Diary of a #Mompreneur, Day 15 - With Guest Jenny of Sacred Cinder

Date: August 14, 2018

YTD 2018 Product Sold: $1,356

Finished Inventory Currently on Hand: $13,109

Money raised for Domestic Violence Intervention Program of Iowa City: $136

Today I had the awesome pleasure to do an interview with Jenny from Sacred Cinder about being a Mom, a Maker and an Entrepreneur.  See below for the full interview, as well as an audio recording of the conversation.

1.      Please introduce your self

I’m Jenny from Sacred Cinder and I’ve been making and creating things out of wood for 4 years now.  I am a proud Mom and a proud Wife. And I love wood crafting.

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2.      How Long have you been a maker and how did you get started?

4 years exactly, August 9th. Well the reason I started making, I was working full time at an oral surgeon while I had my first son.  When we got pregnant with our second son we made an agreement that I was going to be a stay at home mom.  So I had my second son, weeks start going by, everything’s fine, but I’m bored out of my mind.  I just needed something inside my head besides changing diapers, feeding my baby, you know, Mom things. So I was like I need something else going on.  My husband and I were walking around the back of our property and there was all these pallets laying around and wood and I was like “ I could totally make a wine rack out of that, I could totally make this, I could totally make that,” and her was like, Okay, so do it. So I literally started that way.  My first couple of things were terrible, straight up terrible. The first sign I ever made was for my best friend, and that was terrible, but she was super supportive and she wanted to support my new little venture. So that’s how it started.

3.      Did you intend on turing your making into a business when you got started?

No, not at all. It was just more or less, like I said, to occupy my mind with something else. But, I just started to truly love it. Back when I started, I made all of my signs by hand, like I hand cut all of my stencils. It was very tedious, but at the same time, because it was tedious, I loved it even more. I truly felt proud of the product I made.  And you know your friends’ reactions and people loving your work that always fuels you to keep going. And it just kind of snowballed and before you know it I’m making things for people all over. And I was like, okay, maybe I should make this legit so Uncle Sam doesn’t come knocking at my door. So that’s basically what I did.  It wasn’t my plan, just how things went.

4.      How do you manage being an active Mom, maker, and business woman all at the same time?

Well, I always try to make like my work revolve around my kids, not my kids revolve around my work.  If that makes sense. If they want to go somewhere, I say okay lets go, I can do that later. Or if they want me to take a walk in the woods, which you see all the time on my Instagram stories, walking in the woods with them. I go on a walk with them, you know. Or cleaning, or all that junk, whether you’re a Mom or not that you have to do, I just try to truly make my work revolve around them. When I have a spare minute or hour I run out to prep or sand and if I don’t, I don’t. That’s just how I do it.

5.      What’s your favorite part about being a maker?

I think my favorite part about being a maker, is genuinely seeing people get what I made for them or buy one of my products and they think it’s the coolest thing ever or the prettiest thing.  I think that’s what keeps me going, like, it just makes me so happy that not only I think its beautiful, but somebody else does too.  And then they actually spend money on it. They actually pay me.

6.      What is your favorite part about being a Mom?

I am fortunate enough to be home with them all the time. I love the fact that I am here for everything. Like I was here for when my second son took his first steps. I’m here for when my oldest son is losing his teeth.  You know, working Mom’s, I’ve been there, you know half the stuff your babysitter sees, half the stuff you see. I’m just very blessed and fortunate that I have that opportunity to be with them all the time and spend as much time as I want. I mean don’t get me wrong, they exhaust the heck out of me, but I love it, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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7.      What is the biggest challenge you face being a maker and entrepreneur in a traditionally male dominated field?

Honestly, besides every once and a while the comments I get at Lowes from general people.  That’s not really a challenge to me, that’s just ignorance. People just don’t understand and I don’t hold a grudge against that, that’s just who they are.  Because no one’s being nasty, no one’s being down right mean to me. I don’t really think I have a challenge there.  When I get that vibe from my husbands’ friends, when they say things like you can’t do it that way. And I’m like, oh okay, watch me. That’s probably the only thing, but I wouldn’t even call that a challenge, it’s just how it is, you know.

8.      What do you want your kids to learn from your work as a maker and running your own business?

I want them to know that you can do whatever you want. You can have a full-time job, but you can also have an outlet.  This is my outlet, I don’t even call it a business, it is a business, but I just use it to keep me sane.  It keeps me happy. So, I want them to know that you can have, whatever it is, if you like to ride a bike, if you like to go skydiving, whatever your hobby is. You should do it. If it makes you happy, and it keeps you kind and motivated and going then you should do it.

9.      What would you say to another Mom who wants to get into creating or making but doesn’t know how to take that leap?

I would say just start. You know you could start with the smallest thing, anything.  Whether youre knitting, crocheting, doing woodworking, or jewelry, you just start.  Make stuff for yourself, make stuff for your family. If you truly enjoy it, don’t let anything hold your back. Even woodworking, you don’t have to go out to Lowes and buy lumber and take it home and cut it.  You can go to Michaels and buy the pre-cut stuff just to get your creativity going. I would say just start, just chip away at it.  Doesn’t have to be on a large scale, just start.

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