In my quest to provide more and more inspiration for all of us, particularly in the form of interviews with highly capable women, I am pleased to present this interview with LA-based jewelry designer Natalia Benson. I met Natalia a couple years ago through mutual friends, and thanks to the power of social networking, we've been able to keep in touch and I've been able to watch her business continue to grow and transform.
Many thanks to Natalia for sharing this with us today.
Many thanks to Natalia for sharing this with us today.
Tell me a bit about yourself: how old are you, and how long have you been officially running "your own business?"
I am 27 years old. I began my jewelry creating venture at 20 & started to take it seriously as a business venture when I was about 23 because my parents cut me off after graduating school... it was sort of a forced/inevitable happening.
I know you live in LA; did you grow up there as well? How has living in LA shaped your experience as an artist and an entrepreneur?
I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. I moved to San Diego when I was 18 to go to school & moved up to Los Angeles about 5 years ago. LA is a fascinating place; I always say it is a place of extreme contrast & you are challenged to really go inward to create where you stand within all of the polarity. I originally thought I was moving here to expand myself as a designer (which I was) but in truth, I came to LA to find & cultivate my spirituality & how that would inform my total life & my work moving forward.
Are you a self-taught artist/jeweler? Who inspires you and where/how do you seek to further your skills/craft?
Yes, I am completely self taught. I started out as a young lady brought up by very corporate/business minded parents & I had this mentality too, I never envisioned myself as a creative or an artist by any means. I started creating jewelry in my bedroom because I wanted to let my creative spirit out & I also didn’t want to be told what to do anymore in any capacity (Aries;) Truthfully I am inspired by anyone who unabashedly follows their soul & heart... I find inspiration everywhere - from Pamela Love (jewelry designer) to Katy Perry & Beyonce (which few people would think I like them, but I do!!) I honor the feminine spirit in all beings who just decide to flow with their soul because they can’t imagine doing anything else with their life.
What are some tricks and tips you can share with us about maximizing your potential as a creative business owner?
Work on it er’day (everyday) & be open to the ideas of people who love you or people who know more than you.... My Grandpa told me when I was younger that everything is achieved with Persistence. He was a true rags to riches story of a poor kid in Detroit, MI born to immigrants who died wealthy (in mind & spirit too) from working his ass off doing what he truly loved. My grandfather was a self-made millionaire. As a young man, he went into the Navy and learned the trade of being an electrician. He utilized that trade to build a very successful contracting business in Phoenix, Arizona where I grew up.
Something really beautiful: I started my entrepreneurial endeavor when I was about 20 years old after my Grandpa had already been gone for about 4 years. I said one day out loud when I was driving, "Gramps, I really wish I could ask you questions on your experience as I am just beginning my own business venture..." A few days later my mom gave me a book called "Pathways to Power" by Edward L. Kramer; it was published in the 40s but it's basically the Modern Day version of The Secret, or think-positive new-age stuff that we are all familiar with... I guess my grandpa heard me!
What is a favorite self-care ritual that you have?
Honestly, I love exercising & moving my body in every way. My workspace is really close to my gym & I get up every morning & get grounded in my body. Using Doterra oils & getting plenty of sleep are also incredibly important self care rituals I implement daily.
How does being a woman play into your role as a business owner? Can you discuss, if possible, the aspect of femininity as if exists in your creative/professional endeavors?
What an incredible question. It reminds me that I am not a machine; I have to honor my intuition, my need for rest, my need to honor my moon, my need to respect the cycles of things, of nature, of work, of success & seeming failure -- incorporating my femininity into my way of running a business may seem foreign to the current climate of how business is done at large but I have realized I can’t insult that part of myself because it is what lends itself to my health & the health of my business and maybe even sets a positive example for other women beginning businesses... If you study google.com and how they treat their employees, this to me is an example of the feminine incorporated into the business model. People don’t want to be slave-driven for “success” anymore.
I know you have your hands in all sorts of other creative projects, too. What are a couple non-business related creative outlets that you love to explore?
I love to DJ & to read tarot cards. DJing is healing for me & Tarot is healing for the people I interact with on that level. Both allow for deeper connection of who I am to the outside world, as working solely on running my jewelry line can leave me in solitude quite a lot.
Learn more about Natalia and keep in touch with her at any of these magical portals below (Natalia posts Tarot readings on her YouTube channel, these may be interesting to many of you ladies):