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iNSPiRE | A new adventure...

Monday, September 26

In a world where technology has the tendency to dehumanize our communication, our work, our relationships, our connections, our creativity and our overall life experiences, I'm finding myself choosing more and more of what makes me "feel"...

By that I mean I'm choosing things that uplift, inspire, touch, add joy to and give more meaning to the lives of those around me...and to myself.

Just like this sign says, I've been looking for ways to have my cake and eat it too and I finally decided it was up to me to put on my big girl apron and bake the darn thing!

My work has been shifting in small ways over the past couple of years...intentionally...pointing me in the direction of less time in front of the computer.

I've longed to do more hand-crafted projects that would marry my love of graphic design with my desire to give more life to the inspirational quotes I've been posting regularly on my Instagram feed. This desire, (along with some other life stuff), has given way to a new business adventure with my daughter, Ema.

Let me introduce you to the brand new...

This little creative division of Pen + Paper Flowers was something I started to dream about two years ago and just hasn't left me alone since.  Earlier this year I reached out to a couple of friends to run my ideas by them. I definitely had hesitation, especially with the signs, since I have friends that make signs already and I didn't want to come across as a copy cat.

However, one friend, in particular, pointed out what a natural transition all of this was.  And that's how my heart felt too. Using my graphic design talents to create handmade items that will add warmth and charm to any home seems to be the perfect extension to what I already do and love. much as I love the idea of having a cute storefront somewhere, I also know the long demanding hours something like that requires and I did not want to take more time away from my family.

I'm not really interested in another online store either. The purpose of Willow + Wildflowers Market is to get me out of the house and interacting with people in my community on top of getting me out from in front of the computer.

Insert Trader Mae's, a local furniture and decor market. 
My daughter and I are renting a small space to display the items we make and aside from restocking and keeping the space pretty, we don't even have to be up there.

Right now, (and by right now, I mean we literally just opened this past Saturday), we are doing hand-painted wooden signs. My goal is to eventually offer a line of pillows along with some signature homemade linen sprays I've been making for our own home.

The goal here is to keep things simple. Simple signs, simple pillows and simple linen sprays. That's it.

Willow + Wildflowers Market is a line of home decor items that I would personally have displayed in my own home. So yes, there are a lot of "nods" to my love for baking and my vintage farmhouse style.

Each piece is cut, sanded, painted, stained and hand-painted by Ema and I.
We didn't know what we were doing when we started. We just started.

Sometimes you just have to jump...and we did.

The "Love is always the Answer" sign above is the first sign to have sold. (thanks Mom)! *wink*
I have no idea what will become of Willow + Wildflowers Market or where this will take us.
What I do know is this is an opportunity to strengthen my relationship with one of my daughters as we work side-by-side. And it feels good.

It also feels good to have a paintbrush in my hands again...creating the small details of these signs. There's just something extra special about something handmade. And to think these signs will be hanging in the homes of people in my community...well that's just pretty special too.

I'd love to know what you all think of the signs!!
But more importantly, I'm wondering if you've been feeling the same way about technology and the influence it's having on the maker community.  I'd love to hear your thoughts and creative things you've been doing to step away from all of your devices.

If you love what you see and want to see more, follow the Willow + Wildflowers Instagram feed for behind-the-scenes sneak peeks of new items and our process for making these.

As always, thanks for being part of my journey...

Ema and I literally had one sign made when we were surprised with a phone call on Monday evening that we had an official space at Trader Mae's if we wanted it. We spent the next 4 days painting and creating 8 signs to have up just in time for the big Fall Festival on Saturday and Sunday. Eeks!


Nicole Underwood Gonzalez said...

I love every single one of these signs! They are lovely and I'm totally putting them on my wish list!

Pen + Paper Flowers said...

Your comment warmed my heart Nicole! Thank you for your really sweet feedback. I'm so happy to know you love the signs and appreciate you taking time to let me know! xoxo Jessica

Kim - The TomKat Studio said...

This is so amazing, Jess! I am so happy for you new venture with your daughter! The signs are absolutely darling! xoxo

Pen + Paper Flowers said...

Thank you Kim! It's always challenging and exciting to try something new...and of course I'm always concerned what people will think so I appreciate your love and support! Let me know if you need a sign for you cabin!! *wink* xoxo, Jess

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