Author:
Jessica Carey

Hey, everyone! I’m Jessica and I REALLY like to make pretty things. For the last several years I’ve gone from teaching myself to crochet, to selling my makes to friends and family, to opening an Etsy shop, to pattern designing and now I am so fortunate to have worked with some of the biggest brands and companies in the fiber world from all around the world.

Welcome to THNLife Blog!

My Journey
2/14/2018

Welcome, everyone! I am just so excited to finally have this beautiful website go live as several of us behind the scenes have been working so hard to make this happen! It’s been months of work, countless communications, hours upon hours of time and monetary investment and now we are HERE. I hope you all enjoy this new space as much as I do! 

I’ve had this idea and dream to create a space for all Makers to come and share their work with the world. Due to the complications of social media algorithms, the difficulty in growing our audiences organically and just an outright inability to really be seen by those we want inspire, I am hopeful that this new blog can be an answer to those issues. I have come across a myriad of Makers who provide such wonderful and quality content and I want to be able to represent them and this wonderful community in a beautiful and intentional way. I am so excited to finally see this all come to fruition!

As some of you may know, being a Maker has been nothing short of life changing for me. Growing up in difficult situations and having to experience dark moments consistently from an early age created self-made limitations and negatively affected how I viewed myself and what I was worthy and capable of. Up until the age of 26, I believed in these lies and had difficulty looking past them and knowing just how worthy I really was. Being able to make things with my hands, using my creativity to construct new designs and projects, and, most of all, being able to share all of these things with the world on Instagram ignited me and began to give me new confidences in myself, in all aspects of my life. 

As time went on and new opportunities were placed in my lap (such as being asked to be a blog contributor for JOANN Stores in 2017, working alongside Furls Crochet on a variety of collaborations, and designing new patterns with some of the community’s most luxurious and delicious fiber brands and companies..), I was able to find worth in myself. Not only did these companies and brands see something in me that I didn’t quite see and trusted me to complete these projects, but they also, in turn, allowed me to see for myself everything I was capable of doing - and learning. When I was asked by JOANN Stores to be a blog contributor, I cried at the idea that this huge company SAW me, LIKED what they saw and wanted to INVEST in what they felt I had to offer. What an amazing moment in my life, let me tell you.. To be able to at least attempt to offer others these feelings of worth and importance that I had experienced would be such a gift. And this is where this new blog venture begins.

As 2017 came to an end and I looked back at all I had accomplished, wished I had accomplished and new goals for the coming year, I saw patterns and holes. I don’t mean I saw crochet patterns, but patterns of inner worthiness and how it affected my actions. I saw that when I followed my passions and created in a way that felt natural, it was followed by extraordinary successes I never fathomed could ever be a reality. To be SEEN was huge. How difficult that can be in a sea of Makers all trying to to reach for that exact same goal can be so difficult and daunting. In these moments where I was seen and asked to collaborate, I worked hard and had senses of pride in myself and what I was capable of. However, I also had moments of wanting to share the stage with those around me that are working just as hard, if not harder, and allow them to feel these feelings of self confidence and pride. So, with the help of a whole team of people, that’s exactly what we are going to do this year: share the stage while encouraging others and allowing them to feel these feelings of worthiness and the exposure of being seen by everyone they are wanting to share their crafts and wisdom with while also offering this amazing content to the world.

Additionally, as I mentioned, I saw holes. I found that each craft has their own community of Makers, but it really limited the opportunities of learning from others. Just because you may be a photographer, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from a fiber artist - and vice versa. Each individual Maker has so much to offer to the world and by staying within your own craft community, doesn’t allow for true inspiration in the lives of everyone around you. Each photographer, each fiber artist, each woodworker, each artist in their own right has insight and skills that they can offer to anyone willing to listen. We need a Maker Community - a community that can encompass the true heart of making and what it FEELS like to be a Maker. 

Here on the THNLife blog, I am so excited to be able to feature makers, dreamers, doers, entrepreneurs and anyone else on this road of inspiration. From crochet and knit patterns, to words of wisdom from personal experience, to DIY projects to featuring some of the best products out there. THIS IS HAPPENING!!! 

Want to be part of this amazing group of creatives and have your work be shown to our worldwide audience? Simply keep an eye out for our next Maker Call where we will be asking for submission applications! We will have these calls sporadically through the year, so keep your eyes peeled!

MEET THE TEAM

Now, I want to thank everyone who has helped make this site and blog come to fruition because without them, there is NO way this dream would ever have come true!

Jen Evans (from Create Often), who has been on my team since January of 2017, has done more for this project than I can ever explain. She’s undertaken this whole blog idea and really made it happen for me! I came to her with my ideas, my goals and what I envisioned and she created the plan to make it actually happen. She is the main Blog Communications Specialist helping me do all the things. If you applied to our first Maker Call, she is the one who you spoke with. If you were selected to be featured in our first set of Maker features, she’s the one who helped get you all set up with your deadline and she will be the one manning the formatting, scheduling, and anything else needed with the blog. She’s INCREDIBLE.

