It is with Great Honour that I get to feature one of my very best friends. Alissa and I met as I was moving in all my belongings to our newly shared basement suit. It was bold of both of us to trust our mutual friend and roommate on this new living arrangement. It was wise of both of us as it ended up being one of the best choices we ever made. (in my humble opinion)
Alissa, along with our friend Michelle, and I lived in our basement suit for just over 2 years. Sharing such close quarters for the first time with two very independent woman made for a lot of life learning experiences. We learned how to negotiate, how to compromise, how to love unconditionally, and how to survive on our own. There were nights of endless tears and weekends full of giggles and late night talks. We grew up and then we moved out. We each used this living situation as a stepping stone from our parents into our lives with our husbands. Being apart of each others big days and now apart of each others every day has been one of the greatest additions to my life.
Alissa is a dedicated Mother, Loyal Wife, Faithful Friend and Outstanding Artist. She brings joy with her wherever she goes and her humble attitude towards her many talents makes my heart soar. She is an artist on so many levels, yet you will never see her flaunt it about. So much talent pours out of her but all that she shoves in your face is love and laughter. That is really what I love about her. She is so real and honest and genuinely cares about the words that are coming out of your mouth. She shares her love for Jesus through her art and music. I always leave her presence feeling restored and inspired.
Etsy Shop : Feist and Flourish
Instagram : @feistandflourish
Facebook : Feist and Flourish
1. Besides Your leading role as an amazing Mother, what do you do to help provide for you family?
I’m taking a few years off from teaching High School students to be home with my kids, which means I spend my days snuggling and playing pirates. It’s amazing! But once nap time or bedtime rolls around, you’ll find me happily creating watercolour calligraphy paintings for people near and far. I started my calligraphy business, Feist and Flourish Modern Calligraphy, in the Fall of 2015. Having a creative outlet is invaluable in these long days of motherhood, and it’s nice to contribute a little bit to the family budget, too.
2. How many hours a week does it take up? What times of day do you normally take to work?
The amount of time I spend on Feist & Flourish really depends on how many custom orders I get in a given week. This week I have two custom orders in progress, and I will spend most evenings working on designs, sending sketches to the clients and painting the final pieces. Nap times are when I focus on conversing with my clients as we partner in bringing their ideas to life. I really enjoy this part, but wow, is it time consuming! At some point I hope to offer prints of my work. Until then, I like how custom work stretches me creatively, and of course, that final moment when the client tells me they love it! Social media is one of the main ways I connect with potential clients, and there is a really lovely calligraphy community on Instagram. I try to find one quiet moment in the day to do a quick update there, but there really are not enough hours in the day for this, and my kids win my attention every time!
3. What has been your outlet amongst all the craziness of motherhood and owning your own small businesses or working outside the home?
Feist & Flourish really is my outlet. In the down time between custom orders, you will still find me painting, honing my skills, trying new things. I often do this with my toddler at my side. We both take out our paints and brushes and get to work together. I am always delighted with his work! Right now he naturally veers towards limited colour palettes and every painting has a very involved and interesting backstory. His paintings are framed all over our home. I love learning together with him, and look forward to my daughter being old enough to join in, too!
4. How does your husband support you?
My husband has been incredibly supportive. He’s an artist as well, and really values and “gets” the drive to make new things. He recently cleared out a corner in his (very full!) office so I could have a mini studio space. I always look forward to the evenings we spend side by side at our desks, each working on our own projects.
5. Do you think your children know you have another job other than being their personal chauffeur, cook, and bed time snuggler?
Nope, to my toddler it’s all just painting together!
6. What is your favorite day of the week and why?
Sundays! My husband and I love our little church and are pretty involved in it. I help lead the singing and always leave inspired. I believe God is the source of my creativity, and so often I come home from the gathering excited to letter truths from the morning scripture reading, or a special lyric from a worship song. We reserve Sundays for family and friends, rest and renewal, so while I don’t do paid work on Sundays, I always pick up my brushes (or my camera or guitar) and create as a worshipful act.
7. What has been your greatest asset as a small business owner?
The business side of things doesn’t come naturally to me; it’s the passion and fun of painting that propels me on. Feist & Flourish is new, and I have so much to learn. I’m grateful for the calligraphers that share so honestly about their businesses on Instagram and other places on the web. I love my #calligrafriends!
8. What is the hardest part about working as well as raising a family?
The cliche is true: there are not enough hours in the day. I wish I could have more hours just for being a Mom, nevermind my little business. My babies are always the main joy and priority of my days. Any extra time for painting and working on my shop is a bonus!
9. What dreams do you have for your future when your children are not so little anymore?
I’d love to keep painting and growing Feist & Flourish.Working with text as a calligrapher, I feel there is such an opportunity to put positive messages, hope and joy out into the world. It’s such a personal thing to pick a passage of scripture or quote for your home. It really is such a joy and an honour to be invited to create for people.
10. How old are your children? Are their anymore children in your family’s future?
I have an almost 3 year-old boy and an almost 1 year-old girl. Their birthdays are a week apart and we are gearing up for a shared shindig later this month. I’m not sure if there are more children in our future, but I will say that adoption has always made my heart go pitter-patter. That may figure into our family’s future!
11. What would be the best present to receive on Mother’s day?
A homemade card! They really are the best, aren’t they? And I love a good picnic.
12. What was the best present you ever gave your mom?
I have made my mom a homemade card every single Mother’s Day since I was old enough to write. I know she likes the gifts that come with them, but she has a frame in her kitchen with all the cards her kids have made her. I think that speaks volumes.
13. Morning or night person?
I feel the most creative late at night, and have to force myself to put the brushes down and head to bed.
Thank you So much for taking time away from painting and raising those babes to let me interview you. I am in love with how you take on life and love on those children of yours. You are such a great mother and your art is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing both with the world. Happy Mothers Day!