Fabric Twist Designs owner, Angi Jackson creates and sells jewelry, flowers, and home décor items using upcycled fabric, yarn, thread, beads, stones, & shells. Her passion for arts & crafts was discovered as a toddler, where she mostly drew and colored. Her path to crafting continued throughout her childhood (ages 8-16), where she learned basic crocheting, sewing, embroidery, and oil painting. The Ohio native has resided in Kentucky, Florida, Venezuela (where she worked as an artist for 12 years), and now Belize.
In a recent interview with Ms. Jackson, she shared insights about her creative experiences and lessons learned in business.
Q: Who had a major influence on you as a child?
A: Even though my mother didn’t have an interest in arts & crafts, she was always supportive and encouraged me to live my dream. She had friends who were avid DIYers, from whom I learned crafts during my childhood. As a preteen, while we were living in a rural town of Kentucky, there was an elderly couple who owned a small art studio. I would frequent the studio and take oil painting classes. I knew that I wanted a creative career at the age of 16. At the time we lived in Florida and my skills got better. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else but crafting.
Q: Do you think arts & crafts shaped you as an individual? If so how?
A: Yes, it shaped me to be unique and open-minded. Crafting always gave me a peaceful feeling. I share the same feeling when creating items to sell to customers. Crafting is also a way to bond with my kids. While we are creating something together, I am giving them a piece of myself. Hopefully these experiences will encourage my children to embrace their unique factors.
Q: Is there a difference in crafting in Central America vs the United States?
A: For starters, availability of materials is a huge difference. In the states there are chain stores that carry large quantities of items. Unfortunately in both South and Central America, craft supplies are typically sold in smaller stores at a much higher cost and there is no guarantee that there will be inventory in stock. People here in Belize work with what they have. Because supplies and materials are so expensive, people learn crafts from family and friends. One form of crafting that’s huge here is wood carving. Belize is a small country but people have migrated from El Salvador, Guatemala, and other parts of the world. Other forms of crafts practiced here are sewing, quilting, and weaving.
Q: How do you balance home and business life?
A: Both are integrated and separate at times. My husband has been supportive. As a matter of fact, it was he came up with the business name. I wanted a name to combine everything I do and who I am. Selling online makes it easier to find a balance because I don’t have to be at a physical location. I only do 2 craft shows per year. My children love crafts so it never feels like neglect when I’m working on my designs. Most of the time, I work on pieces when the kids are either napping or in bed for the night.
Q: What would you say are the 3 biggest lessons learned as a small business owner?
A: Business requires patience, success doesn’t happen overnight, and eCommerce isn’t as easy as it looks.
Angi Jackson is a stay at home wife and mother of 4. Her work can be found on Facebook and Etsy.
Beaded Bib Necklace