Artist Of The Month: Jenna from xDropBearStitcheryx

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Introducing Jenna from xDropBearStichteryx ! Our Artist Of The Month for January and the artist whose work we will be celebrating all January long! :) Check out our in-depth interview with her about her life, her love, and the incredible faith and vagabond tales behind the happy hippie collection!

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My name is Jenna M. Kidd & I’m `The Bear` over at xDropBearStitcheryx.

I’m Located in the sleepy little town of Woodstock, in Ontario, Canada. Mostly this is a one bear show but sometimes I have to call of the expertise of my number one main squeeze Mark Miller. My Hubby-bear to be. 🙂

I grew up in Northern Queensland, Australia in a town called Townsville So.. Naturally Koala’s, Crocodile’s, Kangaroo’s as well and every dangerous critter known to man would be sunning itself on my front lawn each day. For the longest time I had been dreaming about opening up on Etsy & then I met Mark. He among other friends pushed me to jump on the bus so I did. I drew up a list of name’s and narrowed it down to two. ‘Kiwi-Stitchery’ was the other choice as I was born in New Zealand so ‘Kiwi’ is also a big part of me. I ran a vote among friend’s & family & xDropBearStitcheryx Was the outright WINNER. After that I had a blast designing my logo.

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The bear is an anomalistic representation of me & my product’s: Cute, Quirky, Fun with a pinch of Crazy to boot. The logo for xDropBearStitcheryx is me at work; More often than not I have a needle in hand!

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xDropBearStitcheryx sell’s modern hippie clothing, Accessories & art. You can find unique one of a kind clothing, bag’s, jewelry, mixed media illustration’s, logo design, hand printed fabric tag’s, Plush Dragon’s as well as Artistic doll’s with clay features, Hand carved clay pendants & more.

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I originally opened up as a way to support myself & my family. I’m chronically ill and can only work out of home so Etsy was a god send. My soul purpose is to create and xDropBearStitcheryx is where it all end’s up! My goal is to provide friendly service to my customers while offering high quality Eco friendly original products. Since opening 9 months ago, I strive to build lasting relationship’s with the happy folk who find joy in my labour’s of love!

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My creative day usually starts at the crack of noon, Cup of Joe in hand, Hair in a mess & Pj’s still on! I work STRAIGHT out of home in my tiny work space at the foot of our bed. I have my little vintage singer sewing table found in our basement and a shelf I spent $5 on at the local thrift store. What started out as a few different fabrics and button’s & a passion for art has turned into so much more. I once had a big studio in a garage all to myself with printing machines, A vinyl plotter & more, but since moving to Canada to be with Mark I’m starting all over with my new Identity.

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Usually my creative process can be heard from towns away with loud music and tonnes of mess! One day I may be working with clay so I’ll turn my little desk into a clay station, Perhaps it’s sewing today – up pops my well oil’d machine, If its painting, then its a paint station & so on & there I will stay till the wee hours of the next day. I’ve never needed all the fancy thing’s to make it work. I have Faith that it just will. Thanks to living in Bali and seeing how industrious the local’s are with bare materials, & studying fine arts for a year at the Southbank Institute of Technology, I evolved as an artist & think of myself as a pretty crafty problem solver who’s able to think outside the box.

Having said that – My materials list is huge! I used new & used fabric, Clay, Wire, Embroidery thread, Hemp, button’s, zip’s, bread’s, Ceramic, Glass, Leather, canvas, water paint, Acrylic Dye, Charcoal, & much, much more!

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When I graduated from high school – I landed a fantastic job with a local sign writing company as there junior sign writer and graphic designer, which was a pretty big achievement as most were looking to hire a strong man for the job! Through them I did all sorts of work for client’s not just in Queensland but all of Australia. The biggest one I had was Hog’s Breathe Cafe – A very popular cafe with location’s all over Australia. www.hogsbreath.com.au/ Anything they needed I would fabricate and take to the main office down the road where they would post it out!

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Then 2008 came around and I found myself being sick more often than not. I took a break from work with the idea that I would come back to a job but months went by and I didn’t improve so they let me go. After that I used all the resources I gained from working for them & opened up for business from home, screen printing shirts, to making sticker’s to car decal’s under the name of ‘TwistedPyramidStickers’. It was great for a while then sickness and depression beat me down once again. So In order to shake it after month’s of testing and trying to find out the cause of my illness I jumped on a plane and flew to america to experience winter for the first time and to be with nature to heal before crossing the border and catching a bus to Woodstock where I decided It was time to try again & thus xDropBearStitcheryx was born online.

