Today in the Spotlight: Ms. Tonya Boezi of Secret Garden Notes. She loves creating unique and interesting pieces for her customers to enjoy. Tonya has found that creating solid perfumes to go into her work has added a delightful element to the creative process. Her love of experimenting with different fragrance combinations is endless and you never know what fabulous new scent is just around the corner.
The ritual of applying solid perfume is sensory and seductive and in this fast paced hectic world who couldn’t use a little more of that!
Another nice aspect of Tonya’s solid perfume is that it doesn’t overwhelm a room, it is more subtle and requires close contact in order to really experience the true scent.
So if you are looking for a unique and sensual way to have your favorite fragrance available at any time throughout the day then check out Secret Garden Notes, you won’t be disappointed!
We caught up with Tonya and asked her a few questions so you get to know her better:
What’s the story behind your company and what inspires you?
Secret Garden Notes was born out of my love for vintage jewelry and an experience I had at an Estate Sale in Raleigh, NC. At this estate sale I came upon a locket that I found stunning.
Upon further inspection I noticed that the front of the locket was all filigree, which seemed odd as I always thought vintage lockets were for the purpose of storing beloved photographs or possibly a locket of hair.
I learned that back in the Victorian era, when personal hygiene was restricted, this type of locket was worn. It was meant to house a small cushion in the center to which a few drops of perfume would be added, the sweet smelling fragrance was used to mask the odor of a person or their companions. Not a very romantic thought but certainly a unique way of dealing with a not so pleasant situation!
What inspires me is all things vintage, be it jewelry, photographs, clothing, furniture, etc.
My love of vintage has been such a part of who I am, even from a very early age. When I was a child we had a cottage in the 1000 Islands, on the border of N.Y. and Canada.
One of my families favorite past times was to take our boat out to Boldt Castle on Heart Island. Back then Boldt Castle was not restored so anyone could go out and explore the castle and it’s grounds.
The story behind Boldt Castle is actually a tragic love story.
Construction began on Boldt Castel in 1900 at the bidding of millionaire hotel magnate George C. Boldt as a tribute to his beloved wife Louise. Boldt Castel was to be their summer dream home. Unfortunately it was not meant to be as Mrs. Boldt passed away just months before completion.
It was so much fun to wander around this abandoned castle dreaming about what it would have looked like had it been completed, what Mr. and Mrs. Boldt may have looked like, what they wore, how the castle would have looked inside if they had ever lived there.
Whenever I see vintage items I always imagine there is a wonderful story behind them and it’s intriguing to dream about their history.
What is your favorite product to make?
My favorite product to make is a toss up between the actual jewelry itself and the solid perfume that I put inside. I can’t imagine making one without the other so to me these two items are wonderfully merged.
How would you describe your style in 3 words?
I would describe my style as Timeless Vintage Elegance.
In your opinion, what’s the best part of being an entrepreneur?
The best part of being an entrepreneur is the ability to choose what direction you feel your business should take. No one is dictating to you how you should create your items, how they should be marketed, how they should be priced, etc. All successes, and failures, are yours to own and with that comes the freedom of deciding how best to proceed.
If you were to start all over again, what would you do differently?
This is actually my second Etsy business so I really wouldn’t change anything right now. I guess you could say that Secret Garden Notes was born because the first time around I wasn’t creating from my soul. If I could do it differently I would have started creating items that I truly adored versus items that other people loved and suggested I start selling.
Any advice for other crafters who are just starting?
My advice for crafters who are just starting out is to be passionate about what you do, but most importantly, don’t do it for the hope of making big money. There is so much hard work and time that goes into running your own handmade business. If I were to calculate the hours I have put in over the past several years I would be well on my way to retiring early!
This is the type of business you should start if you really enjoy your craft, are a self starter and have perseverance.
What’s next? Any plans for the future?
My immediate plans for the future involve a second line I am working on called Outlaw Glam. This line is currently in my Secret Garden Notes shop. If it should expand then I will most likely create another shop solely for that line. Outlaw Glam is a combination of Vintage elegance mixed with a bit of edginess.
*** If you are a successful artisan with an online store and fabulous products and would like to be “In the Spotlight”, feel free to submit your info. ***