We had the good fortune of connecting with Cathy Purdy and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cathy, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
After leaving the corporate world after 20 years, I had the urge to stay connected to the business and find a way to dive into new skill sets that would benefit me if I were to ever return to the workforce. I turned toward my passion for the creative arts and opened my online shop in just a few months. Even though I had a long-time background in marketing, this was an exciting chance to learn more about entreprenurship, digital marketing, and eCommerce.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m now a pixie designer focusing on what I call “Handmade Kindness.” It’s all about inclusion, inspiration, and personalization. When I design a new piece, there’s a family or friend in mind who influences me. I’m very proud when Jewish and African American clients tell me they appreciate seeing something uniquely and beautifully made for them. That’s how I know I’m doing the right thing.

Giving voice to the Pixies is what makes me stand apart from other artists. I love inspirational quotes and started attaching small twill ribbon tags that say “Shine On,” “Dream Big,” and “Be You”. It’s exciting, and now I have this “Pixie Power” theme going on that has elevated my work.

Defining your art style is an ongoing evolution. I’m creating Pixies, yes, but I’m diving into a complex layering process of handpainted faces, machine-stitched felt, flower petals, embroidery floss colors, personalization touches, and customized hair and skin colors. Things are always more than it seems.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned over the years is you won’t know unless you start. It’s so true. You can’t make a mistake if you never try and learn from it. Being flexible and trusting your instincts is what you need to grow into your business. Being open to new things and experimenting is the best way to explore your talent, and your clients will take notice.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my friend was visiting me I’d tell her to come and enjoy all the wonderful art festivals we have here in the suburbs of Atlanta like the Norcross Art Splash, Duluth Fall Festival, and the numerous holiday festivals in the winter. We’d visit the High Museum, the Atlanta Botanical Museum and enjoy tea at Dr. Bombays’s Underwater Tea Party when we are hanging out downtown.

But in Gwinnett, we’ll immerse ourselves in all the Asian eats up here: Kung Fu Teahouse for a bubble tea, Dai Loi for a bowl of Vietnamese Pho, Jang Su Jang for some Korean BBQ, and for dessert: Mac Lab for a very artsy decorated macaroon or The Sweet Spot for a luscious cupcake in a multitude of flavors like mango and lychee.

For one night of dinner, we’ll enjoy a long-time German restaurant called Kurts Bistro. Of course, shopping at Personify and Hello Rainbow in Duluth is a must. Shopping at Scotts Antique Market is always a fun experience too.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have to give a shoutout to the person who knows me best. My husband, Brent, encouraged me to take that first step and continues to tell me to do my own thing. His ability to see what I couldn’t push me forward to be more than I was a year ago.

Website: www.runawaypixies.com

Instagram: @runawaypixies

Facebook: @runawaypixies

Yelp: Cathy P.

Image Credits
Jenn Cardinell Photography

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