One of the Babes: Libby Brennan of Haiku Press
Haiku Press, a local handcrafted jewelry brand made using natural stones and beads, is the passion project of Libby Brennan, a babe "inspired by the geometry of color and design."
In the process of turning her hobby — and a love for tinkering with beads — into an up-and-operating business, Brennan has learned the important creative lesson of stepping back from her work when she needs to — only to return to it when inspiration strikes once more.
What inspired you to start working in the field/Industry? Did you have any role models or learn from someone, in particular?
I have always loved crafting, and especially making jewelry, on a casual basis. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I went to a friend's garage sale and he had two boxes full of some eccentric beads. I bought them and have felt a passion for the bead ever since.
Do you have any tidbits of advice for people with passions, in general?
Don’t be afraid. The hardest part of pursuing a passion is starting, but that is the hardest part because once you realize it is a passion you can’t stop — and your world starts feeling the ripple effects of your power
What have been your favorite moments of creativity (possibly a time when a burst of creative energy produced something you could have never expected, etc.)?
Most recently, there was an event that took place in November that literally created a blackout — of the mind, body and spirit. Three whole weeks went by and I couldn’t even look at my beading station. There was no power, no energy, no communication between my beads and I. It was probably the longest I have gone without creating anything. At the end of the three weeks, I went on a trip to Mexico City. The color, the culture, the language, the food, the pom-poms — everything about my trip gave me a renewed vision and sense of inspiration that I felt I had lost. I came back to the States so invigorated and I'm currently working on a collection appropriately called “Como se dice Pom-Pom?” Although I wish I could go to Mexico on a more regular basis, it was a really great reminder that it is okay to have blankets of emptiness and that even the little moments and places in your immediate environments can be so inspiring to you and your work.
What have been your most challenging moments in your career, thus far?
By far the hardest moment of my crafty career thus far was getting up on stage at my first Boss Babe event and reciting a haiku in front of everyone. The rest has just been a really good learning experience and reminder that passion goes hand in hand with challenges — whether it may be a slow market day or a difficult client.
What's your day job (if this business isn't your day job)?
I taught elementary and preschool for 10 years but quit my job teaching after my daughter was born so I could find peace of mind while being present for her formative years. I am also a bartender at St. Elmo Brewery.
When you're discouraged, what do you run to or away from?
I mindfully step back and take a break. So many times I have sat at my desk feeling like i need to make something, but more often than not, I end up deconstructing whatever piece I made because it feels forced. So when I step beck, I find that going on an adventure or even a walk around my community helps me generate a new vision of patterns or experiences that I am able to translate into my jewelry and haikus later on.
Your favorite band at the moment:
I feel so out of the music loop but my go-to is always Thievery Corporation. It’s mellow, but enough of a groove to get my shimmy and head bob on.
Your favorite book at the moment:
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Highly recommended for anyone who is looking to engage deeper in their creative selves or just needs a creative boost.
Your local Austin gem:
Definitely St. Elmo Brewery. It is like a giant extended family there. I have never felt so supported or accepted in a place where I've worked before. It is a super friendly gathering place where people can drink awesome beer (or homemade soda), play board games, listen to some great jams and be present with each other.
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