This week in our ongoing Meet the Maker series, we’re getting to know Jennifer Heynen, the self-described “maker of happy things” and business-savvy creative behind Jennifer Jangles!
LBC: What inspired you to take your leap as an entrepreneur?
Jennifer: I was designing floral arrangements for corporate parties, hotels and other businesses. It became very stressful for a variety of reasons so I began looking for other avenues.
LBC: When you first got started, how did you envision your business would be defined?
Jennifer: I have been in business for 19 years and where I started is completely different than where I am now. When I began my business, I was making mosaic tables and wallhangings from my handmade tiles. I sold them throughout the country by traveling to art fairs. Now I design fabric and other products that I license to companies as well as self-produce a line of craft kits and patterns.
LBC: How would you describe what you create?
Jennifer: My tagline is “I am the maker of happy things,” and that basically sums it up. I do ceramics, paint, sew, make jewelry and more. The binding factor is that everything is bright and happy.
LBC: Where can we find your products?
Jennifer: My fabrics, kits, and patterns can be found in independent quilt shops all over the world. My books Ceramic Bead Jewelry and Stitch Kitsch can be purchased through book stores and Amazon. Ceramic items and all of the above can be found on my website jenniferjangles.com.
LBC: Walk us through your typical work day.
Jennifer: I get up at six and stumble to the computer with my mocha in hand. After a few hours on the computer returning emails, making lists, etc., I ship any orders out that I have. Then, I get started on whatever my current project is and spend the majority of my day working on it. To end my work day, I go for a run and then pick up my two boys from school around 4:00.
LBC: What are 3 things makers should think through when they initially decide to start a business?
Jennifer: 1) Are you really willing to work hard long hours?
2) Are you willing to take chances?
3) Are you afraid of failing?
LBC: When you’re overwhelmed, what brings you back to focus?
Jennifer: A really big and detailed to-do list.
LBC: Tell us about a few of the best business decisions you’ve made to date.
Jennifer: I think one of the best things I have always done for my business, especially when working on new products is to get out and do shows. It is invaluable to watch customers and see what they like and don’t like about things I am making and selling. They always have ideas and suggestions as well. I’m never afraid to try something new or fail. I think that you have to go with what is inspiring you because that will shine through in your work.
LBC: Please share one mistake or obstacle from your business experience. How did you bounce back/overcome it?
Jennifer: When I had transitioned in to selling jewelry to wholesale accounts only. That was the sole source of my business income. I did one wholesale show twice a year. It was more than enough business to keep me going. My mistake was that because I relied on one show for all of my business, there came a year when it wasn’t a good show, and I had to scramble and come up with different avenues of income to stay afloat. Now, I always have different streams of income for security when one avenue isn’t working.
LBC: What are 3 essential resources in your business toolbox that you can’t do without?
Jennifer: 1) My newsletter.
3) My notebook/planner.
LBC: Suppose we had a time machine. If you blasted ourselves forward a few years, where would we see your company?
Jennifer: I would like to be writing more books and licensing more of my product ideas and artwork.
LBC: What’s one thing you would eat, if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life?
Jennifer: I would live off of mochas for the rest of my life.
LBC: Share one of your guiltiest pleasures.
Jennifer: Only sewists will get this one, but it’s pre-filled bobbins for my sewing machine. I hate winding bobbins.
LBC: What’s your spirit animal?
Jennifer: I don’t know if this is my spirit animal, but toads always cross my path just before something good happens to me.
LBC: Tell me a few of places on your travel “bucket list”.
Jennifer: The Leaning Tower of Pisa and Hawaii.
Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your talent with us! We absolutely love your work and we look forward to all the wonderful things ahead for Jennifer Jangles! We’re cheering you on…
Want to see your brand featured in our continuing “Meet the Maker” series? Drop us a line: hello AT luckybreakconsulting.com. Please use “MEET THE MAKER” as the subject line and be certain to include your web address. We look forward to hearing from you!