Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Meet Jennifer of Jennuine Candles!

Greetings Everyone!

This past week has been crazy for me, as I've already mentioned, I was sick toward the end of last week, and I'm still trying to get caught up! I'll be posting pics of my latest artwork soon, fatbook pages for the Sweet Treats fatbook! woot!

In the meantime, I'd like to share a new interview with you... this time, I got the opportunity to interview Jennifer from Jennuine Candles!

photo from Jennuine Candles at Artfire

Beautiful! I love the crystallized appearance of Jennifer's candles! Let's learn a little bit more about Jennifer, and her beautiful candles!

How long have you been creating your art?

I've only been creating my candles for about 6 months now, and the first couple of months were spent solely on learning the process so I could make the best candles possible. However, I think that I've had the creative "bug" for a long time and just recently opened myself up to that creative side. I've always had an interest in the arts, dating back to my elementary and high school days, when I belonged to the "Art Club." But I really didn't pursue anything in the arts, per se, until I had a realization just recently that my job requires me to be creative every day. As an occupational therapist over the past 13 years I have worked with older adults and pediatrics, but my "mission" has always remained the same... improve the quality of life for each person/patient/resident that I have the opportunity of serving. In order to acheive that mission, creativity is my number one "friend." Although I may have not always been a true artisan, I can say I have been a "creator" for quite a long time now.

Where do you sell your art?

I currently sell my candles on Artfire, Etsy and 1000Markets.

How do you advertise/market your store?

This has been my most difficult task thus far, realizing that marketing is really the key component to succeed in being "found" by buyers. I have created a blog on Blogger (http://jennuinecandles09.blogspot.com/), a business page on facebook, a profile on byhand.me, and I try to make sure that I regularly visit and post in the forums on ByHand, Etsy, and Artfire. I also have a twitter account and a plurk account. It can be quite time consuming, but I believe that the time, effort and research will pay off in the end.

At what point did you decide to sell your art?

When I first started out making my candles, I only intended on making them for friends and family, and of course for my house as well. :) That is until my husband took a few of my candles to work to burn at his desk while he was working and then my "business" kind of bloomed from there. His co-workers started asking if I could make candles for them and then my co-workers got wind of my hobby and they started ordering the candles and the orders just kept coming, thus the creation of jennuinecandles.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

I would tell them that marketing, item photos, shop organization and forum presentation are the keys to not only surviving, but thriving in these types of venues. There are hundreds of artisans that do the exact same or very similar thing that they do and making themselves unique and stand out to buyers is the biggest barrier standing between them and success. I am still learning these rules myself!

What inspires you?

Honestly, it depends on the day. I know that sounds vague, but when I make a new candle it's solely based on how I am feeling that particular day and what scent will meet that need for me. Now, obviously, I do custom orders as well so I won't wait for the "feeling" to overcome me to make an ordered candle. :)

Every artist experiences "creative block" - a creative dry spell - how do you deal with creative block?

I have yet to experience a true "creative block," but I guess it could be those days when I don't pull out my supplies and a new and beautiful creation.

How did you choose the medium you work with?

I was actually introduced to palm wax by a good friend. Prior to this exposure, I only knew of paraffin, soy and beeswax candles, but the intrigue and beauty of the palm wax really inspired me to learn more about it. And, the added benefits of it being a sustainable product that is good for the environment, unlike some of the other waxes, was definitely the final decision in the candle path that I chose.

How do you wish to be remembered?

Smart, funny, honest and trustworthy.

What blogs do you visit on a regular basis?

Hmmm.... I have so many these days. Since I've been involved in ByHand, Artfire, Etsy and Plurk, the blogs I follow has grown and I try to visit them at least once a week to see what is new and exciting with everyone.

For anyone who might be reading, what shops would you recommend that they visit right now?

I would actually recommend following the link to my ByHand.ME spotlights because that's where I "store" my favorite items/shops:


Note: You can find her spotlights if you scroll down and click on her "my spotlights" tab

Any final thoughts?

Thanks for doing this... it's been fun! :)

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