Meet the Maker: Jen from Teal & Finch
by Kollabora Follow

posted 7 months ago

My name is Jen Dwyer, but you maybe know me as Teal & Finch, and my DIY weapons of choice are fabric scissors and sewing machine.

I keep myself inspired by not getting overwhelmed by all the ideas out there. I always have so much inspiration around that the only thing that stops me is not knowing where to start. So I have to filter and find what is really “me” and that helps me stay motivated.

After a long day of making things I like to relax with Netflix and a bowl of ice cream with my hubby.

I first started making things when I learned how to use scissors. I’ve always been making things, whether it was summer camp crafts or homemade contraptions that didn’t work the way I planned.

My creativity is driven by finding a solution to a problem or satisfying a desire for something that fills me with happiness.

When I think about starting a new project I get so excited that I tend to skip practical steps…like practicing a new technique on scrap fabric…but I’m learning to reign that in!

The best part about running my own business is being my own boss. I briefly went back to a “real” job about a year ago and I think that lasted three months. I need freedom to have ideas and try them out in my own way.

I started by business because I’ve always been a bit of an entrepreneur, it’s just part of me. And I love making beautiful and useful things that bring value to others.

My advice to anyone looking to start their own business is do some research on what people want to buy.  It’s great to make what you love, but be sure there’s a market for it before you make a whole bunch to sell.

The most important thing I’ve learned from starting my own business is how to be professional and not take things personally.

My favorite part of the day is the hour before sunset.  I love being outside at this time and going for a walk or taking photos of my girls.

I feel most creative when I’m not thinking about expectations or the opinions of others.

I love Style Maker Fabrics. They have a great curated collection that’s fun to explore.

The book that can cheer me out of any bad mood is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

My favorite word is: optimism

My least favorite word is:  frustration

After I finish a project I feel satisfied (hopefully!).

I get out of a creative rut by taking a break to relax or just pursue a different craft for awhile. Sometimes I’ll draw or paint with my daughters.

I most relate to Monica from Friends.

My favorite maker is Bari J. I just love everything she makes and she’s incredibly nice.

My favorite thing about making is the freedom to try new things and see if it works.

To me, DIY means better quality, getting something exactly the way I want it, and feeling proud of myself for figuring out how to do it.

The first thing I made was a shorts and matching button down blouse set for a Caribbean cruise when I was 13.  It was awful and I hated wearing it! I think I wore it for about an hour and then never again. I learned a lot from that experience, though. Fabric choice is everything when deciding what to make. I am still learning that lesson…

The most influential person in my life is my friend, Cherilyn.  A friend who understands you and tells you what you need to hear is a true blessing.

My favorite thing to do on the weekend is go for nature hikes with my family.

I can’t get enough large scale floral fabric, especially knits.

Three words that describe me: stubborn, tenacious, perfectionist

Three words that describe my work: growing, evolving, becoming

Best creative advice I ever received is it doesn’t have to be perfect to be done.

The best spots in my city are the historic buildings with independent stores and cafes on Main St.

One fact about me that’s embarrassingly awesome is that I can whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough in under 10 minutes.

My DIY secret weapon is my serger.

It seems like for every successful project, I have at least one mediocre one. I have several hand painted canvas “artwork” for my home that never made it to the walls….I think they’re currently hanging in our garage.

My next project is something awesome in a stretch denim floral print.

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