Jessica Weaves

Jessica Wilson started weaving in 2014 with a cardboard loom and a pile of yarn. What began as a creative outlet has now become both a passion and a business.

Rediscovering an ancient art for the modern home.

Every fringe and loop she makes tells a story, creating a connection through thousands of years of craft and creativity. Her weavings are a reflection of this rich history, which she hopes, will happily find a place in your home.

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QUESTION & ANSWER WITH JESSICA

Why are you passionate about weaving?
I’ve always really loved history and even have my degree in anthropology. One of the things I love about weaving is that it’s a craft that has existed for thousands of years, that really hasn’t changed that much during all that time. The basic over and under of the weft over the warp is the same, we just add our own personalities and style to it and maybe use different types of looms.

It’s sort of a strange beautiful connection with our ancestors.

When were you introduced to weaving?
My very first attempt at weaving was an art project in a middle school art class. We used cardboard looms and I remember thinking, even then, how much I loved weaving. I was maybe 11 or 12 at the time so while I enjoyed that project I didn’t think it was something I would ever get to do again. I always found myself drawn though to woven goods as I got older. Then a few years ago, I started seeing woven wall hangings by Maryanne Moodie popping up on Pinterest. As soon as I saw them something clicked in my mind and I realized weaving was actually something I could do again. I stubbornly put off learning how to weave for a while because I was afraid I wouldn’t be very good at it. I didn’t like starting projects I might not be good at right away (which is kind of a silly way to live). Thanks to weaving, I’ve gotten over a lot of that fear and I am so much more willing to just try something and then discipline myself to keep trying and learn over time. Weaving has been a really wonderful way for me to express myself and find a creativity in myself that I didn’t know I had.

What inspired you to open shop?
I opened my shop the way I think a lot of creatives do; I realized I was making a ton of woven wall hangings and I needed more room on my walls!

How do you generate new ideas?
One of my biggest inspirations is nature, specifically sunsets and nature photography. I save a lot of photos that inspire me in a collection on Instagram and a board on Pinterest. I regularly go back and look at both of them for inspiration. By doing that I’ve realized which colors I’m drawn to and what kind of shapes I’m inspired by. I also keep a sketchbook with me all the time. I don’t always follow my sketches exactly but it helps me to have my ideas in one place so I can use that as a springboard once I start creating a piece. And that way I don’t forget the idea I had while walking around Target or waiting to get my oil changed.

How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Sometimes I can tell an idea is worth pushing through even if I get stuck on it. I’ve been really inspired by weavers like Sarah Neubert and Ellen Bruxvoort who talk about “showing up at the loom.” They’ve inspired me to just keep showing up, keep creating, and keep weaving even if I’m not in love with it anymore. After pushing through that process I usually love the wall hanging all over again or at least feel grateful and pleased that it is completed.

I’ve never regretted showing up
and disciplining myself to finish a piece.

There have been a few times where I can just tell that I’m done with an idea and it’s time is up. I’ve only cut a few weavings off my loom, but I think each one was a good choice. Sometimes an idea is just not worth pursuing and it’s better to start fresh. Other times if you sit with it for a while, you can start to feel new inspiration and drive. I think you really just have to feel it out and see what works best in each situation.

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What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
I had to completely restart a piece once because I was struggling so much with creating a circle. I had planned on the weaving being large (at least 2 feet wide) but I was having so much trouble – even after taking out large sections of yarn and reweaving them – that I decided to take everything off that loom and start over on a much smaller scale. It was humbling, but I think a good reminder of how important it is to develop your skills, learn, and know your craft. My smaller attempt turned out really well. It ended up being one of my favorite woven walling hangings that I’ve made so far.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
My most satisfying business moment so far was probably my very first piece that I sold. It was a commission from an Instagram follower of an earlier space inspired weaving that I made for my sister for Christmas. I felt so excited to know that my work was striking a chord with people and was something they would love to have in their homes. That’s my hope for all my woven wall hangings. I want them to be something that people feel good about having in their home and something that adds beauty to where they live.

What are your non-work habits that help you with your work-life balance?
One thing that really helps me is learning to rest. I take breaks from social media and try to practice self-care. I’m learning to listen to my body and rest when I need to. I work full time plus I have my weaving and everything that goes with that, like my shop and social media on the side. It gets to be a lot! I remember one blogger’s post that really resonated with me. She was talking about learning to rest and deciding that if she was tired, rather than making herself more tired by pushing herself to complete a task, she took a nap. What a crazy revelation, just take a break, take a nap, get some rest and then try again.