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When I was a kid the first thing I remember seeing made was a sticker. It was coming up to Christmas and the media was pushing children’s toy’s like usual. I saw the add for a Sticker machine and I was sold! I begged my parents a plenty! At the time I was obsessed with stickers, I had a giant scrapbook I would keep them all in. The thought of making my own stickers to go in my book was the spark that started it all! From that moment on whenever anybody asked me ‘what do you want to be when you grow up Jenna?’ ‘an Artist!’ Was the reply. After time my scrapbook not only had stickers, it had tracing’s of popular Children’s Character’s I would sell to other student’s for 20 cent’s a drawing! 😉

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After Christmas a lot of my favorite item’s in store found new homes! My floral patchwork bag however is still up for grab’s! This bag has been a favorite since I opened. I made it during a dark time living with my psychotic ex & It bought me peace, love & light with every stitch. The hemp thread hand stitched in it was gained through my very first successful local Trade! & The fabric was a gift from a wonderful women in town who works at the women`s resource center teaching women how to sew so that they may find employment. They acquire TONNES of fabric scrap’s that sat there until I came along. She sore my handmade clothes and bag and allowed me the resources I needed to get off to a good start.

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Deadlines & tough time’s are the inspirational back bone for my work. I seem to work best under pressure, I find I get more done during burst’s of insomnia in the wee hours of the morning when the rest of the house is still. I also take inspiration from my favorite bands (Tool, Grateful Dead, Puscifer, A perfect circle, Xavia Rudd & more), as well as fantastical stories of far away places, & my fellow artisan’s.

What makes my job as an artist interesting? Between hanging over the side of a giant ferry-boat sign writing, now searching through thrift stores like a tomb raider, to sitting at my little desk carving clay. The best part of my job is that it is always something new, exciting, challenging & straight from the heart!

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The first concert I went to was in grade 7 – I played trumpet in the school band for our primary school graduation! First serious gig was when I was 15. The local town council had organised about 5 buss’s to take all the kid’s of Townsville to the Triple J’s One Night Stand gig in Ayr 2005 about one hour out from Townsville. My mate’s & I arrived as the buss’s pulled up next to a giant sugar cane field where they had set up a massive stage.

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The concert featured Katalyst, End of Fashion, Shihad and the Hilltop Hoods and was witnessed by 10 000 people from across the region. My girlfriend Was a massive fan of Hilltop’s hoods, as was I so we had a blast listening to ‘Nose Bleed Section’ on the ground next to the soon to be harvested sugar cane. It was one of the iconic song’s to launch Australian skip hop into the chart’s!

The first Festival I went to was ‘Big Day Out 2008’ Which was a hoot! Rage Against the Machine, Bjork, Grinspoon, Arcade Fire, Hilltop Hoods, Billy Bragg, Paul Kelly, LCD Soundsystem, Sarah Blasko, Faker, Midnight Juggernauts, Dizzee Rascal, Something With Numbers, Battles, Cut Off Your Hands, UNKLE, KARNIVOOL & MORE I had a BLAST!!

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I look at the hard time‘s as fuel to keep on trucking! Life never give’s us more than we can handle, however at times it can seem like everything has a ‘touch of grey’ (My favorite Grateful Dead song). At times like that I lean on my friends and family for support & inspiration. They haven’t failed me yet. When sales are far and in between I take it as a chance to analyze my store for things that could do with improving, be it photos, tags, descriptions, etc. It’s the perfect time to work on held up orders or my next release of products. Even if your store seems quiet there is ALWAYS something you should be doing! The Etsy blogs are a great place to spend some time – as well as our team forum. Its full of wonderful helpful tips & Time saving ideas!

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Right now, Jenna’s gettin’ ready for a give away competition as she has hit & passed 12,000 views a few weeks ago!! {{{Right On, Jenna!}}} She’s also working on a ton of new project’s & order’s so be sure to check in at www.facebook.com/xDropBearStitcheryx!!

You can catch competitions and sneak peaks there as well as creative process’s that you won’t find on Etsy! – So it’s well worth a lookin’ into if you follow ‘The Bear’!!
Save The Date Folks!: Feb 2nd, xDropBearStitcheryx  will be launching a bunch of new listings! After a wonderful first Christmas on Etsy! So remember to mark that one in the calender!

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7 responses »

  1. Really great post! Many blessing to you and your family and business going forward Jenna. Thanks so much for all the great treasuries and all you do……………..
    Love and Light to all!
    D~

    • I love your story, Jenna!!it is very inspirational that you can overcome adversity and turn it into a new blessing that brings new light into your life! I am delighted and honored to call you my friend!!! Much love and Light!!…..Great writing too!!! Congrats!!!

  2. Thank you so much you two!!

    Debbie, You are very welcome – I like to think I’m getting better at the treasuries! I hope so! Finger’s crossed my little labor of love will keep moving forward!

    Smokeyjayne – Me inspire you! AWESOME! I am trying my best to make it work and so far so good! I
    don’t consider myself to be much of a writer! So I’m glad I haven’t bored ya yet Can’t wait for our co-lab’s and to use that interfacing you sent me! wooo ❤

  3. Jenna, as an artist and human your story is an inspiration. Keep using that kind soul and talent and I know you’ll make it far. I know the hard days are hard.. I talk to her often and love the conversations we have from across the invisible border. Having you on our team is something that makes me happy., to see hard working artists grow makes me proud. Keep on Keeping on.. love Jen

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