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!

45 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
      • Thelma

        Thank you for your words of encouragement. I started making wreaths for my family only and my daughters encouraged me to start selling them, so I did to friends, thus was last year. This year I found your YouTube channel and feel in love with the wreath flowers. This month I have the right tools to start making them. I’ve learned so much from you and am thinking of selling beyond friends but don’t have the courage yet. Again thank you 😊

        Reply
        • Julie Oxendine

          You can do it, I believe in your ability to sell them.
          JuLie

          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
      • Linda Potras

        Julie
        Hi its Linda Potras from new mexico youve leveft me a message before and im still struggling to get my wreath business going, I need a little extra income and love love love making wreaths. Ive sold about 8 right before Christmas and then it all just died. Not sure why im on fb market place and etsy. I just am really frustrated!

        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
    • Wanda Montgomery

      Thank you for putting all of your wonderful wreaths out there for us to be inspired by! Love watching all of you tutorials and learning all the different ways to make wreaths!! I’ve been just making wreaths for fun! You know for family and friends!! My family has been telling me I need the sell them. But I just don’t know how to go about that?! Any information will be appreciated!! You have a wonderful talent and such a soft voice to teach!! Thanks again for all of your help!!

      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
      • Wendy Roark

        Thank you for all the tutorials you have posted! I have learned a lot watching them! I have made 1 wreath with the lollipop petal LOVE it! I am waiting on material to make another style. Now if I could sell them that would be great!

        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
  13. Alice Green

    Julie, everything I see that you have made is gorgeous, even the one that you see flaws in. If you didn’t admit that, no one, I mean NO ONE would ever see them either.

    Now I am going to your YouTube channel & get myself started!

    Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Kelly N Kendrick

      I just started my wreath business after losing my job due to my son’s medical issues. I’m a single parent and it hadn’t been easy but you keep me inspired! Thank you for being that motivation I needed!

      Reply
  14. Lupe Sanchez

    Julie, I started making wreath 7 years ago. When I first started, I didn’t think they looked good, but other people told me they were beautiful. That’s how I started selling my wreath. Friends and family order my wreath. I would like to get more customers. After I made my first sunflower wreath, I got 3 more orders.
    Thank you for all your videos. You are awesome!!

    Reply
  15. Patsy Cook

    Julie, I love to watch your videos. You explain how to do your wreaths in making them very well. I am retired and watch my grandchild but I like to do crafts. I have made a few wreaths and love to make them. You do a great job and I appreciate you sharing them with me. Thank you.

    Reply
  16. Jeanne Smith

    Hey Julie, I have to say, I do believe I’ve watched every single one of your YouTube videos. I’ve made several of your designs and I’ve also invited many, many beginners to watch your tutorials. I think they are the best on YouTube! I’m disabled and I really love making wreaths. I’ve sold a couple but haven’t really put myself out there. I probably have a couple dozen completed wreaths here at the house, but I’m hesitant to put myself out there because I don’t always feel up to running a business 7 days a week. I’m not sure how I would work around that. But I do enjoy the craft and shopping for craft supplies LOL has become another hobby I seem to be good at. I wish you continued success!

    Reply
  17. Sherry Farrell

    First of all I love that poinsettia wreath , it’s very striking. I would really like to purchase the tutorial on making only the Christmas tree .

    I am a new member and glad I found you, you are a great instructor

    Reply
  18. Isabel Marquis

    You really do beautiful work I really love your work and you really explain it to where I can understand what I need to do but unfortunately mine is not as beautiful as yours

    Reply
  19. Marie Haschmann

    Hi Julie,

    Thanks for all your tutorials! I’m about to retire and would like a little extra income. Any help on how to sell the wreaths would be appreciated. Do I have to have an Etsy store? I’d prefer not to.

    Reply
  20. Barbara

    I love your YouTube cha and your honesty! Facebook live is great, but as I’m a busy grandma on a small homestead, I need to be able to watch when I can. I certainly read !

    Reply
  21. Sandra Leclair

    Julie, you are truly an inspiration and a great mentor. I watched a video were you were talking with your coach and thought to myself that it is what you should be, she gave you great advice, but I think that you have what it takes yourself. The wreaths you produce in your tutorials are always fantastic and well thought out. Your demonstrations are also well explained with great consideration and explanations to others. Take it from this old girl, who says you cant teach an old dog new tricks, you did with me. Don’t ever change. Thank you!

    Reply
  22. Judy Davidson

    I have done crafts on and off most of my life, but only for me. I have made wreaths for my door, also made jewelry for my self ( ear rings and bracelets) but when I loss my husband in November 2020 I was loss , I was on Pinterest an came across one of your tutorials. I started watching and it took me to another world where I wasn’t loss . I posted my flower and my family thought it was great. I watch every tutorial I can find of yours. They are great by the way. I have a few Fay members ask me to make them one and I have. I am trying to set up a Facebook business page too sell them cause I enjoy making them. But it’s not been approved it was it says or I did something wrong. So now I am stuck. I keep searching for the help. I guess it takes time. I have borough your tutorials the package of 3 . I love them. You have helped me through a very difficult time. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Julie Oxendine

      Judy,
      I’m so sorry for the loss of your husband, that is such and hard journey to walk through. I’m so happy that you found my tutorials and are using your creativity to help you through each day. Many prayers for you.

      Reply
  23. Linda

    Anxious for any help I can get. Thank you

    Reply
  24. Charis Caldwell

    Julie,

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and ideas, it’s very much appreciated and inspiring.

    Reply
  25. Julia Zidik

    I can’t begin to tell you how much of an inspiration you have been to me. My wreath making is therapeutic. I work 40 hours a week in a stressful job and even though I’m totally exhausted after the day I can find the energy to work on wreaths. I do belong to several of your groups and have learned so much from tutorials. Presently I’m experiencing health problems and my wreaths take me away from those problems. Thank you for everything you have taught me. I pray I can retire in January and my next step will be craft shows as a supplemental income. You are my inspiration and an incredible teacher.

    Reply
  26. Brenda Kurgan

    Thank you so much for sharing. I would love to find out more about how to market MT wreaths, and market myself.

    Reply
  27. Marie

    I love your tutorials! They are right to the point of teaching the craft. Thank you!

    Reply
  28. Barbara Paider

    You inspired me to make my first wreath last year and I still love watching you on YouTube. I am trying to muster the courage to sell my wreaths and flowerpot people but I have have no clue how to begin.

    Reply
  29. Levina

    Your wreaths are beautiful. I actually made a poinsettia one for this past Christmas. It was beautiful. I didn’t have a hot knife so it frayed a bit and really hard on the hands. Well worth it.

    Reply
  30. Connie Sellers

    Thank you for sharing your creativity with us. I love the flower wreaths. I made the patriotic wreath and posted it on my face book page. I never thought it would receive the response that it did. I was requested to make eight of these wreaths! My problem is that I am afraid of Esty. I have heard good things about it and not so good things. I know I need to get over it and just do it because my friends and acquaintances can only purchase so many wreaths.

    Reply
  31. Kris Hilliard

    Thank you Julie for your encouragement. As my mask making career was winding down I fell in love with wreath making! And because of your precise instructions we can all make masterpieces. Thank you for all the motivation to be and create proudly.

    Reply

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