Taking social media breaks is probably the single biggest thing I’ve done that helps me. I find that it alleviates a lot of the self imposed pressure of always wanting to seem like you’re creating and coming up with new and amazing ideas. It also helps me to not compare myself to others online or get into a super competitive mindset. As a creative you want to constantly be creating and showing those creations because that’s part of having an online presence and finding customers. It’s also really exhausting.

I believe in the value of community and community over competition.

There’s enough out there for everyone; we don’t need to knock each other down in order to succeed. It’s lonely enough as a creative and small business owner without pushing away the other people who “get it.”

Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? The next ten years?
I haven’t thought five or ten years ahead yet, but I do know that this year I want to start challenging myself with my weaving style and see where it takes me. I have some really interesting ideas running around my head (and my sketchbook) that I can’t wait to get out of my head and into the real world.


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Connect with Jessica:
instagram.com/jessica_weaves

Shop her work:
etsy.com/shop/jessicaweaves

See her inspiration:
pinterest.com/jessicaweaves

Yonder Studios

Yonder is a line of canvas goods, tea towels and t-shirts printed, designed and created by Julie and Justin Nardy. Yonder started in 2013 when Julie created the first ever Yonder tote. She has been a seamstress for over 20 years and holds a BFA in fine art with emphasis in photography, painting and installation art.

The backbone of Yonder is individuality and craftsmanship. Their bags are made of heavy duty canvas and use up-cycled materials in their construction. Each bag is unique on purpose. T-shirts, tea towels and fabric are all printed by hand with great attention to detail. They use eco-friendly water-based ink to help ease the impact on the environment.

At the end of 2015, Julie found herself yearning to take Yonder in a new direction and use patterns in her work. By early 2016, she had started talking with her husband, Justin, about ways she could integrate silk screened patterns into the line.

Justin joined the Yonder team and started working with Julie on patterns and printing in mid 2016. Justin not only prints Julie’s designs, but has added his own touch to the Yonder line with his t-shirt designs. Justin brings over ten years of screen printing experience with him. All of the patterns are designed and printed in their home studio.

Along with being a screen printer, Justin is also a successful musician and designer. His band, New Tongues, can be heard here. Julie is a co-founder of the Berlin Bazaar, a yearly art experience in Columbia, Missouri.

Question & Answer with Julie

Why did you start your business?
I have been trying to “start” my own business for a long time now. In my 20’s I had different versions of businesses that I thought would last: I made pouches and hip bags for sale when I lived in Winter Park, Florida. I had a business with my best friend making pouches and totes when I lived in Austin, Texas. I’ve been sewing since I was a kid. I went to school for fine art for 8 years and when I emerged in 2006 I fell right back into sewing and I haven’t looked back since.

In 2015, I created a tote which would lead to the current line I make for Yonder. I wanted a new tote bag and I unknowingly made a pattern that I’m still using for almost all of the bags I sew. In 2016, I decided I wanted to add patterns to my work. My husband has over ten years of experience as a screen printer so I started talking to him about working with me. Today we make bags, pillows, pouches, and tea towels that have patterns that are all original designs. The Yonder line wouldn’t be what it is without him and I’m so over the moon that I get to work with him in an artistic capacity.

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How did you learn to run your business?
I never took a formal class perse, but I’ve been on the buying and inventory control end of retail for almost my whole adult life and I feel like that has helped immensely. I have a knack for business and for some reason things like inventory and cost and stuff comes easy to me. I’m also really enthusiastic about marketing, so I jumped on that immediately.

What’s the most difficult thing about running your own business?
The most difficult thing for me has been learning to say no when I need to. It’s so hard to realize that in order to have longevity in a business you also need to have a life outside of your business. In the first year I probably sewed 6 days a week on top of a full time job for the better part of the year. I have now learned to slow down, to give more realistic deadlines and to spend more time with my husband doing non business related things. The crazy thing is that this year has been one of our busiest, but I’m working smarter, not harder.

