Meet the Maker: The Little Red Door!
Meet Terri Buckland, the hands and heart behind The Little Red Door, and our new favorite polymer clay earrings!
Terri lives in a teeny, tiny but beautifully renovated cottage on Whynaught’s Cove, Nova Scotia! Her partner Christine and she moved there after making the decision that they wanted to live the simple life close to the ocean where they could look out the window and see the ocean tides and breathe the salty air!
They live on a huge property that happens to back onto hundreds of kilometers of wooded trails within the Peggy’s Cove loop. This is ideal for them because they have 6 rescue dogs who get to enjoy those glorious trails every day! Something many people don’t know is that her partner and she work with a local dog rescue to foster dogs in need.
They’ve adopted out lots of dogs to happy families, but have kept a few misfits along the way! Their dogs are all very small, and all but two are quite old. They each have unique stories that will break your heart and make you want to love them to pieces, which they do! Their dogs are super-duper happy now. They sort of think of themselves as a dog sanctuary… a soft place to land for dogs that most people wouldn’t want to adopt for one reason or another. They don’t have any children, so it’s just them and theirr precious fur-babies!
Let's get to know Terri and her process a little better!
How did you get into making earrings?
When we moved here, there was a shed on the property with a red door. It is a HUGE shed, it looks like more like a house! It had an old-fashioned wood-burning stove and cedar siding. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do something unique! It just called for a hobby. We moved here in order to be more ourselves, and for me that meant exploring my artistic side. I decided to use the shed as a studio. When I picked up a paint brush for the first time in 2015 it was an act of bravery. I had no idea if I could paint. My main goal was to explore an urge I had to get back to some fun. I started out painting furniture. I started to make a little name for myself in the furniture artist world, and I was featured multiple times by Unfolded, the company that manufactured my favorite paint by Annie Sloan, as well as by several other prominent furniture blogs. A dresser was my favorite canvas, and I’m so inspired by nature that I often painted botanicals on the furniture. Less than a year ago, we sold our big car and bought a tiny little one, and I couldn’t fit furniture in it anymore. Still wanting to be creative, that’s when I picked up clay for the first time in January 2018…less than 9 months ago!
What does your creative process look like?
I am extremely influenced by nature. My partner and I travel around the Maritimes, and I photograph it! I actually have a separate Instagram account dedicated to my photography. It’s so important for me to create from a place of love and authenticity. Two of my favorite quotes, which I also use as my creative mantra are: “Work is Love made visible.” -Kahlil Gibran and “Let what you love be what you do.” -Rumi
I create from a place I call “Flow” -from a God given place- which is sacred. I honor it by staying true to my own visions. What happens to me is, when I’m out in nature or meditating or dreaming, a spark of an idea, inspiration, or vision comes into my mind that represents a thing I love. For example, the first clay earring I ever made came to me after I walked the little picturesque village in Peggy’s Cove. I sat down and out popped this little abstract representation of it! Sometimes, I recreate a scene, sometimes it’s the color of a sunset, and other times it’s the way a rock looked in the sunlight. I adore it! I feel very, very happy when I’m making my little clay creations. My designs and creativity can not be forced. It flows in when it’s ready.
Where is your favorite place to work?
I recently designed an office space in my home. It is a total sanctuary. It has crispy white walls, with beautiful floor to ceiling shelves that hold my earring art. My own artwork covers the walls like a gallery. My essential oils and gemstones are also on display as well. I love this space.
What inspires you?
The Maritimes has so much beauty and I feel that we are so fortunate to call this place home. We have so much coastline, clean air, space, freedom and beauty! I never take it for granted. Since picking up a paintbrush in 2015 I’ve been inspired by botanicals, succulents and the scenery of our provinces. I call my creations after the thing that inspires it. I currently have four inspired collections: Beaches, Places, Nature and Nostalgia.
What does creating something with your own two hands mean to you?
Everything. I can’t even. This is the pinch me part! I couldn’t have dreamt in my wildest dreams that I had any talent at all, let alone having a successful business that is based on my own creativity. Creating something, for me, represents the belief in myself that I have something to offer. And that is everything, isn’t it? I think so. This business is love, made visible.
What has been your greatest challenge on this creative journey? What has been your greatest success?
The greatest challenges have led to my greatest successes! Anyone who creates anything knows about the feeling of vulnerability there is in putting yourself (your work) out there as an artist. As I step into this path of “being seen” it is constantly having to keep in check the reasons why I do this…which is for the love of it. Not for the money, or the popularity, or the approval, or the social media likes. Those are so tempting to follow though! The greatest challenge has been the willingness to make mistakes publicly and be judged…for me, that takes a lot of bravery! What if the earring falls apart? What if people don’t like them? What if I didn’t make enough and someone has to wait longer than I promised? What if I accidentally send it to the wrong address? Well, since I am a human, it’s very possible that I’m not going to be perfect. But, I always, always work with integrity and do my best! So, if I make a mistake it’s ok! And that’s been my greatest success: showing up for myself and being willing to try despite being scared! It’s a triumph. The personal growth has been huge.
When you look to the future, where do you see this creative endeavour taking you?
This is an uncommon practice as a business owner, but I don’t make goals. Well, that’s not true…I have one goal, which is to always follow my bliss! I think’s that’s the surest way to have success! I feel like life works out when you are being yourself, working with integrity and staying in alignment with what is true for you at the time.
The growth that The Little Red Door and Terri Buckland Creations has had is astonishing to me! I started out making these for myself, and I was initially giving them away for free. Then suddenly 20 people wanted earrings, and then 50. It has been a truly magical journey. Creating from a place of love, making the things I love and then getting to incorporate my artwork and photography and design skills to enhance my creations is an absolute dream come true! I have so much love for the people who seem to love my little creations as much as I do.
I do have some exciting ideas that are naturally evolving, and soon I’ll incorporate some new things into The Little Red Door offerings. We’ve got a major gift culture going on, where people are sending earrings and notes to their loved ones though me, and I have some exciting ideas around how I’m going to support this gift culture. I can’t wait to share as the vision and idea evolves!
I love that people think of their earrings as little pieces of home. I hope that my creations continue to create light in some small way in the hearts of others, as it does my own.
Shop the collection now!