From my first ever pair of earrings, to fringe and cowhide handbags... it's been nothing short of an adventure.
I started Jill's Homestead (& Studio) in April 2018 after a vacation we were going on was canceled due to life happening.. I kept my time off and decided to use it to dive into some creative outlets I'd been putting off due to becoming a Mom.
My first ever pair (1st photo, white double feathers) was the reason I ever cut into leather. I wanted some fun earrings and decided to make some myself. I never intended to sell any, just wanted to make some.
After a few weeks of folks trying to buy them, I decided to sell a few pairs for fun on Facebook... well, it took off pretty quick. I saw an opportunity, so I decided to hustle. I stayed up late every night while everyone else at home slept. I entered into farmer's markets and any show I could find.
Over time, I started building a following.. tried new things.. and kept my feet moving.
I finally felt like I could move my day job to part time after the arrival of our 2nd daughter in 2019. Having a 2nd kiddo meant pumping in my car to and from shows and markets, and feeling like a crazy person for the amount of stuff to pack and time it took to make it all happen. Everything was calculated to make sure I had time to still do the Mom things and be at shows.
... And almost a year later, February of 2020.. I left my day job.
Now, if you read that date right... you know that was the calm before the storm... February... 2020.
Then the obvious happened. The big shut down.
I wad terrified. Not only did I leave my job (as a Nurse)... I had 2 young kids at home and a husband who worked at a casino (closed of course).
So instead of worrying and stressing... I took that energy and started hustling harder. I moved the entire workshop to the basement from the spare room... I created new things, made my first ever tote bag... stayed up til 3am every night, took shifts with my husband swapping caring for the kids while we all were at home together. I pushed my website to a new platform and started auctions and a more interactive space online.
All of that.. led to where we are today. I hired my first part time employee in May 2020 and was scared I wouldn't be able to pay her, but knew I had to figure it out to grow.
Fast forward through the 2 craziest years, and we now own a building in Chariton, IA that we converted from it's 2nd hand store vibe to our JH workshop home.
I never would have dreamed we would be here.. the dream unfolded before me and I followed my heart. I didn't set out for this specific goal.. just to do something I loved and wanted to show up for every day. I feel like this field chose me.
As the Luke Combs song goes, "I'd still be doing this.. if I wasn't doing this."
We have sure enjoyed being on this journey with you the last 4 years, and can't say thanks enough for our frHens and supporters (and even the naysayers who have pushed me to think outside of the box, do better, be kinder, and to lean into who I am as a business).
Please enjoy this week's festivities, invite friends, and have some fun with us!