I have spent the beginning of this year on the business-side of Deesigns by Harris. I have taken online classes, read a wealth of information, listened to many a tutorial, and done heaps of homework. I have learned that in order to run a successful business, I must first know my “why” and my “who” with whom I would like to connect. Here is what I have learned thus far…
The What and Why of Deesigns by Harris
Deesigns by Harris is a business that offers inspiration, hope and motivation to you via the empowering art of artist and owner, Dee Harris. I am Dee and I create art for you! My purpose is to remind you that at this very moment everything is perfect just as it is. YOU are perfect. Life is perfect.
My passion of choice is stained glass. Glass has a life of its own and I use this vivacious media to create works of art that will touch your heart, to let you know that that everything will be okay, that you are awesome, that life is good.. Not always easy in this hectic world bombarding us with chaos, negativity, and the busyness of life. But just for a moment, be in the now. All is as it should be. All is perfect.
My Purpose: To share my experience, strength and hope with others to bring hope, optimism and light into their lives.
Who is Dee and what makes her tick?
I remember my counselor asking me who I am when I was in rehab. I thought for a moment and responded, “I’m a mom. I’m a wife. I’m a grocery checker.” “No. You are not. Think harder. All these responses can change in a heartbeat”, she replied. “You are a woman. You are of Chinese descent. You are an alcoholic. These will not change.”
It was during these 28 days in a treatment program for alcohol abuse that I started to really think, more so, to really feel. To start having moments of clarity. To begin my journey in learning who I really am and what I really stand for. Yes, today I am still an American woman of Chinese descent. I am still an alcoholic in recovery. I am gratefully still a mom and wife, but am no longer a grocery checker. Today I am an artist who offers emotion. Heart-felt emotion from the core of my being to the core of your being that we can share. Together we can share our experience, strength and hope. We can love and appreciate each other for who we are with all our flaws and defects and insecurities, knowing that we all have our own unique gifts that we can share with the world!
While in rehab one of the exercises we did every morning in Community was come up with an affirmation (noun: 1 an affirmation of faith: declaration, statement, assertion, proclamation, pronouncement, attestation; oath, avowal, guarantee, pledge; deposition; formal averment, asseveration. ANTONYMS denial.) and recite that affirmation every morning to the group. My affirmation was (and still is) “I am a good person. I am a whole person.”
Coming out of a pretty heavy alcohol addiction (dabbling with other substances as well leading up to that point) I felt anything BUT being good and whole. I had no purpose. I was a waste of space on this planet. I would look in the mirror and see “LOSER”. I hated myself and who I had allowed myself to become. Repeating this affirmation every morning allowed me to have hope, to have vision. to “fake it ’til you make it”.
One day at a time I began to feel more and more like a good and whole person. I began to learn about the disease of alcoholism. I began to learn about myself via the Twelve Step of Alcoholics Anonymous. The door was open and the seed was planted. I was a sponge excitedly learning who I am, like a baby adventuring out into the real world. And to this day I awake excited every morning to experience what the day, what my Higher Power, has in store for me to learn and expand my horizons.
My Mission: To remind you that you, too, are a good and whole person.
I shall create art that brings out your emotion…good and bad emotion…but taking you to that place of gratitude and humility. I shall create art that reminds you of living in the NOW, to feel proud of who you and and where you came from, about what matters and what doesn’t.
My Unique Value Proposition: Create art that makes you feel, that brings you back into the moment, to appreciate who and what you are.
Human beings (not human doings) on a spiritual journey whose lives can be enlightened by the message of Experience, Strength and Hope represented in my art. My target market is people who care about mankind, our planet (plants and animals) and, most importantly, themselves and sharing their message of hope and light.
My Target Market: Adults living a full life who need to be reminded of their gifts of self, their priorities, their journeys and accomplishments.
The Mana of Hawai’i
The honu, the aina, the aloha, the healing and nurturing, the people, the calmness, they all beckoned me to Hawai’i. I am blessed to live on the Big Island living a calm and peaceful life of joy and contentment, of service and passion.
One of the joys the islands have brought me is weaving lauhala. When my husband and I were unexpectedly care-flighted to Oahu for my husband to have an immediate bypass surgery, I found a Pandanus tree on the hospital grounds from which I plucked and prepped her lau to weave some bracelets. This was a very trying time with just the clothes on our backs, but I was able to stay calm and in the moment by weaving a ton of lauhala bracelets. I was able to be present and nurturing for my husband, while the island was present and nurturing for me. (My husband and soul-mate has recovered beautifully, by the way!)
For as long as I can remember hands have talked to me. They are so powerful and magical and strong. They are so healing and loving, protective and nurturing. This is the reason I create so many pieces of art with the Healing Hands, hands that carry a message that words could never say.
The fun and imaginative part of creating this pieces is that one never knows whose hands they are. I leave that up to the recipient and where that recipient is at that moment in time. Do these hands belong to our kupuna or our keiki? Are these God’s hands or those of our elders? Are they yours and mine? You choose. The hands and message will change as you change.
Currently the only show I am committed to is the Pure Kona Green Market which is the most awesome, feel-good market around! Many vendors share our hand-made and -produced local art, organic produce, baked goods, Kona coffee, and healthy foods with you. It’s such a fun market with live music I could listen to all day. And the people who attend and allow me to connect with them enrich my days…and my life! This market is held every Sunday at Amy Greenwell’s Botanical Garden in Captain Cook, Hawaii, from 9am – 2 pm. The rest of my sales come via my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com, Facebook at facebook.com/DeesignsByHarris, or word of mouth.
I have been approached to teach classes in stained glass, mosaic making and lauhala weaving. It is my hope to someday soon be able to offer small and intimate classes in which I can share my passions with you.
I have put mosaic and lauhala bracelet kits together which I shall soon offer on my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com. Before I post these though I would like to put together tutorials with fun and easy to use instructions. Please bear with me while I get my act together. I’ll keep you all in the loop!
Another suggestion I learned from my recent business classes is to put together videos. I now have a wealth of information to use so that I can use videos for my social media, blogs, newsletters, etc. I know I’d much rather watch a 3-minute video than read, read, read. How about you?