This is the 2nd interview of a featured seller participating in our April ArtFire giveaway running Wed. 4/1/09-Tues. 4/7/09. The theme is Eco-Friendly, and all of our sellers offer a 10% discount during the giveaway week and a purchase from any ArtFire shop during that week gets you an extra entry into the giveaway. Buy from a featured seller that week, and we up it to 2! Jenn from Jennuine Candles is contributing a delicious Pome-great-nate 9oz Palm Wax candle!
1. Biographical info:
My name is Jennifer Holliday. I was born and raised in Western New York; about 30 minutes outside of Buffalo. After graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy, I re-located to the Hampton/Newport News area of Virginia and lived/worked there for 6 years. During that time, I earned my master’s degree in Healthcare Management and met my now husband. We moved to the Phoenix metro area of Arizona in 2003 and have been married for six and a half years. (Wow, it’s amazing how time flies!) We always get asked, why did you move to Arizona and we reply “why not?”
2. Who and or what inspired you to become an artist? Was there a specific event or period in your life when you decided to go this route and why? Was it the right decision?
I don’t have a specific person or event that was a defining moment for me. I guess 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 achieve 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.
3. What purpose does your art serve in your life? Is it just paying the bills?
Quite simply, it allows me an escape from the rigors of my normal life. I love looking through my fragrance oils or researching my preferred suppliers for newly added fragrance oils and imagining the scent and the beauty that each candle will produce. I am also a people pleaser of sorts and I love the reactions that people have to my candles and it brings me joy to know that I can bring enjoyment to somebody else. At the current time, it doesn’t pay the bills, but it gives me a little bit of “fun money” and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!
4. What other creative outlets do you employ?
In addition to being a chandler, I also have a love for nature/landscape photography as well. My husband and I take every opportunity that we have to get out into nature and find some new and unique things to photograph. I actually have a website for my photography (www.shutterchaos.com) and I have been pondering the thought of also selling my prints or developing them into postcards/notecards/greeting cards.
5. Why do you like selling on ArtFire, and why is being apart of the upcoming giveaway important to you?
In all honesty, it’s a new site that is building around what the artisans want and need. And, the people/artisans that I have “met” thus far have made me feel welcome and have been very supportive as I learn my way around. As far as why I wanted to be a part of the giveway, it’s two fold….promoting ArtFire and promoting myself.
6. What advice would give to someone who wanted to start their own shop on ArtFire or another handmade venue?
I would tell them that marketing, item photos, shop organization and forum participation are the keys to not only surviving, but thriving in these type 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 between standing between them and success. I am still learning that rule!
7. What flavor of ice cream are you and why?
I am Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey…I can be cool and collected like the smoothness of the banana ice cream but the little bits of chocolate and walnuts represent the hills and valleys that can affect my cool. But, at the end of the day, they blend well together!
Thank you, Jenn! Don't forget to visit Jenn's shop and stay tuned for another Featured Seller Interview tomorrow!
Interviews of other sellers in this giveaway: Chelsea Lynn DesignsWant to peek at past giveaways? January February March