Meet Your Maker- A Cute Design

This week on Meet Your Maker we have Jenna from A Cute Design. Jenna is a wonderful designer and maker! I love her colorful and unique feed and I am sure you will to. Jenna's work is amazing ranging from colorful crochet wear to maker tools, she has something for everyone!

Introduce yourself and your business.

Hi There, I’m Jenna!  Owner and creator behind A-Cute Design.  I am a full time maker that sells crochet wear, laser cut maker items and writes patterns for other yarn lovers.  A-Cute Design is just about four years old and is my passion in life.  I just re-did my little studio and wanted to show you the photos here

How did you launch your business & what made you want to start a small business?

I intentionally got more serious about my crochet work with starting a business in mind.  My younger brother passed away in 2014 and I couldn’t stay at my interior design job I no longer loved.  I needed to be more creative, be inspired.  SO I moved back to Michigan from Indiana and started working at a maker space.  I knew this was my opportunity to start my own business and work  on my own terms and now I get to do just that.

In the beginning I was doing some design work, teaching and working at the maker space as I was figuring things out.  And as I still feel like I am figuring things out (as we all do I think). I feel deeply connected to my fellow makers and love working with them while also selling my vintage inspired crochet work at shows around the state.

What are some struggles you had starting your business and how did you over come them?

 I think having a creative business isn’t for the faint of heart, especially if it’s something you’d like to do long term.  It takes a lot of hours and pushing your boundaries.  The largest thing I struggle with is overcoming my fears.  I have all of the ambition in the world, and pulling the trigger is my problem.  I’m flooded with ideas and creativity so focusing, prioritizing and implementing those goals are key.

 I still have loads of work to do, but will continue to focus and conquer my fears, one day at a time. I think making yearly, monthly and weekly lists have helped me overcome my fear issues.  It holds me accountable

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Above all, I love color!  I am so inspired by vintage palettes, while adding a modern touch.  I started this practice while making a beanie based off of a palette I had in a 1970’s filing cabinet and the color inspiration just continues to take off from there.  I am looking forward to exploring more textures and silhouettes as my career progresses.

What motivates you as a maker?

 As I continue my journey I’m reminded how much I am motivated by people.  I love seeing other's responses to my color work beanies and encouraging others on their own creations as well.  More than anything I love making tools for makers.  To work with other creatives and know I'm either helping their business or just being a part of their makes is amazing.  I’m focusing on making my patterns and tutorials to have extra tips for makers since being detail oriented is a large part of my personality.
(photo of scrunchie tutorial on blog).

 What is a goal you set for yourself as a maker/artist and how did you achieve it?

This year I wanted to broaden my offerings for maker items.  I was somewhat forced when the workshop where I use my laser closed earlier this year and I thought I wouldn’t be able to use the laser any longer.  Because of this pressure I got with my good friend Anna of @theknottyboss, had her design some things from me and I implemented my ongoing ideas.

 So, really outside pressure forced me to get the ball rolling and it showed me how hard I can work to make something happen.  I am now launching at least monthly updates to my maker goods and are starting to to fiber festivals to sell to makers in person.

 What is your favorite part of being a maker?

I love working on my own terms.  Even though it takes a lot of discipline, I decide where my business goes.  I can change if I want and the possibilities are endless.  I love being part of a creative community and meet new people every day that support and respect my business. In turn I love supporting others as well, like my maker sweater by @jess_the_hooker and mug by @tlyarncrafts.

 Do you have any tips for new makers/ small business owners?

My biggest piece of advice is do what you love.  If you don’t want to make batman onesies, but someone requests it- tell them to look on etsy.  It’s so difficult when you are building your business to pass up on opportunities (I took them all in the beginning), but as you continue to do what you love that’s what will grow in your business and thrive.

What are some hobbies or interests you have outside of your small business?

I love living a creative life weather it’s doing new projects in my apartment or adding to my tattoo collection.  I do yoga multiple times a week for mental and physical health and love being in nature, something I need to do more!

 Share a fun fact about yourself

 I talk to my two cats, Tina and Louise like they are people.  They keep me company all day long while I work from home and are the loves of my life

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