Sometimes Becoming A Masterpiece Means Becoming A Work Of Art
Although I've been making and selling jewelry since a child, 2008 is when the journey of Cherné Altovise, the business really began. From my first wholesale orders of boxes, shopping bags, etc to designing my first collection and debuting it through my own runway shows; this is when I really started becoming the designer you see here today. At 18 years old that's a huge thing, but I never noticed I always just kept going and focusing on my goals. In college I held my head down, I lived off campus in my first apartment, and I worked all the time to pay my bills towards the end I even had two jobs. This never allowed me to even come close to becoming big headed, snobby, or anything else you may associate with girl bosses, artists, or entrepreneurs in general. Instead I had to do lists, goals and planners. Once a task was completely I checked it off and that goes for my jewelry orders, homework assignments, and washing dishes (well that's another story lol). I treated my business, school, work, and personal life all with the same priority. Seeing that long list never discouraged me because I always knew that I'm just one person and as long as I do one thing at a time, to the best of my ability, and in a timely manner it would all eventually get done.
There's No Work of Art Without Work
Because I didn't network, party, or join any groups in school all I knew and had were my customers. And when you only focus on what you know that's when the expertise on who you're creating for follows. Focusing on who you have and not who you think you should be designing for is how you can really zero in on your market. I knew exactly who my clientele was, and they rarely weren't my peers so there was no need, in my mind, to market to them. Big mistake!
As a designer or artist we become so caught up in our work we become cut off from the world around us, this is possible even in a world of social media. I took pride in having the ability to keep everything in my life separate instead of blending it all into one; so when I was at work I was working I only talked about my jewelry when asked about the pieces I was wearing, when I was in school the same thing, and so forth. One of my biggest mistakes, in the thought of being professional, was not being true to who I was. So if you met me in Nordstrom and sometimes even outside, you would get sales person/ stylist/ Department manager Cherné, if you met me in school you would get merchandising buyer/ Fashion major Cherné, and finally if if I thought you fit my demographic or really like my pieces you would get jewelry designer Cherné and sometimes one or two of those other ones if I really liked you.
Honestly it has not been until now that I realized, I wasn't being private or professional I was being ingenious to me. I was defining myself by what i thought was my greatest achievement at the time or, according to the person I was talking to, what I thought they wanted to hear. By doing this I wasn't really engaging in the conversation to share the real me but instead profiling the person or the overall conversation. As a Virgo I'm very analytical and as an artist I'm sensitive about my shit, so I tend to get in my head about a lot of things. Becoming a work of art takes work and not just your artistry but yourself as a person. You don't want three people to meet you and have three different bios or ideas about you so define yourself by what truly makes you happy or all of who you truly are. I was worried that when someone heard all of what I did they would think (which has happened) I couldn't do my job or any of those entirely things 100%. So I often became sidetracked on making a timeline and order to how I could achieve things which ultimately always pushed my dream and business in the future. I was always worried about people not believing me if I told them yes I'm 18-21, in school full time sometimes taking 6 classes, working as a merchandising buyer at Liebermans Bookstore, working as a salesperson/ stylist/ assistant manager/ department manager at Nordstrom, and running my own business. It seemed right to me at the time, but who cared if they believed me or not, that IS what I was doing, and I was doing it well!!!! I maintained a high gpa in school, got raises/ more responsibilities as a buyer at Liebermans even began helping with their second location, I was the top salesperson on my floor at Nordstrom/ getting promoted to stylist then to assistant manager, then just thirty days laters to department manager and a year later again to a bigger department, and I had a business with a website/ just starting to wholesale my jewelry to boutiques. It amazes me when I type it all out or think about it but that was the REAL me. The real Cherné, the go getter and achiever. I just wish I made that clear back then. I often think who knows where I could be if I did that more.
There's a big difference between letting your work speak for you and just not speaking.
When you treat yourself like a work of art you, in turn, become your greatest masterpiece! Now that I have taken you on a long winded but short version of my journey, mistakes, and personality I will talk about how you can allow the universe to transform them in to a timeless masterpiece. Here at Cherné Altovise we preach that it's never too early to begin your dreams. Because I as a designer started so young with so much support; it's my message to those that don't think they can do it. I saw other children and teenagers being asked what's your backup plan, when everyone around me was only asking what I could do next! We need to empower each other instead of questioning them. If we believe that God made us with a purpose who are we to question what and who someone else feels they should be or do? And as the person on the receiving end of this we need to go from "why?" To "why not?" Sometimes people's negatively can be out in front of you as a challenge to see how true and determined you can be to yourself.
As as soon as I wasn't afraid to shy away or dull down everything that I am and have accomplished is exactly when my Masterpiece of me began to paint itself. Why should anyone else believe or support you when you don't believe in yourself? How can you receive if you refuse to ask? Call me childish but I still follow the rule it never hurts to ask and trust me I wouldn't be anywhere if I hadn't. Leaving my fulltime career came a lot from my personal life and me constantly asking the question if I can do this here and for someone else why couldn't I do this for myself. If I could only design fulltime there's no way I couldn't survive. And even if leaving my comfort zone left me broke I would at least me happy and still so young to start again. Sometime when you finally take a leap Mother Nature just decides to give you wings.
I now don't mind telling everyone about the powerhouse that lives inside me because my consistency is what contributes to my success. Before I was so focused on how I was being perceived that I was numbing my myself down in the process. There's a big difference between letting your work speak for you and just not speaking. Speak things into existence, speak highly of yourself, and remember you are your greatest masterpiece! Sell your prints until someone is willing to pay the appreciated value of your original. In other words everything doesn't have to have a price or high pay just never sell yourself too short! Understand how to meet a demand while acknowledging the fact that everyone doesn't have the residual income to afford you. Okay I'm done with all the artist puns but you get the picture 😉
Sincerely my greatest design,
- Cherné Altovise, the masterpiece 💋
Jewelry seen in picture:
Being a Fashion Stylist and Jewelry designer, my life revolves around fashion, food and people. In these blogs you will find advice, tips, and references for all the best I have to offer about my brand, myself, home, and more.