University of Florida, I took a ring making class and from there I didn't stop.

What makes your collection unique?

The way I combine cast jewelry with stones and other materials. I think that once you get into jewelry, it can be easy to fall into a trap of taking something and putting a jump ring on it; with my jewelry there is a source of deeper meaning and correlation between our environment and what we wear to symbolize that energy.

What are your inspirations?

I find mythologies and stories are a way to connect the future and the past and imbuing jewelry with selected mythologies are a way to rekindle those stories. I also find animal bones and remains fascinating, the structure and composition of bone structure is so architectural.

How are you making a difference in your life?

Bringing awareness and appreciation for animals and their habitat; every year I make a contribution to the Center for Wildlife and Biological Center, they work on legislation that protects the habitat of many endangered species. I also believe that learning and understanding mythology stories help us as humans to make sense and bring meaning of our lives.

What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?

That is a tough question! There are many things that make me different from others in general, the silly faces I can make, my penchant for picking up dead bugs and things. But in terms of business, I believe the fact that I do all my own casting, stone setting and almost every other part of my business makes me different from other jewelers that generally send work out to be fabricated.

What's the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business? OR What is your biggest success in running your business like a business?

I'd like to answer both questions. The biggest struggle of running a jewelry business like a business is handling the fun paperwork, taxes, customer service, planning and budgeting. I used to think that I would never do that, that I'd have a business minded partner to do it but I've found that handling some of the business parts makes me want to work harder and out perform myself.
My biggest success this year is making becoming my own salesperson, in the sense that my biggest revenue has been through direct sales and I plan to continue to work on that through doing shows and events.

Lisette has been designing and making jewelry for over 10 years. Growing up as the daughter of an Army officer provided her the opportunity to travel the world, from Japan to El Salvador to Uruguay to Panama. This immersion in a diversity of cultures provided Lisette an invaluable appreciation for a variety of art forms.

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