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Dreams of the Heart

I am very excited to share with you the heart of a woman I have known for several years. Her name is Julie. Not only is she a sweet friend and Christian sister, but she is a small business owner and an amazing artist! Here at Pretty & Wise, one of the many things we want to do is champion women in what God has put on their heart. Each one of us has a mission or calling that we can use to glorify Him. I interviewed Julie so we could share with you Julie’s story and her Godly heart behind her business. 



For those who might not know, what does LittleJul offer? 



Little Jul began as a handmade leather handbag business.  I approach almost all my work as an artist doing one-of-a-kind pieces.  And I’m so excited to be introducing a new collection of handbag products to my customers!  I will share more about that below! 



If you visit www.littlejul.com you will find some finished leather products for sale including handbags, jewelry and some hair accessories. I really enjoy doing vendor events as well and offering products of greater variety in person.  Another portion of my business is various custom orders.  Sometimes I remake a bag someone has really loved and worn out or make something in a favorite color such as a custom tote or  clutch.  It's also a lot of fun just to make specialized gifts and even repair sentimental pieces.



What is the inspiration behind LittleJul? 


          


Little Jul is a product of all of my artistic and creative experience.  I learned to sew and did a lot of arts and crafts from a young age with my mom. I studied art in college which is when the business name was born and when I first tried to sell a couple little sewn handbags in a store on consignment.  Working with leather came more recently after my babies got a little bigger and a little more independent.  When I found some time to get lost in the creative process in my home, between household chores and keeping children alive I felt so engaged and enlivened by the work.  I just wanted to sell pieces so I could keep making and learning.  The name is a simple nod to making a little something of value with my hands.  I want there to be true little jewels among my works – pieces that bring light and joy and value to others. 



How has your vision for LittleJul changed recently?


     


Little Jul began with just enjoyment of learning how to make leather handbags.  I loved creating designs and the puzzle of construction and would really become engrossed in it.  But during that learning time I also was dissatisfied and without vision wondering how this work of my hands could be of use to God. 



Two years in (little profit- no paycheck) I realized I had to make something more of this or be satisfied with a hobby business.  I had zero contentment about the latter option.  So I started pressing into prayer about Little Jul.  



Sure enough, God gave me some simple and clear inspiration and direction in my Bible reading time.  Just as God told Moses, His words would be enough, I felt God’s calling to share His Words because they are always enough.  No sermon, no explanation needed.  Just share His Word right there on handbags.  I realized I could stop doubting myself as an artist if I just focused on Him and not me.  Because God’s word is more than enough. 



God gave me a measure of talent and a desire to create.  And I have a unique ability to bring God’s word to a niche of women who love His word too and want to share it in a simple way.  Many of us don’t know where to start or how to share our faith in our everyday life.  I believe the pieces in my new collection will start some conversations with other women - women standing at a store register with you or at a soccer game – women either like minded, needing encouragement or seeking.  And who knows how God will work from those little moments and little seeds of truth.



How do you see your business growing your heart for God? 


     


My work is now becoming my offering and I’m excited to see how God will multiply it!  I feel so excited about my work this year and I’m motivated to share it with the world in a way I didn’t feel before.  Fear has kept me small for a long time.  As an artist, I’ve always felt incapable and inferior.  But now whenever I feel insecurity knocking, I can remember that when I am following God – walking with God, I have no reason to give those fears power over me.  With Him, there is no failure.  Struggle- yes.  Learning and pruning – yes.  But failure- no.  I'm learning to have and chase dreams with Him.  And I'm learning to step forward in faith and belief in God's promises. 



How can your business help others grow toward God?


 


My first collection focuses on God’s promises and releases April 2nd.  Just as God kept promises to Moses and many others in scripture, God keeps His promises today.  And there are so many rich promises in the Bible! I poured over choosing verses that show hope and encouragement and speak of God’s promises to us. Some of my very favorite verses are in this collection!  And I hope someday to hear about how these verses on purses made a difference in someone’s life!


 


 


What do you see next for LittleJul?



I am just open to God’s plans and timing for Little Jul whatever that may look like.  But I am very curious to see what God wants to do with this collection launch.  I would love for this idea of custom painted handbags with scripture to be a large part of my business going forward because I feel like I am pursuing the Great Commission.  I don’t want to live small and quiet.  I don’t want to hide the light Jesus gave me under a basket.  I want to share Him unapologetically.  




I hope that you enjoyed reading about the heart behind LittleJul. As Christian women there are always going to be moments when we feel resistance about moving forward with what God has placed before us. We hit struggles we didn’t see coming, moments of apathy, heartache, and sometimes more serious things like illness. Julie is a great example of overcoming those things and trusting in God’s promises. 



Julie’s new collection launched on April 2nd and is full of beautiful hand made items. Please take a moment to go over and admire (and purchase!) some of her work at www.littlejul.com. In support of the launch of this new line LittleJul has partnered with us for a giveaway as well! We will be giving away this hand painted, handmade beauty:



Julie Irvine

Julie Irvine is a Christian, wife, mother of 2, artist, and owner of LittleJul. She works out of the Richmond area of Virginia. She makes beautiful and one of a kind leather items - jewelry, handbags, totes, zip pouches, and much more! Julie is partnering with us this month on Pretty & Wise as she launches her new line. Check outwww.littlejul.com for all of her beautiful work. 


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