Fools Journey.

Fools Journey.

A question that has been big on my mind and heart for about a year is: do I stay with Instagram, or take a leap and leave? I wanted a strong gut answer--Yes or No.

I deliberated, thought and thought some more. But I couldn't think my way into this answer. I knew that it was a bit more complicated than something my brain could arrive at alone, and I knew I needed an answer from my gut as well. And finally the answer just arrived, unexpectedly but very clear. It was time to try new avenues in my business. There was no catalyst of events, but rather what I had been wanting--a deep knowing.

After my "grand" decision settled, I felt renewed. I felt a bit butterflies-in-my stomach-excited and grounded too. I've been making it a daily ritual recently to pull a Tarot card before bed, and since I arrived at this decision, the card "The Fool" or 0 in the archetypal "fools journey" or arch of our lives in some beliefs, has come up for me again, and again, and again. This one card of 78 cards. I'm a novice to Tarot, but the meaning behind the card is essentially:

new beginnings, new start, possibility, the feeling in your gut when you're doing the right thingwillingness and courage to take a step into the unknown, with the knowledge that this forward step is the right one for you.

It has felt darn right invigorating. 

So, why the leave? I've been on the platform since 2016, when I started my jewelry business, then very much a fledgling entrepreneur and artist. Since then, I left my career as a mental health therapist, dove full time into being a jeweler, had two awesome kids, moved states and began building a house.

And The Arrowleaf? Well it continued to grow and I continued to find my authentic voice; I learned my favorite technique of sandcasting; through Instagram I made many beautiful connections and friendships with customers; I developed community among kind and talented makers and artists. Throughout this time though, social media also was a deep draw on my energy.

To be clear, social media has also been wonderful. Those friendships and connections I mentioned, those I am truly grateful for. Seeing beauty in the form of art, photography and raw and honest individuals--I loved those aspects of social media. However, at the end of the day, it was not improving my happiness, my joy, my presentness with my family, my creativity. Remember this is only my story-- instagram may support you and your values and be a very positive thing in your life, and that's great! I just know my truth with the platform.

And so I decided to research the heck out of being a successful artist without social media. I looked into growing my email list, selling retail, SEO, blog posts, referrals, advertisements, features in magazines, pinterest, and the list goes on. There are many great options for creating a thriving jewelry business, while thriving personally too. 

I haven't officially taken the leap yet, I plan to give myself one month to let my Instagram followers know of this change and bring more folks over to my email, blog, pinterest, etc. But I am committed to this decision. For my well-being, for my family, and ultimately for my business as well. Because I believe if I am thriving, then my business is more likely to be thriving as well. 

I have many aspirations for my business (workshops, youtube tutorials, artistic/sustainability collaborations, wholesale relationships and more) and I think that having more time and energy here, rather than using it towards social media will be indispensable. 

I will continue to write here on this blog, about life musings and reflections, about joy and creativity and family and art. If you want to stay in touch, then join my newsletter, where I will share behind-the-scenes, give metalsmithing nuggets, and showcase new pieces. You can sign up by following the link on my main page. 

Ever onward, with light,


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Hi Nicole— I most definitely will keep you updated! Our exchanges have always been a joy and I look forward to continuing that. Thank you for being on this journey! Warmly, Paige


Keep me updated please 💛

Nicole Velin Shaw

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