Hi! I’m Jen, the owner of the little nest!

I like sweater vests. Summer, winter, doesn’t matter.

I’ll answer to Jen, Jennifer, hey you, but call me Jenny and we cannot be friends. Like, for real!

Born and raised in Alabama (Roll Tide!), I moved to the big city years ago and now live outside of Atlanta, GA. I’ve been a creative soul for as long as I can remember.

This is a colored pencil self portrait. It’s from my early 20’s.

I do believe my first drawing was on the womb wall! I am sarcastic yet optimistic, I have a dry sense of humor, and when I love someone I love them with all I have. I’m also polite AF, which leads to my last description-I cuss A LOT. My life has been a mixture of creativity and just plain survival. I honestly believe my creative nature has been the guiding light helping me navigate this winding journey of mine. Here’s a little of my story…

This is a family portrait i did of my family. I am fascinated with the duality of dysfunctional families-the image we try to put up vs the reality.

I grew up in central and north Alabama. My family was very poor, and in retrospect, I think that helped me hone my creative skills at an early age. I did not have the healthiest childhood, and as a result, I left home immediately after turning 18 years old. I was lucky to have another family that took me under their wing. They kept me fed and off the streets over the next year while I attended a community college. I transferred to a university in Nashville my sophomore year and majored in art, but had a place to call home over holidays and summer breaks with my adopted family. I owe this dear family an enormous debt of gratitude. They shaped and influenced my life so much at that time and showed me love when I needed it the most. I often wonder where I’d be now if it weren’t for them and their loving kindness.

Yo’ left, Yo’ left, Yo’ left, right, left

BootCamp Graduation

The day I graduated boot camp.

Several months after 9/11, I joined the Army National Guard. I was 23. In full disclosure, I had a couple different motivations. I wanted to serve my country, but I also needed a change. You see, around that same time, I ended a long term abusive relationship and wanted to feel strong and have a real sense of purpose for my life. So I became a modern day Private Benjamin. Of all the things I’m proud of in my life, serving my country is at the top of the list. It was a big decision at the time, and I have absolutely no regrets about joining the military.

The rest of my young adult years were spent trudging away in corporate America. I quickly learned I am not a corporate gal! To fulfill my creative outlet, I painted and participated in art festivals on weekends. That satisfied my creative cravings for a while, but it didn’t fully scratch that itch. I longed to get out of my cubicle and paint full time, but leaving the corporate world felt like too big of a leap. So… I stayed. And then I stayed a little longer.

Arms Tied

This is from a nightmare series I did in charcoal.

But the longer I stayed, the more my heart yearned for the creative life. I needed to be free from the schedule of a 9-5 job. I needed to express myself in ways other than pivot tables and spreadsheets and meaningless meetings that took me away from my riveting game of computer solitaire. I was dying on the vine!

Painting provided a nice side income, but I feared it would not be enough to sustain me in the long run. So I started brainstorming… and shortly thereafter the little nest was born.

Deep breath, the little nest is born

the little nest logo

Getting my logo done made me feel so official!

I was scared to death to quit a job that provided me with a great deal of financial stability, but the need to follow my creative heart had finally become stronger than my fear. So I took a deep breath and jumped in feet first. I bought a sewing machine for $50 on a black Friday sale and taught myself how to sew baby bibs. Yes, there have been hiccups and there has definitely been a learning curve (Hello hand dying onesies! My skin is finally returning to its natural color!), but I truly have never looked back. I feel my most alive when I am creating. And I absolutely love creating for your little ones!

In the beginning, the little nest started off as a business, but it is truly so much more than that. It is a part of me. Having a child was just not in the cards for me, and this business has become my baby. I cherish it and care for it and want to watch it grow. As I’m helping to outfit your little ones, I’m also growing my little one (i.e. the little nest). I feel a great deal of pride in that.

Starting and owning the little nest is a dream for me, and it would not be possible without the help of others. So if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to end this with a huge THANK YOU. Thank you to all the people that have helped me on this journey over the last four years. Thank you to my friends and family who have offered advice, brainstormed a business name, proof read blog entries, made purchases, shared my Facebook posts with their friends and family, and visited me at festivals. Honestly, I can’t even list all the wonderful kindness I have been shown by my friends and family. I am also so grateful to the boutiques that have given me a chance to sell in their stores. And I’m especially grateful to you- my customers! Without you, I wouldn’t get to do what I love! Thanks for letting me share a little of my story with you!

‘Til next time,
~jen

www.the-little-nest.com

Click here for my social media links

 

 

 

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