Handcrafted Large Macrame Wall Hangings
I love so many aspects of what I do, from crafting to creating with my hands, to writing and sharing on my blog. But one of my favorite things, is getting to rub shoulders with other Crafters and Creatives. There is so much talent out there that I swoon over.
A few times a year I interview a select few crafters who really catch my eye to introduce my readers to talents beyond my own and build up the creative community around me.
Today I am so excited to share the stunning work of Nova Mercury by Jen Duffin! As her shop’s celestial name would suggest, it is truly out of this world! Her work focuses on large macrame wall hangings and I just can’t get enough! After all, they are colorful and we all know my love (ahem, obsession) for color.
Below, we get to know the creative engine behind this business, Jen Duffin.
What lead you to what you do?
Jen describes what lead her to this colorful career she has today:
“In 2016 I was on maternity leave with my second child and I was looking for ways to reconnect with myself and an artistic practice.
I had been incredibly artistic and crafty throughout my childhood, but had stopped being creative on a regular basis once I was out of high school. Every night for twenty minutes I began drawing – my drawings were just of whatever I felt like doing. The idea was to create with no strings attached.
This practice seemed to light a spark in me that had been dormant for some time. All of a sudden I had a desire to create again. It started with painting more regularly, and around the same time I also began making macrame. Before I knew it I quickly fell in love with the meditative practice of tying knots, and this snowballed into me learning how to make wall hangings and other decorative pieces.
Having Fibromyalgia (a condition that causes pain and fatigue), and working a full time job has presented challenges for me. But I saw my newfound creative skills as a way to try to earn a living, while having the flexibility to be self-employed.”
Nova Mercury was born
“In May of 2016, I decided to take a risk and start my own business – leaving my job and opened my Etsy shop. And here I am today!” Jen says.
“I had no idea how fulfilling it would be to run my own business, and have a full-time creative practice creating large macrame wall hangings. It is by no means easy. In fact I think I work harder now than I ever have. But I love what I do and I am so grateful to be making art every day.”
Nova Mercury’s unique style and passion
Jen describes her art as joyful, colorful, and whimsical.
“I don’t like being boxed in to any category, as I really love to experiment and try new things all the time. My goal is to bring joy and color into people’s lives.”
Jen continues, “I love so many things about what I do now from making art every day. being creative, challenging myself and learning something new everyday. In addition to that the privilege and flexibility to be present for both of my kids while they are young is priceless.”
Education and Inspiration
“With regards to my art practice I am mostly self-taught. I have taken a number of online classes from excellent fibre artists, but I also experiment and practice every day to improve my skills. I have a background working in both business and the non-profit sector. This experience has helped me greatly in being able to run my own business.
Currently, I live in Montreal now but grew up as a child of a military parent, so we moved often. This experience helped me to become very adaptable, and I am always up for an adventure or trying new things!”
“When it comes to designing large macrame wall hangings, I find inspiration everywhere! My children inspire me every day – both in my art and also to be the best me that I can. I find great inspiration in color and texture – my materials are often all of the inspiration I need. Selecting yarns to work with, especially hand spun yarns and inspiration through other artists as well – usually illustrators and photographers bring me a lot of ideas. Nature is always a great source of inspiration.”
A day in the life
Jen continues by sharing with me what a day in her life of work looks like:
“We are up and at’em every day at 5:30. I get my kids and partner out the door and hit the gym around 7:30 am.” Jen shares.
“I start my workday by 10 am. I try to compartmentalize my days so that I’m more organized. Usually I spend Monday’s answering emails, doing admin, ordering supplies, and packing orders. This leaves the rest of the week for making! I’m often busy making custom orders for clients during the week. I also spend time on Instagram every day as it has proved to be an excellent tool for marketing my business.”
“My eldest gets home at 3 pm, and I aim to have my work wrapped up by then so that I can give him all of my attention. The late afternoon and evening is spent doing homework, making dinner, eating as a family, and bedtime. I rarely have energy to work once the kids are in bed, we go to sleep very early as well. Evenings and weekends are for personal projects – this is often when I will do original creative works.”
“The key for me is being organized! I keep a paper agenda where I write down daily/weekly/monthly goals for my business. I try not to give myself too much to do in a day – only what is actually feasible.” Jen states.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
“Doing this full time still! I would love to travel and teach more and develop my skill set by learning from other weavers in person.”
I’m so happy to hear this, because have I mentioned how much I (Abbi) love her large macrame wall hangings?!
To the fellow dreamers
Jen concludes and encourages fellow Creatives to chase their own dreams. “Go for it! It is not an easy road, but if it is something that you feel you need to do then I would encourage anyone to do so! Honestly, I think if more people had a daily artistic and creative practice the world would be a better place.”
Do you dream of starting your own craft business? How has Jen’s journey inspired you? Do you have your own story to share? Tell me below in the comments!
Jen’s favorite quote:
“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Support this artist by following Jen on her Instagram page and if you enjoy her art be sure to share this post!