If there is one thing Patience Brewster is, it is an honest mum.
Motherhood always came first, now and back in the late 70’s early 80’s, what she refers to as the dark ages, at a time when it was not so easy to work at home.
No daycare at first, no computers. But it provided the best of both worlds as she illustrated children’s books with babies on her desk, and as her children got older, painted for galleries and for stationery companies and then designs for a huge international gift company.
She eventually started her own stationery company and then her own manufacturing and distribution company of her designs, travelling all over the globe and employing hundreds of artisans to hand make her special brand of Christmas and Everyday items.
Today she runs her one artist business with her family PatienceBrewster.com, a dedicated staff of employees and international artisans. Her business policy is to be honest and transparent.
She believes in treating everyone the same way, the way you like to be treated as a person, as a woman, an artist or a customer. It is that easy.
Here I interview Patience…
Describe a typical day for you?
It is ever changing this year. I once could specifically say I would be thinking, drawing and painting. I still do that, thank goodness, but I am more often revising sculptures, correcting painting, correcting correspondence as my products are being developed and produced. I conduct a lot of business in meetings and through email correspondence all over the world.
The best days are the ones in which I do some yoga, do some drawing and painting, then cook a delicious dinner and put myself to bed with a good book.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
My two children out weigh anything. Being a dedicated stay at home mother while working through the 1980’s was a significant achievement. Before computers and organized day care, working as an artist and mothering were both much more lonely and challenging than I imagine they are today! But I would not trade those years for anything.
I became resourceful. I had no choice but to shed shyness and put on a suit of courage. All artists have to suffer the gauntlet of rejection and find a path to move forward and grow. That was an achievement.
Taking big risks in my 50’s was an achievement. Surviving the death of my beautiful son was an achievement. Still standing, smiling and working with my husband and beautiful daughter in a business together today is an achievement.
What’s in your handbag/satchel etc?
I have a nail file and a lipstick. I never remember to file my nails until I get in the car. I usually need lipstick. I am a dinosaur so I have a really great pen with black ink and a superfine point and a mechanical pencil. A chopstick or hair clip to put my hair up, a phone, a wallet and a linen handkerchief.
If I am travelling I have a small down pillow, earplugs, a cashmere shawl and two good books, a pad of paper, a toothbrush and a carry on size hand lotion.
What are your ambitions in life?
My husband, daughter and I created a cancer research fund in our son’s memory.
It is sustained generously by pure love. It is a way of giving directly. It is a very good feeling to help.
And it is selfish as that heals us as well. I would like to do more of that.
You can donate HERE.
We focus giving on education, health and animal welfare. I am very worried about our large land and sea animals and our planet. I’d like to do more work toward raising funds and awareness to save them.
What advice would you give your pre-baby self that you now know having had a child?
All there is-is love. One cannot ever spend too much time with your child but one can spend too much money, so don’t ever worry about that. Give short honest answers to all questions.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Good question. I have never been good at getting out too far ahead. Still walking and talking and thinking, I hope.
What advice would you give a budding Artist?
Be honest and authentic. Mind yourself. Dig deeply to find those veins that make you who you are. Just keep doing that work until the gold appears. Then share the glow.
Finally, happiness is…
Happiness is health, honouring the moment, a real belly laugh and maybe one delicious chunk of nutty dark chocolate with your coffee.