Do you remember when you were a kid and you’d look for pictures in the clouds? You’d see an elephant but your friend would see a shark. You’d play this game with your family during a road trip. Mom found a unicorn and everyone would try to see what she was seeing. Jenn Robertson has discovered an art where once completed, it brings this childhood magic back to life. We got to see firsthand, the reactions from people visiting her booth at one of our TUF Markets. We ourselves were captured by the beauty and imagination that her pieces offer. We loved it so much that we even added a couple of items to our home. So without further hesitation, I’d like to introduce you to Jenn Robertson Art.
Describe your business: I create modern, on trend pieces of art and jewelry using alcohol inks
and other mediums. The medium allows me to create on many different substrates which has endless design possibilities. I have only been working with alcohol inks for just over one year, but I was instantly in love with using them. They are bold and unpredictable, which is what makes creating many different things so exciting.
What drives you to do what you do? What motivates you? I love seeing the look on people's faces when they see the piece of art, pottery or jewelry that perfectly matches their style. Their excitement makes me happy. Art is also a form of therapy. It is calming at the end of a busy day. I am also so very motivated when my children watch and ask if they can paint with me too!
What has surprised you most when owning your own business? Honestly, it is that people love my work. When they say, "This would be perfect!" Whether it be earrings for an event, coasters for a gift or a painting that has a perfect spot in their home. I get joy from seeing someone else finding happiness in something that I created or when they find that perfect something.
What was it like when you first started? In a sense, I feel like I am still starting out. Every time I come up with a new idea or start a new venture I get those butterflies and nervousness that comes with putting your art on display for others to see. The response from the community has been outstanding and it motivates me to keep creating. I just opened an Etsy shop, so that is a new start for me. I get messages from people telling me that they just placed an order or how excited they are to get their package. It motivates me to keep creating.
What is something people don’t know about your business? I am still very new at selling my products. I only started experimenting with making jewelry during the Christmas Break of 2018 and now I have created over 300 pieces of hand crafted jewelry. I make all of my pieces in my home and usually take up multiple rooms with different products. I am excited to get a designated studio space in my home to fill with amazing new pieces so I can share them with everyone.
What would your customers say they love most about doing business with you? They love the variety. There are so many colour options with all my products that there is always something for everyone. They also love that each piece is 100% unique. It is impossible to create two identical pieces so everyone is getting something so original. When I have my product displayed at a market they come in looking for themselves and leave with that, but also gifts for others too!
Where do you see your business in the next years? The market in May with The Urban Farmhouse was my very first one. I have participated in two more since then and will also be at the
Autumn Extravaganza in October. I hope to do a few more markets next summer. I have also launched an Etsy shop to sell my jewelry in an online forum. I hope that I can see success in online sales. I would love to see my jewelry worn by wonderful people all over the world!
What are your greatest challenges? My largest challenge is finding the time to work on all the different ideas that I have. There are so many steps in creating my jewelry that I am working on them for a little bit each day, over a stretch of multiple days. I love finding new things to work on, but don't always have the time to create every single day. Because I work full time, I try to do it once my kids are in bed or before they wake up on weekends so I do not take too much time out of my day with them.
Another challenge is finding supplies in Saskatoon. They are difficult to source as I often have to order from other cities or from the US. But I also love getting a new shipment of supplies and experimenting with new colours.
What is something most people don’t know about you? I am a full time middle school teacher. I started with alcohol ink art as a way to destress at the end of a long teaching day. It was a different
creative outlet that transformed into a small business. I also love to teach fluid art to my students in class and see how happy they are when they see their creations.
I have always been crafty. I love making something from nothing. I grew up with a craft room in my parent's home. My mom and I worked with fabric, hot glue, silk flowers and I would spend hours at the sewing machine. I also love using power tools. I designed and built all of my shelving systems for my markets and many display stands for my earrings.
What do you love most about your town/city? Saskatoon is beautiful. Even in the winter! You get those little sparks of awe when you cross the river in any season. The trees along the riverbank in their bright green during the summer, deep colours in autumn and then sparkling with frost during the winter. I also love how many local businesses there are. You can always find a small business that carries what you need.
Why do you think it is important for people to support local? By supporting local businesses you are helping families pay for every day things like a mortgage, kids sports, family vacations....even more art supplies! Supporting local also doesn't always mean having to purchase expensive pieces. It can include sharing your experience with a local business, recommending a product or service, or even posting about it on social media. Supporting local keeps money in
Saskatoon rather than sending it out of province or country.
What are your favorite things to do locally? I have two small children, so it is always fun finding new things to do with them. We enjoy playgrounds, bike riding, splash parks, and our newest favourite is the WonderHub at the Children's Discovery Museum. You can't forget about getting ice cream from Bus Stop Refreshments. Mu husband loves movies and we absolutely love going
to see family movies at the new Landmark Theatre. My kids and I bring blankets and lay back to enjoy a good show.
Jenn Robertson Art
Etsy Store: http://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/JennRobertsonArt
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/jenn.robertson.art