Creativity can be medicinal. Especially in times of darkness. It’s not uncommon for moms to find peace in putting as much effort we can muster into art- even while sleep deprived.
This is self care at its finest. It’s those late nights when we’ve put the baby back to bed for the umpteenth time and rather than going to bed ourselves, we take whatever little energy we have left and put our hands to create something beautiful.
It’s why you’ll find most creative small businesses owned by moms. And especially moms with babies and toddlers still at home.
When you support a mom owned business, you are supporting the time that mom takes to make something beautiful out of her exhaustion.
Christina Jean Designs is one such mom owned business whose entrepreneurship came within an unexpected season. What started as creative expression in the simple hobby of hand lettering made Christina aware of her ability to flourish in her creative skills in a manner that could be profitable. Here is Christina to tell us more:
“It’s true I was an exhausted Mom with PPD and I needed something to help me cope with that so I started hand lettering, an art of drawing letters.
It was something that was creative, I could do on the couch, it was silent (so I wouldn’t wake the baby) and it was soothing.
I had always loved writing and had dabbled in calligraphy in college, but the new modern calligraphy (or hand lettering) really drew me in. There is so much freedom of expression and it’s truly an art. You are drawing letters. It’s very fun and satisfying, not to mention all the fun pens and colors!
Hand lettering really helped me cope with my PPD because it gave me something creative and fun to do that was all mine.”
Little did Christina know, calligraphy was only the start. It was her moment of realization that creativity could be taken to a whole other level when it’s done as an aspect of self care.
“I actually finally started my business when my second baby was 3 months old. It’s funny looking back and realizing that I had over 30 years to start a business. I had wanted to, but I didn’t until I was the most busy and most sleep deprived I had ever been.
You know what though, and I think many of you will be able to relate to this; when I was working a 9-5 job, in a creative industry, I had ZERO energy for anything after work. I was exhausted mentally and physically. I’m definitely an introvert, so working in that environment was tiring and stressful for me.
So even though I had two kids and was sleeping 5 hours a night, I actually had more creative energy and more excitement than I had had in years! I’m so glad I jumped in and just started. In just a little over a year I have already changed so much. If you are waiting, don’t! Just go for it!
A Mom running her own business has the freedom to be with her kids and take care her family. She also has a way to financially contribute if she so desires.
For me running my own business gives me a creative outlet which is super important for my mental health as well as my soul.
I launched my business right before the pandemic, which was a blessing because it’s given me something to work for besides my family. It’s also connected me with many new people even during stay at home orders. It’s an adventure for me everyday and I like that kind of challenge. It brings me so much joy!”
Christina Jean Designs not only has hand lettered goods but she makes denim bags of all kinds, mostly exclusive and unique, from pre-loved denim. Here she explains more of her process:
“My denim comes mostly from family and friends, but I thrift shop too. I wash and cut them up into bags of all kinds. The fabrics that are in the inside are from Spoonflower designers, retail shops or are my own fabric designs. I like to pick colorful and fun prints that bring smiles and happy thoughts to my customers. I hope to design more and more of my own prints as I have the time.
I am going to start a program where you can donate denim to me (ship or drop off) and you will receive a coupon to spend in my shop! I hope to launch this soon!
The creation process is my favorite part, it comes easy to me. My background is in technical design (pattern making) and fashion design, so I understand the process well.
I have been sewing for over 20 years, it’s something I have always loved. I’m just finally putting my skills to use in a way I have wanted to for a long long time, in my own small business.
I definitely have times during the day where I turn off work and turn on momming and vice versa. What has helped me the most and the advice I have for anyone who is reading this is to separate the two as much as you can.
Don’t try to work and mother, or mother and work. You need your focus on your child at times and on your work at times. I think you probably know too that kids know when you are not really paying attention, they are so smart. So it’s best to give them your full attention, fill their cups so you can then focus on work and they are happy.
Try to keep a balance, this is why I’m starting my own business so I can be a part of their lives, for the rest of mine.”
Christina Jean Designs incorporates up-cycling practices that benefits our world and the world of generations to come. Your purchase goes beyond adding another item to your closet.
“Personally I think it’s important that we all do our part to reduce our carbon footprint.
Up-cycling is one way to help reduce the amount of items we put back into the world after we use them. I do as much as I can and it all counts!
It may seem like little things but little things all add up. It’s something I’m passionate about and I want to inspire others to do their part and know it really does make a difference.”