Community Feature Q & A: Oli and Baz

It seemed serendipitous that I came across Rachel from Oli & Baz in the same week I arrived to Phoenix. She lives in California now but grew up here and still largely pulls inspiration from her time in the desert. Thank you Rachel for jumping in with me as my first featured maker!
What's the story behind your shop name?

When I first moved to Sacramento I wanted to make jewelry, so I opened up an Etsy. I combined the nicknames of my cat and boyfriend as the shop name because I was too shy of my own work to have my name attached at first! About a year later, I started selling my artwork and liked that it was more of a brand than just my own name.

Every shop beginning takes a little courage. Tell me about your mental transition from creating as a hobby to deciding to open shop. Was it a gradual transition or did it feel more like jumping from a cliff?

I have always loved everything artsy, and have been creating since I can remember. I always imagined becoming an artist but for whatever reason, I always felt like that was very out of reach. It wasn't until I moved to Sacramento and started working at a local paint and sip studio and working with other artists, that I realized it was a very realistic goal and one that I was passionate about. I would say it was like jumping off a cliff! I was secretly SO scared to show other people my art and even more scared to attempt to sell it! It was one friend in particular at the studio who inspired me to start working on my own shop and guided me through the process.


Tell me more about your beautiful love affair with cacti and succulents.

I'm a desert girl from Phoenix, AZ! There is at least one cactus in almost everyones yard, we cook with it, heal with it, there are even actual laws against cutting down or harming the cacti! It was moving here, and missing all of that, that increased my obsessive love affair for them.


So pretend that your having coffee with someone that has considered sharing her art but is feeling shy. What do you tell her from across the table?

I totally get why anyone would be shy at the beginning! Art can be so personal, and emotional, and we can be so hard on ourselves. As long as you are passionate about your art and you are producing content you love, others will end up being just as in love with it as you are!!


What is your big, crazy, audacious goal for your shop that seems too huge to even say aloud? Or at least one of them?

I would love to have a recognizable art style and brand one day that could lead me into creating all types of different content full time. Juggling a full time job and working on my personal art is not easy, so being lucky enough to have more free time to play around with ideas and create content that people could recognize was my work would be success to me.


Do you want to give a shout out to another shop that has inspired or supported you along the way?

Definitely have to give all the love and appreciation to my friend @Deelitefuldesigns! She is a maker and is the friend that encouraged me to start painting on my free time and try selling them. She made me feel really proud of my own work. From there she has always been the one that I go to with questions and help! She refuses to believe it, but she is the main reason that I am doing what I am doing with my art!

>> You can find Rachel and her current work here: @OliandBaz <<

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