#BadassCreatives: Little Eli + The Little Motivator Bundle
If you’ve been following me for awhile on Instagram (which, HELLO, you totally should be!), you might have see me post the awesome concrete jewelry created by Baton Rouge, LA based maker Amelia of Little Eli. Amelia makes all sorts of beautifully unexpected stuff out of concrete, including jewelry and home decor.
Amelia recently launched a super cool new package of handmade art which she calls The Little Motivator Bundle. It’s designed for anyone stuck at a desk, trying to find their place, who needs someone to motivate and believe in them.
The Little Motivator Bundle includes a fun handmade concrete pillow stand (which is also great for photos, notes, and as a phone stand!), plus 6 original hand-painted quote “prints” designed to inspire.
I recently chatted with Amelia to find out how she got started working with concrete and what inspired The Little Motivator Bundle.
Concrete is a pretty non-traditional material in the context of making jewelry and home décor. How did you get started working with it?
It probably all started with a project I had in college. The assignment was to rethink how to use a material to change the users’ experience, and I was assigned concrete. I guess I should start by saying I graduated from LSU’s College of Art and Design, and now I’m a Landscape Architect between the hours of 9 and 5.
Anyway, in that class we learned a lot about various materials. Concrete is a material with a very utilitarian purpose in the landscape. A few years later, I started experimenting with concrete on a smaller scale after discovering the Homemade Modern Blog. By then I had uncovered my true passion for making, and I haven’t been able to keep a clean studio since.
I’m obsessed with all the texture and personality concrete has, because you really wouldn’t think so! So now I’m on a mission, so to speak, to spread the good word of concrete. I want people to think of concrete like they do marble, this simple, but textural material, that adds a lot of depth to their environment.
I also adore the limitations of concrete, the challenge of making molds that work, knowing which shapes you have to avoid, finishing materials and dyes, etc. I love seeing how many of the perceived limitations I can break.
What inspired you to create The Little Motivator Bundle? Who is it for?
It started out as a way to join my two side-projects, concrete and lettering. And it transformed into this way for me to spread my positive feels out into the world. As an introvert, I’ve found that people naturally want to confide in you, ask you for advice, and expect honest feedback.
I discovered this wonderful online community of makers/dreamers/creative badasses that just needed this little push. Creatives want someone in their corner they can count on for a pick-me up, and I had become that person to a number of awesome people.
I’m not a teacher and I’m not a coach, so the Little Motivator Bundle came to life when I figured out I could combine my passion of making, with my love of motivating, on a personal level.
The Bundle is for people stuck at a desk all day. Whether they are in corporate America and their latest assignment has them in the dumps. Or if they work from home, blogging/coaching/designing from their couch, but feel so alone as they chug along, trying to stay positive. It’s for people who need a reminder of how f*cking awesome they are!
Beyond making awesome things out of concrete and hand-lettering, what gets you excited? What types of things motivate and inspire you on a daily basis?
Great design rocks my sock off! Captivating product packaging, modern fashion, an interesting use of materials in the landscape. It’s all really art, just instead of using paint to convey emotions, these designers work with shapes, materials, and scale to affect the user’s emotions. Umm, yes please!
But, on a daily basis, I try and avoid inspiration. I like setting aside time to seek out, and reflect upon what I’m feeling. If I’m constantly bombarded with “inspiration”, the whole process starts to lose its magic.
I will say, the one thing I never get tired of is hearing about other creative’s success stories. Not in the general sense of seeing people on the internet do well. But when I talk to one of my maker-friends and they finally figured out this new glazing process, or finally got their website header finished. Those little victories motivate me to keep going, for us all to keep growing together!
What’s next on the horizon for Little Eli? Where do you see your company 1 year from now?
I’m currently working on re-structuring my design/production process. I really love making things. I’m a “maker” in the purest sense of the word. Yet jewelry (and most other retail design) is on a 6 month production cycle. Make in the summer for the winter, make in the winter for the summer, and making only twice a year just did not work for me.
So I’m re-structuring and building in more ‘making time’. I’ll be designing 3-5 new necklaces every month. They will be limited edition/limited time only, feature higher quality materials, and will aim to explore the boundaries of concrete. I also have some very interesting collaborations in the works to merge concrete with various other materials. (If you are interested, please join the Little Insiders. Insiders get first dibs on all new designs!)
TL;DR. Coming soon, I’ll be releasing a few new necklaces in my shop every month, in very limited quantities, and only available during that month. In a year, I’d just like to be happy with whatever Little Eli has become. It’s a side-passion for me, so my priority is to enjoy the ride and keep it exciting!
The Little Motivator Bundle was a very limited edition art package – just 20 sets available! The bundles are now out of stock, but you can still check out the Little Eli shop for concrete jewelry & home decor and artwork.
Everything in each bundle is handmade and hand-painted in Baton Rouge, LA.