When Jaime and I decided to start blogging again we knew we wanted to be purposeful and intentional here.
And because we have been in this creative industry as small business owners and women entrepreneurs for well over a decade now, we wanted to share our experiences, our struggles, or inspirations... the whole deal. We want other women to believe in their gifts and talents and their calling. We want to inspire you to risk it all knowing that God called you to use your specific gifts to bring Him glory in this world that so desperately needs it.
With those things in mind, our GIRL BOSS feature was born.
Each month we will be interviewing incredible creative women who have decided to pursue the hard road of small business. They will share their personal experiences, trials, inspirations and advice. We hope you are inspired and encouraged to be your own version of a GIRL BOSS.
When and how did you get your business as an artist started?
"Ive always been drawing/painting/creating! Fine art was my major in college, but God had a different path planned for me, and I didn't make art my 'business' until after my daughter Fiona was born last year.
I quit working to be a stay-at-home mom and wanted a way to still interact with and encourage those byond my new tiny world. As excited as I was to become a mother, I also didn't want to lose my love for creating! That's when my Etsy shop was born. The name came from a line in Anne of Avonlea. 'After all, I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.' "
What or who are your main sources of inspiration in life and in work?
"Feminine loveliness is probably my greatest source of inspiration. I can't help but see God's hand at work in such loveliness! It is my testimony to the world of His love and existence when I paint. Pretty much anything delicate and feminine will make my hand itchy for a paintbrush (the latest Anthropologie catalog, old family photos of the women who've shaped me, my daughter's closet, my collection of hand-painted china, queen anne's lace and chamomile from my morning walk.)
Flowers are another inspiration for sure. Painting them invites to really observe and appreciate their delicacy and variety from one flower to the next. I see God's creativity through all the subtle differences in leaf shape, petal arrangement, and color. I always have a bouquet of fresh flowers on my table, as long as they are in season. Here in the PNW, that's a good chunk of the year
I'm also a vintage textile hoarder and frequently bust out my stash to get inspired. A sweet floral pattern makes my heart beat faster "
Can you tell us a little about your working process, work schedule and surroundings?
"Being a wife and mother are my first priorities, so painting and creating happens in the early morning before my daughter wakes up and at nap-time. I spend 2 to 3 hours a day painting and working on etsy. We live in a small two bedroom, although absolutely beautiful, apartment, so my studio is our kitchen table and I store my supplies in the China Hutch. Someday I'll have my own studio perhaps, but for now, I love my bright airy space!
I watercolor in a small moleskin journal or on Strathmore watercolor paper, depending on my intentions for the painting. A lot of my watercolors are personal praise paintings that accompany my Bible reading in the mornings. I focus on a verse and brush-letter it to help me memorize it, then paint some decorative motifs around it."
What is your favorite part of what you do? Do you have a least favorit?
"I love connecting with and encouraging others through a creation. Hearing, 'This is just what I need to see!' is such a testimony of God's faithfulness.
Watercolor painting is also just my absolute favorite. There are times I sit back and look at a completed piece with a sense of being just a small part of the whole process of creating. It's so much more than me. Being able to share my passion for painting through encouraging prints, cards, and workshops is very fulfilling.
My least favorite part is bookkeeping(absolutely yuck) and having to say no to projects. I really want to keep my priorities straight though, and that means saying no a lot more often than yes!"
Of all of your creations do you have a favorite?
"I painted this verse early on. It was inspired by a mission trip to Haiti where I first turned my life to Jesus and became a Christian. It has all my signature ingredients: florals, scripture, my colors. All that I do, I pray fulfills this verse,
'Let your light so shine before me, that they may glorify your Father in heaven.'
I want to shine, not so I am glorified, but so He is. All net proceeds from this print, I send back to Haiti."
How did you develop your particular style?
"My style evolved out of necessity. With a newborn, I only had small snatches of time to paint, so watercolor became my paint of choice because it was quick, dries fast and doesn't take up much space. I didn't have the time to sit down, plan and draw six thumbnail sketches like I'd learned in college; all I had time for was a quick, loose painting of something simple that was right in front of me.
That's where my loose, whimsical style came from. I rarely, rarely will draw anything out before! And I have fallen in love with how freeing that is. God has taught me through the loose, unpredictable way watercolor bleeds and seeps around on paper, that letting go of control can create beautiful things. Watercolor is such a parallel to trusting in God."
What's next? Do you still have a dream?
"The next step is to have my own website where I sell from and blog tutorials and watercolor tips ( I post videos most Fridays on my Instagram of watercolor paintings) in order to encourage even more women.
Textile design is something I've always had a passion for too, so I'm in the process of painting repeat patters to print out on fabric and turn into tea towels and other lovelies for the home
I'd love to collaborate with some artists/missions I admire! And a long-term dream is to provide women and girls in Haiti with hope and means to support themselves through Like Pearls on a String. Not sure how yet, but God is able."
25% off in the shop this month!
Coupon Code : GIRLBOSS
Thanks for sharing with us Jenna! We so enjoyed getting to know you and being inspired.
Take a minute to stop by Jenna's Etsy shop and show this GirlBoss some major love y'all. Her prints are adorable and you will be delighted and inspired for sure.