Gifted And Giving: Rebecca Vizard

I was fortunate recently to have the opportunity to visit Rebecca Vizard in her home and studio, Locustland Plantation. Located on Lake Bruin, near St. Joseph, Louisiana, her home and studio reflect her personality and love for preserving beautiful artifacts.  She and her husband built here in 1989, returning to her roots near the tiny town of St.Joseph where she grew up.  Her commitment to her hometown will become evident in the stories below.

Rebecca is the creative genius behind the company B. Viz Design.

I learned that she would be visiting Jackson in October  to present a program for my antique club and thought it would be fun to do an interview with her for the blog prior to her presentation.

Little  did I know that over a laugh and a La Croix I would find a fast friendship.

We hit the ground talking and did not slow down for two hours!

All of her stories are compelling but there are two I will share in this post that will make your heart sing.  As a young mother Rebecca found herself trying to figure out a way to work from home so that she would be able to spend as much time as possible with her children.  A college roommate was doing quite well with painting tee shirts

(think the bikini painted tee that you see in all the beachy tourist spots – her roommate is the designer!)

and encouraged Rebecca to try something similar.  With seventy five dollars in hand she headed to the local Walmart and purchased her inventory of children’s socks, shoes and gowns and proceeded to decorate them with paint.  Wrapped up in a basket and tied with a bow she took them to a children’s store in Shreveport where they bought everything, including the basket!

Next step, a Dallas trade show where she set up in a friend’s booth and took so many orders that she needed a loan to buy the inventory this time.  Her father, a prudent banker, promptly turned down her request.  Perseverant, she figured out a way to work C.O.D. and delivered all of the orders but made little profit.  She ended up painting for a purveyor of socks so that she did not have to buy the inventory, got picked up by sellers such as J.C.Penney and Dillards and hit it big!  With the profits from this venture she decorated her house and was soon being scooped up for decorating projects in New Orleans, New York and beyond.

One of the difficult aspects she encountered while decorating was finding the right pillows for accessorizing.  Rather than pay a hefty price tag for pillows that she really did not even like she set out to create her own.  Scouring flea markets and shopping around the world she searched for antique textiles – anything from curtain panels to priests robes became exquisite pillows under her creative watch.

As the children grew she found that the tasks her beloved housekeeper had been assisting with were dwindling and so asked her one day if she had ever used a computer.  Of course the answer was no but Belinda proved a quick study and soon became Rebecca’s right hand on the web.  She  is also the force behind their Christmas stockings, made from all of the scraps left over from pillow construction…

christmas stockings

Nothing here goes to waste, every precious piece of trim is given a place of honor…

Christmas stocking

the baskets of finery awaiting a home on a Christmas tree branch…

Christmas Stocking

Christmas Stocking

The result of all of this is that a beloved friend, given the opportunity to learn new technology and advance her career, is now on a new and wonderful path.  She has built her own home on Lake Bruin and works closely with Rebecca overseeing the computer side of the business while nurturing her creativity spinning the leftover finery into these beautiful stockings.  Relating Belinda’s success story is when Rebecca’s eyes light up and you see the joy it brings her to have been able to have such a part in changing a life.

The whimsical, eye-catching “Beer-de-lier” is behind another such story…

Beer-de-lier

The chandelier is made from hundreds of beer caps collected by Rebecca.  Hiring local young people to string the caps and assemble the “Beer-de-liers” has provided much needed jobs creating an environment of productivity in an area with a high unemployment rate.  She has recently located a source for the metal bases which enables them to create the glorious light fixture at a fixed price – before she was always scouring for old fixtures and thus had a varied price range.  Happiness pops into her voice and expression as she relates a recent sale to a restaurant that could result in the “Beer-de-lier” becoming a fixture across the country!

 There are also bowls of wine corks all about and the “Cork-de-lier” is on the horizon.

Corks

A focal point is this paintingby Rebecca’s sister-in-law depicting an old family truism…

painting

I don’t think there is any doubt that when it comes to Rebecca Vizard –

Smart is Smart!

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Comments

  1. I just saw this again and it makes me smile! Loved having you!!!

    • mnestorc@aol.com says:

      Me too! I loved getting to see you too and your spring garden was beautiful!

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