I’m not one to post overly personal life posts, but I’ve been thinking a lot about things as I approach my 38th birthday and have 2 5 year anniversaries this year. I’m so lucky and here, a few days before my birthday, I find how important it is to acknowledge.
So here I am, days before I turn 38. I would much rather be turning 38 than 28.. and certainly 38 than 18!! I have learned a lot in those years. I have grown a lot, changed and become the adult I am (hahaha.. I’m an adult!!) I’ve had many “jobs” – lifeguard, Starbucks barista, Starbucks manager, restaurant manager…. when I became a massage therapist (at 26) I knew that I had found my life calling- my career. Things fell into place in my life. I was a healer. I had amazing friends, a connected family, a FANTASTIC apartment in Chicago. I was happy.
Fast forward a couple years and I met Bryan. I was on the road with a band, tour managing and doing massage. He worked for the record company and merchandise house they had just signed with. We fell in love. I moved to NC and continued to do massage. In fact, my massage business thrived. I missed my friends and family, but I was happier than I’d been in Chicago, because I was in love.
We just celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary. When Bryan proposed, I wanted to make special scarves for my bridesmaids, so I decided to teach myself to knit. And then I couldn’t find any yarn special enough, so I taught myself to spin.
So I spun yarns and knit scarves. And then I spun more yarns and more yarns. And I spun more yarns then I knew what to do with. So I started an Etsy store. I sold my first yarn in March 2008. Just over 5 years ago. In Dec 2008, when my husband got caught up in the economy crash and was underemployed for about 18 months. I was able to put my head to the ground and spin spin spin. Our hard work kept us above water. Bryan built this website. We started to go to wool festivals and yarn shows. He took his many years of working at music festivals experience and taught me the in’s and out’s of vending a show booth. We’ve vended all over the place!! We’ve pulled a trailer with a Malibu up a mountain in the snow!
Then I started being asked to teach. I had knowledge that people wanted me to share. I love teaching. I’ve been teaching my entire life – Sunday School, swimming lessons, music class, teaching customers about coffee.. so sharing my love of fiber was easy.
So I started to teach. Teaching has given us the gift of travel. I’ve taught at festivals like SAFF and Stitches! We’ve been to Holland and we’re going to New Zealand! I’ve been to Copenhagen and back to Holland. I taught on a cruise to the Bahamas! I’ve spent time in California and Florida, and trips to Seattle and Minneapolis are in the works.
It’s been 5 years since I started JazzTurtle Creations. I’m writing my first book. I’ve been in Lexi Boegers book, and Ashely Martinieau’s upcoming book. I’ve started writing for PLY Magazine. My first article was just published, the second is done and approved and a third I’m writing now. My yarns are now being carried in shops like Skacel in Seattle, Downtown Knits in Apex and StevenBe in Minneapolis. I sell yarn and fiber in my etsy shop. I have opened a second shop for my wearables and home decor.
Even more important than the success I’m having with my business, I’m happy..
I have an amazing group of great friends that are spread across the globe
Fantastic and wonderful friends, that make me laugh, encourage me and support me when I’m down.
I continue to learn and grow as an artist. My love of weaving grows with each throw of the shuttle. My SAORI loom and my Majacraft Dynamic Heddle loom are getting lots of use and endless enjoyment. I’m designing garments with my cloth. I plan to do A LOT more with my weaving. I want to teach more creative weaving classes. I want to grow as a weaving studio.
I’m excited that there are now wonderful patterns by talented designers using my yarns, with more to come!! I have even come to enjoy knitting myself. A lot. I’m enjoying the challenge of learning something new. I’m lucky that I have a great teacher, who’s very encouraging! He’s helped me tailor my ideas into patterns, and now I’ve started designing my own! Knitting has given me an entirely new appreciation for how color works when knit, which has improved my yarns.
So here I am, a few days before I turn 38, well into 5 years of my business and 5 years into my marriage. I can say that I’m happy. I love my husband. I love my family. I have great friends far and wide. Friends who knew me before this fiber whirlwind started and friends I’ve met along the way. I work hard. It’s not an easy life, but I’m happy. I work for myself. We don’t live large, but we have enough to pay the bills. We get to travel. I am blessed to have great massage clients. I continue to be a healer. I continue to be a teacher. I continue to be a student. At the 5 year mark, my business is growing. I can say that it’s thriving even. There are new opportunities on the horizon.
So bring on 38! I’m ready for this new year!