A lot of Makers are “multi-crafty”, meaning they have more than one Etsy Shop, or more than one medium that they craft in and Jess from “Jess Made This” and “GemPotsCo.” is no different.. Read on to see what her talents are and how she keeps things in check..

Please tell us a bit about yourself and one interesting fact.

Hi! I’m Jessica. I’ve always loved making crafts and I think it’s pretty cool that my business involves a lot of making! I make party decorations (especially banners) for my shop JessMadeThis. I make concrete pots for my shop GemPotsCo. And I make digital prints for my shop MaudAndJane. I’ve been selling my banners on Etsy since 2009, but I just opened my other two shops this year – and I’m pretty excited about growing them.

What is the story behind your business name?

(Way) back in 2009, I chose the name JessMadeThis for my first Etsy shop because I was used to hearing my family and friends say “Jess made this” when speaking about some little crafty thing I had made for them. I also didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to sell online – so that shop name seemed like it could fit just about anything. Over the years I’ve thought about changing it to something more specific, but I can never bring myself to do it. Plus, it’s been a really useful social media handle lately since it can encompass everything I make now and anything else I might do in the future.

Describe your work-space and your top tools are.

I have a good-sized office-style desk that’s been handling my craft projects since I was about 8 years old. I like having my tools nearby, so I have storage on the wall in front of my desk (right now I’m using pieces of the Martha Stewart wall manager system). My paper and string and everything else are on bookshelves behind me. I keep my concrete pot making supplies out in the garage. It’s too messy to make them inside. I just bought a small electric heater so I should be good to go out there in the Winter.

Do you receive many custom orders and if so, how much input do clients have?

Almost all of my banners are customized – typically by colour. I have a colour chart attached to most of my listings that clients can look at and select from before checking out. I also get requests for custom text, different fonts, images, etc. I try my best to make whatever the client is asking. Sometimes there’s a lot of back and forth before the banner is made and shipped out. It’s always rewarding to have a happy customer though.

Any advice for a new Handcrafted Maker who is setting up a shop?

I would say, wherever possible, make duplicates of things. I’ve learned that re-selling the same item on Etsy builds momentum for that listing and can help it sell over and over again.

Do you have other hobbies?

I like to find and collect vintage things! My favourite collection is my Barbies from the 1960s. I love finding vintage Christmas ornaments and I recently started a Pyrex collection too. I decided to stick to one design (“butterprint”) because it’s such a pretty turquoise blue colour. So far I only have 3 bowls, but I’m still pretty proud of them. Haha!

What has been the most challenging aspect of being a creative business owner?

Time management can be tricky. It would be great to spend all day making things, but there are many other things to think about. I always have to-do lists reminding me to order supplies or list new products. It’s also not hard to start scrolling on Instagram or browsing Etsy and realize 10 minutes (or more) have gone by. That’s when I need a bell or something to go off to remind me to get back to work. Otherwise, I’ll be making banners at like 9:00 PM instead of doing something else I’d rather be doing at that time – like watching Once Upon a Time on Netflix 🙂

Make sure to follow Jess on social media as you never know what she’ll be up to next!

Etsy Shop: jessmadethis.etsy.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/shopjessmadethis

Instagram: @jessmadethis

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