#LoveLocal Maker Feature // Jo of Cedar & Vine
Tell us about you and what role 'hand-made' plays in your life…
I am a lover of authenticity and a sucker for anything with a sense of personality. To me, supporting craft and local economy is worth the extra few (or many) dollars you might spend on something that is handmade. Then again, I may be slightly biased.
What is something fun/ interesting/ personal about you and your business?
Everything about my business is personal. It’s both a blessing and a curse. I don’t know what it’s like to not be thinking about my brand nearly all of the time. Sometimes I feel jealous of people who can leave their ‘work’ at 5pm and not think about it all evening. There are definitely days when I wish for that separation, but then I don't really think of what I do as ‘business’ because it’s my passion—so I consider myself very fortunate.
How did you get interested in becoming a maker? What do you love about it?
I don’t even remember how I got interested in becoming a maker. I feel as if it is just part of who I am. As far back as I can remember I was always conjuring up some little project. I was raised by the most wonderful, creative workaholics. My parents own a steel fabrication shop and being surrounded by their mentality and atmosphere made me fall in love with the feeling of creating things and using that side of my brain to challenge myself. For me, sometimes what I love about it is not so much the creation of the product, it’s the creation of connections and bonds along the way with like-minded makers. Obviously I love the process too, but what good would the process or product be with no one to share it with?
What is it that you specialize in within the crafting/handmade goods world?
I find the world of textiles endlessly fascinating and challenging. I think I could experiment for a lifetime and still have so much to learn.
Describe your artistic community and how you think people in your community see you...
My wish would be for people to see me as kind and supportive. As makers we can learn so much from the experiences of other creatives. I am so thankful for those who continue to share their knowledge with me and I hope in return I can be of help or encouragement to my community.
What stories do you have or struggles have you overcome that will encourage the development and strengthen the identity of the Canadian-crafted industry?
Self doubt. It’s my biggest struggle as a maker - and it can creep in without warning. Then there is also this sort of gap between the vision you have in your head and what actually comes out in reality. I’m still learning when I need to be patient and trust in the creative process and when to just go for it. Knowing that although it may not be exactly where I want to be, I can only get better by doing the best work I am capable of right now and learning from it. When I look back over this past year it is kind of a collage of happy and cringe-worthy moments—but I know that without going through those experiences I wouldn’t have learned those lessons. It’s easy for me to use my inexperience as a procrastination tool but as makers sometimes we just need to stop overthinking and do things. I feel it is important to keep creating even if you don’t feel like you know exactly what you are doing—it’s the only way to grow as a maker and strengthen the Canadian-crafted industry as a whole.
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