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The Making of a Maker

In the past, I considered myself creative. I’m not talking about writing of course, as that is an obvious outlet for me. I’m talking about the tangible, things you make with your hands and can stand back and admire. I excelled in art class in high school and made jewelry during those youthful years. I used to save up money to visit the local bead store in Kingston, the one with the purple door, and spend it ALL on beads, right down to the last penny (#generationofthepenny) Back then it was all about tiger tail wire and crimps (remember that fad?!) and hemp jewelry, obviously channelling my inner hippie…..necklace with your name anyone?! I even sold my creations, evidence that my entrepreneurial spirit has always been deep within my heart.

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Then life got busy, my focus shifted, and eventually kids came along. It has been quite a while since I’ve created something other than a sand castle at the beach. I’ve often wondered why I used to consider myself “crafty” though, as I keep the kids’ craft cupboard under lock and key, a variety of feathers, popsicle sticks and googly eyes collecting an increasing amount of cobwebs. I think it’s because it’s hard enough keeping my house in decent order that the thought of whipping out glitter and glue makes me shudder and release a pre-emptive yawn. Though possibly I should look at this with a different perspective ….maybe the glitter would hide the dust.

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Whatever the reason, I’ve stayed away from it, and while I have been curious and motivated at times, there are just SO many options out there now, I didn’t even know where to begin….WHAT did I want to make? Michael’s is such a fun store to visit, though I often leave feeling overwhelmed and that I am out of my league.

Lately, with the work that I do with Arrow It Forward, the amazing makers I am surrounded with, I had been feeling such a pull to join the #makersmovement. I toyed with a few different ideas, but it came down to what should have been an obvious choice all along. SCENT. I have always been obsessed with scent, it can evoke memories, create the perfect atmosphere…and cover up the smell of missed targets in the bathroom #momofaboy #letsjustbehonest. Then when I realized I could tie in the vibe of Arrow It Forward with what I put on the labels….a fire had been lit (candle related pun intended).

Cut to me becoming a crazy person researching candle making at all hours of the night, working out the kinks in production, and making my first completed sale three days after the formation of this idea #thatshowiroll. Thank goodness I have a supportive husband who may not always “get” what I’m doing, but gives me the space to do so.

Soy candles

With my introduction to the world of making there are some observations I want to pass on to you. First, while I already had an ample supply of respect for makers of all types, this has risen tenfold. It is such a time consuming effort, and while I’m sure things get streamlined the more you make, the fact remains that makers devote much energy and hours to creating quality products. Second, the cost. We’ve all been at vendor shows and internally questioned the listed price (often naively thinking we could make it ourselves for much less) but PLEASE keep in mind….it is expensive to buy the things you need, to make the things you want to make, especially if you are keeping your business fairly small and can’t reduce cost by purchasing in large bulk quantities. Another note on the point of cost, I guarantee the majority of makers aren’t charging enough, not paying THEMSELVES enough for the time and skill involved. The last observation, something that was unexpected, is how “in the zone” I felt when I was making, working with my hands. Normally my brain is in four places at once (which is why I drove away from the gas station yesterday with my wallet on the roof of the car #oops), but while I was melting, mixing, pouring, labelling….I wasn’t thinking about anything else! This was a welcome form of focus and flow…making meditation?

So yes, I’m excited that I can now call myself a maker, it’s a club I’ve wanted to be in for some time now, and it’s a club that has welcomed me with open arms.

Check out some of the makers below who have inspired me over the past year!

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Lisa, owner of locally cherished Nature’s Tonic, always inspires me with her thoughtful and stunning jewelry. I can’t get over her JUST launched line of new moon inspired pieces!!


Sherry Jeffrey

Don’t you just want them all?! Sherry has an amazing eye for the beauty of minimalism, always with a touch of elegance.


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You KNOW I love me some Shiva’s Delight! Owner Casey puts such care and quality into her luxurious skincare, she is a true pro at her craft.


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How cool are these?! Rachel has carved out her own unique niche as a maker, creating special keepsakes for families to treasure for a lifetime.


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Lisa, Owner of Dragonfly Handmade, has such a creative perspective for working with wood. I’m always curious to see what she comes up with next!


P.S. If you have a Michael’s coupon you don’t want I will TOTALLY use it 😉



2 Responses so far.

  1. Lisa says:

    I love this, hopefully my home has inspired you to unlock the kids craft cupboard and let the fairy sparkles fly. Life is too short to worry about a messy house.
    And of course I remember the tiger wire, miracle beads and crimp trend. This look was a staple at Willow back in the day.
    Welcome back to the makers club, and how amazing that you have already realized that it can be a meditative practice.

  2. Lisa Morrissey says:

    Welcome to the wonderful, satisfying, creative, exhausting world of making! I totally agree that being in the creative zone keeps you focused and on task. For me it will always be first and foremost ‘my therapy’, I’m just also very lucky that I turned my passion into my job!
    I’m inspired daily by fellow makers, be it by product, ideas for marketing and display, and most of all for support from people who ‘get me’.
    So happy you are channeling your inner scent maker, and I look forward to having your candles burining in my home very soon.
    As always, a blog post beautifully and honestly written! Xo 😊