In the Studio: Acute Designs

One of my goals this year is to focus on the passion I have for independent, small and made by hand businesses more often.  Through this I have been able to meet some amazing artisans to not only share with you, but ones I am lucky enough to build relationships with.  The friendship I've made with Gina makes me so happy because although we are in the same business (making accessories) we are truly supportive of each other.  No shady business over here!

Today she is sharing snap shots of her studio and her experience as a business owner.  Hang out for a bit, get to know her and don't forget to check out her shop full of beautiful creations! Oh and use code justlove15 for a little discount.

Regina Morrison is the owner of the handmade accessories business {Acute Designs}. Through {Acute} she designs hair, jewelry, and bridal pieces.  In addition to designing and creating, she also blogs about her life, her business, diy projects, and {a little too much} about food on her blog.

- Gina thanks for joining us today, first I would love to know what led you on the adventure to become an accessories designer and independent business owner?
I spent eight years in cubicle jobs, babysitting, etc trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.  For two years I worked in a government job for the military and was literally bored into action.  I started my business while at my day job and was constantly scheming and dreaming while I was supposed to be working.  There’s your tax money hard at work my friends :).

My business and blog started slow and I grew them as much as I could in a year and then quit my day job.  I quit a week before my 30th birthday because I knew I could not be 30 years old and in a soul sucking job without having a mental breakdown.  That was two and a half years ago and it has been a crazy and rewarding ride.

- I love that story! Now that you are 2+ years in, what would you say have been your biggest accomplishments and struggles with Acute Designs?

My biggest accomplishment is how far I have come as a designer.  I had no formal training before getting into this game, and admittedly, my earlier designs showed that.  In the same regard, one of my biggest struggles with {Acute} is that I don’t have formal training and sometimes my lack of knowledge means it will take me a little longer and a lot of trial and error to get things right.    - Well your creations show its a natural talent! So where do you see yourself taking Acute Designs and do you have any details of new things to come this year?

I just want to keep growing the business as much as possible – mostly through wholesale accounts.   The wholesale side of my business grew a lot in the past year and I hope to continue that growth into the rest of 2013.  Hopefully soon I can bring on an employee to help with that growth…working 12+ hour days can get exhausting.  

This year I am releasing a spring/summer wedding collection {set to release in May} and my summer is packed with shows.

- That sounds exciting and I'm always so anxious to see your new releases. Now I know you have used a couple types of online store fronts to support your business, do you prefer one over the other?
I think I prefer Etsy.  I love the idea of having my own website that isn’t affiliated with a “sellers” site but Etsy just brings me so much traffic.  I use both my own online site and Etsy and work hard to drive traffic to both, but no matter what I do, the Etsy site just gets more traffic and sales.
- So besides the shops, how do you support your business offline to get it out to people? I sell in several stores throughout the country {a list of stockists can be viewed here} and I also do shows.  I used to do just about any show I could find, but truthfully, art/craft shows are exhausting and not my #1 favorite thing to do, so now I only focus on the big ones.  
In February I participated in my first trade show in an effort to drum up wholesale business.  It was a great experience and I plan to try it again this summer.

- I followed along on instagram when you did that show, thats great to know. I have to ask- what type of advice would you give to someone that wants to start their own online business? Don’t half-ass it.  Don’t do it for “fun” and then copy what you see other people doing to make their living.  If you’re going to do it, then go at it 110%.  If you just like to craft here and there, then do that for fun but don’t try to make a quick buck by low-balling your prices to compete with those of who actually use our handmade business as an income source.

Also, be true to yourself and your vision.  Money will come and go, it’s ok to say no to a customer or client if you don’t feel comfortable.

Thank you so very much for hanging out Gina xo

Acute Designs
Don't forget to use code: justlove15 if you go shopping!

I love finding new artists and am always on the look out for unique products, amazing stories and of course cool people to chat with.  If you think this sounds like you and you would like information on how to be featured on In the Studio please email with a link to your shop.


  1. lindsey burns05 April, 2013

    So cool, I love your honest advice to people wanting to start their own business too. Really pretty stuff you make!

  2. OHHH My! I love your accessories, so gorgeous!

  3. thanks so much for having me, heather! xoxo

  4. I am so glad you are posting these - as a designer still starting out and trying to get my business going it's good to hear from other designers what their experiences have been like! It's also aspiring to hear their success stories! I hope you continue to do these interviews with a variety of designers/artists/creators!