Meet the Maker Month: Jade of Jade + Sprout

Hello! My name is Jade and I live in Montreal. I originally studied contemporary dance, but I slowly started taking interest in other artistic endeavors. I’ve always loved expression in the form of fashion and accessories, so I thought I would put my artistic spin on it through handmade clay earrings. I use Jade + Sprout as a gateway to share my interest with others!

What is Jade + Sprout? Jade + Sprout is a small business I created in 2019 so I could share my passion for handmade, artistic fashion. Inspiration for my designs comes from my love for certain aesthetics, such as cottagecore, royalcore, and florals; all being a bit whimsical. For the past 3 years, I’ve been solely making polymer clay earrings, but this year, I’m hoping to expand beyond that and add crocheted garments and accessories.

Why did you create Jade + Sprout? As a dancer, I’ve always been interested in creative expression. When I was doing performances in school, the visual components like costumes and accessories piqued my interest because they can tell you things about a character or person just by what they wear. Combining this with the aesthetics that I like and my love to create, I thought opening a small business would be the perfect outlet to share that with others.

What do you do when you’re not working on your small business? If I’m not creating anything for my business I’m probably working on another creative project for myself or to gift to someone else. I also recently got into building lego sets which has been really relaxing for me. When I’m not doing anything with my hands, I’ll either be reading or watching a show.

What does being a Maker mean to you? Being a maker is something very special and personal to me. On one hand, creation is a gateway to express outwardly and share with others what I feel and/or what I see as beautiful. On the other hand, it’s something personal and intimate, where it becomes my time to think and sometimes it’s even my therapy. Hopefully, that’s clear! It’s a bit challenging because I tend to associate creating with an expression, feeling, or emotion.

What motivates you to create? I think growing out of my struggle with self-confidence and acceptance is a huge motivation. Being in a competitive industry like dance really crushed me even though I tried to act strong on the outside. It made me think that what I created wasn’t good enough and therefore I wasn’t good either. From then until now, I’ve had to learn to believe in myself and to know that what I make is art, and it’s truly and authentically me. Giving myself permission to create, experiment, and try new things is definitely my fuel to continue and push through.

How do you apply your creativity to other aspects of your life? The first thing that comes to mind is through gift-giving, I love giving people presents and I think it’s, even more, special and sentimental when it’s handmade.

What is your favorite thing you've created and why? My favorite pair of earrings that I’ve made were for both of my grandmothers. They were earrings inspired by Filipino transitional clothing. I don’t have the best knowledge of my Filipino culture, but researching and making these earrings helped me connect and get a better understanding.

Tell us about your first sale I laugh when I think about my first sale. I was just getting started in clay earrings and I’ll be honest, they were not good. My friend graciously bought a few pairs of them as Christmas presents. I think it boosted my confidence in knowing the potential that I have for my own small business.

What is your dream project? I think my dream project would be to create a collection of couture pieces that could be displayed in a gallery.

Do you accept commissions? Yes! I love collaborating with people for custom pieces! You can always DM me on Instagram or email me: jadeandsprout@gmail.com

How do your interests shift from one project to the next? I usually have a handful of projects all being worked on at the same time so rare are the times that I’m actually finished. I don’t like to push myself to keep working on something if I’m not motivated to do it. So I’ll switch projects or mediums and go back to it.

How do you know when you've finished a project? Usually when I’m tired!

What are your long-term goals? I have two goals in mind! The first is to have this as my full-time job. The second is to broaden the mediums that I use. I’ve already started by adding crocheted goods this year, but perhaps also including sewn clothing a few years from now? Who knows where life will take me!

What steps are you taking to ensure your growth as a maker? I think something that hugely impacts my growth as a maker is giving myself the permission to experiment, as well as being in tune with myself. I know that I can be the one holding myself back most of the time. I can sometimes be too afraid to try. Also taking care of myself, knowing when to rest or even change projects also helps. On a more technical level, being inspired by other makers and trying to create something based on the techniques they use is great practice. You can keep an arsenal of techniques to use when you have something you want to create in mind.

What inspires you? Flowers, plants, fairytales, vintage furniture, princesses, and the Victorian era

What initially drew you to your craft? I was introduced to polymer clay earrings by clicking a random video on YouTube. I had no clue that they existed and I immediately fell in love with them and jumped right into it. It instantly clicked with me because it filled my desire to create something artistic that was not something to see or watch.

What three adjectives would you use to describe your work? Romantic, floral, and colorful!




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