Dime & Regal

STAYING CREATIVE WHILE ADULTING

CreativityCourtney Jones
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I recently had a customer come into the store who brought up the topic of staying creative into adulthood. Now I know this is something I clearly have a bias on, but my years being a creative professional has truly shown me how much creativity does for the brain. And life. And happiness. Just trust me for a second (or a few while you read this).

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This particular woman worked it the medical field and loved being able to use the other side of her brain through creative activity. She would make sure to take time to paint, draw, or make a scarf. These little additions to your life do more than you think- they strengthen connections in your brain you don’t get elsewhere. They help you see the world. They help you process information. They help you destress. (If this isn’t enough to convince you, read more about the benefits of creativity in a previous post).

These little creative bursts are something we all need- even, no ESPECIALLY, if you work in a more analytical work setting. Now, you may be saying… “But I can’t paint.” or “I’m not creative”. Well thats a bunch of bull. Painting, drawing, sculpting- anything creative, can be learned, or re-learned to be more exact. This concept seems to be unknown to most, as creativity is often understood to be an innate talent found at birth. Well, it’s not. It is found through hours and hours of making, of CREATING. You just have to remind your brain where to start.

Now before you start talking about how bad your memory is, just remember we encourage our children to imagine, to play, to DREAM… don’t let the fear of adulting squash that. Take that step and give your brain back it’s creative juice. Let your mind wander to those hidden areas that have been long forgotten. Because, the point is that they are still there.

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MADE IN CHINA (SAID NO ONE HERE.)

Courtney Jones

Made in China. Made in India. Made in Thailand. These notes can be read on a majority of household products and most people just scoff and proceed to buy them anyway. But why? Is it such an expectation that we no longer believe things can be made anywhere else? Why do we simply accept this, shoot for the bargain, and forgo cultivating our local economy?

Hillary of Hillary Dragon Ceramics | Grand Rapids, MI

Hillary of Hillary Dragon Ceramics | Grand Rapids, MI

We have become the nation proclaiming “why not, it’s only $2.99?” over and over again. Well, I’ll tell you why not. Our shortsighted bargain hunting is not only killing small businesses, but also smashing the heartfelt dreams of young makers.

Now, I do come from a large Dutch family where coupons and bargain deals are a way of life, but my efforts in the handmade have shifted this train of thought and unveiled the greater understanding of what it means to cultivate your local economy. When the veil is lifted and you see behind the scenes, you can openly enter the conversation of fair pay, ethical sourcing, and communal support. This understanding helps build lives full of beauty, intention, and gratification. So why not? Why not choose better?

Dime & Regal has always been about the handmade. When we started, our little storefront sat on the Avenue for the Arts in Grand Rapids where we began supporting a small group of artists & makers. It was important that we only sourced products that were made in our immediate community- supporting our neighbors and economy. This community, this CULTURE, is what helped us strive to be better- better products, better ethos, and a better focus on serving our community.

Samantha McIntosh & Baby Dax | Grand Rapids, MI

Samantha McIntosh & Baby Dax | Grand Rapids, MI

Knowing where, how, and who makes your products are a huge factor in what we do here at our little shop. We want to share with you the process of how something is made, as well as show you the hands that made it. Each one of our products is handcrafted by someone who lives and works in your community- they are your neighbors. Maybe your kids are friends at school, or maybe you have the same commute to work. You may even QUITE LITERALLY be neighbors.

The point here is that by buying their products instead of something across the ocean, you are supporting someone you can see and interact with-someone who turns around and supports you. THIS is real community, real support, and real effort being put into local economy. So lets keep cultivating this culture by shopping local and supporting our makers.

Now, after all of that, I will ask you… are those bargains really worth the price? Or should you pay full price and support a family here in Michigan. Food for thought, feed your soul (and feed the family next door by supporting local makers.)

Treetops Collective | Grand Rapids, MI

Treetops Collective | Grand Rapids, MI

Becky of Fresh Coast Candles | Holland MI

Becky of Fresh Coast Candles | Holland MI

Gwen of Stillcraft Co. | Grand Rapids, MI

Gwen of Stillcraft Co. | Grand Rapids, MI


BUYING JEWELRY FOR YOUR VALENTINE...

Shopping, JewelryCourtney Jones

Ok, let’s talk about Valentine’s Day stress. Because it is a thing. A very real thing. Have you ever gone into a store looking for the perfect gift, fully aware of the fine line you are walking? Your thoughts consumed with whether or not they will they like it, if it's their style, and most importantly… will they actually wear it? Well, stop stressing. We can help.

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Picking out jewelry for a loved one is actually quite the intimate process between two people. Because jewelry is worn on the body, it is often used as a way to share identity, style, and personality- which is why the process is a bit stressful at times. Because of this, we have come up with a few ways to help you find the perfect gift:

  1. Metal Type: This is a big one, but luckily usually very apparent. Just take note if they wear gold, rose gold, or silver more often.

