Author: Andrea Steed
When I think of vintage objects, flea market finds, and gorgeous details, one designer in particular comes to mind: Jenni Bowlin. I was first introduced to Jenni's signature style at a CHA event at the Li'l Davis Designs booth. Fast forward a few short years, and now Jenni has an enterprise of her own, with a one-of-a-kind kit club and a wholesale product line called Jenni Bowlin Studio. I had the opportunity to re-meet Jenni and work with her at a recent event and fell in love all over again with her style and down-to-earth personality. Learn more about Jenni Bowlin and her products:
- What is your academic background? Do you have any technical training in arts and design, or is it just a natural gift?
Ironically, I was on an art degree track for one semester before deciding I could never make a living that way and changed to the business side of things. I went into advertising as a media buyer (the least creative part!) and ended up starting out at less then I probably could have made at McDonalds!
- What attracted you to the scrapbooking industry?
It was a mix of everything that I loved to do. Design, painting, journaling, photography - what other hobby gives you the chance to incorporate so many mediums??
- Many people know you from your work with Li'l Davis Designs. How did you get involved with designing for them?
I had just started designing layouts and teaching for a store in my area when a convention came to town. The store had a booth as well as Li'l Davis. Tricia saw the layouts in the store's booth and asked to meet me. That is how my journey began!
- Have you always wanted to own your own company? How did the process of making that step out on your own come about?
No - in fact I specifically said I would never do it. I think ultimately it is in my blood and when I am not involved in it I just think about how to become involved again! My husband is the "push" on the business end. I would dream all day and never take action. It's important to have someone like that along for the ride with you!
- Tell us about your company. When did you start it and what sort of products and kits do you offer?
We started out as an online kit club. I really wanted to do something different so from the get-go I tried to incorporate things that you couldn't just find anywhere. I started designing product for the kits as well, not realizing that this was going to push me into the wholesale business. That is exactly what happened and we officially launched Jenni Bowlin Studio wholesale at CHA in January.
- Kits are a great way to purchase coordinating supplies. How do you recommend your kits be used to their fullest potential?
I guess that is the beauty of a kit - you don't need to think too much about it! I have many customers who copy the gallery layouts each month just as is and others who like to do their own thing. You get to be creative but you don't have to spend an hour pulling things out of your workspace to coordinate a layout.
- Where do you turn for inspiration for new products for your line?
The past - plain and simple. Everything I design is based on something old. Whether it is the pattern I found on the back of an old book or the pile of dusty bingo cards I have collected for years - I really believe there is something timeless to these designs that you just don't see anymore (and may never see again).
- What is your favorite aspect of working for your own company?
You control your own destiny. That is the biggie. There are a lot of negatives that go along with that (such as working 14-hour days) but in the end, considering my husband and I do this together, we hope that we are teaching our kids a lot of life lessons along the way and can create products that effect people's lives positively.
- What is your no-fail, always works, staple supply or embellishment?
- What's next for Jenni Bowlin? Any new projects or products on the horizon?
We are giving a facelift to our website and we are working on some new features. As far as products go . . . I always have something up my sleeve. Just as soon as I think I'm all tapped out, something else seems to pop into my brain (and it usually happens at 3:00 in the morning)!
Jenni Bowlin resides in Nashville, TN with her husband and two young sons. She is the owner and the creative force behind Jenni Bowlin Studio - a web-based company offering monthly papercrafting kits and inspiration and most recently an exclusive product line that can be found in paper arts stores across the country and on the web. Everything she creates has a vintage edge and a general "re-invention" theme. She is a published designer, having landed on the pages of Creating Keepsakes, Autumn Leaves Publications, Family Circle and Mary Engelbreit Home Companion. Jenni is also an accomplished teacher, offering classes at stores and conventions across the country.
You can shop all Jenni Bowlin products at Scrapbook.com