Lora Karam, Jewelry Designer and Photographer, shares her reasons for starting a jewelry line, her favorite spots in Connecticut, and her go-to coffee order. She also shares words of wisdom for aspiring designers and photographers!
Lauren — Travel and Write Today: When/how did you decide to start a jewelry line? The pieces are so beautiful!
Lora Karam – Daisy Wilder: Thank you! It’s a recent (and exciting!) venture. I started Daisy Wilder in August after I realized how many pieces of gemstone jewelry I was buying and thought, I can do this. And now I just spend most of my evenings making jewelry and taking photos of them. Wouldn’t have it any other way!
TWT: I love this so much! I am so glad you started!
TWT: You’ve been an entrepreneur for many years – as a photographer! When/how did you decide to start Unlocking Connecticut with your good friend Bev? I love that we connected years ago when I started Travel and Write Today!
LK: I had been doing photography as a side hustle and met my blog partner, Bev, through Jazzercise (we’re still obsessed with it!). We became Facebook friends, and she saw that I was shooting at fashion week and doing celeb shoots, and she asked if I ever needed someone to come along and help to let her know.
So, we went to NYC for fashion week in 2015, and on the train ride back we started chatting about how our area needed a fun blog. It was the perfect pairing – I would do the photography and Bev would do the writing. It’s been a fun adventure ever since! We feature businesses in Connecticut and give our readers ideas on where to go and what to see –in our fun + unique style. It’s so rewarding, and we get to meet amazing business owners who are making it happen!
And I’m glad we connected too! 😊
TWT: I love this story. It is amazing when you not only connect with someone through a shared interest or passion, but then you also hit it off right away! I’ve loved following Unlocking Connecticut for the past four years – you have definitely inspired this writer/entrepreneur!
LK: Aww, yay! Thanks for following along!
TWT: This might be a tough one for you to answer, since you have such strong ties to Connecticut (and you grew up there!), but what are some of your favorite spots to visit in the area? Favorite towns/cities and favorite restaurants? (I am always looking for new spots in Connecticut!)
LK: So tough to answer, but some of my favorites are Kent; shoreline towns like Stonington and Madison; shopping in Westport; restaurants and museum hopping in New Haven; hiking in Washington. We just became Broadway subscribers to the Bushnell in Hartford this season, so I’m looking forward to that.
Ahh, so many great places! You can never be bored in Connecticut. Culture, food, nature, the arts, cities, and small towns. We have it all!
TWT: What cities/towns are on your list of places to visit in New England?
LK: My husband and I try to do two getaways each year to Vermont and Cape Cod, but we’d love to spend more time in Maine. I’ve been to Portland once with Unlocking Connecticut, and would love to explore that more. Definitely New Hampshire. I haven’t spent much time there and would love to discover it! Any places you can recommend? 😉
TWT: You know so many good spots already, but here are a few suggestions. I highly recommend spending time in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Cape Neddick, York, and Ogunquit in Maine and Newport, Rhode Island! As you know, I can talk about this for hours…
LK: Fabulous! I’ll be checking those spots out.
TWT: What is your favorite book?
LK: Ohh, that’s like asking who your favorite child is! Currently, I’m obsessing over suspense/thrillers, but a couple of my all-time faves are The Great Gatsby (the Fitzgeralds stayed in Westport the summer after they got married), and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
TWT: Agreed! This is so hard to answer. The Great Gatsby is my absolute favorite book – I’ve re-read it so many times, and I think I am overdue for another re-read! We stay at the Don Cesar Hotel in St. Pete Beach, Florida, and I know the Fitzgeralds spent a lot of time there. I need to spend more time in Westport now!
TWT: What is your go-to coffee/tea order, and from where?
LK: I’m an iced coffee lover – all year long, please! Cream and 2 Stevia. There are so many awesome coffee spots, and Bev and I try to hit one up every time we’re on shoots. But, I do love J. René Coffee in West Hartford, Krafted Brew Lab in Bantam, Molten Java in Bethel. So many great ones with chill vibes. Love a coffeehouse!
TWT: I’m adding these all to my list!
TWT: What is your favorite place to catch a sunrise/sunset?
LK: The shoreline is always special.
TWT: What are some of the reasons that you love being an entrepreneur?
LK: Ability to be my own boss. Staying true to my style and goals. Personal growth.
TWT: What advice would you give to aspiring designers? What about aspiring photographers?
LK: Do what feels good to you. Stay authentic no matter what opinions you get. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself. Ask for what you want!
TWT: YES, authenticity is key! I’ve been working on that this past year – just showing up as myself!
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