Jen Hewett Studio
Tell us about your business.I learned to screenprint in early 2008 because, after having worked in tech, I longed to do hands-on, creative work. I printed as a weekend hobby until I was laid off from my full-time job. In between interviews, I went to the print studio and worked on personal projects. I posted a couple of my items on Etsy, they were noticed by bloggers, and my work started to sell. My business has grown steadily, but I still do all of my illustrations and most of my layouts by hand. I mix my inks and do all the printing myself in my 54 sq. ft. studio. And while I sew most of my printed textiles into bags, I think of myself as a textile designer, rather than an accessories designer. Through a Kickstarter campaign, I raised funds to have a local manufacturer sew tote bags from my printed fabric. This collaboration is how I see my business growing: I’ll continue to print fabric, and will work with local manufacturers to have that made into everyday, beautiful items that people will treasure.
What's the best business advice you've received?Following your passion doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I used to have escapist dreams of getting a lucky break, making it big and quitting my job. I wanted to succeed in a big way, right away. But what I’ve learned is that while having big goals was a good start, taking measured, baby steps and achieving small (but not insignificant) successes have built my confidence in my skills and my work enough that I can see a clear, holistic path to achieving my goals.
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NOMINATIONSJun. 17, 2015
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VOTING BEGINSSep. 21, 2015
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WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 23, 2015
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AMERICAN MADE SUMMITNov. 7, 2015
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