AN UN-FANCY CONVERSATION ABOUT DEEPLY WITH JILLIAN EDWARDS
Why The Deeply Co is My Dream Come True & How It Works
An Un-Fancy Conversation with Jillian Edwards
Hi there! Jillian Edwards/Chapman here. I wanted to take a moment to give those of you who don't know, a little zoomed-out picture of The Deeply Co. An unfiltered, un-fancy conversation about why Deeply exists, what exactly my role is, and how we have grown. Is that cool? I'm sipping my favorite Cuban in Nashville right now, at my favorite coffee shop, just down the street from our home. I like to imagine this little blog post finds you doing something similar in your own favorite spot. I'll do my best to keep this as short and sweet as the mug-full I nearly just inhaled in about 3 gulps.
First things first. To back up a bit, I am a singer-songwriter from Dallas, TX living in Nashville, TN with my husband Will Franklin Chapman. That's why I have two last names, sorta. I first started playing shows and releasing music back in college (pre-Chapman) so iTunes will forever know me as my maiden name, Jillian Edwards. Feel free to explore my musical musings HERE. I am currently working on my next album (actually running late to the studio now, which is why I conveniently pinned this blog post as "un-fancy" so that any run-on sentences and typos would have a higher chance of being acceptable) and I am a staff songwriter for a publisher here in town. I love being a songwriter. I love singing. I love playing shows...but The Deeply Co has opened my favorite chapter of my career so far. It's as if everything I love about playing shows is amplified within it.
The Deeply Co started as my dream concert scenario. I have always cherished opportunities to play my music anywhere and everywhere, but in April of 2015 I was starting to become desperately hungry to create an entire experience for my audience, beyond the musical aspect only. I ached to have a say in the overall feel of the audience's experience, and my own - starting from the moment they walked in the door. I didn't want to wait for the music to start for my control of the experience to start. As I let myself dream big about this, I thought about how I wanted people to feel at my dream concert. I wanted everyone to feel inspired and surrounded by beauty. Refreshed. Celebrated. Loved. High on life and art and whimsy. Including myself. My heart started beating out of my chest, and I knew I wanted to create a space for other types of artists to feel celebrated too. Before I knew it, with the HUGE help of generous friends, Deeply's first show was on the books: an intimate, sold out gathering in my hometown, at a floral design studio. The walls were dressed in large abstract canvases painted by the owner of the floral design company. Flowers were peeking out of every corner. Twinkly lights were everywhere. Local beverages were served. Art was sold, and more importantly, admired. Music was played. Song-stories were told. People smiled. The entire night was documented by one of my favorite photographers. I loved that so many forms of art and beauty were absolutely essential to making the experience all that it could be. It was so much more than a concert now - although the music was absolutely an aspect of the evening, it was about every body. It was about soaking up beauty wherever it lied, together. In paint. In songs. In petals. In the beautiful architecture of the space. In color. In each other. In loving each other deeply.
As you can see, I still get carried away with the idea and I've been doing my best to re-create versions of that first Deeply evening ever since. Finding businesses, people, and artists who are sincerely and whole-heartedly bringing quality things to their communities with the gifts they've been given. That's a huge part of my job - finding these new friends and creating one of a kind experiences in their creative spaces, together. There are no two Deeply evenings that look the same - which is why it's so very life-giving to me, and also so very exhausting ;) but it's certainly a wonderful exhaustion. I always have my eye out for people who inspire me.
OK I feel that I have hardly skimmed the surface of what I wanted to - but alas, I am late indeed...so I will wrap up with what Deeply has become since that first gathering! Since then, Deeply has done TWO tours. The first was documented by photographer Leah McEachern, as we travelled up the West Coast together to coordinate dreamy evenings with beautiful people/artists/businesses. The second tour just ended a few weeks ago, documented by photographer Killian Rose, as we drove up the East Coast to celebrate a whole new batch of amazing people! More gatherings are in the works, and I can hardly wait to get back out on the road. A few types of companies/artists we have collaborated with are entities that operate around the art of: candles, fine-leather goods, flowers, photography, denim, pottery, jewelry, succulents, coffee, restored furniture, handmade home decor, abstract paintings, and more and more and more...please drop us a line if an artist or company comes to mind who you think would align with our vision! We're always on the look out.
Last November we hosted The Deeply Market, a temporary online market for artists of all types to sell their items. For two weeks leading up to the holiday season, we featured artists who made clothing, pottery, paintings, jewelry, and more. We had way too much fun giving these incredible artists a space to be discovered, and through a crazy sequence of events...the Deeply vision grew and so did our team! Raegan Messinger was a complete God-send to Deeply. She took the baby dream of the Deeply Market, and proposed that we make it a full time retail operation, celebrating makers we love and telling their stories too. Now...what began as a temporary market has become Shop Deeply, an online boutique stocked with a clothing collection that we are in love with, from designers we are proud to stand alongside. We are only beginning this part of the journey, and there are many dreams within the Shop Deeply dream too...I can hardly wait to see what's around the corner! Be sure to go back and read Raegan's interview blog post to learn more about who she is and how we started Shop Deeply together!
Thanks for being on this crazy ride with us. Cheers to extending loving to yourself and to those around you, by celebrating the good. Sorry for all of the run-ons. Thanks for embracing the messy and the beautiful with me!