This week’s Atlanta Creates feature highlights an artist who is all about color, accessories, and heart. Lily Bilsland is a third generation creative, expressing her vision through enameling and jewelry making. Her family company, Sailor Studio, was born out of her mother’s legacy (both the name and the craft). Lily’s unique designs incorporate themes of the earth, in tone and texture, and many of her pieces feature engraved messages of inspiration, hope, and faith. The personality behind the brand is as bubbly, sweet, and genuine as they come, and we are thrilled to share her work here! Please keep scrolling to find out a bit more about the kind lady behind this lovely line of hand-crafted beauties!
Name and age: Lily Dawn Bilsland, 29
Current neighborhood: Monroe, GA
Hometown: I was born in Decatur, grew up around Stone Mountain area.
What brought you to (or kept you in, or brought you back to) Atlanta?
One thing I truly love about Atlanta is the diversity. There are so many cool, unique restaurants and shops. You will never get bored exploring the city.
How do you pay the bills? What is your “slash”? (i.e. teacher/ amateur cupcake baker)
Owner of Sailor Studio is my full-time job along with being “mama” to my four boys. Over the last year, the business has really grown. We do online sales through Etsy, have several stores carrying our jewelry, and continue to participate in craft shows all over Georgia. My husband is a computer engineer by day and helps me out with shows and orders on the weekends.
What do you create?
Enamel on copper art and jewelry.
What do you collect?
Hats and bandanas. I’m a little obsessed.
Your favorite artist now and as a child:
I was always in awe of my grandmother, Wanda Locke. She was an incredible artist (oil on canvas) and watching her sit at her paint station and work will forever be one of my most cherished memories. As an adult, Margaret Ratliff. She was my mom’s mentor and taught her the art of enameling. Her and my mother’s work inspires me to no end and it always pushes me to learn more and experiment with my own designs.
Last memorable home-cooked meal:
My husband is an awesome cook. Mexican food is our favorite, especially his homemade guacamole.
An only in Atlanta moment:
When my husband and I were dating, he was playing a show at a place called 9 Lives (he is a drummer). As we were hanging outside the bar, a man walked up to us with a sketch pad and just started drawing us. He made me look like Dolly Parton and my husband look like a 65 year old redneck trucker, but I loved it! …We paid him for it and still have that picture in a scrapbook.
A favorite local business:
I’ve met so many amazing small business owners since I started doing art/craft shows. King of Pops! They are at every event around Atlanta, and they are amazing. Also, I just tried Farm Burger- yum!
Favorite way or place to unwind:
Reading. I have been an avid book nerd since I learned to read, and now with blogs and online articles, I can indulge anywhere I happen to be.
Latest great adventure:
Parenthood. It is amazing how different you view the world after becoming a parent. It’s changed my perspective of everything: my marriage, my business, my faith. All in wonderful ways.
Coolest thing you’ve ever been for Halloween:
Couple years ago, we dressed up as x-men as a family. I was Storm, the husband was Wolverine, and my boys were Iceman, Pyro, and Beast.
What occupation did you want to do as a child?
Something incredibly professional and boring. My mother and grandmother were artists, so I thought I needed to be totally different than them (I was very wrong, thankfully.)
What is your favorite dessert?
All of them. It’s a problem.
What is your favorite artifact, heirloom, or art piece in your home?
For a wedding gift, my grandmother painted the landscape of where I was baptized in Ellijay, Georgia. It is a beautiful creek back in the woods with the sun shining down on the water. My granny passed away a few years ago so it is definitely one of my most precious possessions.
What song do you love most (or what’s on your playlist now)?
Every song by Needtobreathe. I adore everything about their music.
What are some of your favorite websites?
I’m addicted to Etsy and Scoutmob.
If you were going to write a book, what would be the title and what would it be about?
I actually started writing a book when I was 13 called Philosophies of a Teenage Dirtbag. (90s child over here) It was basically about the lessons I learned growing up in a dysfunctional family and it was full of sarcasm and teenage angst. I was a little dramatic back then 😉
A lesson you’ve learned the hard way:
You can’t control or change other people’s thoughts or decisions, you can only be responsible for your own.