We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Raphael and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve always been an artist in some form and I have always loved lighting. I could never really find anything that was cool, that also wasn’t a mortgage payment. I decided I would start making my own creations. I wanted to make money doing the things I love.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I want my brand to continue to grow. I’m always looking to expand my own knowledge and grow with the trends. I’ve taught myself how to weld and use a plasma cutter and I am also expanding my carpentry knowledge every day. I really pour my heart and soul into my work. I literally do everything by myself. From creating and managing my website to research, development, social media, and photography. I find all of the objects that I will then restore and upcycle. I have curated only the finest materials to incorporate into my final pieces. I use new cloth wiring made to look old. I also use some of the best specialty lighting on the market and I periodically have new lighting created for me by the finest glass blowing artisans. I still work so hard daily to have a large online presence and a weekly flea market show to get more eyes on my work and interact with shoppers. The feedback I get is so valuable to my growth as an artist. It actually never stops or gets less difficult. The biggest lesson that I’ve learned is to never undervalue my work. A lot of people want to make you feel like you can’t command certain prices for your hard work and art, but that is a myth. There will always be someone out there that will see and appreciate the value of what you’re doing. The biggest challenge that I’ve faced thus far is not being able to market myself as well as I would like to, so my advice would be to get help anywhere you can find it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well barring a worldwide pandemic, we would go to many places. The Katsu-ya Group restaurants would probably be our nightly go-to for amazing sushi dinners. Disneyland is always on the itinerary. The Melrose Trading Post would have to be our Sunday stop because that’s where I have sold my art weekly for the last 8 years. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am grateful to my clients and the fans of my work. If it weren’t for their continued support and constant admiration and encouragement, I don’t know where I would be. I also want to shout out the many friends and family, that have seen my daily struggle, but always tell me not to give up. My cousin Mathew was a constant support, even helping me breakdown my setups at the end of my long flea market days. My BFF’s Gina and Marilyn are amazing for not only buying art pieces but also telling anyone who will listen about my art. There are so many people out there that have been a strong support system and just way too many to mention.
Linkedin: Lisa Raphael
The person I am pictured with is Josh Duhamel.