What do I want to be in 2017?

It's almost 2 months into the new year, and I'm just getting around to writing about my big brainstorming/planning 2017 session.

I have some big plans for this year.

I want to do better, be better, think better.

I want to make changes to how I do business and what I focus on.

I figured talking about my intentions will give you some context.

You may have noticed a transition on my instagram to something more vocal and passionate. 

I'm going to keep doing that.

I wanted to live 2017 by 3 words. Something I saw from The Productivityist and wanted to implement. This is a look behind the curtain of how I got to my 2017 words.

**Stuff in italics is straight from my private journal**

what do I want to be in 2017? 

  • I want to be a better human being. 
  • I want to expand my horizons and understandings
  • I want to empathize with others and grow close meaningful relationships
  • I want to prioritize my health and well being
  • I want to do more good, in my profession, in my community, in the country
  • I want to be unapologetic about what Little Eli is, what it stands for, and what it isn’t
  • I want to stand up more. for myself, for my health, for others
  • I want to realize there is strength in seeing hope fade
  • I want to grow Little Eli as a force for creating the good I want to see in the world
  • I want to make more things.  
  • I don’t want to limit myself
  • I want to redefine what it means to make jewelry 
  • I want to connect with my audience, my peers, and my community
  • I want to forge new connections with people I admire


  • Grow
  • Spread
  • Expand
  • Empathize
  • Aspire
  • Defy
  • Validate
  • Create
  • Connect
  • Redefine
  • Forge

I narrowed it down & my three words for 2017 are:


I wrote them on the front of my Volt Planner so I don't forget.

Next I themed & planned out the first 6 months of 2017.

  • January: Batching Content
  • February: Forging Connections
  • March: Expanding the Hell Yeah Brush Lettering Course
  • April: Building Habits
  • May: Designing Jewelry
  • June: Defying Norms

I worked through the Map Making Guide by Tara Swiger (my favorite planning tool to date), set a big 6 month goal, grouped tasks in the appropriate months, and then scheduled everything with Todoist so I actually move forward. (Todoist is the reason for 85% of my progress so far this year.)

Then I themed my days, which has really helped me stay on top of some important admin/activism stuff, but has let me fall behind on other more creative stuff. 

  • Monday: Batching
    • Scheduling out content, writing, editing photos, posting in the shop.
  • Tuesday: Connecting
    • ctivism stuff, professional stuff, emails mostly.
  • Wednesday: Admin
    • ending to the shop, packaging orders, customer service stuff.
  • Thursday: Inspiration
    • It's amazing what happens when you set aside time to be inspired and to absorb the world.
  • Friday: Designing
    • efining sketches done during the inspiration stage.
  • Saturday: Creative Activities
    • aking the stuff I refined on Friday, taking photos & exploring downtown, sketching for sketching's sake.
  • Sunday: Household
    • aking sure my home is running smoothly, taking time for myself to recharge. 

Honestly. I'm falling behind on my big goal. But I recognize that it's the result of trying to do too much at once, so I'm working on managing my time better, and sticking to my themed days better.

If you wanna chat about how you're working on your 2017, message me on instagram. That's where I hang out.

LifeAmelia Rusbar
The Story Collection

I don't write product descriptions.

I write product stories. I write to create an emotional connection between you, and the design. I write to give this little piece of concrete and copper, a special place in your heart.

This time I wrote my stories a little bit differently. This time I wrote a short story, with each necklace being a piece of that story. Each represents a small vignette. A small piece of a good day. A small piece to remind you to enjoy the little things. 

Read their stories in order below. 

2016-09-26 07.34.38 1.jpg


Beep. Beep. Beep. Bee... You turn over and raise your hand to your eyes to block the sun. You groan. Your feet on the cold wood floor as you shuffle to the bathroom. A quick shower has you awake, but not yet fully refreshed. While brushing your teeth, you debate even putting on eye-shadow today. The cat joins you on the sink, pawing at the faucet. You leave it dripping for her as you dry your hair. You run your fingers through it, stand up straight, puff out your chest, hands on your hips, and give yourself the most aggressive look you can muster up. The cat mews in approval. Today is a good day.

2016-09-26 07.34.44 1.jpg


Coffee drips down the side of the pot as you set it back on the counter. Today is something special. You're trying out a new blend from that cute little store on your commute home. It's more expensive, but the associates know how their stuff, and they made you a special blend. Today you need the extra kick. The subtle flavors and spices roll around your tongue as you sip slowly, leaning against the counter. The cat weaves between your ankles. You put some food out for her and ruffle her head fluff a bit. You tell her your plans for the day. She mews in approval. You grab your keys and are out the door. Today is a good day.

2016-09-26 07.34.34 1.jpg


There's a pile of paperwork on your desk. You throw back the last sip of coffee before setting your cup down and getting to work. You get lost in your revisions. Your team is really killing it this quarter. You spend a minute being proud of what you've built. Next page, more revisions. You notice the time. You worked through lunch. You didn't plan to work through lunch. But it happens often when work stops feeling like work. You grab your bag and head downstairs to see what the food trucks have to offer. Hell yeah taco truck. Today is a good day.

