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Finding Creative Energy

“Do your practice, all is coming.”

Someone recently asked me what Kentucky Gypsy was, and all I could do was smile and say – “It’s a work in progress”. Two years ago, my mom and I agreed that Kentucky Gypsy was the perfect name for the business I had to start. I never could have predicted how this simple concept would develop through its many transformations.

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It is now the purpose that fills my thoughts and sets the goals that I look forward to.

When all these ideas were still brand new to me, I was also trying to figure out how I was going to support myself during this time. I was jobless, and to top it off, I was totally destroyed by my recent loss, breakup, and move.

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A family friend encouraged me to be a realtor over lunch. I knew I should be thinking about a “real job” but in my state of grief and uncertainty, I wanted something I could sink my teeth into. I wanted to leave my house each day to do something that made me happy. But I knew I had to do something, even short term to support myself while I made those decisions.

So I found a job that paid me hourly and weekly, doing clothing and bridal alterations.It wasn’t much, but I had to pay the bills. It was during this time that I took the first steps to put Kentucky Gypsy in motion. It feels like a lifetime ago.

The craziest thing is how much I’ve changed since then. At first, it was just feather earrings or flower crowns that had me searching the internet for inspiration. At the time, it was grief management, a creative outlet I used as an escape. As time went on, my creative tastes changed. I kept finding inspiration in the places I saw as familiar. New friends, ideas, and avenues to pursue kept making things happen. Through these various “projects,” something became clear to me. I realized that whatever I imagined, I always found people who wanted to help make my imagination become reality.

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People who not only took my ideas seriously, they were eager to help make them a reality!

After about a year of trial and error with making jewelry, marketing it, and trying to sell it… I managed to find some incredibly wonderful and artistic friends in Lexington. These are the people who immediately respond to my ideas with “What can we do?” “Let’s do it!”.

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Their willingness to collaborate and contribute is a truly beautiful and humbling feeling. I wanted to step back and really think about what I was experiencing. There had to be something greater at work. It didn’t take long to see the big picture.

I recognized that I have a talent to make jewelry and clothing, but my passion is attracting and curating a community of creatives. The moment I made that connection, I almost drowned in the inspiration and potential for Kentucky Gypsy.

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I know I’m not alone when I say that I am drawn to people who support me, motivate me, push me, and drive me. Over the years, their support and/or absence of judgment has helped me to grow. They have given me the vision to align my stars and the confidence to catch my dreams.

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I’ve realized the importance of an authentic community – one that is genuine and honest.

I will say that it is not easy to live week to week and barely get by, but I was determined to let everything unfold at its own time. I wasn’t going to give up my freedom to explore my creative lifestyle.

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The time I’ve spent with other artists, late nights and early mornings in each other’s studios and floors, talking about ideas and concepts and how we want to make our mark on the world has been incredibly inspiring and motivating. I’ve constantly been building and building not necessarily with an end goal – just following the path to happiness. I am certain that Kentucky Gypsy would be nothing without the help of those near and dear to me.

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When I could step back and see exactly how much my team has helped me, I could see exactly how important it was for me to provide that support to someone else.

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The more I worked with others on their ideas, the more inspired I became. And this particular part of my journey has been very exciting, uplifting and soul-shaking. In the last 6 months especially, the people I have met and the community that I have built has brought me back to life.

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The friends I have made, whether they share a creative passion or simply support my pursuits, they have been the cornerstone of me being happy being me again.

In hindsight, when mom first passed away, I felt very lost, empty, alone, sad, mad – everything you can imagine after losing the most important person in your life. There were extreme lows, extreme highs and lots of numb in between. A whole part of me disappeared, and I had no idea what I was supposed to do in the world. “What is my purpose?” I spent a long time running from that idea and doing what I could to make myself forget or not be present.

While I was running, Kentucky Gypsy is what I’ve found and who I’ve become.

Working with this beautiful community of creatives has made me whole again. Conversations about my mother and the greatest silver lining in life have made me dig deeper than I could imagine. And say and feel things that I didn’t know I was capable of. As a result of these projects and relationships – I am no longer feeling lost, empty or alone.

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My latest project “Finding Creative Energy,” this shoot was different. I wanted to tell a story of my current life in photos. A visual tapestry of my creative process, from start to finish. I wanted something that could show the twists and turns that an artist’s priorities can take.

“I need to take a break from jewelry… So I want to upcycle some denim.”

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Making a radical diversion like that wasn’t because I thought my brand was in need of a change. It was simple, I suddenly had a creative impulse and I followed it. I followed it because I thought I would like it, and I had no reason not to. And I’m glad I did.

Working with Jennifer at The Darling Sew Shop has been eye opening and a reminder – DO YOUR PRACTICE, ALL IS COMING!

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Take a look…

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Meet the team

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Photographer – Zack Staten
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Creative direction, styling, and production – Lisa Brester (Moi)
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Creative direction, styling, and production – Jared Guillaume
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Creative direction, styling, and production – Jennifer Wesley
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Model – Amber Larson
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Model – Kaitlyn Lloyd
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Makeup artist – Anna Maria Corea
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Hairstylist – Alexion Dunn
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Production assistants –  Jayci Gibbs and Kendell Hutchison (not pictured)

As I pack up my Kentucky life for a second gypsy move back west, I’m spending a lot of time reflecting on the past two years. I feel like I am doing exactly what I am meant to do – headed back to LA to pursue my dreams. (Yes, I’m moving back to Los Angeles.)

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