All of the proceeds from our Etsy shop go to fund our adoption of a little girl from Ethiopia.
Michael and Heather Jurrens
We adopted our son from Ethiopia last year, we're pregnant with another boy, and we're adopting a little girl from Ethiopia.
We've nearly completely remodeled a house that was built in 1882.
Michael served in Afghanistan, and during that time period he and Heather started dating by correspondence.
Michael and Heather met while counseling at a summer camp 14 years ago.
What got you started crafting?
We both came into crafting in different ways. Michael actually is a very good artist; he likes oil pastels the best. Heather started crocheting when she was about six years old and has made over 40 afghans. What started our desire for an Etsy shop craft business? We wanted something to finance our second adoption that would be more fun than work....and it really has been just that.
What is your source of inspiration?
We're inspired through everyday life. We have such broad life experience between the two of us that we can mutually inspire each other during our brain storming sessions.
What have you made recently?
In our shop, 90% of our orders are custom orders. Michael recently made a large batch of distressed wooden crates that were to be used for a wedding cake table display. The finished product was so beautiful, that we decided to offer it in our shop.
Since it was a custom order, we communicated with the buyer about shades of stain, amount of distressing, whether or not they wanted sealant on it, and general dimensions. After getting a basic idea, Michael drafted a sketchup image of the item and sends it to the buyer for their approval. Once we got the "okay," we purchased supplies and got to work actually building the crates. We occasionally allow our 2-year-old to help "distress" the crates, because he enjoys banging on wood every now and then. :) After the distressing is done, we stained the crates, sealed them.
In each of our orders, Heather handwrites a thank-you card to include in the final packaging. For this order in particular, we wrapped all of the crates with a contrasting aqua ribbon. It looked just perfect for a wedding, and our customer was very satisfied.
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
We sell our crafts on our Etsy shop, but we will be expanding our selling arena to include craft fairs and potentially farmers markets next summer.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
We love making handmade because it's a continual learning process. Especially with so many custom orders, we are constantly learning new techniques or uses for our crates. Each time we get a question about an order, and we say to ourselves "I can do that!", it's a highly satisfying experience.