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What’s the most rewarding thing about running your own business?
I think for any creative, knowing that you can make money off of your art work is a huge. I went to school for fine art for eight years and I always told myself that I’d have to have a “normal” job. I definitely still work another job, but I can also see where the more time and energy I put into Yonder, the more I will get out of it. So if I ever did want to take this to another level, I could feasibly do that.

What advice do you have for others who are starting their own businesses?
The best advice I could give would be to have a pretty clear and concise concept before you dive in. The thing that really helped me was to limit my ideas–I’m usually all over the place. It has helped our line to be more cohesive and that has been huge. I wish someone had told me how to say no more often (just in general!), because I think it would have saved me a lot of stress in the past few years.

To stay up-to-date with Yonder’s events and new work, please visit their Instagram account. If you would like to shop their products, click here!

Master Piece in Progress

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Back in 2014 while I was working in Southeast Asia, I became very fascinated by the idea of having a tent at home, which would signify the Holy presence of God. I wanted a refuge, a resting place, a space where I can always go to encounter the One I love. Yes the Spirit of God is everywhere and is not restricted by manmade things, but there is something very special about having a designated place for the person that you most honor and treasure.

I was engaged then and due to fly back to London to be married in a few months’ time. I called my fiancé then, hubby now, and asked whether we could have a tee pee tent at home. He said yes! So this tent has been my place of intimacy, rest and soul-searching. It is where I bring my utmost brokenness, joys and mysteries to the One my soul delights in.

When it came to the time of forming some kind of a brand for this artwork-making business, I had this logo in mind. It came to me one time while I was worshipping the Lord.

I had no pen and paper with me so I quickly sketched it with my finger on iPhone using the doodle app, not wanting any detail to slip away. I saw something like the shape of a tee pee tent, and wings on both sides, overlooking the thing in the middle. That reminded me of the cherubims that guarded the ark of the covenant. At the same time, I had this thought that the name should start with an A, which is kind of like the shape of the tent in the logo. Then suddenly, it all made sense! “The Ark of Presence, where Love and Glory dwells” became the identity of the brand.

Moses said to God, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?”
(Exodus 33:15-16)

My hope is that everything about The Ark would breathe the glory of God. If the Presence of God is not in this, it would be completely in vain.

So, the hands and the heart behind The Ark is this girl (or rather married woman) who adores wild daisies, succulents, cacti, leaves, branches, trees, sunshine, extremely warm weather, the sea, pebbles, seashells, sand, being in water, adventur-ing with flip flops and backpack, scented candles, open space, quietness, joyfulness, childlikeness, reading while sipping tea, genuine love songs, dance performances that make you cry, vulnerable story-telling, and different cultures in the world.

I am a lover of love and beauty – a lover of the Person of love and beauty and glory and grace and truth – the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my beginning, my process, and my destination – in all of my existence and everything I do. He brought me from death to life; an amazing, hope-filled, darkness crushing and light-shining life.

I am an art psychotherapist by training and have had the privilege of using the profession to reach the lost, bind up the brokenhearted and set the captives free. Before that I was a graphic designer / art director. I had left the design career to carry out the current ‘mission’ God laid on my heart.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetHowever, I have never actually stopped creating. A couple of years ago I found myself feeling rather discontent about the gifts I was buying for friends’ birthdays, weddings, Christmas, special occasions or simply to show encouragement. I started to hand-make different types of art pieces to give to family and friends and strangers (this is a ‘custom’ that I developed as a child, I’m grateful to my parents who loved and kept the endless Disney cards I painted for them).

In October 2016, after a series of amazing events and encouraging words from friends, I decided to step out and start a tiny, tiny little online business, selling ‘stuff’ that I make. Jesus called me to start The Ark, to create and sell artworks for His glory; to bring hope, light and love to this weary and broken world. I had very little idea how it might work. And I am still learning a lot each day.

I had a lot of struggles to start with. I was afraid my work was not good enough, that it’s not worth looking at, that people wouldn’t be interested, that it’s going to be a failure, that it was just a projection of ugly self-ambition. However, the Lord Jesus and my wonderful hubby keep encouraging me and spurring me on the right track. It is so easy to get back to that dark loophole and compare with others and lose the vision and the joy of creating, but I thank God that ultimately He defines ‘success’, not me, not anyone else. If I seek to please people, I lose everything. But if I seek to do everything for the glory and pleasure of Jesus, I would be the richest I can be. I have learnt and am learning that I always just need an attitude of a daughter making something for her Father – all love and no fear.

