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Meet Paola Camille Reyes of Dear Beasties in El Monte

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paola Camille Reyes.

Paola Camille, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
As a child, I’ve always had this fascination and interest in art. I’ve always enjoyed drawing, coloring books, making crafts, basically anything about making and creating art. Fast forward to a couple of years ahead when I first stumbled upon clay through a random video I saw in YouTube. I was intrigued. Personally, I’ve never got the chance to play with clay before, even as a child. So I decided to give it a shot and out I went to a Michaels for some supplies.

From then on I was hooked. It was very satisfying having to sculpt what you want and have it hard and ready within a few hours. It was amazing!

As for the business side of things, I started selling my little clay creations in late 2015 but did not develop my own personal style until the end of 2016. Since then, I have been making little “beasties” and loving every minute of it.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My journey has been quite interesting. See, I started making my little figurines just a few months after I’ve given birth to our first child. My days and nights has been crazy specially being a first-time mother. Aside from being a first-time mother, I was also busy with work which I was lucky enough to be able to do from home. With that said, it was quite a challenge having to find time to work on creating. Let’s just say sleep was very minimal but the satisfaction of being able to take care of our son, work, and be able to create was enough to help me pull through.

After I started to get the hang of things, I got pregnant with our second child, our daughter. By the time our daughter was born, I had to quit my job and focused on taking care of our two small kids. Time was even tighter then. Managing our household, taking care of a baby and a toddler was eating up my entire time. I got used to it eventually and started to again find some time, even if it’s just for an hour while both my kids are asleep, to work on my little figurines.

From then on, as I got used to scheduling things around my kids, I was able to start focusing on my figurines again. Balancing time between my family and creations has been, and still, a challenge but somehow I always managed to work around it.

Please tell us about Dear Beasties.
Dear Beasties is a collection of cute and colorful little “beasties” made of clay. Its main focus is to create bright and happy creatures to help brighten up anyone’s day. My figurines range from sea creatures, land creatures, fantastical creatures, or, simply, any creatures I can think of.

I am definitely most proud of how far my little beasties and I have come. When I first started, I was mainly creating art based off pop culture stuff. Now I can proudly say that I have created my own style and that there are people out there who loves what I have made. I am forever thankful.

As for what sets my little beasties apart from others, I believe it’s the brightness and light each of my little beasties carries within them. My goal into making my little beasties is to help brighten anyone’s day whenever they set their eyes on any of my little creatures. To spread a little bit of happiness to anyone who might need it is our goal here.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Honestly, luck has a big part of helping me and my little business. First, I am lucky enough to be able to do what I do because of my husband and family’s support. I wouldn’t have had to courage to get my little store up and running with the confidence and support of my loved ones, especially my husband.

Second, I am lucky enough that social media is now a thing! Honestly, without social media, I wouldn’t have any idea where or how to showcase my little creations. Social media has made getting your business started and keeping your work seen very easily.

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