We had the good fortune of connecting with Robin Lyons and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Robin, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
In the nearly four years since starting my business, this has probably been the most challenging aspect for me. Since I do have another job as well, I have not had the luxury of making my business my top priority (as much as I would like to). And then of course, there are all the other priorities in life outside of work, like time with my husband, family and friends. I have definitely learned the value in letting go of certain pressures and expectations for myself in order to find a healthy balance. Work is very important, but I don’t believe life should revolve around it.
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 love to create designs that are elegant and understated, ones that allow the beauty of the gemstones to shine. I love to work with all kinds of stones, but I’d say that raw, unfinished stones, with all of their beautiful imperfections, are the most unique. With raw stones, no two pieces are ever alike. They are still so close to their story of how they were formed over time and where they were mined, which I find so fascinating. But regardless of the stones I use to make a piece, nothing is better than working one-on-one with a customer to design a custom piece. It is just so exciting to create something with a specific person or intention in mind. As far as challenges, I would say that one of the hardest parts has been allowing myself the grace of growing at a pace that is natural and manageable for me. It can be difficult at times to see the success of other small businesses and compare myself to them. It is still very much a work in progress, but I am learning to find inspiration through those moments rather than allow myself to feel somehow inferior.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For treats, I would take my best friend to Ozo Coffee Company on the Pearl Street Mall for their amazing mocha menu, Spruce Confections for scones, and Sweet Cow for ice cream! For meals, we would go to Hapa Sushi (in either Boulder or Denver – all amazing), West Flanders Brewing Co. for appetizers, and Foolish Craig’s Cafe for appetizers, burgers, and crepe cake! In Denver, we would visit the Milk Market and Denver Central Market for anything and everything. We would go on beautiful walks and hikes around Boulder, like Walden Ponds, Twin Lakes Open Space, and up to Estes Park for Rocky Mountain National Park.
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?
My husband! He has been my biggest cheerleader. When we moved to Boulder, I would spend hours just admiring the handmade jewelry in the shops on Pearl Street. At the time, I hadn’t made jewelry in a few years. He was the one to encourage me to get back to it, so I took a wire wrapping class at Nomad Beads (another shoutout!), and soon enough, I decided to take a chance on starting my own business! To this day, he is still so excited every time I show him a new design. He’s the best. I also want to give a shoutout to my Dad, who was always there for me at the very beginning. He was my companion at every craft show where I would sell my early beaded designs nearly twenty years ago. We would share funnel cake and he would give me his coat when I was cold. I’ll never forget those days.