Meet the Maker
I believe that environmental consciousness is essential for our generation.
When I started this business, I decided: I would not cause undue harm to the environment. I would not cause more microplastics to end up in our oceans and air, I would not condone deforestation, and I would not be a part of the problem, but a part of the solution.
I believe in the concept of “creative reuse,” and upcycling & reusing materials that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.
How it Started:
This gig started when I wanted to include Christmas cards with presents for friends and family, and I was only finding these cheesy, corny, ugh-worthy cards that just didn’t work for me. I had a Chewy catalog lying around, and as I was flipping through it, I was seeing dogs & cats and I was thinking, I want to put this dog on a card and make it say something like “Merry Fucking Christmas.” So I did. And I gave it to my mom. And she laughed.
The moment I gave my mom a card that made her laugh AND that I made and had fun making, was the moment I knew I had to bring more sarcastic and fun cards into this world.
From there, I started making literally hundreds of cards and I was laughing to myself the whole time. When I did my first art show, people were laughing, too. And then they would tell their friends to “come look at this card, it made me think if [insert name].”
That made me feel so good. It made me feel excited and somehow united to this person I had no connection to.
I started realizing that I am talented at freehand writing. I started making cards that were more encouraging, using things that have been said by friends and family to encourage me, or things I wish I would’ve heard during rough times.
And that’s how I began my mission to Make America Greet Again.
The first thing I need to get my creative juices flowing is material – atlases, pretty pieces of paper, calendars, newspapers, sharpie pens – the list goes on. I collect packaging material, ribbons, half-used notebooks, tissue paper, wrapping paper, any type of ‘specialty’ paper that’s been embossed or has a glossy finish. When I travel I pick up brochures, pamphlets, anything I can get my hands on. I’ve learned to pack lightly in order to bring all my new materials home.
The second thing I need is a space to work. Currently, I’m working in my studio apartment. So, I need good lighting, good sounds, good scents, and comfy clothes… I set up at my make-shift desk and get out my materials including everything I listed above and glue sticks, mod podge, pens & markers.
Then, I turn on some true-crime TV, documentaries, or podcasts; if I’m in a different mood I’ll put on some melodic metal like Devin Townsend or trap music like Future.
I snip, I laugh out loud at my ideas, I start tearing, gluing, and clipping. I end up with clippings in my socks, my shirt, my hair… it’s quite the scene.
Most importantly, my cards are truly 100% handmade. I freehand all my writing, I make my own stencils, and I use glue sticks, pencils, sharpie markers, scissors… and lots of extra TLC.
I am working towards being the most eco-friendly I can possibly be. As of June 2019, all my cards are 100% recycled. Once I use up my current stock of cellophane packaging, I will have biodegradable cellophane. Most of my materials are purchased from creative reuse shops, like The Wasteshed.
About Me: Jenny
I am a 27-year-old cisgender woman living in Chicago. I’m a potty mouth and a spiritual-but-not-religious person. I’m a mama, to these two adorable kitties:
My day job, as Online Marketplace Manager for a small company here in Chicago, is very important to me. I am absolutely in love with the company I work for, and my bosses could quite possibly be the best bosses ever. However, one day, I dream of making Greetings by Jenny big enough to be my sole source of income. I’ve always wanted to own my own business, and maybe this is my chance (hopefully…?).
I battled alcohol and drug addiction for most of my early 20s, and have since overcome the struggle of living daily life without alcohol and drugs, achieving over 2 years sobriety in May 2019.
This lil hobby and now business has immensely impacted my recovery and transition into a ‘normal’ adult life. I get in the motha f*ckin’ zone when I’m curating, creating, and collaging. I don’t think about my day job, I don’t think about my problems, I don’t think about what I “should” be doing… I hone in on my creative side and get to work.
If you’re curious about my recovery, I have a whole separate blog dedicated to logging my past, present, and what I hope is my future. I have over 500 pages of my personal yet public journal via blog, and maybe I’ll write a memoir someday. I will share my blog with you if you’re interested. You won’t be able to find it on your own because I use a pseudonym :). If you do find it, I’m impressed, and I want to know how you found it!
Thanks for reading about my gig, and please reach out if there's anything you need.