See this beautiful site? The artistry in the graphics, the intentional color palette, the ease of use and just the general perfection of it all? Yeah, this absolutely phenomenal site was built by the talented creatives working within Talewind Visuals. From the very first meeting I had with Logan and Carly, I just knew these professionals were the ones meant for this job. The way they not only listened to my chaotic description of what I was wanting to achieve, they asked questions to further gain insight on exactly what it is I was wanting to create. They worked in depth with me to specifically design my dream site and blog. Then having Nick build this site from the ground up and incorporating Carly's designs has been just mindblowing to watch. He sat with me and went detail-by-detail on each aspect of this site to make it just so perfect. I'm so insantely grateful to his attention to detail. Extraordinary. Seeing the progress of this project has encouraged me more than I could say. What an honor it has been to have them help me rebrand my business and open it up to become everything it was always meant to be.

Along with Jen, I have a second amazing assistant helping with a whole variety of things. Megan Webb (from @anchoredknots on Instagram) is my Customer Service Representative and aids me with responding to the messages, emails and any other communications and projects outside of the blog, in addition to helping with drafting the posts and much of the website techy type stuff (I have no idea what SEO is, but she sure does!) She is also one of the admins for The Hook Nook Crochet Group on Facebook (along with Jasmine, Karen, Robin, Autilia and Anja). Megan has helped tremendously with setting up Facebook group take overs, handling correspondence and many other things!

I’m sure you have noticed, but I really love to have photo shoots done with some of my finished pieces! I work with an extraordinary sister photography team located here in my town! Sarah and Emily Photography are two phenomenally talented and kind women who reached out to me one day and after our first shoot, I knew I wanted to work with them longterm. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect team to showcase my makes. They're just incredible!

My husband, Aaron Carey, has been such a huge support as well. In the final days of prepping this website, he took some time off work so he could be with the kids and manage everything at home while I snuck away to San Diego, CA to finalize everything with the site. I'm so in love with this man and his willingness to help me achieve my goals. He's been there since the beginning of The Hook Nook and has helped me learn to stand up for myself, to decipher realistic ways of accomplishing my sometimes big and outrageous goals. I love you, husband. <3

Some of you may have seen little mentions of my friendship with Vincent Green-Hite of Knot Bad. This man has been one of my closest friends both online and in real life (Face Time counts as real life, yeah?!) and has encouraged me throughout this whole process and reaffirmed me when I had moments of doubt and anxiety. He’s been such a huge source of support and encouragement for me and there’s no way I could have accomplished all of this without him helping me chug along and remember the big picture. In single moments of darkness, being able to be reminded of the larger light you are building is so massive.

There have been SEVERAL others who have contributed to this journey in SEVERAL different ways, and I want each of you to know how much your help, encouragement, support and advice has meant to me. BUT. Most of all, I want to thank YOU for your years of encouragement, support, and overall belief in me and interest in following along in my journey. The Hook Nook has been all kinds of different things and each year seems to be tremendously different than the year prior, and I am just so thankful for the growth and fluid transitions it has experienced. From selling finished goods to customers, to writing original patterns, to contributing content to large blogs, to working with dream-worthy brands and companies, to providing inspiration in the form of photography as well as in text, I am so excited to see everything I’ve learned over the years merge into what it is now. 2018 is going to be such a tremendous year for not only me and my business, but hopefully for each of you who will be able to be inspired from the content within these cyber walls, especially those creating this amazing content. 

Cheers to doing BIG things and for being able to see that by following your dreams and not giving up on yourself can lead to such extraordinary experiences. So, if you take away anything from this post, please take away with the knowledge that your dreams are not silly, you are enough and anything you set your mind to CAN happen. With determination, passion, hard work and an open mind to learn new things, we are all capable of accomplishing things we never imagined could become reality. I mean, look at this. After a handful of years of learning things the hard way, figuring things out as I go, I can now say that I am a full time crochet designer who has had the opportunity to work with some of the largest names, brands, companies in the industry and I never once went to college to learn business, or earn a degree in anything for that matter. I’ve been able to stay home with my two children and work my butt off for what I have today and I know that each of you are able to experience it as well. God sure has made Himself known in my life and has allowed me to learn things that seemed so difficult and hard, but I know for a fact that I would be unable to do any of this without His guidance and teaching opportunities. He sure has blessed me beyond anything I could ever imagine.

You. Are. Enough. You always have been, and you always will be. Never forget that. Ever. Let’s do this.

xo,

Jessica

PS,

Did you see the giveaway on my Instagram page? Be sure to check it out - you REALLY don't want to miss it! Some BIG TIME prizes are being given away by my friends at Talewind Visuals! Be sure to come back here and make your extra entry on this post!! Comment below, as instructed in the IG post! You can check out the post here. Good luck!

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