If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know I’m a pretty ordinary person. I posted a quote about guacamole a few days ago, for goodness sake, and I wrote a post about memorable foreign bathrooms. The truth is, I don’t have a dramatic story to tell. Why would anyone read my blog? So I had an idea. There are many people who are amazingly talented who don’t have blogs. I have a blog, and I could use it to promote those amazingly talented people. After all, one of the main reasons the Fluxing Well blog exists is to spread encouragement, especially to those who are working to pursue a passion or follow a dream. I’ll call these people Dream Chasers.
Periodically, I’m going to profile a couple brave, courageous souls who have stepped out and tried something new. It might be people who are blogging, starting a business, writing, or designing something amazing. I’ll still write about gardening, traveling, books and other ordinary things, because I enjoy writing about them. I’m going to add this new Dream Chasers series to the rotation. This month, I’m saluting two people who launched Etsy shops this past summer, Melody Bush and Jodi Hendershott. I hope this post does justice to their marvelous work.
Turning Books into Works of Art
BookArtByMelody is the name of the shop owned by Melody Bush, who has worked in libraries for many, many years. An avid organizer, Melody has spent a lot of time discarding old, outdated publications in order to make room for new material. What happened to the discards? Often, they were given away, donated to worthy causes, or they ended up in used bookstores. Folks who work in libraries often visit used bookstores in the hopes of finding a popular title to add to the library collection at a used-book price.
As Melody perused the bookstore offerings, ideas began to take shape. Some of those volumes might make magnificent works of art. She began repurposing the books by following patterns she found, folding and cutting the pages into different designs. She brought her creations to work, and people asked if she ever sold them. Melody started selling her books on Facebook, and was invited to put together a show for the Red Barn Art & Antique Market. All Melody ever wanted to do was make some extra money to buy a new camping trailer, and suddenly, her schedule (and her husband’s) was filled with an increasing number of book art projects. Through her creative endeavors, she met interesting people and joined the local Artisans Guild.
Expanding into New Designs and Techniques
Melody enjoyed the fold and cut projects so much, she decided to try something new: book excavation. This colorful technique involves cutting through the book cover with a sharp knife or scalpel, then selecting images and words to carve around. The end result is a stunning three-dimensional composition. As Melody expands her offerings on her Etsy shop, she continues to aspire to produce interesting, one-of-a-kind creations. The prices she charges for her items reflect the number of hours she spends on each unique piece.
In the future, Melody hopes to be able to retire from her library work and continue to earn extra income from her book art. She would also like to travel around with her husband, selling her work at art shows. Her ultimate dream is to have her work exhibited in a gallery one day. I encourage you to visit her shop and see for yourself the incredible works she produces.
From Hobby to Business
Jodi Hendershott always enjoyed making painted wooden signs, despite being busy helping with her family’s pumpkin patch and Christmas tree farm. She also worked at an elementary school. Jodi often gave her signs as gifts, and also produced custom signs for family and friends. When she took her signs to work, they sold to coworkers right away, and she ended up with several custom orders. She started a Facebook page, and the word spread about her customized signs. Jodi participated in holiday bazaars and many farmers markets.
This past spring, with her family’s support, she took a leap of faith, quit her job, and began making signs full time for her shop on Etsy. Jodi loves being able to work from home, setting her own hours and having the flexibility to be available for her family. She enjoys taking a customer’s vision and turning it into a creative sign for their home or business. As she takes more orders, Jodi keeps pushing herself to try new things and learn new skills.
Jodi is working towards opening a sign shop on her property, selling other home decor merchandise as well. Prime selling times will be when the family pumpkin patch and Christmas tree farm are open seasonally. Jodi’s daughter is taking a hand in the business too, learning the sign-making process with an eye to the future. I hope you’ll take the time to visit Jodi’s Etsy shop and see more of her wonderful creations.
Continuing the Dream Chasers Series
If you enjoyed reading about these two dream chasers and were inspired, be sure to catch next month’s edition. I hope this has been as inspiring for you as it has been for me. If you know of someone who would make a good candidate for this series, please comment below. If you are a dream chaser and would like to be the subject of a Dream Chaser post, please let me know that as well. As always, if you want to be notified of new posts when they are published (and have access to free printables) please subscribe to this blog. Thanks for reading this post, and have an uplifting day!