We had the good fortune of connecting with Helen Stiver and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Helen, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I think of work/life balance as having something in your life that you are passionate about, a personal interest that fullfills you other than work. After working several years in an office setting I felt as if something was lacking, I had no work/life balance. I began making jewelry as a creative outlet, a way to bring joy to myself and others. After taking a few classes and workshops I established Charming Little Lotus as an official business. My initial goal was to provide meaningful pieces that could be used as a touchstone or talisman, to remind the wearer of their strength and perseverance. This concept has grown and solidified as I have the pleasure of providing jewelry to hundreds of customers, many who have confirmed a connection to my work, a resonance with my intention. Now six years later with several ups and downs I finally feel I have worked out a good system of balancing my Monday—Friday office job with my artistic outlet, Charming Little Lotus jewelry. While I sometimes feel I am working seven days a week, creating art (in the form of jewelry) truly brings me joy and a sense of fulfillment.
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.
I believe jewelry, much like my many tattoos, can be a silent form of self expression. Tangible reminders of challenging moments in your life and how you’ve evolved through them. My affinity for the Lotus developed as a result of mindfulness practice, during a time of transition, working through past trauma and resolving destructive choices. The Lotus is my personal talisman, a symbol of strength through adversity, beauty in transformation. Since the inception of Charming Little Lotus, I have expanded my offerings to include additional botanical motifs, each with their own representation of strength, transformation, and unique beauty. Like any journey, transitioning from a hobby to a business has presented many twists and turns. However, each obstacle has also provided valuable lessons. I have learned that things rarely go as planned but sometimes the result provides happy surprises. Some of the greatest lessons I have learned are to embrace change, expect mistakes, and never be afraid of trying something new.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The greater Los Angeles area is full of endless possibilities to entertain out of town visitors. An early riser myself, I would start the day with a sunrise hike in Griffith Park, viewing the Hollywood sign from a different perspective. After working up an appetite, we would stop at nearby Alcove Cafe and Bakery for delicious crab cake benedict. Next would be the obligatory visit to Hollywood Blvd to see the stars and handprints at The Chinese Theatre and maybe a visit to Paramount Studios. For lunch there is no place better than the original Farmers Market at The Grove, there you can have a diverse tasting experience in one place. What is a trip to LA without a visit to the beach? I personally prefer the long drive down Sunset Blvd, passing the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel and maybe spotting a few celebrities along the way. Time permitting, a quick stop at The Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, (located on Sunset just before reaching PCH) will help us wind down after a full afternoon. Our last meal of the day will be enjoyed beachside at Gladstone’s on Pacific Coast Highway. Here we can watch a memorable Southern California sunset while enjoying locally caught seafood. Los Angeles has everything you could imagine, the best views, internationally renowned restaurants, and iconic tourist attractions, it would take several fun filled days like the one described to truly experience all the City of Angels has to offer
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?
In addition to my supportive family and loving wife, Siew Lin, I absolutely owe a moment of recognition to the artisan/handmade community. Over the years I have been encouraged, inspired and uplifted by countless women (and a few men) who have selflessly shared their experiences, advice and tips. Without this community I would not have had the courage and strength to push through the difficult times. As part of this community I now do my best to pass on to others this same kindness, offering information to new artists and makers.
Other: Pinterest link https://www.pinterest.com/CharmLilLotus/_created/