Hello, dear readers. One special new feature we’ve added this year is the occasional spotlight on one of our contributors. Inherent in the mission statement of The Bright Side Project is the unspoken belief that to “Do What You Love, Love What You Do” is an absolutely essential component in creating a happy and healthy lifestyle. Every now and then, we will ask our contributors to answer a few short questions on the ideas of happiness, creativity and sunshine. We hope these rays of light help inspire you to find the sunshine in your day, today and everyday.
Today we are honored to introduce you to Anna Joyce.
1. Please introduce yourself to our readers and explain a little bit about your business.
My name is Anna Joyce, I live in Portland, OR. and I am the designer and creator behind my line of housewares, apparel and accessories, Anna Joyce. I come from an artistic background- both my parents were and are artists, I am married to a painter and I have a BFA in printmaking. After graduating from college and moving to Portland in 2000 I had nowhere to print and was given a sewing machine as a wedding gift, after sewing my first few stitches I was hooked. My father made me a sewing table and I began to sew and make textile work in every moment of my spare time. Pretty quickly I was making bags and appliqued clothing and selling in local boutiques. I now have a hand printed textile collection for table and home, a growing business online, I just hired my first employee and am working as a designer full time.
The inspiration for my line comes from folk art, vintage fabric, mixing color and pattern and my firm belief that the items that you surround yourself should make you happy and give you joy. I am especially excited about my new Spring textile collection- it is finally bringing together my background in printmaking and my textiles.
When I am designing and sewing I love to think of the person that might buy my work. I hope that they can feel that each piece was handmade just for them- to bring a splash of color and craft their home or wardrobe.
2. We believe that one of the ways to achieve happiness is to “Do what you love, love what you do.” How does this philosophy apply to your life?
To “Do what you love, love what you do” sums up my life right now! In the years between when I first starting to sew and designing my line full time, I lost my father to cancer, had two children and spent several years struggling to find my way. In 2009 I reached a breaking point. I was tired of not being creative, depressed with the work I was doing and disappointed in myself. After a lot of conversations with my incredibly supportive husband and mother I decided to take the leap and start working on my business full time. I am so glad that I did. It has been harder and more rewarding than I could ever imagine, but ultimately I think that the biggest gift I could give to my family is a woman who is doing what she loves.
3. Our mission here at The Bright Side Project is to spread sunshine on a daily basis because we firmly that life is (still) beautiful. Where do you find beauty and inspiration?
I find beauty and inspiration in so many places! When I am looking for inspiration in the studio I turn to nature, vintage craft books, and my fabric collection. Nothing sparks my creativity like some time alone in the studio with my fabric, and my scissors. I love mixing patterns and colors together, finding new combinations and letting my mind wander while I make something just because I want to see it, not for an order or a store, but just for me.
4. On a dreary day, what do you do to infuse your life with a bit of sunshine?
I try to sneak away for a date with my husband or a friend. Getting out of the house for a bit of adult conversation, a nibble to eat and a glass of wine always reinvigorates me and puts a smile on a my face. When that is not possible, I love to tidy up my house and get it just the way I like it and settle in to my favorite chair with a cup of tea, a new magazine and snuggle my cat, Peanut.
5. At this very moment, what are you most grateful for?
The life that my husband and I have created together. We are both artists, we have two happy and healthy children, we enjoy our home and our friends and living in the beautiful city of Portland, OR. I am excited for the future! I have so much I want to create and share and feel ready to take on all of the hard work that it is going to take to make my next round of dreams come true.
Check back later today for an amazing giveaway from Anna Joyce!