I was invited for an interview on Radio One to talk about Handmade Happy Hours. You'll hear about how I got started with Greetings by Jenny, which led into the inception of HHH.
Greetings by Jenny started in December of 2018, when I was simply exhausted from volleyball coaching, working, and life in general.
If you didn't already know, I am in recovery from alcoholism. My life was a complete shitshow from about 2015 to 2017. When I finally came around to the idea of getting sober and actually living a life, I dove into things like volleyball, volleyball coaching, working, becoming a moderator for WFS meetings, and more.
December 2018 came around and I was just kind of done with everything. I was exhausted from doing things for other people. I needed to turn inward, while staying busy to keep myself healthy.
I started with a Chewy catalog, full of adorable cats & dogs in holiday cats. I was flipping through the catalog, putting words in the dogs' mouth, thinking "merry fucking christmas." I thought my family might find that funny, so I created some postcards with those exact words and gave them to my family for Christmas.
They laughed, I laughed, and more importantly, I had a ton of fun making the postcards. It was keeping my hands and my mind busy, and I started feeling like I was exactly where I needed to be in life.
From there, I started selling, and I was having. SO. MUCH. FUN. I was meeting new, authentic, genuine people. After going through addiction and thinking the worst of humanity in general, I couldn't believe there were people left in the world like this and I was meeting these people that were just... so nice.
Selling greeting cards at $5 - $7 a pop was making me a little bit of cash, but not enough to buy into bigger art shows, where lots of people come ready to spend $$$.
Instead of waiting around for someone to start a well-organized & affordable pop-up, I decided to start it for myself. We had our first HHH pop-up in May of 2019, and one of the vendors was like "hey, you should call this Handmade Happy Hours," and I was like... that's the perfect name.
From there, we started organizing a carefully curated pop-up once a month, while keeping our fees for vendor participation low & affordable. We had artists who've been selling their work for years, and we had artists where HHH was their first pop-up ever.
There's a few vendors, where their first pop-up was with HHH, and I see them now and I think... look at you go! It's just incredible to see what my newfound friends are accomplishing, knowing I played a small but important part in their success.
HHH is now organizing pop-ups at bigger venues with room for 20-30 vendors. We've grown our vendor list from 6 to 170+, and the number keeps growing!
It's so exciting, and I'm having so much fun doing it. It not only gives new and emerging artists in Chicago a place to start, it gives the community a rather large selection of handmade goods & gifts to choose from.
Anyway, listen to the interview please :) I was so nervous, but I think it turned out okay.