Charming Maps - Laurie Rullison

Read about Laurie Rullison who turned her passion for maps into her craft.
How did your business get its start?
Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved maps!  I even graduated college with a degree in Geography.  My career began as a Cartographer, someone who makes maps, for a local map publishing company.  At the same time technology started to change, and my career changed into becoming a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Specialist...which is basically ‘smart maps’.  This was exciting to be a part of, but starting a family came along a few years later, and I became a stay-at-home mom.  As my two daughters are growing up, I made the decision to start a business where I could be home and still use my love of maps and creativity.  The beauty of maps as a piece of art has always been my favorite.  So, creating map gifts and jewelry seemed like the perfect outlet for this!

 

What sparks your creativity most?

Custom orders allow me to search for maps that would fit the customer’s location request as well as looking for the most eye-pleasing option.  No one wants a piece of jewelry with a GPS style map!  The map search is definitely a fun part of the creativity process. 

Another favorite part of the creative process, is finding inspirational quotes that also seem map, adventure or travel related, and incorporating these into new pieces.

What's the best thing about running your own business?  The worst?

The best part of running your own business is the flexibility to work on your own schedule and location.  The worst part I would have to say is the financial tracking side.  I do not have a business degree, and was never that great at math.  Bookkeeping and taxes are not my thing!

Share a funny story about your business.

My business is about making map jewelry, but sometimes I get requests to make a piece that does not have a map.  The most random request I received was from a lady who wanted me to put a picture of her baby sonogram into a keychain, that she would be giving to her husband as a surprise.  Now that’s creative!

What kind of music do you listen to while you create?  

Amazon Prime stations through Alexa are the best invention!  I’m always listening to something different.  Although it’s usually something pop or upbeat.

How has your business most helped you and/or your family grow?

My daughters love to come ‘help’ me with making jewelry and always want to make something for themselves or their friends.  I love that they see being creative and artistic is important and can be profitable as well.

Of all the products you create, which is your very favorite?  Which is a customer favorite?

My favorite products are the items with inspirational sayings overlaid on a map.  Some new sayings I have created are “Find Your True North” and “Let Your Heart Be Your Compass”.  But my customer favorites are always the compass image necklaces.  I always sell out of these!

What are you looking forward to about the Market?

I’m looking forward to showing my products to the crowds at the Arapahoe County Fair. 

 You can find Laurie in person at the market at the Arapahoe County Fair or on Facebook, Instagram, on her website or on Etsy.