Lincoln artist masters multitasking

Barbara Ball has always been a multitasker.

The 33-year-old is busy with her full-time job as a gallery executive and director of marketing and public relations at the Kiechel Fine Art Gallery. And in her spare time, she’s a self-proclaimed volunteer extraordinaire who helps out at the Capital Humane Society, the Lincoln Children’s Museum and the Mayor’s Environmental Task Force.

So adding a successful jewelry-making hobby-turned-business to an already busy lifestyle didn’t faze Ball.

As Ball’s interest in healing gemstones and their benefits as jewelry grew, she would often put different pieces together for herself. But without a home studio or place to create, Ball would visit her favorite local bead store, Euphoria, and make pieces in house. Euphoria is a small boutique in Lincoln, Neb. carrying things like incense, beads and other unique gifts.

“I used to just go and make bracelets in the store, spending a couple of hours hanging out and enjoying myself,” Ball said. “As I got older, friends asked me to make items for them, and I decided to turn it into a business.”

Buddhist prayer beads or malas are a traditional tool used to count the number of times a mantra is recited, breaths while meditating, counting prostrations, or the repetitions of a buddha’s name.

Ball threw around the idea of creating an online business out of jewelry making after suggestions from friends and family. A lot a different idea’s later she even had a name for her project, based on an old greeting her grandparents used to say.

Ball’s boyfriend, Dan Kohler, purchased her a domain name as a birthday gift, and So Honey was born.

Different pieces of jewelry made by Ball were now going to be available to anyone with access to the Internet. With customers from across the US, but most specifically in the Midwest, she now can see two or more orders being worked on a week. Though the artist revealed it may sometimes take two to three weeks to complete the whole process of receiving an order, making the product and shipping it back.

Once So Honey started, little stopped it from taking off.

“Last year after I had had the business for over a year, it became more popular,” Ball said. In June, the company will celebrate it’s third year in business.

According to the 2006 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, balancing all the different hats she wears can sometimes be overwhelming.

So how does she do it?

“It’s important to have a space for your passion,” she said.

For her, that means being be able to sit and dedicate time to solely her hobby. This provides a way for her to be in the moment and actually enjoy what she is doing.

“At the end of the day if there is no enjoyment, then I need to re-evaluate all that I’m partaking in and make some choices on what to let go,” she said.

Ball has always enjoyed multitasking, so it’s no surprise her schedule is packed every day. She’s a natural at the juggling act, said Jess Dragoo, a close friend and long-time customer.

“She’s so organized. She has this day job and also So Honey that she puts her whole heart into,” Drago said. “She’s able to manage her friends, her family and both of her jobs, which is so crazy to me.”

Ball loves the feeling she gets after crossing off something on her daily to-do list. But she also recognizes the importance of relaxing, whether it’s watching Netflix with Kohler or spending time with friends and family.

Making multitasking work involves practice and a balancing of priorities, Ball said. For those who get overwhelmed, Ball offers advice in a way that reflects her easy-going attitude toward life.

“Take a break,” she said. “Eat some chocolate cake. Go for a walk. It’s all about balance.”

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