Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Ly.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jennifer. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
When I was a child, I have always pursued art. I started drawing when I was in elementary school and progressed to sewing in middle school, It wasn’t until my college years, while pursuing my art degree, that I started using a sewing machine and from then, I started Jenni Bean Plush in fall of 2013. I also wanted to share my love of stuffed animals and began creating and selling my own creatures. My inspirations for continuing my pursuit of drawing and sewing stems from attending pop culture conventions, and meeting different artists at these events. Their works motivate me to continue to improve myself in both media. Nowadays, I look to furthering my business by expanding to different types of merchandise and figuring out the next best step.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Some of the biggest challenges for my business is my lack of experience with business and my motivation. As one who pursued art and has honed my expertise in this field, business and marketing is definitely a challenge to me. I have a hard time maintaining an online presence but that comes with many small businesses as technology has expanded, and my business gets lost in that world. My motivation can be very challenging to myself because, for some reason, I can work hard for others, but not myself. I have been creating schedules to keep me from falling off course and am very proud of myself when I do complete tasks in a timely manner. My advice to anyone who pursues a dream on the path less traveled is to not be afraid or hesitant. Do what makes you happy and feel proud of what you have done, not what you don’t have. Also, surround yourself with others who are also taking the same journey. You are not alone. Following others on social media and asking for advice from them is always a good thing to do just don’t compare yourself. Be proud of what you can do.
What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
I home make all of my stuffed animals and draw digital artworks. Most of the time, I sketch out the stuffed animals in a sketchbook, then I start making a pattern. There are several trials and errors before getting the shape or pattern just right, and I have several prototypes hidden from public eyes. I use a combination of machine sewing and hand sewing depending on how much detail is on the animal. I am very proud of my stuffed animals and am mostly known for them as my brand. What makes them unique are special requests from my patrons. Sometimes, they may ask for a specific color or pattern, and other times, I can add a small detail like a nose or a mustache to give them the flare they want.
Were there people and/or experiences you had in your childhood that you feel laid the foundation for your success?
Definitely, my dad winning stuffed animal prizes for me at a fair or carnival growing up has always been one of my fondest memories. Stuffed animals were also the top childhood toys I played with as well. The energy to create always stirred inside of me, so it started with drawing and now sewing. Drawing and sewing helped me turn my dreams into reality. In drawings, I could express my thoughts and feelings physically onto a piece of paper, and in sewing, I can turn those expressions into a three-dimensional product.
- Stuffed animals range $5 to $35
- Special requested stuffed animals start at $50
- Art prints range $5 to $15 depending on size
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jennibeanplush/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jbplush