Meet Jen! founder & owner

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...jen o'connor's...Artful Adventures & Daily Inspirations

I Love Art, Adore the Handmade and Treasure the Vintage. I am the Fun Mom, the Silly Friend and the Writer who wants to make more room for beauty in the everyday.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

what's in a name

Just yesterday I received an e-mail from a potential collector of Jennifer Lanne's work...she asked, "How did you come up with "Earth Angels" for your business name?"

And so I answered, "...artists, in using their talents to create, are magic to me angels on Earth...".

I looked at this piece called "The Earth Angel", created by my friend Debbee Thibualt, and began to reflect...I’ve been in business 12 years...and that business has evolved along the way. The journey has taken me from a small start dabbling with dolls and bears, and then soft sculpture, to a yellow brick road leading from Jody Battaglia to the world of folk art. In that realm of paper mache, assemblage, mixed media and so many textures, I fell in love.
Along the way I got pregnant with my first baby and left a career in urban planning. I had a fab job at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, where I worked to help US manufactures and designers sell their products overseas,...sigh...but motherhood called.

The website was launched by my pal Paul in 2000...there were just a handful of sites back then. The site, in its infancy, was a wee foothold in the cyber wilderness. Paul, my brave pioneer of a webmaster, grew it to it's present stature.

Shows and travel were a huge part of my growth...getting out there...meeting artists, collectors, enthusiasts...seeing the reaction of customers to work in person.

I just came across my date book from 2002, the year my second child was born and we left the City and moved to Warwick. I did 30 shows and appearances. That almost seems impossible...were there really that many shows to do? And, how did I manage that? I think Bob and Jim made it work! Thanks to you fellas for loading that big blue van all those times, in all those states... I went to FL, CA, MO, DC, MA, CT, VT, NJ, MD, IL, OH, and more...

And now, so many of the collector shows I loved, attended, and where I sold as a vendor, are a thing of the not too distant past...and yet, as much trouble as they were (early rise, load in, set up, pack up, drive home) I miss them. The growth of the Web and internet sales, along with the disintegration of the show network forced me and my business to evolve yet again...
I started my Spring Soiree, the Fall Fete and the Valentine's Day Tea with the help of Jennifer Murphy and my sister-in-law Joanne (who now owns her own Tea Room)....I still wanted to see folks...and present the artists' creations in person where they could be held and touched. So many wonderful customer friends and collectors followed me and my events...their support and enthusiasm igniting my spirit! Ro and you remember that first little party with 16 guests under the apple trees?
And the artists...through all of this, ever creating...ever inspiring!
...and now it's 2008....the Earth Angels Artists have worked to create their own show for the public. Fifteen artists will present more than 2,000 original creations at the "heART of winter" here in Warwick next weekend...February 2nd & 3rd at 40 Main Street
in the Gallery at The Country Life.
We've had calls from folks coming in from NV, CA, MI, FL, DE, NH, PA, NJ, VT, MA, CT, AZ, and more who are coming in to see the show, meet the artists and be inspired by their creations....and a ton of calls from folks who have seen the event highlighted in the calendar of events in this month's "Country Living" magazine.
I hope you can be a part of it too. This is a new adventure for all of us involved, and I am excited beyond words. It is my hope that we are all beginning a new and wonderful tradition together.
Jen O'Connor


Doreen Frost said...

Hello. I have long been an admirer of Earth Angels. It is my dream to be one of your Artist.

Earth Angels is a wonderful name and I enjoyed hearing the history of how you got it all started.

30 shows!!!! I can not even imagine....Goodness!!

Best wishes


Theresa said...

Dear Jen,

Who knew your love of art would take you so far. I hope there are many happy years to come and remember change is never a bad thing.... though there maybe some growing pains along the way. :)

Big Bear Hugs,


rh said...

I just love that picture. Can you share with us what is behind the angel? It is such a great painting!

Melissa Valeriote said...

What an amazing life journey you're on. To be surrounded by so many talented artists, collectors and friends must be like living a dream. You are the light that the angels are drawn to.

Heather said...

As an artist with a little one myself, I am relieved to see that it is indeed possible to follow your artistic heart and still be able to devote yourself to your family! I just started my own art business this fall and hope to be able to look back with such happiness as you do! You've got a great business with fantastic artists, happy to have found your site!

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