As the holidays fast approach, I’ve been reflecting on this past year. It’s been a time of immense giving and caring for others, change and with that change, opportunity. While, our personal and professional lives have shifted significantly, many of us have turned to creativity as an outlet for stress and anxiety, or simply just to bring some fun to the day.
What’s so special about creativity is where it can take you.
In 2020, I’ve watched in awe as some of the most creative entrepreneurs in our community took what started as a hobby, and turned it into one-of-a-kind businesses. To me, these stories speak to the resilience of the human spirit in times of struggle and, more than anything, the enduring creativity that connects us all. We’ve seen people come together to make masks and greeting cards for those in their community and others they’ll never meet — just because they want to do their part to make a difference and brighten someone’s day. I am always so touched by the power of the heart at work and everyone’s innate desire to uplift those around us.
The most satisfying feeling for me and my colleagues at Cricut is knowing that we are helping others make a difference in their own lives and their communities. Hearing stories from our members who have turned their passions into purposeful and lucrative opportunities, is what makes the crafting journey so special to watch. The key ingredient that threads an idea into an opportunity is creativity, and when it’s paired with a Cricut machine, it inspires another year of making, and, in turn, opens doors for the makers.
There are so many stories that embody this message, and these are just some that highlight the potential of one project to snowball into something bigger.
Anastasia Jackson, for example, is a dedicated mother of two who wanted to find a creative hobby to help her through some tough times. Now, less than three years later, she is the proud owner of Cookie’s Paper Petals — the first paper flower shop on the East Coast, which officially opened its doors in August, despite the pandemic. Her love for making literally bloomed when she began creating paper flowers and discovered the joy her crafts brought to the world. Petal-by-petal, Anastasia has perfected her talent using Cricut machines as the foundation of her business.
The stories of people who relate to crafting as a therapeutic outlet are endless. Melanie Cervantes, co-founder of Dignidad Rebelde is not only a graphic artist, but a cancer survivor and warrior. World-renowned and culturally celebrated for her creativity, Melanie had to pivot her business operations when the pandemic hit so she could effectively work from home and prioritize her health. Looking for other mediums to print her pieces when studio access was no longer an option, Melanie recalled seeing Cricut on display at a nearby Michaels and immediately wanted to implement it into her work. From there, she took her screen-printing to new heights, as she made and sold her pieces faster than ever before. Not only did her business scale in 2020, but Melanie found a way to streamline her creative process and eliminate the need to work with harsh chemicals.
Some of these ‘crafterpreneurs’ have even been able to find little silver linings in the pandemic. Ashley Nell Tipton, who first garnered praise and excitement when she won season 14 of Project Runway, started her own apparel line for plus-size women in 2017. Once the pandemic hit, however, she decided to fully transition her whole business to making and selling face masks. Having sold over 10,000 stylish masks since, Ashley attributes much of her business’ success this year to her Cricut machine, which makes it possible for her ideas to come to life in a matter of minutes.
There are countless other crafters who have made the most out of 2020 by turning their projects into profit and launching their own businesses from home. Kayla Stuart started Birch and Bramble following the loss of her full-time job and created a sweet online destination perfect for people and their beloved pets with custom apparel fit for both.
Similarly, Alejandra Nahuat launched Bows and Ribbons after being laid off due to the pandemic. She knew she always wanted to have her own business, but had trouble nailing down the idea. After making her husband a Dodgers-themed birthday care package and seeing how much he loved it, she realized this was something she could run with. She bought a Cricut Maker and now has her very own website featuring personalized care packages for every occasion.
Crafters like Jessica Trice, a single mother who was also faced with job loss, finally found the time to do what she loves the most, turning crafting and making into her own bespoke business, Moon and Mira. She feels confident in her new endeavor and, most importantly, her ability to provide a wonderful future for her three-year-old daughter.
Although home is usually where crafting begins, I am always so amazed at how crafting has united us from all corners of the world. Yet, each of these individuals add a little bit of home to their crafts, which is what makes it so special and personal. As the holidays draw near and you begin thinking about things you wish to pursue in the new year, I encourage you to look to all the crafters out there who simply exercised their creativity and shared it with others. You can do it too, and what comes of it might surprise you.