Everything in The Ark is hand-crafted by love, inspired by nature, and filled with life-giving thoughts. It is my passion to impart encouragement, childlike hope, joy, love, and dreams to the world.

One piece that I’ve been working on behind the scenes for a while, and I’m thrilled to release, is my new “Master Piece in Progress” tote bag*. The inspiration for this bag came from the book of Ephesians: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Eph2:10) and a quote by Sophia Bush: “’You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously.”

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I am astounded that God would call us His masterpiece. We are created in His image – the image of pure love, light and holiness. His wonder is placed inside of each of us, no matter where and when and how we are born. We are created in Him, through Him, for Him – our life purpose is to worship and enjoy Him. I find it extremely easy to appreciate the beauty of God, but the beauty of myself? I’m not so sure. However, God calls us His masterpiece. He creates as He speaks. Even when we’re not quite there yet, that’s how He sees us.

I’ve been learning to give grace to myself and the rest of broken humanity – which includes anyone from a family member who gets on my nerves to traffickers who sell and abuse people for money; from the most well-off and arrogant person in the world, to street children who don’t know their worth and cannot imagine anything beyond picking food from garbage dumps.

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I pray that this bag will serve as a reminder, wherever you bring it, that we are all hand-crafted by the Artist of the universe – unique and holy and made for love. We all deserve respect and honor; and at the same time, we all require patience and grace from others, because we are all “not quite there yet”. But the process is beautiful. Because the Artist is beautiful. I am so thankful that I get to share a piece of my heart with you in this simple tote bag.

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
-Pablo Picasso

I give all the glory to my amazing God – the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit – the Creator of creators, who loves and inspires me daily; who has given me courage to be me, and a fearless heart to dream again.

-Bonny

*Artfully Seeking subscribers receive 10% off their tote purchase until April 18, 2018.

Macramé Plant Hanger Tutorial

By Rachel Dowda

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Last summer, I saw a picture of a macramé plant hanger and fell in love with it. I felt it embodied freedom, fresh air, and simplicity.  In typical, “Rachel style” I grabbed some string, looked at the picture and figured out how to make one, probably inventing my own knots in the process. I’ve never been one to follow directions, but would rather try and fail a few times. As the summer progressed I continued to fall in love with textile art, and eventually watched a few tutorials and learned some “real knots”. It’s easy and therapeutic, and I’d love to share a quick tutorial with you!

You can see more of my work at here.

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Supplies

55 ft of cotton rope, hemp string, jute, or yarn
Scissors
Metal ring (I used a simple keyring)
Potted plant or mason jar
Measuring tape and a wall hook aren’t necessary but may be helpful!

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Start off by cutting the rope into six sections, each nine feet long, and set aside the extra piece.

Line up the string and find the center.

Keep holding the center as you pull the rope through the metal ring, folding the rope in half, as shown in the picture.

Now that you have folded the string in half, you should have twelve separate pieces of equal length string.

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Next, hold the cords about an inch down from the bottom of the ring.

Take the extra piece of rope you cut earlier, and hold it parallel to the main cord.

Make a loop with the extra cord (as seen in the picture).

It helps to keep your thumb on the short tail at the top.

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Wrap the long, bottom tail around the main cord and over the loop, working your way down. It should be firm, but not too tight. Continue until you either like how it looks, or until you are almost out of rope.

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Once you are happy with how the wrapping looks, put the tail through the loop at the bottom, and pull the other tail at the top. This will tighten the wrapped cord.

(This knot is called a gathering knot, and you can watch a video here for extra help.)

Cut the excess at the top and bottom of the wrap. Your plant hanger should now look like the above picture!

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Divide the rope into four sections of three. You can put three of the sections aside.

(Some people like to tape them to the table, I just tuck them into a drawer or under something.)

(For this part it might help to hang your planter from a wall hook, or like me, pull the ring over some paintbrushes or a drawer handle.)

Hold the string to the far right in your right hand, and set it across the other two stings. Take the string to your far left, and going behind the middle string, put it through the loop the right string made. Pull the two end strings at the same time.

This is called the half square knot. It makes a pretty spiral pattern, and is one of my favorites! If the pictures are confusing and you would rather watch a video on how to make these, you can see a good one here.

