JELLY BIRD SIGNS

October 31, 2015 24 Comments

If there is one thing I feel is lacking in the handmade community, it is empowerment and support from others. So, to help fill that gap, I’ve decided to do a monthly series called, “Artist of the Month." This monthly feature showcases handmade artists from diverse creative fields as well as host a fun giveaway to help spread the word about their gift and mission within this community.

Let's get spoopy this Halloween and meet Nicole, Founder of Jelly Bird Signs! Nicole began making signs for her own personal use and soon realized that her creativity could be used to decorate homes across the country as well as to help spread the one thing that inspires her the most, her faith. Now, with the help of her husband and working out of her own studio, Jelly Bird Designs has become a thriving business with every single one of their signs selling out within minutes of hitting her shop. Read on to learn more about how they got started, their biggest failure, and where they see their business in the upcoming years. 

1. How did Jelly Bird Designs get its start? 

Jelly Bird Signs started out the same way I feel most of us makers got our start: I had a need for a handcrafted item and I set out to try and make it on my own. Starting with a sign for a Hunger Games-themed dessert table for my sister and continuing with adding signs to our own walls, the idea to create a shop quickly became a reality when we realized how easy it was just to post on Etsy and it all just went from there. 

2. What inspires your work the most?

Absolutely hands down my faith and the part it plays in my life. Though, originally, our sign shop was all-encompassing, the further I developed my craft, the more I realized I sought to create pieces that called to me on a deeper level.

3. What is your favorite piece you have made and how did you develop the idea for it? 

Oh my goodness, that’s so tough to say. I would have to say that at the moment my absolute favorite is a small piece with florals and a cross that uses a part of Romans 1:16: “I am unashamed” (referring to being unashamed of the gospel). This design was partially inspired by having walked in Christ for ten years and feeling like it has truly only been in the past year that I’ve really felt my faith grow into something I’ve never experienced (something very powerful and compelling). This design was also inspired by an amazing tattoo I saw by Christian tattoo artist Jon Hall using a pocket watch and “unashamed” on a banner that wrapped around the design. 

4. Has there ever been a part of your business that was a disaster? If so, what happened and how did you remedy it? 

YES. This is a bit touchy, especially since it’s almost controversial to do such a thing, but for me, custom orders are (or rather, can be) the absolute bane of my existence, and that’s all we did from July 2012-December 2014. It literally broke me – panic attacks, feeling overwhelmed, tears, feeling like an utter failure; it was one of the most chaotic times in my life. It set my family in turmoil. It’s hard to express to customers the full purpose behind why we no longer do custom orders (it seems only natural that we would take them since most every single shop does in one form or another), but the pure matter of fact is that if I’m putting my priorities in order (with family coming first), then this is how our shop needs to run (exclusively ready-to-ship). And that’s that.

5. Is it tough being your own boss or is it the easiest job you’ve ever had? 

Oh gosh no question it’s the easiest yet most difficult job I’ve ever had. Being in control of every aspect of my shop is extremely important to me – I have my hands in every function from cutting the raw wood initially to packaging the finished sign to ship. I love feeling free to pursue my ideas for where we should run with the shop and the ability to be flexible with my work schedule. Creating with my own hands is by far the rewarding job. That being said, there is so much responsibility that comes along with, and that in and of itself can be incredibly daunting. Knowing that everything relies on me and my abilities to manage my time effectively, be organized and efficient, delegate, etc., can be a little scary at times, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. 

6. Name one job that you wish you could hire out to someone else. 

SHIPPING. Next question.

7. Where do you see yourself in five years? Do you have any major goals for your business? 

This is a scary question. I’m either a millionaire with my own TV show and a slew of workers in a giant showroom, or flat broke reminiscing about the good ol’ days when we had a sign shop. Haha! No, but seriously, I hope to continue advancing at a manageable pace (I feel like the tortoise sometimes – slow and steady wins the race!) but most importantly sticking true to our original business model. I have no desire for mass production; each of these pieces is so painstakingly handcrafted with love, and to take that away by having a slew of workers creating my signs just so everyone could have a Jelly Bird defeats the purpose of our shop and our ministry. These pieces are meant to be treasures, not everyday commodities. 

8. Any advice to those out there wishing to start their own handmade business? 

You’re either all in or you’re out. If you’re gonna do it, DO IT. Work hard. Do your research. Show integrity. Find your niche and run with it. I say each of these things from my own experience and mistakes. My shop verse, 1 Thessalonians 4:11, perfectly captures my thoughts on this topic: "Lead a quiet life and work with your hands."    

9. Who is your favorite handmade maker at the moment? 

Oh come on!! You want me to choose ONE? That’s insane! Gosh. OK. I’m gonna be a bit rebellious and give you two because asking for only one is just cruel. There are some amazing things happening over at @WalrusandToad that just are really fantastic – Tarra’s flair for painting quirky little bits of whimsy is so fun to see! That, and every gosh darn thing Meghan posts at @JuneberryStitches makes me go all crazy heart eyes.

