Lydia McConnell - Le Chic Miami
Lydia McConnell is the Founder and Creative Director of Le Chic Miami, your one stop shop for unique hand painted earrings. After moving to Miami and seeing their lack of vintage clothing culture, she decided to start her own vintage clothing and jewelry business. Her passion has always been in creativity and design, and all of her earrings are handmade and painted with love.
For Lydia, launching Le Chic Miami and turning her designs into a physical product felt like a natural next step. After selling her earrings at a local weekend market in Miami, the business took off and she hasn’t looked back. In fact, since launching Le Chic Miami in March 2018, her products are already in nine different stores throughout the U.S. and Nicaragua with plans to expand in 2019. Her one of a kind earrings and designs bring joy to everyone who wears her pieces, and her passion shines through every design. It’s been wonderful to connect with Lydia and watch her grow. I can’t wait for you guys to connect with her and follow along, and keep an eye out for her designs in a store near you!
I'd love it if you'd introduce yourself, what you do, and what you're working on.
My name is Lydia and I am the Founder and Creative Director of Le Chic Miami.
I was born and raised in Seattle, WA but relocated to Miami about a year and a half ago. I have degrees in both Interior Architecture and User Experience Design. I started Le Chic Miami in March of 2017. Le Chic Miami sells handmade wooden earrings which I design and hand paint myself.
My design process is to create the earring designs in Illustrator, I then laser cut the earrings out of wood and finally hand paint them.
Le Chic Miami is currently in 9 stores throughout the US and Nicaragua. My goal for this year is to expand throughout the US to have more stores carrying my earrings.
How did you get started?
After finishing design school I knew I wanted to do something creative and design related but I wasn’t sure what. I also knew I wanted to work for myself and not work in an office. After moving down to Miami I joined a makerspace where I learned how to use their laser cutter. I started making earrings and decided to try and sell them at a local weekend market. After that the business just took off.
What inspired the work that you're doing?
My biggest inspiration was actually the dream of not working a conventional 9 to 5 job. I didn’t want to end up stuck in an office waiting for the weekend to come. I’ve always been a creative person and have always loved working with my hands.
It might seem like a weird transition to go from Interior Architecture to User Experience Design to owning my own jewelry business but I use most of what I learned in school I use on a day to day basis. The first half of design school was focused on space and the use of shape which I use daily with designing. Color theory, is also something I use daily.
What is your biggest passion? Do you feel like you're living your passion and purpose?
My biggest passion is being able to create and express myself through my designs. I definitely feel I am living my passion and my purpose. Although, had you told me two years ago that I would be living in Miami and own my own company I would have never believed you.
What is your joy blueprint? What lights you up, brings you joy, and makes you feel the most alive?
I love to travel, that’s actually what brought me to Miami in the first place. After a long six month solo backpacking trip through Cuba, Mexico and Colombia, I decided to make my final stop Miami before returning home to Seattle. I immediately fell in love with Miami. The architecture is like nothing I had ever seen before. Any time I am traveling discovering new places, cultures and food, I am full of joy and feel the most alive. Not to mention looking at interesting architecture.
How do you live intentionally? Are there tools/resources/practices that you rely on to help you stay mindful and grounded?
Living intentionally is something that can be hard to do, especially when you own your own company. I feel like I’m running 100 miles per hour from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep. I try to do little things and keep routines throughout the day to keep myself grounded.
Since I hand paint all my earrings it gives me a lot of time to be alone, stay quiet and reflect. There’s also a weekly meditation meeting at a Unity church close to my home which I try to make it to.
What would your younger self think about what you're doing now?
My younger self would be so impressed with what I am doing now. As I mentioned earlier if you had told me two years earlier that this is where I would be I would have never believed it. I can honestly say I’m living my dream and it’s a wonderful feeling.
What is your biggest dream?
Honestly, I think my biggest dream is to be able to continue doing what I’m doing. As long as I’m able to create and travel, I’m happy. I’d love for Le Chic Miami to continue to expand and the opportunity to continue designing. It would be amazing to have women all over the world wearing my designs.
Joy Corner is a new interview-style blog series brought to you by Seek The Joy Podcast. Our mission continues to be a desire to share your stories, truths, joys and inspiration in your words. We invite you to join our corner, and share your joys, passions, and moments of inspiration as we continue to seek the joy, together. Join this series here