You simply repeat the knot fifteen times, always starting with the same side.

Repeat the half square knot fifteen time on all four groups of rope. It should end up looking like the picture above.

Choose a group of string to do first, move about eight inches down from the last square knot you made, and make a simple overhand knot. Do the same thing to the other three groups, so they are all the same length.

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Take one of the groups in your hands, move five inches down from the first knot, and split it into two: two cords on one side, one on the other. Do the same to the adjacent group, Putting the group of two, with the adjacent one’s group of one, make an overhand knot. Continue until it looks like the picture above. This is basically making a net to hold the plant!

Gather all the cords together and move five inches down. Make an giant overhand knot with all twelve pieces of rope.

I recommend putting in a pot in at this point, and make sure it’s hanging right. If not, unknot the cords and try again.

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Depending on the cord you used, you can unravel it to make a pretty fringe, like I did above.

All done! I hope you had fun! Don’t be hard on yourself if it doesn’t come out perfect the first time. You can simply untie the knots and try again.

If you tried to make this yourself, take a picture and post it on Instagram. Make sure you tag me – I’d love to see!

So proud of you!

Why Crediting is so Important to Photographers

Words & Photos by Lindsey Noel Roman // Republished from lindseynoelphotography.com

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As photographers we’ve all experienced it at one point or another. We are casually scrolling social media, when we see a photo of our work. Yay! We do a mini happy dance, so excited our clients are loving and sharing our work. Then we halt to a stop when we see it. Or rather…the lack of it. No credit. Our name or business is no one where to be found with the post. That happy feeling we had is now filled with confusion and I’ll be honest, some bitterness. If you’re a photographer you know the exact feeling I’m talking about.

Now before you read any more, I want to put this out there: this post is NOT meant to point fingers or blame anyone if they’ve ever posted a photo without crediting the photographer who took it. Heck, before I was in this industry I did it all the time, because I didn’t know better. And I truly believe there’s two reasons people DON’T credit photographers, none of which has to do with malice or bad intent.

1) They forget. It’s that simple. We’re human beings, and we forget things.

2) They don’t know it’s important. They haven’t been educated on the matter.

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As far as forgetting, that’s 100% on us photographers to communicate with our clients about crediting and why it’s important WHEN we deliver our images, or even better, BEFORE we’ve even taken a single photo. As far as reason number two: not knowing it’s important, I’ve put together a couple of reasons why crediting is vital to us photographers, and makes us happy dance every time you do it.

Your Photos Are Our Artwork

Imagine you’re a painter, and your work is being showcased in a museum or gallery. Let’s pretend you’re at the museum watching everyone interact with your work –  but here’s the kicker – your name is nowhere to be found on your paintings. You keep hearing praises of people loving your work, but since your name isn’t on the painting, they have no one to praise. Wouldn’t it be frustrating as the creator of that painting to not be credited for something you’ve taken the time, energy, and creativity to make. That’s how we photographers feel about each and every one of our photos we give our clients. We’ve spent hours training, learning, shooting, and editing, just to give you photos you LOVE. The biggest thank you a client can give a photographer is crediting their image every time they post it.

Referrals Are the Main Way We Attract New Clients

Relationships are the name of the game. Most people, when searching for a photographer, will go to their friends’ pictures to see who they trusted to capture their big day, before they ever type “wedding photographer” into google. Just by putting our name or website in the caption of your photos, you’re saying to everyone, “We LOVED working with him/her/them and we think you should too!” Sharing our name allows people to find us and our work that much better, because it’s honestly the number one way new clients find us.

It’s Just a Respectful Thing To Do

Crediting your photos is simply put: the respectful thing to do. Think about when you look through a magazine. Every time you see a photo, you’re going to see the name of the photographer who took it somewhere on the page. It’s industry standard to credit an artist when they’ve made something that you’re using. So yes, it’s respectful, it’s industry standard, and more than that: it’s nice, it’s kind, it’s the “right” thing to do.