  2. Size: Yes. Size Matters. A LOT. So just simply take note if they wear delicate jewelry or something a bit more bold.

  3. Design: This takes a bit more to notice, but your partner will be sure to be impressed if you do! Try to notice if the pieces have complicated design elements (stones, multiple connection points, etched patterns, etc) or a more simple taste. Because this tip is a bit more complicated, here are some photos to help you distinguish:

Detailed Design | by Laurel Karnecki Fine Jewelry

Detailed Design | by Laurel Karnecki Fine Jewelry

Simple Design | by Samantha McIntosh Jewelry

Simple Design | by Samantha McIntosh Jewelry

The necklace by Laurel Karnecki has a few different components that make it more detailed. For one, it has a stone. This automatically adds more detail. Second it has multiple bails (chain hooks) that loop around the stone…. thus more complicated. The necklace by Samantha McIntosh has a simple chain with one tube pendant. Just try to think about how ornate a piece is and then tie that back to your partner’s taste.

Well, those are our tips & tricks to the jewelry buying this valentines day! Hope it helps. And if not, don’t worry, we have a great exchange policy ;)


KEEPING THOSE WINTER BLUES AT BAY... ALONG WITH LIFE'S CRAP.

CreativityCourtney Jones

If you are anything like me, I STRUGGLE during these winter months. I’m always tired, I lay around the house and barely ever get outside. Michigan is great and I love it with all my heart, but sometimes it is a bitter-sweet kind of love… one that is sometimes hard to see. But here we are, January number 28 for me in this great state, and I may need a bit of a reminder of staying positive and creative in the dark grey winter days…

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A few January’s ago, while battling the winter blues, I met a good friend for coffee and we chatted about how we don’t ever paint anymore. Maybe it was the winter blues talking, but I think it was something deeper coming out. Staying creative is hard enough as an adult, so if you add in the stress of work, kids, dirty dishes, laundry mountains, and general life stuff, you barely have the head space to even THINK about your creative practice.

It’s hard. Like REALLY hard. But we knew the benefits of adding in bits of creativity into life, and being 100% honest, we knew it was necessary for our sanity. Being a business woman, I had to evaluate of the ROI of adding ‘creative time’ into my life. So here are a few things to consider when it comes to creativity:

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  1. Reduces Stress & Anxiety: Yes. This is in fact, a proven fact. Letting yourself go a bit really does help your brain manage all those feelings and emotions. So, take a dose of creativity to help soothe those stressful times life tosses your way.

  2. Increases Awareness: Being creative helps you see the world around you. It not only helps you look at the world differently, but also process that incoming information with a wider outlook.

  3. Increases Confidence: Ever say to yourself, “I can’t draw” or “I’m not creative enough” Well thats bull. If you practice you will get better! Creativity can be learned.

  4. Builds Resilience: Creativity often comes with those things called MISTAKES. By making, solving, and moving on from mistakes, one not only builds confidence, but also learns how to let go and manage the not-so-perfect aspects of life. Which is pretty much everything.

When you consider all of this it seems pretty straight forward. Creativity is life’s little secret to handle all the crap that happens on a daily basis! Take time for YOU and your creative practice- do the things that stir your brain and fill your heart. Be Creative. Live Regal.


Not sure where to start with all of this? Well, try one of our workshops! We have a little bit for everyone. Nervous? No problem, just email kpischner@dimeandregal.com with any questions!


BEHIND THE SHOP… AND THE COUNTER.

Dime & Regal, AboutCourtney Jones

There is always so much going on here at Dime & Regal and since you don't see the late nights, the early mornings and the many hours in between, we thought we would show you behind the scenes of what we do!!

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Samantha (Left) & Courtney (Right). Yes, we know we look a lot alike.

Samantha (Left) & Courtney (Right). Yes, we know we look a lot alike.

You probably have already meet the two owners of the store, Courtney Jones & Samantha McIntosh, which is because these two ladies work ALL of the open hours. Yes, that's right. They are the ones who are not only behind the business, but also behind the counter when you visit. They are part of everything that makes Dime & Regal what it is- even down to the dusting & mopping!

I’m not kidding. These women do EVERYTHING. They find artists, curate the products, build displays, keep up social media, maintain the website, and even grout tile with babies in hand! 👶🏻🙌🏻


Samantha with her 3rd baby, Dax. He spent a lot of time helping us build the store. #ShopBaby

Samantha with her 3rd baby, Dax. He spent a lot of time helping us build the store. #ShopBaby

If that’s not impressive enough, both of these women are also artists in the store! Samantha has her coveted line of fine jewelry, including delicate simple items for daily wear, as well as her unique line of bridal jewelry 💎💍

Courtney owns both Sable Jewelry and Sable Candle Co. Yes. That’s right. These women own & run TWO businesses EVERY DAY… clearly the number one skill of owning a small business is multitasking, (upon multitasking, upon multitasking…)


Logo Tattoo. Thats how much we love this store! #BrandedForLife

Logo Tattoo. Thats how much we love this store! #BrandedForLife

You may be asking, WHY? Why would you take on so much, give up sleep and most (if not all) of your sanity?! 

Well, it’s because we believe in what we do. We do everything we can to support local artists & makers by connecting them to their customers. We believe in our mission because it not only helps each individual and family involved, but it also helps our local economy flourish just by having a cozy space for the community to #ShopLocal. We couldn't ask for a better reason to loose a bit of our sanity ;)

As always, make sure to follow us to hear more about how we do what we do!! Check out our website, Facebook & Instagram. Have other questions about our store? Always feel free to reach out to us at info@dimeandregal.com. See you soon!


Great place for myself and for gifts for loved ones. Courtney and Samantha are awesome and have great customer service.
— Juli W. (Dime & Regal Customer)