Today we’d like to introduce you to Lizbeth Molina.
Lizbeth, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I studied fashion merchandising with the dreams of being a corporate bigwig with a corner office and a secretary. Working a couple years in the fashion industry jumping to one fashion-related occupation to the next, I realized how painfully bored I was. The boredom led me to dive into various creative outlets and I had started making jewelry from Pinterest pins I had saved and a local retailer approached me to start selling them in her store and ask me what my business name was. It was the kindling that started Rawfinery. I hastily quit my job to pursue Rawfinery fulltime, yet didn’t plan too well for unemployment.
While styling shoots for jewelry I started including florals and I fell in love with floral design. In desperate need of some income, I thought well if I have to work at least I’ll make sure if I’m working I’ll have fun and thought florals would be a fun job so I dove right in and sent my very small portfolio to anyone who would give me a chance. A small event production, floral design and home decor shop hired me and here we are.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Floral design and Jewelry design are not easy careers in the slightest.
My jewelry line has been at a slight standstill because starting a jewelry line takes a ton of up-front capital, there’s acquiring all the tools and machines to create your designs that are very expensive, then precious metals-expensive, then packaging, branding, all so damn expensive all before you make your first sale.
Being a florist if one of the more exhaustive occupations I’ve ever worked. Floral designers are athletes and only the strong survive. It has been over years of back-breaking work that I’ve been able to gain the trust of my fellow floral designer. Trust is big in this industry because it’s all based on your network or referrals. So you level of skill and ability to move fast is key, yet that takes a ton of practice. It is a very competitive industry, like various creative careers you’ll probably be working for very little until you’ll get paid what you’re worth.
Please tell us about Rawfinery.
There is a land and sea element to my business Rawfinery.
I am known for my jewelry line that is inspired by the ocean as all the jewelry is hand carved and crafted with capiz shells and pearls by me. I am most proud when I see people wear my jewelry for special events or moments that are meaningful to them. I love it when I hear “I wore your earrings on my wedding day”. Because I spend quite a bit of time on a pair of earrings and to know that the time I spent to craft these pieces is valued on a sentimental level is an honor. Time is very important, how and what we spend our time on comprises our lives.
I also have a floral business that speaks to the beauty of the land. Floral design is how I like to play. Again a lush for the sentimental, I love being design the floral story of someone’s special day. I’m known for my installation work, I love to create ethereal, other worldly floral installations that act like a natural landscape.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
As children my mother always encouraged us to play outdoors and “use our imagination”, I’d often craft a fort outside and stay out in my fort during rainstorms and fall asleep to the rain. I grew up in south Florida, so rainstorms were frequent. Till today the sound of rain immediately makes me feel at home.
- Jewelry prices range from $25-$75
- Address: Long Beach, CA
- Website: www.rawfinery.com
- Phone: 9495294022
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @rawfinery
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RAWFINERY/
Jewelry Images by Jen Sosa Photography
Floral Images by Lara Lam Photography, Monica Wang Photography & Jen Sosa Photography