By LeeAnn Logan
My name is LeeAnn Logan. I am a simple small town girl born and raised in central Illinois. Since a very young age I have always been fascinated by the idea of design, art, and creating something extraordinary from ordinary materials. When I am creating I am in my own world. In this world I am joyful and free. There are no boundaries or mistakes, only further inspiration to make the original piece something better until it is perfect. When this new world of endless possibilities was first unmasked to me I had no idea how big it would actually be one day. I was blessed with an exciting life that took me to many inspiring and beautiful places. This is the story of my journey through that life and into the world I love so much.
As a young girl and all through high school, art was always my favorite subject. I absorbed knowledge about the greatest artists of all time such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Michelangelo. However, my favorite artists were the ones who pushed the boundaries of reality such as Dali and my personal favorite, M.C. Escher. It was at that young age that I started sketching, painting, and sculpting; keeping in mind that perspective changes everything. I drew inspiration from my favorite artists and the world around me. Mixing the two concepts gave me a fresh style that keeps up with modern trends while still keeping in mind the basic rules and principles of design.
Not long after high school I found myself in the nursing field taking care of some of the greatest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet and engaged to be married to the love of my life. We decided to have a wedding, but our budget was anything but generous. Even after the two of us put in 60 to 80 hour work weeks, we had very little left over after the bills were paid. I wasn’t about to give up my wedding day because of a small budget, so I decided that we would plan the wedding for 18 months out, and I would make everything.
I got to work right away. After long days taking care of others I came home and slowly handcrafted every detail of my wedding. The invitations, favors, favor boxes, gift tags, bridal party gifts, bouquets, and decorations were all created by yours truly. During the reception I got a ton of positive feedback about all of the things I had made. Many of my friends suggested that I should plan weddings or create products for other brides on a budget. That was the first time I actually considered that my hobby could actually be something more. I put those ideas on hold as my new husband had joined the Marine Corps, and we knew our lives were about to change very drastically and very quickly.
The Marine Corps started taking us to new beautiful places right away that we otherwise probably wouldn’t have seen. I was able to study different design patterns and trends in different places such as California, Florida, and North Carolina. Eventually we ended up stationed in Beaufort, South Carolina. Living in Beaufort has been a blessing as I am constantly reminded of the natural beauty surrounding me. The small military town also has a fantastic art district full of galleries and great works by other local artists. That is where I realized the potential of my skill.
I quickly found myself busy taking on new projects in our new home such as painting and decorating. Once all of my projects around the house were finished I just as quickly became bored. That is when I decided that maybe I should take some of my friends’ advice about sharing my handmade projects. I created a few custom gift products I thought others might like and listed them online. Slowly but steadily the orders started coming in faster and faster. That is when I decided to offer products for weddings that would accommodate brides like me that wanted the elegance of an expensive wedding but didn’t have the budget to match. The response to the wedding line was overwhelming and soon I had a full time job at home creating custom products for brides and custom gifts for everyone else. The wedding line even filled an order for a custom made sand ceremony set that was used in the wedding of Traci DiMarco and Corey Epstein from the reality TV show “JERSEYLICIOUS.”
Two years later my small home office was not nearly enough to accommodate the business anymore. I decided to open a retail store called Exclusively Yours at 14 Savannah Highway where I could create online orders while also creating personal relationships with locals who share the same passion I do. The store is set to open tomorrow, July 10th, with a party starting at 4 p.m. with something for everyone. Try to join us if you can. I am sincerely humbled to see my world collide with this amazing place I now call home!