I have been featuring many etsy shops over the past two years focusing primarily on their handmade creations and art. This time, I would like to do something different. I would like you to meet a person behind her craft. I hope you read this post and learn more about Victoria, the owner of Garden of Eden Designs on etsy (http://www.etsy.com/shop/gardenofedendesigns). Our creations are our reflections of who we are and of our life's experiences. Victoria wrote this article for my blog. Your comments are very welcome!
When people ask why I design and create jewelry... or paint... or sew... my answer is always the same "because it is a part of me." My life has not been anymore special than anyone else is. I was not born a princess or raised by nanny because my father was a rockstar. I lived a normal life, but a fantastic one if you ask me... but then again, I am slightly bias.
I truly believe I would not have started my small business Garden of Eden Designs if it had not been for all the experiences I have taken part in through out my life. Granted it is only a twenty-one year old life, and I haven't had too many life-changing scenes if you were to go back and watch my life on the big screen, but the point is I have lived and I have learned; and I will always continue to learn.
I was one of the lucky ones—fortunately—that grew up surrounded by an amazing family. This positive environment allowed me to develop into the overly confident and positive person I am today. I embrace challenges, but occasionally get knocked down by them. I love with all my heart, but frequently get my heart broken. I have been taught that there are no failures, only lessons learned, and I have been encouraged to dream big and believe. These positive views of the world installed within me by my parents and grandparents, have created an unbreakable force surrounding me that allows me to believe that everything happens for a reason.
Trumbull, Connecticut was the first town I called home. It was where I was born and where I lived for two short years before my dad’s job moved us down to the southeast. The first stop was Alpharetta, Georgia, then Irmo, South Carolina, and finally Roswell, Georgia. Each move had a deep effect on me. I hated leaving my friends and having to start over in a new town, but as I see it now this gave me a jump-start at discovering whom I truly am. I suppose the discovery of one’s self never truly ends, but I believe it was easier for me to form my own opinions and establish my own identity of the world having lived in various locations.
I would like say that I had some meaningful and epic turning point at a young age, but unfortunately I had a very normal childhood. The most horrific experience I can remember before the age of ten was when I chipped my front tooth after I slipping off the coffee table I had been dancing on… not exactly a profound experience, but it did make me realize my passion for dancing and the arts. I can consider that cutting my own hair at the mere age of eight and having to wear my bangs gelled back into a headband for three months also had some effect on the person I am today, but in reality it probably only gave me the courage and confidence to change my hairstyle—including numerous hair colors—every few months of high school.
I attended middle school in Irmo—home three—and was highly involved. I worked for the school newspaper and the yearbook staff. I danced on a competitive dance team at the local studio, cheered for the cheerleading squad, and sang in the honors choir. I stayed busy and surrounded myself with great friends who were there for me every step of the way, which was why it was extremely difficult for me to move to home four—Roswell.
It was the summer before my start to high school and while I was excited for a new house and a new room to decorate, I ached with anxiety to start high school knowing not a single soul. I can remember the first day vividly. Classes were classes, halls were halls, but the lunchroom was hell. I skipped lunch that day and cried behind one of my favorite books in the library. Luckily no one saw—or cared to notice—but that day changed me. Because of that day I decided when thrown into those types of situations I did not want to close myself off. In high school I slowly began to realize that opening up to new people can have a wonderful outcome. This outcome included best friends I still keep in touch with today, and my first love, which came and went with the start of college.
Around the same time as my move to Roswell, my family also lost a close family friend’s daughter. Her name was Anna Rose. She was four years old and passed away from an exceedingly rare cancer. Although I did not know Anna extremely well, her death resonated with me. It was a profound turning point making me realize that I am very blessed to be living the life I live. I had always heard the saying “life is short”, but never understood exactly what that entailed. Her death made me realize that every single day I am given is a blessing. This same lesson and knowledge was intensified five years later when my Papa passed away. Because of these two people, I have devoted my life to spontaneously seizing any opportunity that may come my way.
Due to positive reinforcement from family and lessons learned from daily life, I have become the person I am today; a quick-witted, smart-ass with a sensitive soul that dreams big and dares to turn those dreams into reality.