Every Monday you will get to learn a little more about the wonderful artist that sell their awesome work at The Felt Bird.
We'd like to introduce you to Jennifer McCoy, creator of JDStar!!
location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
the awesomeness: handwoven bracelets
*random facts about JD*
1. I get lost (deep) in thought watching the water sprinkler.
2. I usually make a point of developing a great flip-flop tan each year.
3. I'm still working on my own business goals.
4. I (currently) have 2 sergers, 2 sewing machines and 6 or 7 looms.
5. Like most very right-brained people, I have trouble with left and right.
*Clearly the name stems from your name, right?
Yes, the JD part of JDStar comes from my first 2 initials. The Star part comes from a fascination with five-pointed stars. The first time I used the name JDStar was when I signed up for my Etsy shop. I've liked it and used it since then.
*Can you tell us a little about your background and what compelled you to start a craft business?
My background is actually in art education and when you choose art education over a degree in a studio art, you get a very diverse knowledge of different media. Not an in-depth knowledge of everything but enough to explore a lot of different things just enough to find out if you might like to learn more. That's how I found weaving. Specifically inkle weaving. I was in a fiber arts class the first time I saw an inkle loom and I knew I wanted to learn more about using it. Eventually my mother and I built my first inkle loom in her garage and I didn't use it very often. It was one of those flash back days that I went and bought some embroidery floss and wanted to make a friendship bracelet. I tired and remembered how long it takes and how frustrated I get when I mess it up. Then it hit me... what if I warped the inkle with the floss? It worked out well! I started weaving long bands and tying them on, and soon, I had a lot of woven bands. Somewhere in there it occured to me to use snaps and a closure and it became evident that I needed to do something with the finished product besides wear them and give them away. That's when I started selling them in a local store and then opened my Etsy shop. It all started as a hobby, but last year I resigned my art teaching position and began working on my own. I have really enjoyed making my own hours and working at home.
JD demonstrating weaving at the state fair of Oklahoma on behalf of City Arts Center's Weaving classes and studio
*Where does your inspiration come from?
When I weave, I look through my floss stash and find colors that might look good together. I have also dreamt of colors to use and I have seen color combinations that I like on other things (a favorite pair of flip-flops for example) and I try to stay away from doing the same thing more than once.
*2 favorite websites?
I'm really enjoying Twitter right now
I spend a LOT of time on Etsy.
*What's next for JDstar?
JDStar has branched out from weaving embroidery floss to recycling silk sweaters into woven bracelets. I've also added a serger to my equipment and I spend a lot of time making t-shirt blankets. They can be seen at www.wtfokc.org. And you'll still see me doing Deluxe events several times a year. I'd also like to start doing full-service weekend camping trips for crafters. That's way off though.
*Any tips or advice for anyone starting their own craft business?
I'd say set out your goals and make a specific plan to follow to meet those goals. If you don't have it written down, you are likely to flounder and give up. If you are working towards something, you will go farther!
If you really want a business, you've got to treat it like a business and not a hobby.
Save a lot of money before you quit your job.
And give yourself a job title that's descriptive and fun to use like Hardcore Crafter. When people ask you what you do, you'll sound more confident than if you say "I make stuff at home".
You can find JDStar handwoven bracelets at The Felt Bird & jdstar.etsy.com