#FeelGood: Finding Joy and Starting a Small Business in 2020

TEAM KNIX / DEC 07, 2020

2020 hasn’t been easy, so we’re recapping it the only way we know how— by celebrating the ways you were able to thrive during it. Earlier this month, we reached out to our community and asked to hear your #FeelGood stories of the year. Whether it was finding new ways to practice self-care, or managing work and kids while staying home— there was no accomplishment too small in 2020. There is a lot to be proud of! 

Through this, our friend and Knix ambassador Pearl Pilbeam told us all about how she turned her creative jewelry endeavour into a small business with her sister in 2020. Meet Pearl


Hi Pearl! Tell us a bit about yourself. 

 Hello, Knix friends! I'm Pearl (my real name is Renee, but Pearl was my grandmother's name and I love it so I've adopted it) and I would describe myself as a multi-passionate mama bird, a lifelong learner, a creative, and an online learning expert. I grew up in Wisconsin, spent 7 years in Minnesota getting my undergrad and Master's degrees, moved to Arizona after that where I spent 11 years getting my doctorate and starting my career in learning design, and now live in Boise, ID with my son. There was also a stint of nearly 6 months living and working in Sydney, AUS.

I'm a single Mama of an amazing, active, sweet little kiddo. I've loved to craft and create since I was little so I try to make time for that amongst it all! If you'd like to connect on Instagram, I'd love that— I'm @pearlybird. 

What are you the proudest of in 2020?

Gosh, what a year. I have a lot of things I'm proud of this year, but what I think I'm most proud of (second to my kiddo, so proud of him) is becoming a jewelry designer! With all the stress and change this year brought it became incredibly clear to me that I was going to have to deliberately carve out some time to create as a way to process and decompress from stress (working full-time and caregiving full-time is full-on). So my sister and I started making polymer clay earrings together. It was so much trial and error at first we learned so much in those early days. And it was just really fun to do that together and just connect and talk about life while we created away.

What’s something you learned about yourself?

This year has brought the continuation of the lesson to take resistance as a sign that there's work to be done in what I am resisting. Usually, when I am resisting something there is some work to be done and leaning into that discomfort or resistance is a path to growth and expansion. This has applied to accepting help, taking time for rest, and co-parenting especially this year. I've also learned how consistently making time for creativity really sparks and stokes my joy— it's been really fun and transformative for me. 

Tell us about Loving Clay Co. and finding your passion this year! 

Yeah! So it was around mid-June when we really got our start into making polymer clay earrings, and it quickly became something that I so looked forward to each week, being able to sit down and make something really beautiful with my hands and exercise my creative side. So after a bit, we decided to give it a go as a business and it's been so fun.  

📸: @lovingclay.co

We also knew we wanted to connect it to supporting organizations that we feel either personally connected to or particularly passionate about supporting (like maternal mental health, social justice & racial equity, and pregnancy and infant loss) so each month we're choosing an organization to make a donation to based off the sale of lovingclay.co earrings! It's really fun to create something beautiful for someone to purchase and love and then also support an organization that we feel is important. It feels like this perfect combination of a sort of creative outlet therapy, a way to support others in a time of distancing especially, and an exciting new business venture.   

What are you most looking forward to in 2021? 

Oh goodness, lots! I'm looking forward to continuing to grow this business and therefore the support of the organizations we give to, having that creative time, learning and growing alongside my little, and (hopefully) getting back to some more in-person time and connections. And also the energy that comes with the new year, I think many of us are ready for that. OH! And I'm excited to turn 40 next year! I feel my best self gets better every year and I can't wait to see what my 40's have in store!  

Thanks for sharing Pearl! Want to share your 2020 #FeelGood story and win $500 worth of Knix? We’re accepting submissions all month long. We can’t wait to celebrate with you! 
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Do you have a personal story you’d like to share? An essay draft saved in the cloud? An idea for an interview? Email us at stories@knix.com to be featured on The Lift.
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