Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Needham.
Jessica, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m Jessica. I’m 32 and I grew up beautiful in Ventura, California. I married my high school crush but we never dated in high school. We were married for 5 years before our first child was born. Her name is Elsie. She was a preemie born at 30 weeks, super healthy, beautiful and smart! 15.5 months later we had our son Lennox. I was a pharmacy technician prior to becoming a mother but as soon as I had Elsie (and since she was in the NICU for 28 days) I knew I couldn’t bare to leave her and go back to work.
We made things work for years with me staying at home but 2016 came along and we decided it was probably time for me to try to work at least weekends! Something. So I tried to go back to my old job as a pharmacy technician. I couldn’t handle the pressure of the pharmacy anymore! All I thought about were my children. They missed me. I missed them. I wanted to have that perfect schedule, that perfect job that allowed me to leave and work while they slept, so they wouldn’t miss me as much.
Before I went back to work I had been learning to macrame for about a year. I had taken a workshop myself and would macrame at night as a stress reliever, Zone out on creating once the kids went to bed. I had friends asking me to make the stuff so I realized I should open an Etsy shop. So I did. Then I had friends wanting to learn, so I taught. Then I thought, “hey… maybe I could teach classes? No. Too stuffy! I don’t know enough about the “history” behind the art. Screw that, let’s make this class fun!”
So, I sold tickets to my first workshop, without ever teaching a single class. It SOLD OUT!
It blew my mind! It continues to blow my mind every time I sell a ticket! I owe it all to my amazing family, friends and community. I’m super thankful to the local businesses here in Ventura for opening their business to be an welcoming the workshops in their spaces.
Special thank you to MadeWest and Topa Mountain Winery who always provide the most fun venues. Extra special thank you to my husband who works so hard! He is why I am able to be a stay at home mom and a part-time macrame teacher.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It was definitely a smooth road in the beginning. Now, Macrame is super popular as well as attending workshops so I, of course, have some people in town also trying to teach macrame. I guess they say imitation is the greatest form of flattery but when someone is trying to steal your business within a few miles of you it’s hard not to be upset when this is my job, my money maker.
Please tell us about HOMEmadeVentura.
I teach macrame. I only teach basic knots in my classes. This workshop I teach is meant to be a fun social day/night out with your friends or family.
I’m known for collaborating with other locals and reaching an audience of my peers. As a woman in my early thirties and a mother, I know what I’d want if I came out to a workshop with my girls. I want to have a drink, relax, craft and go home with a beautiful project.
What I am most proud of is the fact that I’ve organically grown my followers. All by word of mouth on Instagram. People come to my workshops, have a great time, post pictures and in turn, their friends see how much fun they’ve had and want to come next!
What sets me apart from others is the fact that I take pride in what you’re taking home and I only use the good quality product as well as making the ticket price to my workshop affordable. The macrame workshops I come across are usually outrageously expensive (which is a turn off in my eyes) or the quality of the product or rope isn’t very nice.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memory is my 5th grade trip to Catalina Island. The whole class goes, and without your parents! Such a treat.
- Website: www.HOMEmadeVentura.com
- Phone: 8058140732
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/homemadeventura/?hl=en
Anna Delores, Brooke Borough, Rozanne Zacarías