It Shows Us You LOVE What We’ve Created For You

So hear me out. If you love your photos enough that you’re posting them to social media, wouldn’t you WANT to share with your friends the person who took them? Wouldn’t you be so stoked for your friends to have rad images like you do? I thought so! When you put our name in the caption of your photos, you’re telling us thank you. You’re showing us that you LOVE the work we’ve created for you, that you’re willing to shout it to the rooftops. (Even though that’s totally not necessary. :P) We legitimately happy dance every time we see you credit our name next to our photo, because we know we’ve served you well. Making our clients happy is literally everything to us photographers. It’s why we do what we do. Knowing we’ve given you heirlooms you’ll proudly show your grandchildren one day, is the best feeling in the world. THAT will always make us happy dance.

As photographers, we aren’t asking you to sing our praises in a paragraph every time you post our photos. That would be ridiculous and totally not necessary. All we’re asking is that you respect and love our work enough to share it with the world by putting our name in the caption. So simple! Hopefully after reading this, you’re a little more educated on why crediting is SO important to us photographers!

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And one last side note to photographers: give your clients grace. People will still forget to credit you. Understand that, and give them grace. Don’t be rude. Love and serve your clients hard, and they will proudly share your name every time they post your work.


IMG_2419Meet Lindsey

Lindsey is a Hawaii-based adventurous destination wedding and elopement photographer, a professional frolicker, and a frequent traveler. She is a free spirit who loves Jesus, thai food, black coffee, and telling stories. She is all about authentic, real connection and unposed moments.

To see more of her work, please visit:
www.lindseynoelphotography.com
PC: Andrew Roman >>>

Genuine & Ginger

img_9276Meet Kyla Donner, the founder and maker behind jewelry and home goods brand Genuine & Ginger. I first began following Kyla and her gorgeous creations on Instagram a few months back and was instantly struck by her keen eye for design, unique aesthetic and her honest and poignant perspective on her business. After learning more about Genuine & Ginger’s story, I’m even more enamored with the brand.

Read on to learn more about the beginnings of the brand, what Kyla’s day-to-day looks like as a creative business owner and more!

Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO LAUNCH GENUINE & GINGER, AND WHEN DID JEWELRY AND UNIQUE GOODS-MAKING INITIALLY SPARK YOUR INTEREST? 

img_9295A: I have always had busy hands, as a kid I was always DIY-ing, making things out of my old clothes, or figuring out how I could make the better version of something that I saw in the store. So I think to build a business based on hand-making things is not surprising to anyone who knows me. This brand was actually created out of a failure. I had taken a couple years off from making and creating things because the business I had prior to Genuine & Ginger had taken over my life, and not in a good way. I lost my voice, my passion and my integrity as a creator. I instantly became someone consumed by a need to make money and push product.

Q: GIVE US INSIGHT INTO WHAT YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOKS LIKE WHILE RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS – IF THERE EVEN IS A ‘TYPICAL’ DAY. 

img_9307A: Well it often starts with me convincing our dog Jeffery that we need to get up and get to work. He is not ever convinced that it is a good idea, haha! But then I make some coffee, head into the studio, light up some candles and begin mapping out the day. I have to make a full-on list of things that need to happen all week and then I list all the tasks under each day of the week that they need to happen on. Otherwise, I will sit scrolling through Instagram thinking I have nothing to do. But everyday is so different, it can be delivering wholesale orders to our in-town stockist, working on woven commissions, fulfilling orders, trip to the post office, designing new items, attempting to get through emails, taking product and lifestyle photos for social media, meeting with potential clients or collaborating with other designers, etc. I am usually the most productive at night, so the bulk of my work happens between 7 p.m. and 1:00 p.m…I don’t sleep much.

Q: WHAT ROLES DO SOCIAL MEDIA AND PRODUCT STYLING PLAY IN YOUR BUSINESS? I’M KIND OF OBSESSED WITH YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED! 

img_9298A: Personally I have tried to be very authentic and real when it comes to social media. I am very open and my social media is very clearly just an extension of me as a designer and creative. I don’t post anything that I don’t feel represents my brand or the vision I am creating. I live and work in the Southwest so I use a ton of earth tones and neutrals in my feed, and try to stay consistent with my editing and caption content because I want people to have an honest and consistent connection with the work we do. I have a love-hate relationship with social media because it does take so much of my time, when if I am honest I would rather be designing and creating new work, but I know that there is a special bond that is created when I share my process, my inspiration and work with people. It allows me to have direct community with the people I create jewelry and woven goods for. So in that way I do love it.

Q: WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF RUNNING YOUR OWN CREATIVE BUSINESS; WHAT’S THE MOST FULFILLING? 