2016-09-26 07.34.41 1.jpg


You balance your taco sampler on the edge of the truck's window, reaching for your ringing phone. Just in time, You swipe it open and hold it under your ear with your left shoulder. Tacos in hand, you wave to the attendant and step back from the window, stopping for napkins and a splash of house-made hot sauce, on your way to an empty courtyard table. You brought some pages with you. 'You are never not an editor', you tell yourself. The call was a pitch for a new story. You flip over a sheet to the blank side and jot down a quick outline. Fitting in pieces as you move along the timeline in your mind. Balancing creative work and tacos is never an easy task, but damn, is it fulfilling. Today is a good day.

2016-09-26 07.34.30 1.jpg


You wrap up today's revisions and drop them off with the intern to distribute in the morning. Heels clicking across the marble lobby floor, you smile to the doorman as he sends you off. The best part about working late? You miss all the rush hour traffic. Home in record time, you notice a package at the door. Inside, you flip off your shoes, and rip open the box. It's the album you ordered last week. You scurry to the console and place the needle on your new favorite record. Soft melodies surround you as you melt into the oversized throw pillows. The cat joins you. You ruffle her head fluff. She mews in approval. You are transported into a dreamy realm of magic and music. Today was a good day. 

I hope you remember to seek out small victories. To bask in little perfect moments.

I hope today was a good day.

All necklaces are now listed in the shop. Each is one of a kind. Once it's gone, its gone. 

Life, CreateAmelia Rusbar
Color Inspiration from Charleston SC

I spent the weekend in Charleston, South Carolina for a Bachelorette Party, and I really fell in love with the city way more than I expected too. 

The weather was perfect. High 75, breezy, not too sunny or too cloudy. The perfect spring day. The food was amazing. And then the downtown. Holy shit. I'll let you look for yourself.

Downtown Charleston was a lot like New Orleans, but cleaner, and more manicured.

LifeAmelia Rusbar
Don't do shit you hate.

From August 20th until January 14th, I posted to this blog every single Thursday.

Along with half-assly posting to twitter, trying to grow my instagram, sending out too few emails to my wonderful Insiders, and not spending enough time making beautiful things.

Along with weekly check-ins with my fave #ladycreative, monthly meetings to plan our next steps, and still working 40+ hours at a real-ass job.

21 uninterrupted weeks of words from my keyboard.

21 Wednesday nights spent trying to get something out on time.

21 weeks spent dreading the blog post.

Then I took 2 weeks off. And I'm about to take a lot more time off.

Don't do shit you hate - Little Eli

Why the change? 

Well, I learned I really loved writing off-the-cuff, bullet style narratives. (Like this one. Ta-da)

I learned I could happily sit down and write vaguely appropriate content about life or my experiences as a creative, but I dreaded writing content just to pitch you my newest thing.

I learned I loved styling my pieces, because I finally started to understand how my jewelry fits into this much larger picture of personal style.

Then it happened, I read this eye-opening piece from Regina. (Are we really surprised here? Regina = Goddess) 

And I was given permission to actually evaluate what I want to do, and how I want to do it.

Read that again.

Evaluate what I want to do, and how I want to do it.

I took Regina's blogging evaluation, and realized, that NO, I DO NOT:

  • Enjoy researching and writing about topics, concepts, products, or people.
  • Enjoy strategy and planning–you love organizing written materials.
  • Want to express your views online and limiting it to “traditional” social media alone is not enough.

With Regina's evaluation of why you should blog, I gave myself permission to stop blogging.

When I started this way back when, everyone was blogging. 

I loved reading blogs. And all my favorite people were good at it.

Therefore I must blog. To drive traffic. To get featured. To get exposure.

Hits. Page views. Unique visitors. Sponsorships. Adds. Affiliate links. Click to tweet. Hashtag. Community. Tribe. Opt-ins. 

Buzzword bullshit that is honestly, one big circle-jerk.

Don't buy-in, if it doesn't make sense.

I sell jewelry. Just look at it, and if you like it buy it.

I didn't need to blog.

I didn't need to drive traffic, or master SEO, or create useless opt-ins to grow my list.

I need to focus on images and story telling.

I need to focus on creating a narrative around my work. People love stories.

People connect with stories.

Not with top 10 lists. Not with 3 things you must to do grow your blah blah blah. 

So, I decided to stop sticking to a blogging schedule.

I would blog when I wanted to.

About the things I wanted to.

No pressure. No judgment. No stress. 

And oh my god, I wanted to scream, to cry, to run around with my hands in the air.

It was such an overwhelming sense of freedom. Pure bliss.

And pure anger, thinking about all the time I invested in writing this blog, and seeing almost nothing in return.

When I could have been working on something else.

When I could have been happier doing anything else.

So I got permission, owned my decision, and took my own advice.

I stopped doing shit I hated.

And I bet there is something in your life you can stop doing too.

I dare you to find it.

(and then tweet it at me cause we are bff's now and I wanna give you a high-five, fist bump, bear hug!)

LifeAmelia Rusbar