Local creative Lyndsey Venrick has put her love of crafts to work, turning it into two thriving businesses. She was born and raised in Winter Haven, attended Winter Haven High School, and now works at State Farm.
In 2014, Lyndsey ordered a metal stamping kit. “After making all of my girlfriends custom hand-stamped necklaces, I started researching other jewelry making methods and decided to open an Etsy shop just to see if it could be a legitimate side hustle.”
According to Lyndsey, it took her about a year to really navigate what she was doing with the budding jewelry business, Olive + Lemon. “I was just kind of throwing stuff out there,” she said, “I didn’t know how to use Etsy, I didn’t know how to cater to a market, I didn’t know how to use social media to grow things.”
Lyndsey did eventually find her stride and grew the online shop by, “focusing on high-quality, delicate gemstone designs and custom stamped necklaces. We also love anything and everything sparkly.”
Her pieces are comprised of simple, delicate designs made with natural gemstones for necklaces and earrings. She’s so passionate about the quality of her product that she travels the country to source gems.
Customers covet her bestselling gemstone aquamarine, but lava rocks, amethyst, and tourmaline aren’t far behind. What are Lyndsey’s favorite orders to fill? Custom designs, especially those that commemorate a special day in her customer’s lives. She’s overjoyed to be the hands that make a bridesmaid necklace, a one-of-a-kind earring set as a wedding gift or jewelry for moms-to-be.
Olive + Lemon has a community presence in Winter Haven, Lakeland, and Tampa and is carried in boutiques across the country. Lyndsey frequents markets especially during the fall season, posting her shows on social media. Moving forward, the owner is focusing on expanding the wholesale aspect of her shop.
In 2015, a year strong into Olive + Lemon, Lyndsey rediscovered her love of cross stitch. “My mom taught me when I was a kid, she used to do cross stitching. In my childhood home, we have these major, huge cross-stitched pieces that my mom would make" she remembered.
Lyndsey bought a book on subversive cross stitch and made little gifts for all of her friends, deciding to try her hand at selling her embroidery items on Etsy, calling the shop Pin + Needle.
The emerging subversive style of cross stitch not only played a part in her picking up the pin and needle again but has been a popular point of sale on Etsy. She explained the subversive cross stitch phenomenon, “Cross stitch is making a comeback–mixing a very traditional (old-fashioned, even) art form with modern and often inappropriate designs is so fun!”
Much of her inspiration comes from Pinterest with quirky quotes and memes, “People love their memes,” she laughed. From Michael Jordan crying, the poop emoji, to the F-word and pop culture references, Lyndsey has stitched it all. “I have the best customers! I’m always blown away by the hilarious ideas people want to have embroidered,” said the Pin + Needle owner. “I love being pushed out of my comfort zone to bring their ideas to life. One of our shop rules is ‘no judging and no questions asked.’ We want customers to feel comfortable bringing their subversive ideas to us.”
Alongside her subversive cross stitchings, she also does incredibly beautiful pieces. At the Moonlight Market at Grove Roots, I was eyeing a cross stitch of a nude woman with flowers as her hair covering her body.
Family portraits are a Pin + Needle shopper fave. Lyndsey can create a sweet, or funny, or both, embroidered version of your family and pets. To further personalize it, the skyline of your favorite city or hometown or the family camper can be added to the background.
Even the stars love Lyndsey’s work of cross stitch art. A Tony Award-winning Broadway actress found Pin + Needle on Pinterest. She did a Broadway play with another popular actress and as an opening night gift, she had Pin + Needle recreate a photo of the two of them in embroidery. The actress has been a returning customer, purchasing gifts for other friends and co-stars.
To be all-encompassing of her customers’ requests, Lyndsey has expanded to different types of embroidery. She’s constantly learning new techniques to, “make our pieces the best they can be.” Pin + Needle will soon expand to have DIY kits and Make and Take classes which will be announced via social media.
Of her two blooming businesses, Lyndsey expressed that she couldn’t have done it without the support of her friends and family that helped her get them off the ground. “They’ve spent so much time helping at shows, fulfilling crazy holiday orders and telling everyone they know about my shops. The Tampa Bay Etsy Crew really showed me the ins and outs of running an Etsy shop and the local craft show circuit.”
“I am a very driven and dedicated person, and I really needed an outlet to focus this energy on (outside of my corporate gig). I’m so happy to be able to spend my time on this creative, fulfilling endeavor,” said the Pin + Needle and Olive + Lemon owner. “There’s a new wave of emerging businesses in Winter Haven, and I think we’re all working to grow the character and culture of our town. In my case, one hilarious cross stitch at a time.”
Olive + Lemon
Instagram and Facebook @olivelemoncreations
Pin + Needle