Creative Roots Challenge Week 3 - JBK Crochet

Week 3 of the Creative Roots Challenge welcomes Jessica of JBK Crochet!
You can find this talented lady on Instagram, and browse her website here.

JBK Crochet Maker Q&A

Week 3 Challenge: How do you stay organized? Show us a collection of your favourite tools, and tell us how they work for you!

Prize: 25 Handmade Faux Fur Poms

How to Enter: Post your challenge photo and tag @jbkcrochet + @knitbrooks, using hashtags #CreativeRootsChallenge + #CreativeRootsWeek3. You have until Monday, September 21st @ 1pm EST!

As makers we are often juggling SO MUCH! Life can get a little crazy and finding balance at times can be extremely difficult. I find myself constantly learning and reevaluating my process. Organization is an incredibly beneficial skill - it reduces stress, increases productivity, and helps us regain a sense of control. We are constantly growing and evolving, and it’s important that our organizational tools and systems grow with us too!

We belong to such a unique and beautiful community and I think that this is a great opportunity for us to share our experiences, reflect on how far we’ve come, as well as creating a hashtag full of useful resources for other makers to have access to when evaluating their system!

JBK Crochet Maker Q&A

My name is Jessica, I am 29 years old and I am the maker, designer and faux fur pom maker behind JBK Crochet! I have always been a dreamer, very passionate, a little goofy and a “The cup is half full” kind of gal! I love camping, spending time with loved ones, cool weather, PSL, and am always crocheting!

My maker journey so far has absolutely taken me by surprise! At a young age my grandmother tried to teach me how to crochet and as much as I enjoyed the time being spent with her it just didn’t stick. Then out of nowhere when I was 27 I decided to take a trip to my local craft store to buy myself a crochet hook and some yarn. It was completely unprompted; I had no idea what I was doing but I thought I would give it a shot! I started watching YouTube videos and before you knew it, I was hooked – pun absolutely intended!

I was so proud of my work and decided to document it on social media platforms. Before I knew it orders started flooding in and I accidentally started a side business that I was incredibly passionate about. Through Instagram I found a group of ladies that met every week for sip and stitches, and they opened my eyes to all the possibilities this new passion of mine had!

I started building connections with other makers in the community, learned some new skills and mapped out what I wanted JBK Crochet to look like. I am now selling faux fur poms, testing crochet patterns and have even started designing! I feel so lucky to have found a way to start a business doing something that I love.

JBK Crochet Q&A

JBK Crochet Maker Q&A

When you first started your maker journey, what was your goal? How has it changed?

When I first started my maker business, I wanted to make ALL OF THE THINGS. I wanted to sell finished items, do markets and sell on social media platforms. Although I do still sell some finished items my maker journey has taken me on a completely different path. I’ve learned how to crochet garments and started testing – as a plus sized woman this was always intimidating. I’ve started making and selling faux fur poms and have fallen in love with design! Although I am a brand-new designer, I have had ideas and patterns in my head for well over a year and have never had the courage to type them up. I have no idea where JBK crochet is headed next, but I know I am excited about it! 

What is your favourite inspirational (or creativity-related) quote?
“You can’t use up creativity, the more you use it the more you have.” I love this quote because it is a reminder that creativity is a skill that we are constantly nurturing and growing. Every time we pick up a needle, hook, or yarn we are developing our skills and opening the door to more possibilities. 

What is your main creative struggle, and how do you work through it?
I would say my biggest creative struggle is not being able to say no. It is something I have always struggled with as a persona and it is only amplified in the maker world. My whole heart wants to jump on every project, make every order, all while accomplishing the tasks I’ve already lined up for myself.

I’ve learned how to work through this by not saying yes so quickly! If I even have a sliver of a doubt in my abilities to accomplish a task I’ve learned to ask if I can reply at a later time or date in order to evaluate my schedule and make a realistic decision.

Tell us about a total maker FAIL. What did you learn from it, and how did that failure help you grow? 
My biggest maker fail would have to be taking on way to many orders this past holiday season. I was drowning and did not know how I was going to get myself out of it. I have learned my limits, how and when to put up boundaries and document EVERYTHING. My calendar and agenda are now my saving grace. Seeing everything on paper really puts things into perspective and makes it easier for me to say no when I can’t take anything else on. 

What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment? 
Honestly, I feel that I am still at the very beginning of my JBK Crochet journey, so my everyday accomplishments become my new biggest accomplishment! I work hard at actively trying something new everyday and I feel it really helps me grow. 

Something that I am so proud of right now is that I have my very first two patterns being released on Friday! My Avery Beanie and Avery Ear warmers. I feel so vulnerable but overwhelmingly excited all at the same time! 

What is one goal you’re working towards right now?
One goal that I am working towards right now is starting a YouTube channel. This is SO out of my comfort zone but something that I’ve always been drawn too. I am a visual learner and have always found video tutorials and vlogs extremely helpful. Now that I have found a fire in me for design, I think complimenting that with a YouTube channel would be very natural and helpful for anyone new to crochet!   

Name three creative people who inspire you, and why? (include IG / site link)
@TLYarncrafts: Toni was one of the very first creatives I started following and she had such an incredible impact on my growth! Watching her grow, her beautiful designs and just how unapologetically herself she is, is so inspiring

@SierrasCraftyCreations: I came across Sierra’s posts at the very start of my maker journey as well and FELL IN LOVE with her poms. She was the very first shop I had ever ordered poms from and designed the first written pattern that I had ever followed. When she developed her pom e-course it was a game changer for me. As soon as it became available, I knew I had to have it. I quickly started selling poms in my shop and now poms have become a huge part of my business.

@knitsnknotswpg: Janine’s patterns are so versatile and look amazing on all body types. She was the designer of the very first garment I ever made. Making garments was something I had always been incredibly nervous about as a plus sized woman. She also was the first designer I had ever tested for and it was a raglan! I was upfront from the very beginning that I had never tested a pattern nor had I worked up a garment like this one and she let me test for her anyway! From that point on I fell in love with testing and have tested several pieces since!
Testing one of Janine’s patterns also lead to my modeling a plus sized line for We Are Knitters which is an opportunity I would have never dreamt 

What is your best piece of advice for someone who has lost their creative mojo?
The best advice I could give to someone that has lost their creative mojo is to find a way to disconnect from the business of day to day and reconnect with yourself. Oftentimes my creative mojo disappears when my mind is full of everything else that is happening in my life. As soon as I disconnect, go out into nature and just reconnect with myself the creative juices start flowing almost instantly! 

JBK Crochet Maker Q&A

Share five fun non-maker-related facts!
  1. My birthday is on International Happiness Day!
  2. I am a toy store manager by day.
  3. I am the eldest of 6 girls
  4. I love a good murder documentary or audio book
  5. Awful reality game type of shows are my JAM Big Brother, The Bachelor everything, Survivor…etc

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