Hi, I am an artist/craftsman and for over 20 years now I have been hand batiking clothing for all ages, I also batik bags, aprons, flags, decorative pillows and tapestries. I grew up in on the east coast and then moved to Northern California and still call it home with my 2 amazing teenagers. I have loved arts and crafts for as long as I can remember, one of my most favorite things as a child was a new box of 54 crayola crayons. Both my parents very supportive and art continued to be what enjoyed most and what i worked towards for college.
I applied to several of the top Fine Art Schools in the country and was accepted to them. I chose to go to Rochester Institute of Technology because I realized I did not want to be in a big city where most fine art schools are located. Another love of mine has been music, seeing live music. The summer between my first and second year of college I spent most of my time seeing music and going to festivals. It was then that I realized I could make a living selling my art doing what I loved. I had seen some other batiked art and became very attracted to it. So I bought all the supplies needed and through some trial and error I soon found my groove and my style. I started selling my batiks at festivals and other music events. It was an amazing feeling to have people buy and appreciate them.
As we all know life can change very quickly and I had my first child. I chose to be stay at home mom and put my family first. I did continue to sell my batiks just more locally at farmers markets and few arts and craft fairs and occasional festivals. For the last 7 years I have been working on growing my own business again, kids are older and it is again my time to do what I love.
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More about this loan
Sunrise Batiks is my small business selling lots of different hand batiked items. I am a batik artist, BATIK is a textile art/ craft using wax and dye on any natural fiber. I individually hand batik clothes, tapestries, aprons, bags, decorative pillows and flags. I do a variety of clothing items for all ages, baby to adult. I started selling my batiks at music events and festivals all over the country over 20 years ago. I have continuously done this but also was raising a family and chose to be a stay at home mom. During the first 8 years raising children I partnered up with another batiker to keep commitments doable. I did local arts and craft fairs, farmers markets and a few music festivals during the summers, I also did special orders including shirts and other specific items for small businesses and schools ect. About 7 years ago I decided it was time to focus on and start my own business. It was a good first year on my own and had several good events that became consistent. After that first year in business I became a single mom and that has brought on my biggest challenges, the hardest things to overcome these the last few years have been finding enough time and money to be able to have regular inventory. Also having booth fees next festival for or fair. Being a single mom after a 14 year partnership/marriage put me on a very tight budget and because many of my events and shows are seasonal it leaves a lot of down times where money is not coming in consistently. This has made it more difficult to be prepared for upcoming events. I have started working on a facebook page and an etsy store front but I am not the most computer savoy. This has helped but really I need to be able to hire someone to get these pages working more productively and to teach me more about online selling. I have a lot of customers that will place orders after having bought something at a festival but they are already aware of the quality of my product. I need to be able to reach the new customers and think a well running web pages and advertising to the right market will help that. This will fill in that down time. I have a few whole sale orders that are some what consistent also.
Batik is a very old craft used by many different cultures to add designs and colors to fabrics. It is a resist process using melted wax to create designs or images and then dyed, areas that have the wax create a resit from the dye. This can be done in a variety of ways to produces many different variations. I really love that you really never know exactly how it will look until you boil the wax out of fabric, always a little surprise. you can layer wax and dye areas and you can choose to crack the wax a lot or very little. Each batiker has there own look, and I love when people see my work before they see me and I hear , “oh that’s Jens work”, what a great feeling. Not only do I love making batiks I love selling them. I love meeting new people and seeing old customers again. Even with social media I have been contacted by people from 20 years ago who find me and send pictures of things they bought all that time ago. I want to continue to sell people unique items that they enjoy for a long time.
What is the purpose of this loan?
I want to use this loan to help me move further with my business, to increase online sales, and to also be able to apply and pay booth fees for festivals and fairs. Purchase supplies to build a finished stock, white clothing and bags, pillows, aprons and flags, and other natural fabrics to batik. I need dyes. I also need a new heavy duty 2 burner outdoor stove and little work to be done it my outdoor space to make the process go a little smoother.its been 15 years since anything has been fixed or up graded. This last year has left me in tight spot financially due to now having my kids 100% of the time with no other support. I believe this could really impact mine and my kids lives, to feel secure again, to know that we can keep our home. To make what is already there better in the business, I think it could increase my sales by 25%. so much of the struggle right now is not having supplies and not having the social media working well. It is a lot of hard work but it makes me happy which in turn makes my kids happy. Inventory and supplies= 2000$ Booth fees and travel= 1500$ Stove and improve work area= 500$ Hiring some to work on web page and social media= 500$ Advertising= 500$ New Booth = 500$ miscellaneous= 500$
Years in operation: More than 5 years
A loan of $6,000 helps Jennifer get inventory, work on a web page and social media pages, have booth fees for upcoming events and buy new equipment.