Entrepreneur Crush of the Week: Jess Austin
When I used to think of macrame, dingy yellow, over-sized plant holders arranged neatly in front of dark wood paneling or overly fringed vests from the 70s would come to mind. However, macrame has made a fierce come-back and I'm not even a little sad about it. Actually, I can't get enough! Jess Austin, owner of Lavender Bee, is this week's entrepreneur "crush" and probably the biggest reason for the resurgence of macrame around these parts!
Macrame, the art of knotting and weaving leather or cord in an adorning fashion, can be traced back to the 13th century. Both practical and decorative, more and more people are purchasing pieces for personal and professional spaces. One macrame top seller is the fancy 'lil plant holder. "Plants are totally all the rage right now," she says. And she's right; I mean, I'm completely obsessed. While there's a plant holder for every "crazy plant lady" (like myself) in her shop, that's not all she creates. If you're in to fiber art, - which you should be - you can also find keychains, terrariums, dream catchers, and wreaths. But her favorite pieces to create are her intricate wall-hangings - and believe me, the bigger, the better! While a white rope and piece of driftwood may seem simple, Jess' pieces are anything but. Chaos, asymmetry, and lots of drooping layers is how Jess likes to design her genuine works of art. She perfectly encapsulates a bohemian style that would liven up and add dimension to any wall! And when you see her work up close, it's hard not to have a deep appreciation for her talent. (I'm patiently awaiting somebody to drop off a pair of antlers for her to macrame over.)
Jess grew up in Brunswick, GA, where she met her high school sweetheart/now husband, Corey. After high school, he joined the Air Force where they began traveling! From Dover, DE to Germany and exploring parts of Europe, Jess and Corey once again call Brunswick "home" with their two adorable children. Like most of my entrepreneurs, this full-time mom-turned creative business woman decided only working for herself would suffice. Lavender Bee was started after their return to southeast Georgia two years ago where she dabbled with different things in the world of home decor and finally discovered her passion for all things macrame. Today, Jess assists friend and co-creative genius, Jenny Van't Land, in Van't Land's bi-annual festival for emerging indie artists and creators, Moxie Craft Fest. In the future, Austin sees Lavender Bee expanding both commercially and in fine art. It's seriously only a matter of time for both. LOOK AT HER WORK. JUST LOOK AT IT!
**By the way, did you SEE the mention of Moxie Craft Fest? This week's entrepreneur "crush" couldn't have come at a better time because that's THIS Friday at 5pm in downtown Brunswick and Jess, along with some pretty amazing pieces, will be there!! You'll definitely want to take a piece of her work home with you!
Find Jess' pieces at all the places below!