I don't know about you, but I love doing Featured Vendor interviews. I love finding out the artist behind those awesome products that us photographers simply adore!
Today's vendor is Jennifer J. Cirka from JayBird Designs, a crochet products business.
My name is Jennifer J. Cirka and I am a crochet designer. I have been professional designing crochet items since 2007 and have had designs published in major crochet magazines such as Interweave Crochet, Crochet World, Crochet!, and Crochet Today. I will soon be published internationally in Inside Crochet and I also have a book of my designs published through Leisure Arts. Along with my professionally published designs, I also independently publish my own patterns under the name Jaybird Designs which I sell online. For people who do not crochet, I also sell my finished items and am always willing to work on custom orders.
What type of product do you offer to photographers?
I create some of the most unique and beautiful photography props for babies! I especially love to create hats and am constantly coming up with more ideas than I could possibly create! I love working directly with photographers to help make their dream creations come to life and I value the feedback I receive from professionals about how my items work for them and any changes that could be made to the design to make it better. But my work is not limited to babies! I am always happy to make items for older children or even adults! I love it when my items show how unique the subject is and the type of things they are interested in.
What made you want to start this kind of business?
Concerning my photo props, a good friend of mine decided to become a professional newborn photographer and knew that I crocheted. She asked for a few specific pieces and then my creativity just took off. Since I am only one person, and could never fill all the orders for custom made items, I decided to write the patterns for my designs so that others could crochet and make their own props. I also allow other crocheters to purchase and create my designs and sell them on a limited basis.
What is your favorite of your products?
That’s a tough question! I really think the photographers make my items look even more beautiful than they actually are. So, instead of having “favorite designs,” I have “favorite photos!”
Are you a photographer as well, or at least a photo-taking junkie?
NOPE!! That is why I love creating photo props! Someone much better than I can take my pictures for me.
Do you have a favorite photographer that you drool over their photos?
Yes, I have two, and both for very different reasons. I have luckily had the chance to work with both of them over the past few years. Robin Long Photography for her adorable newborn photos and Naturally Red Photography for her unique conceptual and edge/glamour photos. http://www.robinlongphotography.com/ http://naturallyred.zenfolio.com/
What do you do like to do when you aren't running your business?
I love spending time with my family! We live in the most beautiful area of the country, Western Colorado. Along with my husband, daughter, and Greyhound, we love camping and being outdoors. Together, we just started a large family garden in our backyard and can’t wait for some fresh veggies to start coming in. I also love to cook and bake, thus I also spend a lot of time at the gym doing Kickboxing and Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Any advice to someone wanting to start a business?
Do what you love. It’s that easy. Find a mentor, ask a lot of questions, and strive to learn new things all the time.