We had the good fortune of connecting with Charmaine Vegas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charmaine, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I am by nature both a risk-taker and conservative mover, meaning: I love and am attracted to doing something out of curiosity of “what could be”. At the same time, I like to prepare myself for the best outcome and I naturally seek security, but my most memorable moments in life and business came immediately after taking a risk. I believe that risks are important and a necessary ingredient when chasing big dreams, and little ones! I quit a 9-5 to start Bless the Theory; I won’t say that it has been a “walk in the rose gardens” since then but I will say that I have grown and learned much more having taken the risk of going out on my own, than I would have if I’d stayed with my corporate career. Of course, it is important to have a plan and to utilize logic when making big discussions; however, I wholeheartedly feel that taking risks should be just as important!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My jewelry is inspired around flaws and healing. This expression is personal for me and I find that it resonates with others. Flaws and healing are unavoidable parts of the human experience and I have learned when we share the stories around our imperfections and accept them, we mend in profound ways. Something I am most proud of is watching a client connect to a piece of my jewelry without me having told the story behind the piece. There is something to be said when someone just “gets it”. I feel that connection has lent itself to my professional and artistic growth. Putting your flaws out there to be judged and possibly misunderstood is scary – it is rewarding and empowering to have your voice understood and related to. I did not always have the voice nor the courage I have today and I am sure I will be able say the same in 5 years as my curiosity and my business is forever evolving. With all growth comes challenges, you cannot have one without the other, and I learned to approach my challenges with two questions: What are the lessons, and what are the blessings? Some lessons I have learned in art and business are: my best results come when I am truly honest with my practice and myself. When I say “honest”, I mean doing what YOU truly mean to do. I won’t say that I am perfect at this but I am more aware of when I need to ask myself “am I being honest?” At the end of all this, I hope that my audience and colleagues know and feel that I put something out into the world with the intention to connect and inspire.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh, I love entertaining out-of-towners!
Day 1: breakfast at Bake’n’Broil in California Heights/ Bixby Knolls; stroll around California Heights to look at their lovely curations of beautiful Spanish style homes. Then Long Bach Museum of Art and a little walk on the bluffs.
Day 2: Whiskey tasting at Lost Souls in DTLA then a lunch at Rappahannock Oyster Bar at The Row in DTLA (gotta get the oyster po’boy – heaven in your mouth).
Day 3: Lunch at Steal Craft in Bixby Knolls and then head down to 4th streetfor a stroll. My favorite store to take people is The Hangout. After some shopping, we would catch a movie at Long Beach Art Theater and follow that up with a peanut butter and banana protein smoothie from Salud.
Day 4: Coffee and pastries from The Merchant in Bixby Knolls (they have the BEST pastries hands-down) followed by a concert at the Hollywood Bowl (there is always someone to see there)!
Day 5: Yoga on the Bluffs in Long Beach then a stroll down 1st street.
Day 6: Rent a Duffy boat from London Boat Rentals in Long Beach for a “picnic on the water”, then an intimate dinner in my backyard with friends and neighbors.
Day 7 (departure): Pick-up glazed donuts from Randy’s before departing out of LAX.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would not be where I am with out the support, mentorship and friendship of my creative community: My husband Brandon Kristen Beleer (Artist and Professer) Jivita Harris-Casey of Jivita Jewelry Karin Worden (Jeweler) Jurate Brown (Jewelry Designer) The Long Beach Post Yevgeniya Mikhailik (artist and museum curator) And countless others who have helped me in some fashion whether it was showing my work, purchasing my work or supporting my growth in my work. I am blessed to be part of a loving and creative community!
Photo by: Isaiah and Taylor Photography