Three of a kind? Not with Jennifer’s cards
If you’ve ever experienced that awkward moment at a party where you find you picked the exact same card as three or four other people in the room, it’s easy to see why Jennifer Wills might be a good name to remember.
Mrs Wills has been making one-of-a-kind cards for the past few years. She recently created an authentic baby shower card for a mother-to-be who wasn’t into the usual “pastel, teddy bear and cutesy” message.
She said: “One of the girls I work with wanted a baby girl card and the mom was rock and roll. She wanted something a bit more fun so I made a card with a skull and cross bones with a bow on it. I like the challenging cards.”
She’s also made a birthday card for a guy who was turning 40, but insisted he was 36; and a Christmas card with a tropical beach theme.
Mrs Wills’ creations are currently for sale at Endsmeet Animal Hospital in Devonshire, where she works part-time as a receptionist.
She was in talks to sell them at a few local stores, but said the markup was too high and she didn’t feel comfortable with the move. “I want them to be affordable,” she said of the $5 cards.
Off these shores she has steadily been making a name for herself within the international crafting circuit. She won several online competitions put on by US craft manufacturers and has been featured in magazines like Card Creations, Holiday Crafts and Paper Crafts the latter has a following of 65,000.
She said she was “really excited” the first time she won one of the online competitions as it helps her to be able to get supplies, like paper sets, stamp sets and gift certificates, and therefore keep expenses down.
Mrs Wills grew up learning about knitting and sewing from her grandmother Carol Tucker, but was never really into paper crafting as a child.
Then while trying to figure out something to do with some old photographs that she had, a friend suggested she try making them into cards.
From there she started exploring other ways of making cards and came across some home-made versions she liked. She started selling her creations in Dockyard and at Heritage Nights in St George’s. The hobby took a serious turn in 2010 when she discovered a huge crafting community online and found it to be a “very encouraging and very supportive” environment and good place to meet friends.
She said the hobby “kind of came out of the blue”.
“I wasn’t one of those children at school who was good at art, but while innate talent is helpful [I believe] you can learn by doing it over and over, trying to experiment and you just get better.
“It has been exciting for me to stick with something for the past two years and really see a huge improvement in my own skills,” she continued.
“I was trying to figure it out as I went along, flipping through magazines and finding a card I like and deciding what I like, be it the colour or the design, and figure out how to put them together myself for my own design.”
The first design usually takes the longest to make, between two or three hours, as she is trying to work out the design elements. But once the design has been figured out, she said she can replicate them “pretty quickly”.
“I tend to have more fun just doing the one, I think I get bored doing the same one over and over again,” she said.
Card-making trends tend to follow fashion or home decor trends.
One card Mrs Wills designed last Christmas was pinned on pinterest.com and has since been viewed 3,000 times on her blog. She said that was a pretty exciting experience and described it as her “big claim to fame last year”.
She hopes to one day be able to create cards for a living, but admitted that was challenging right now considering the speed she works at. Most of the work is done out of a home studio, which she named Scatti Studios after her beloved dogs Scout and Atticus.
Mrs Wills said: “At the moment I am happy if I can break even with the supply. Maybe one day it will go beyond that. For now, it’s something I enjoy doing and it relaxes me during my down time when I am not in work.”
For more information e-mail email@example.com or visit jenniferwills.blogspot.com .