A: There are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I want to get done. I have to know my limits and know what my downfalls are so I can reach out and connect with people who are good at those things. But the hardest thing by far is disconnecting my identity from my work. As a artist that sells my creative work it is hard not to put your worth in whether a design sells well or if it doesn’t. Being able to separate yourself from your work and to know that regardless if an item sells out or never sells at all, it doesn’t say anything about who I am as a creative, as a human, as a woman.

Q: HOW DOES YOUR FAITH AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS AND CREATIVE DECISIONS?

A: I think that knowing that I am not in this alone has been massive for me. Every time things get really hard and I don’t know if I can keep doing this, the Lord has been so faithful to remind me that I don’t have to fear, because I am taken care of. I don’t need to freak out over finances because his promises aren’t broken and they belong to me. It has helped me be brave in pursuing things, it has kept me going on the hard days and it has brought me peace that I don’t have to have all the answers. I have so much freedom to be who he has made me to be without fear of what people will think.

Q: FOR OTHER MEN/WOMEN WHO WANT TO LAUNCH THEIR CREATIVE BUSINESS (ON OR OUTSIDE OF ETSY), WHAT WOULD YOUR BEST WORDS OF ADVICE BE? 

img_9283A: KNOW YOUR WHY!! Know exactly why you are pursuing your business. On the crappy and stressful days you will need to know why you started to begin with to keep you pushing forward despite all opposition, fatigue or criticism. Have people around you who know your ‘why’ also, so they can remind you when you haven’t showered in days, are deep in piles of work and have tears streaming down your face.

“To any entrepreneur: if you want to do it, do it now. If you don’t, you’re going to regret it.” -Catherine Cook (Co-Founder of myYearbook)

KEEP UP WITH KYLA AND GENUINE & GINGER ON THEIR WEBSITE, INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK – DROP HER A NOTE AND SAY HI!

Written by the incredibly talented Lindsay Shoemake via her awesome blog www.thatworkinggirl.com.

Drift & Loom

My name is Angela Norton and I’m a 19 year old who decided to create an online business. You may think I’m crazy to start a small business while trying to manage studying, a job, and a social life, but my answer is “why not?” We have our whole life ahead of us and there’s no need to waste our time waiting for the “right timing”. Drift & Loom is a tapestry business I created to help make your space a little bit more like you.

Drift & Loom started as an idea in May. I’ve always wanted to create a small business, but told myself I need to wait till I’m 30. One day, I decided to do something about my dreams and put them into action. So, here I am starting a business at the age of 19 and in the middle of college.

Some battles I’ve faced while pursuing this business was trying to tell myself that I can do this. I don’t need a degree to create something I love doing. I just need to keep remembering that wherever this may lead me, there is a plan in that route.

In the next few years, I hope to see myself expanding my products and being creative with the talents I’ve been given. I hope to also inspire others to go after their dreams. Just know, it’s never too early or too late to do something you love.

For more about Drift & Loom, please visit: www.driftandloom.com

Words & Photos by Angela Norton // Additional photos courtesy of Drift & Loom

The Great Beholding

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This past year has been one of the darkest, most heartbreaking and scariest seasons of my life. It’s felt suffocating and overwhelmingly exhausting at times. But I give glory to God that I can truly say, in spite of crippling circumstances, my husband and I are learning  beautiful lessons about the grace, mercy and sovereignty of God,  in ways that we never have before. It’s been very easy for me to lose heart, depriving my soul of the joy, hope and peace that Christ gives, but I have seen and tasted of His goodness in the midst of hardship and am so thankful and awed by Him for that.

At the end of last year, I was in a really dark place, questioning anything and everything about myself, but also putting a lot into question about what I knew (or thought I knew) about God. It felt like a constant tug of war, fighting against my doubts, trying to remain confident in not only the character of God, but His genuine heart and affections towards me as His child. During this season, I was searching the scriptures, desperately digging for some sort of solution or answer that resonated with what I was going through and how I was handling it. Years ago, the Lord laid John 15 on my heart to meditate on and memorize, so I began intently reading it and became deeply connected to its message. Each time I am brought back to these verses, they always take on a new and deeper meaning for me. This time in particular, I began reading through them over and over, doing my best to cling tightly to their truth and the Lord immediately gave me inspiration for a song.

