Get to know your artist/maker!

Get to know your artist/maker!

I wanted to do something a little different and let you guys into my world!  This is a way to get to know me, how my crazy mind works and all that jazz! So here is goes!!

I literally just turned 41 years old yesterday. I have always been creative and crafty and it's taken me SO MANY YEARS and SO MANY CRAFTS to find my passion, which is creating beautiful tumblers.  I have tried almost everything. Many of the crafts I have picked up over the years, are sitting stashed away in boxes in my downstairs closet and in my spare, unfinished room. Crochet, cross stitch, scrapbooking, beading, jewelry making, and so many more. 

What started by business journey though, is not what I do now. Back in January 2017, I had neck surgery. I had a disc replacement and had an artificial disc placed at c6-c7. Before surgery, I had excruciating pain going down my left arm, and numbness in my left fingers. Post-surgery, I needed something new to help me get through recovery, so I started sewing handbags. I made one as a raffle gift for my niece's bridal shower, seen below.

I made a few more, just for fun, then a co-worker ordered one, and then someone else ordered one, and then I started looking for free patterns and teaching myself everything I needed to know about bag making. I ended up doing several vendor events and found that I had a passion for creating and selling. All this while still working a full time job. I would wake up, sew for a little while, get myself and my daughter ready for work and school, go to work, come home and sew more after dinner until it was time to go to bed. I did this for 2 years and was semi-successful, but that didn't matter as long as I got to do what I loved. 

Summer of 2018 rolled around and I got a Cricut Maker!  I had the intention of using it to cut fabric, but I ended up diving into all the other things I could do with it. As time went on, it was getting more and more difficult to sew because now, almost 2 years after surgery, I have almost chronic neck pain. I started making shirts and that was going ok. I started making other vinyl projects and eventually started playing around, trying to make tumblers. I learned how to use epoxy and started building a small glitter collection. Anyone who makes tumblers knows just how important that almighty glitter collection is. Even now though, mine is still not as big as some of yours!!  

My tumbler adventure started in early 2019. I was learning so much, and I still to this day, have so much to learn, because there is always a new technique being thought of by other creators. I was starting to very slowly get orders for tumblers and was still taking orders for shirts and decals. I was no longer doing craft shows because they were just too stressful. 

Then Covid-19 hit in March 2020. I worked full time through the first three weeks, then was furloughed from my job. So I started working on tumblers full time while home with my daughter because schools were closed, then fully virtual. I was slowly building a following on Facebook and we changed our business name from Sew Fabulous Life to D.E.K. Customs. 

In the summer of 2020, I developed a horrible horrible allergy to epoxy. Epoxy is a 2 part compound, that when mixed together, is applied to a tumbler as a liquid, then over 12 hours, harden to a glass light finish. Tumblers make with epoxy typically take 2-3 coats to be done. The bad thing about epoxy, is it is a vry dangerous chemical when mixed. The fumes get into your system and build up over time. It is HIGHLY recommended that a person working with epoxy, do so in a very well ventilated area (garage with doors open) and wear full PPE...I did wear full PPE 99% of the time. I had a full face gas mask, gloves, all that good stuff and I STILL developed an SEVERE allergy. I had what my doctor described as chemical burns around my eyes. The skin all around my eyes swelled to the size of plums and got so red, raw, and cracked; I had to discontinue using epoxy. I thought my tumbler making days were over.

Then I found CrystaLac products and my life has been forever changed. CrystaLac products are water based and NON TOXIC!  Score!!  I would be able to continue making beautiful tumblers and be safe while doing it!  Winter/spring of 2021 I really started to build my TikTok following by posting videos, following other creators, and eventually going live to work and promote my business. Today we have just over 18,000 followers on TikTok and we are closing in on 1,000 members in our Facebook group! 

I saw we, and not I, because my husband, who is my BIGGEST supporter is also my silent business partner. Without him, NONE of this would be possible.

Also, without YOU, none of this would be possible. Many of my long distance friends are people who I found on TikTok, or who found me, and hae supported me along this exciting journey. My hope is to keep learning and growing and bringing you all quality products that you cherish!

If you made it this far and have read my whole rambling story, I thank you!  Stay tuned for most blog posts!

Have a wonderful night!!



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Jen, you truly are an inspiration to me! I still remember the day that I found you on TikTok and watched your LIVE. I interacted with you and you interacted back!! Most people don’t do that and that showed me that you really care about what you are doing. I wasn’t doing very well on my tumblers and wanted to step back to what I had been doing, but you inspired me to keep doing it!!! I am so glad that I did because I can truly say that my techniques have improved, and I owe some of that to you! Keep doing what you do and you will have a follower for life with me! The other day I bought spots on a STW and I told my daughter that I wouldn’t be upset if I didn’t win and she said well then Why did you buy the spots? I said “To support Jen” She said but we don’t know her. I said “YES I DO” Thank you so much for being YOU!!!

Connie A Kirk

I am so glad to have found you on TT and FB. I am slowly moving away from resin because of the horror stories like yours of people developing a “sudden” allergic reaction. I have used Crystalac for a set of 30 mason jar tumblers for men my husband served with in the Army (they so a reunion every year) but that has been my only experience with it. Looking forward to learning along with you!

Julie Neidrauer

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