We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Johansen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, can you tell us about an impactful book you’ve read and why you liked it or what impact it had on you?
I recently read ” Didn’t See That Coming” by Rachel Hollis. This had a huge impact on me because I just recently lost my mom this past April. My mom was everything to me. My biggest fan and supporter. This book helped me realize that I need to feel all the grief and work through the emotions but also to not lose myself in it. “Show Up” was one of the chapters an it hit home because it made me open my eyes to what kind of wife, mother, friend an overall person I am being as I go through the roller coaster of grief. Not that I’m not showing up at all but bringing to my attention that I need to be more present. My mom would want that so that’s what I’m trying to do. Day by day. I’m on the hunt for another helpful book to help with this process.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started Hot Mess Mama’s Art over 2 years ago. I originally started acrylic pouring because I was struggling mentally an emotionally and being creative helps me more than anything else. I started pouring on canvases but quickly moved to terra cotta pots thinking that would be something that could take off business wise. I quickly learned that I would need to add more items. I started making jewelry from my pours and continued with that for awhile. I also did seasonal items like pumpkins and Christmas ornaments.
Christmas of 2019 Matt got me a Cricut and that was a game changer for me. I started embellishing my pours and putting phrases on canvases. This made it easier to do custom orders. I eventually started making magnet sets, keychains, and coaster sets. With the Cricut I’m able to put small images and phrases on them and make them personalized.
My biggest challenge when I started was signing up for too many events and getting discouraged when they were not successful. I still feel like I haven’t found “my place” in the markets/events. I started to try online events before the pandemic but when it hit and we were stuck at home I joined more and had quite a bit of success. Now I’m in 3 online events that I enjoy and have success in.
I’m most proud of myself for never giving up. It’s not easy trying to build a business on your own. I was in food and beverage for 22+ years. To go from that to stay at home mom plus artist/crafter on the side was a huge change for me. I enjoy it though and don’t want to stop. My main goal is to be able to help out financially for my family without having to go back to a regular job. My family is used to me being home now so I got to do what I can to keep it that way.
Hot Mess Mama’s Art is exactly that, a Hot Mess LOL!! I’m not perfect. I’m just trying to be creative in all the chaos of life. Being creative fills my heart with happiness. If I can create something special an unique for somebody or someone’s business than that fills me up even more.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There’s so many great places. We would definitely be hitting up Baja Café and Bisbee Breakfast Club for breakfast during the week. The Snicker Doodle pancake at Baja Café and the Durango breakfast burrito at Bisbee are my absolute favorites! We would take a day and roam around 4th ave. So many cool shops and places to eat down there. The Desert Museum is a must. After that we’d hit up some local breweries. One of my favorites is Button Brewery. There’s lots of great breweries in town so I’m sure we’d hit up as many as we could. On the weekend we would cruise around to all the different farmer’s an artisan markets in town. There are a lot of talented vendors to see.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My other half, my rock, Matthew Bates has always supported me through this journey. He keeps me in check when I start to get overwhelmed an encourages me to never give up on creating. He helps me by cutting items I need for orders. He helps me load an unload for my events. He’s a real trooper because he works full-time Monday-Friday an I know he likes to just relax on the weekends but if I have a new event I haven’t set up for he will come with me the first time. My nerves get the best of me sometimes so having him there is so helpful. He would love for Hot Mess Mama’s Art to grow enough that he could work less and spend more time in the garage making me stuff to paint. We enjoy being creative together.
Don’t have any