Beginnings

by | Mar 11, 2020 | Julie's Thoughts & Ideas

The word just evokes hope, potential, and dreams. Every story has a beginning and I want to share mine in the hopes that I can encourage some of you to be bold and take the first step in your own crafting journey!

I certainly did not set out as an expert wreath-maker, and looking back at my first products leaves me cringing and shaking my head. But we live and learn! No one starts as an expert; we all learn from trial-and-error, sometimes absolute failure, and plenty of “What was I thinking?” groans. The point is: we ALL start at the same place.

One of the most frequent comments I receive about my wreaths are, “I know mine won’t look as beautiful as yours.” Girl, listen– I had a whole cache of hot messes in the beginning of my wreath-making journey. Just look at this Poinsettia I first made back in December of 2015:

Oh boy. First of all, those petals. They don’t even look like they know what direction they want to go! Not to mention I did them entirely the wrong way, the mesh leaves were way overboard, and the size… the wreath was basically bigger than the door. But you know what? Someone bought it and they loved it, to my horror now. The point is that there is beauty in the work you do, and you will find that customer who thinks your work is absolutely fabulous!

Now, let’s talk about the very first wreath I ever sold. That feeling was everything to me! I was a stay-at-home mom to two littles and I was so happy that someone wanted to pay me $38 for something I made. It started because of a social media post I saw where someone shared a picture of a wreath they found and wondered if someone could replicate it. I thought, “I can do that!” When I look at the wreath now, I groan and shake my head because all I see are the imperfections, the mis-shapened loops, and my lop-sided, sad bow.

Then there was the Sunflower. The wreath that literally jump-started my business. I only see a poorly lit, badly frayed wreath, but in 2016 it was considered “shabby chic”, “rustic”, and “vintage.” Despite what I consider obvious flaws, it went from Grillo Designs all the way to Good Housekeeping’s online site. My very first Sunflower!

(When I first started, it never occurred to me to put my name on my photos to protect them like I do now, but that’s how we learn right?)

From the spring of 2016 until Christmas that year, I probably made 500 of the Sunflower wreath, if not more. So why share with you my “hot messes”? To prove that we all start somewhere. Now fast-forward to the spring of 2020 and I have a YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/julieswreathboutique, where I can share my ideas, tutorials, and new(improved) creations!

So later in 2016, I wanted to try something new and created a Christmas tree wreath, and from there that one idea has expanded into Angel Wings, Wreaths, Flowers, and more. I took a chance, thought outside of that crafting box, and went for it. In doing so, I’m able help support my family financially, and it all started with just playing around with some poly burlap.

Now I am passionate about encouraging other stay-at-home mommas, grandmas, retirees, women looking for more than that 9-5, or anyone who wants the joy that comes from creating something of their own. I have so many tips to share with beginners looking to turn their ideas into something more! Never in a million years did I picture myself making wreaths and sending them all over the country, let alone all over the world. I have learned so much along the way and I am eager to let you all learn from my mistakes and see where your journey might lead. In my upcoming posts I will be sharing more about my tips and ideas to help you be successful in your own craft or business ideas.

Life is a lesson and so is creating that perfect wreath, craft, or flower arrangement, or painting that piece of trash you dug out so you can transform it into something fabulous for your home. So let’s get started! Don’t be afraid. Maybe that first wreath you make isn’t a masterpiece but you made it, you put your imagination, your time, and your talent into making it. Remember, we all begin in the same place behind that starting line, and how you finish the race is up to you. You won’t know until you start!

19 Comments

  1. claudia davis

    thank you for pictures of you first tries. Mine are just as bad, but I gave them to family members so it will do. I hope I will get better. Your stories helped.

    Reply
    • Janet Webster

      Just want to thank you for all your help, how you describe your material, your patience in teaching us and all your tips. I’m trying to get my wreaths together so I can sell them also. I just need the courage and the confidence to do so.

      Reply
    • Shelley Rodriguez

      Love the encouragement that you’ve shared! I really loved your first poinsettia wreath….goes to show Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
      Love your tutorials and one day SOON I plan on making your awesome sunflower! I have been working on a new center design…..
      Congratulations on the blog Girl! Much success is wished for you!

      Reply
    • Jennifer Bell

      Julie you are truly an inspiration and have taught me soooo much in the past years. Always encouraging and positive, I thank you for making me a better crafter & for helping me to grow. ?

      Reply
  2. Kay Norris

    Tha k you for sharing your beginning and your first wreaths. It is encouraging to everyone. You are my favorite wreath maker!!

    Reply
    • Linda Taylor

      Love how you teach. Thank you for sharing your talent with us.

      Reply
  3. Cathy Winkley

    So glad you started this! Personal testimonies are the best encouragement! I love even these you say are not perfect!

    Reply
    • Dee Kroeger

      Congratulations on your blog! You have inspired me to do something that gives me joy! My first sunflower was a hot mess too but my neighbor loves it! I like simple but beautiful and you do just that. Thank you for all the different ways to make a beautiful wreath!

      Reply
    • Claire

      I love watching your videos. I have been looking at them for a while now and thought I could never do that. I recently lost my mam and needed somthing to keep me busy so I bought everything I needed to make a sunflower wreath. Once i had made it and posted it on my facebook within 30 minutes i had 9 people asking if i could make them one. So I just want to say thank you for helping me through a very difficult time. I have learnt so much from you and I’m now looking forward to making your christmas tree wreath formy front door.

      Reply
    • Tonya Young

      You are the one who got me started! Love all your awesome videos and tutorials. I haven’t made it a business, which I’m sure I would love to do, but you never know. I definitely have learned a lot from you and have had tons of people loving what you have taught me.
      Thank you Julie!

      Reply
  4. Carol Paul

    You are so amazing! I am retired and love crafting! I have totally embraced this and enjoying it so much! I will pull your videos and watch you as I make them! Kinda like we are doing this together ?

    Reply
  5. Kathy

    I love your poly burlap wreaths and have ordered all the supplies to try to make one. I save everything that comes up on FB to help guide me along. I love this hobby!

    Reply
  6. Peaches Bowen

    Love your story! It’s amazing where a bit of passion can take you!

    Reply
  7. Donna

    I love your wreaths and they are amazing

    Reply
  8. Joyce Boone

    Thank you so much for sharing!! You have come a long way and I know I will too now! ?

    Reply
  9. Kathy

    Thank you for your honesty. I just started making wreaths a couple of months ago. I still get very frustrated because my petals never look like yours. But I’ve sold two!!! I follow you on fb, you tube, just ask if your site’s.

    Reply
  10. La Verne Amundson

    Thank you, Julie..I have learned a lot from you and love watching you.

    Reply
  11. Robin F. hansen

    So happy you shared this. I’m new and I figured I could never get success like you! Thanks for the encouragement.

    Reply
  12. Marcia Waldron

    I want to thank you for your tutorials. I have been making DECO mesh wreaths for a few years and decided to try a poly burlap one when a co-worker saw a sunflower wreath on Pinterest and asked if I could make one like it. I did! and it turned out great! Went from there to looking for a tutorial and found you. Now I am trying to get started with an Etsy shop. Just opened it today with one wreath. Will be adding more soon. I have made about 25 so far ( and even sold some of them). So exciting! I’m sure I still have a lot to learn, but now I have begun!! Again, thank you. Oh, my shop name is MarciaKayCreations. Watch for it!

    Reply

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