-----

Jelly Bird Signs is giving away a "Discover beauty in everyone" hand painted sign & Gulush Threads is giving away a $20 shop credit. 

To enter, leave a comment below letting us know which sign you would get from Jelly Bird Signs and for an additional entry, head on over to Gulush Threads IG and like the giveaway photo. Don’t forget to follow both @gulushthreads and @jellybirdsigns on IG to be entered!

Giveaway ends Monday, November 2nd at midnight CT with winner announced on Tuesday, November 3rd right here on The Gulush Blog.  

Much love and Good Luck,
Kristen 

Winner of giveaway: Jackie Ray 



24 Responses

Jackie Ray
Jackie Ray

November 12, 2015

Yay!! I love both shops and am so excited to win, thank you!

Sara S.
Sara S.

November 01, 2015

I can’t choose one! There are too many I love. So much talent!

Kat Perry
Kat Perry

November 01, 2015

Both of your works and shop are truly an inspiration to me. Hopefully I can open a shop that is passionate and as creative as you two! I love Jellybirds “Lead a quiet life and work with your hands”. Great job ladies!

Jana
Jana

November 01, 2015

I love Nicole’s work and ministry. She is so incredibly talented. I’m also thrilled to have come across Gulush Threads. Can’t wait to check it out!

Priscilla S
Priscilla S

October 31, 2015

Love the Rise and Shine and Give God the Glory sign!

Heather Valentino
Heather Valentino

October 31, 2015

I love all of her signs. However, she has one about encouraging one another. I keep hoping it shows back up in the listings!

Maritza Granado
Maritza Granado

October 31, 2015

Love Nicole, her support towards handmade and individuality! I love the Live a Quiet Life sign, but just to get one of hers would be AmAzInG!!

Chelsey Willis
Chelsey Willis

October 31, 2015

I actually like the giveaway one the best!! :-)

Natalie
Natalie

October 31, 2015

I love all of her signs but would love the Christmas O Holy Night sign!

Jade
Jade

October 31, 2015

I adore every sign. My favorite at the moment and the one I’d love to snag is The Lords Prayer one. Beautiful work!

Jackie Ray
Jackie Ray

October 31, 2015

I love all her signs.. I’m always checking her Instagram seeing what’s new. I really want to get (someday) “discover beauty in everyone” for my daughter. She is so sweet and sees the good in everyone, so it would be perfect. Or anything with her painted floral design on it I love it.

Rachel Dakin
Rachel Dakin

October 31, 2015

Picking just one is so very hard because I love them all but, Tune my heart to sing thy grace is one of my favorite signs by Nicole! Great feature for someone who is loved by so many!!

Courtney
Courtney

October 31, 2015

I would pick the discover beauty in everyone because it is SUCH a good reminder for us as believers to showcase God’s love.

Laura (@playfulpaperwork)
Laura (@playfulpaperwork)

October 31, 2015

Huge Jelly Bird fan here! Would love her Be Extraordinary sign … someday!!

Jennifer L
Jennifer L

October 31, 2015

It’s too hard to choose just one but I really like the oh happy day and all it’s colors.

Alice
Alice

October 31, 2015

Clean and simple but packed with meaning – love her signs. Any sign would be a blessing for sure

Kristi OConnell
Kristi OConnell

October 31, 2015

I love all the signs I already own but would love to add the Thessalonians sign shown here! (And making the decision to put your family first and forgo custom orders is brave and admirable!)

Heather Puett
Heather Puett

October 31, 2015

I actually have always loved Nicole’s favorite design: the I am unashamed cross…I was speechless the first time she posted it. I even remember where I was and what I was doing when I saw it for the first time! Every post of hers is a blessing:)

Carolyn Siler
Carolyn Siler

October 31, 2015

I love so many of her signs it would be hard to choose just 1. I would be happy with any of them because they are hard to come by. There is one with an arrow,that I particularly love though.

Heather
Heather

October 31, 2015

One her new Christmas designs! I’m in love with all of them.

Cristina
Cristina

October 31, 2015

I’d definitely go for 1 Thessalonians 4:11. I’m a new shop owner and that’s what I’m all about! Happy Halloween!

Tyler
Tyler

October 31, 2015

I am absolutely obsessed with the unashamed sign. It’s perfect.

Carrie B
Carrie B

October 31, 2015

A couple weeks ago, Nicole took suggestions for holiday signs. I’m holding my breath and crossing my fingers for a “Breath of Heaven” sign. I’ll have to watch for one this afternoon! Kristen, loving all your great hoops lately too :)))

Nathalie Prellwitz
Nathalie Prellwitz

October 31, 2015

I’ve been following jelly bird for a long while now & love her work. I really like the sign your holding “discover beauty in everyone”. Her oh happy day sign is awesome as well.

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