Ten years ago I was encouraged to start a small business from my then boss Lori. She said that I could really draw and that I should contact Close to My Heart to see if they would accept in any of my work. Well, in a few words they were very closed about the idea and were not looking for an outside artist.
I didn’t want to be discouraged so I looked into what it would take to make stamps myself. Well , let’s just say in the ‘early’ days it wasn’t as simple as it is now. Just to have a website there were so many hoops, find a host, find a cc processing avenue (for many years we only accepted paypal), and so much more. I would have given anything to have all of the amazing social media that we have not.. heck even blogger. I would have loved to be able to show off my work back then on something as simple as this.
We took $100 of our cash and started the business. YES $100. I made a deal with my husband that I would NEVER use our funds for the business, it would to pay for itself or I would close it. 10 years later I am SOO happy to say we have never taken out a loan. It is grass roots and going strong.
I produced my first set of rubber stamps and they were all one off’s handmade and nothing like the amazing sets that I offer now. With all of that being said I got my first customer Jillian. She was the first person who trusted in what I was doing and wanted to be part of it. As the years continue she is still a great friend to JessicaLynnOriginal.com and to me and my family! We have traveled near where she lives and have even been blessed to spend time with her and her family.
The first few years I spent really learning what card making and stamping was all about. I went to college for costume design and management so this was outside of anything I knew! If you look at my SplitcoastStampers Gallery and work your way through my images you can see how much my art has changed and developed.
Because of the amount of time that I spent learning what my stampers were looking for I didn’t move as far as I wanted on JessicaLynnOriginal.com. Actually I let it sit a LOT.. to the point that my husband’s father said.. “JessicaLynnOriginal.com Rubber Stamps is an adorable hobby, but...” Well, if you know me.. those are fighting words. I was knee deep in a company and really trying to get things to the next level, spend time with the hubby, get our first home, work my full time job, and run this business. Words that still haunt me every-time I am not 100% on the company.In 2007 I found Etsy and I wanted to see if we could really bring over new business by working on there. I stated offering not only the sets of stamps but also the custom rubber stamps. It was one of the greatest learning adventures of my life. I learned a lot about what people are looking for and I really built up my art skills. The more you practice something the better you get at it.
In late 2009 I started Designing the AKC dog stamps. As a huge dog lover I wanted to make sure that I drew stamps that I would love too. I love them, people love seeing their dog breed show up. Currently I am working on Breed Sets so I can offer more pups to the market. Gearing up for April /May are the Toy and Working dog groups. This led us to Pug Fest in 2010 and Wisconsin Pet Fest. We also started our first Design Team this year too!Well a few years of custom stamps goes by and in March 2009 I was doodling am an amazing owl was born. Brentwood Owl. Once Brentwood Owl came into the picture everything changed for JessicaLynnOriginal.com. I was re-inspired to design stamp sets and offer additional stamps. I focused 1/2 my time on Etsy and the other half on my website.
In 2012 I was featured in Oprah Magazine and Milwaukee Magazine. This was a once in a lifetime experience. You can read all about that on another blog post here.
In 2013 I was blessed with an amazing beautiful, healthy baby girl named Celine Grace. She has just changed everything that I do and who I am. She is so creative and artistic and open to learning. She really made me look at everything that I was doing and want to change my world and how I live in it. I used to have this grand goals and now I would just love to have this business buy me out of my day job so I can raise my family. That would be the dream!
In 2014 We have just expanded and grown and now with technology catching up with me.. THE SKY IS THE LIMIT! We had another amazing Design Team who really re-inspired me to draw and aim high! We are looking for the next round of Design Team Members be sure to sign up for it today. We created a whole new website and offered credit card processing and soo much more! We were also Milwaukee’s A-List 4th Best craft store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mid-2014 I finally got one of my goals which was to work with Jasmine Becket-Griffith and her amazing art! That dream also happened. We just got three more stamps approved and those will launch soon!!
We now offer custom rubber stamps, clear ready to go sets, and
so much more.In 2015 we are trucking along!! New stamps and in December 2015 we will be in a featured 20th Century Fox Movie!! Click here to learn more. We are planning a huge event around this and can’t wait to tell you more. We actually have confirmation that a HUGE ACTOR will be holding and using our stamp in the movie!
Well, that leads me to today.. a day of reflection. Happy 10th Anniversary to my JessicaLynnOriginal.com. You have always been a dream of mine and I can not wait to see where we are in 10 more years. (I don’t want to rush that time by any means) but it will be an exciting ride!
One of my biggest goals is to show my daughter that you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to. It just takes a lot of hard work and time.
Keep Moving Forward,