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For as long as I can remember, God has used music specifically to speak to me and gave me the passion for worship and songwriting at a very young age. I’ve written a numerous amount of songs, but the songs that I feel deeply connected to and that God has used most in my life,  are the ones that have been written in the dark and devastating seasons that I’ve faced. The song that came from John 15 is one of those timely, life-giving ones for me. God is so good and so gracious, that when I am at my weakest and my heart is the most fragile, he stoops to meet me and plants inspiration. After finishing this song,  I shared it with my husband and we began the process of adding some sort of music to it. My husband and I recently started a band together called The Great Beholding and are slowly but surely preparing for pursuing this aspect of ministry together. Once we finished the writing process, I knew that it was something I needed to share. I know that this song is simple and nothing mind blowing, but  I think that the simplistic, profound words of Jesus in this passage are easily forgotten and we all need to be reminded of them.

IMG_8673Jesus lays out in a nutshell how we are to live our lives and what gives them purpose. When we are in Christ and abiding in His fullness, we are lacking nothing and are overflowing with joy. Submitting our lives to Christ’s call and remaining faithful to Him, brings a satisfaction like nothing else and it gives us the ability to be fruitful and pleasing in His sight. So many times I have fallen short and missed out experiencing His goodness in this way, by taking my own path and losing sight of this truth. It is so applicable and convicting to me on a regular basis and that is why I wanted to share my song on the blog today and be transparent with you all. Praise God that His grace is sufficient and that even in our weaknesses and brokenness, He is mighty to save us from our mess and bring us back to where we belong in Him. I pray that this little tune is an encouragement and comfort to the body of Christ and that it draws you closer and takes you deeper in your walk with Him.  

Listen to our latest song: Abide

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete…” John 15: 1-11

If you’d like to keep up with all of our musical endeavors, like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram @thegreatbeholding!

Photos & Words: Danielle M. Cosgrove  || Additional photos courtesy of The Great Beholding

Let all the Nations Praise You, Lord

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Dear Family, Friends, and anyone who happens across this corner of the internet,

This August I have the exciting opportunity to travel to Nicaragua with Celebration Baptist Church on a mission trip. We will be in Nicaragua August 2nd-9th. I pray that the Lord will work through me to carry His love and the beautiful message of His Gospel! But I need your help!

Our student team will be serving with On Eagle’s Wings Ministry. We will do outreach with over 4,000 youth in baseball and soccer leagues, fix meals and provide a mini VBS at a dozen or more local feeding programs directed by a network of 60 local pastors. Each program feeds and average of 150 children every day (9,000 total). We will visit hospitals, pray with patients and give gifts to children, as well as doing programs in local schools. One day will be spent ministering at the dump where 350 families live.

IMG_8376I am asking you to partner with me in praying for the people whom I will meet, for my own heart, and that The Lord would mold the hearts of the other individuals who I am traveling with so that we all might be attentive to what He is teaching us and who He would have us minister to! I ask you to pray that God would make Himself known to me and to our team, and would cause us to fade into the background in humility and awe of what He is doing.  Please pray that we would not lose our focus on Him and that he would soften the hearts of the people we meet!

The cost of the mission trip is $1500. If you would like to help with this expense I would be so, so grateful! Online donations can be made by going to the church website,  and clicking the “GIVE ONLINE” button. Select “Mission Trips” in the first drop down menu and then the name of the mission trip in the second drop down menu. Please include my name in the “comments” field. Here is the link: http://icelebration.org/giving/

If you would prefer to write a check,  please make it out to Celebration Baptist Church. Please include the name of my mission trip on the memo line but not my name. ON a separate note, please state that the contribution is toward my mission trip costs by writing my name on the note. Please send it to the following address: Celebration Baptist Church, 3300 Shamrock St E, Tallahassee, FL 32309. I need to have all my funds in by the end of April!

IMG_8375I am so excited to not only experience a new culture but also to learn more of my Savior through this experience. Thank you so much for your support, I am so grateful!

Love in Christ,
Madyson

“Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sign for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Seals Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Psalm 67:3-5

P.S. Madyson is also selling her handmade Nicaragua mission bracelets to help raise money for her trip here: www.beautiefullthings.etsy.com.

Blog and photo credit goes to Madyson from Beautiefull Things.