About Create & Thrive

Hi there, thanks so much for visiting Create & Thrive!

I’m Jess, the gal on the other side of the screen. This is me in my solar-powered home office in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Queensland, Australia.

I’ve been running my own handmade business – Epheriell – since I started it as a hobby in 2008. I went full-time in 2010, and never been happier with my work or my life!

But I won’t lie – I’ve also NEVER worked harder or longer hours than I do in this business. I know first-hand how hard it is to build up a teeny-tiny micro-biz into something that actually sustains me and my husband (who works for me, too).

I believe in handmade. I believe in the power and the goodness of the micro-economy. I buy handmade and vintage wherever I can. I believe that the more of us who succeed, the better our world and our lives will be.

There’s a lot of motivational stuff out there that encourages you to ‘live your dreams’ – which, I want to say, I support wholeheartedly – but there are also a LOT of people out there who are struggling to turn a profit in their handmade businesses – let alone make a full-time living out of it.

I’ve been teaching and helping people learn and work their way to success for a few years now, but I saw that there was a gap in the blogosphere – I couldn’t find a place where I could learn directly from those who actually DO this – who have a full-time craft/creative business.

A place where they would share their hard-learnt knowledge and skills with me and others. Where they would be honest and real about how much time and work is involved. Where they would give me the dirt, baby! The nitty-gritty details!

So, I decided to create that place myself – and Create & Thrive was born.

Does that all sound a bit heavy? I hope not.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to be a downer, but I DO want to be realistic with you – having a successful handmade business ain’t gonna happen overnight. But with time, persistence, the right information, determination and a GOOD PRODUCT, it WILL happen for you, too. That’s what I’m here to help you achieve, and I’m betting that’s why you’re here, too!

Oh, also – I host regular Q&A’s on the podcast – so if you have a specific question you’d like to see answered, please just email me – jess@createandthrive.com. If you want daily tips and useful info, make sure to follow C&T over on Instagram and Facebook.

Finally – if you have been looking for a safe, supportive space full of fellow makers (because goodness knows it can be hard to go it alone), I’ve got you covered there, too – head on over and check out the Thriver Circle.

I hope Create & Thrive helps you grow your handmade hobby into a full-time business – if it does, be sure to let me know, yeah? I’d love to hear from you!


About Me

Jess June 2015 (3)

I’m Jess Van Den, an Aussie gal from the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, and I’ve been running my own successful handmade business for 8 years – 6 of them as my full-time occupation.

I started my business – Epheriell – as a hobby, and through years of intense study and experimentation, I worked out how to make my business a success – so much so that I not only support myself, but also employ my husband full-time.

I’ve been helping makers just like you navigate the waters of handmade business for years via my website Create & Thrive – which features a blog, podcast, ebooks, and courses.

I have spoken at conferences, and been featured in numerous publications as an expert on building a successful handmade business – including being invited by Etsy Australia to teach new sellers the fundamentals of selling online through their Etsy Resolution program in both 2015 and 2016.

In January 2015 I started the Thriver Circle – a membership community for makers – which has grown into a vibrant community of over 400 people from all over the world who have just one thing in common – the desire to turn their handmade hobby into a thriving business.

Oh, I have some bits of paper, too… I am a qualified teacher, as well as holding Bachelor’s degrees in Science and Arts.

I have not only taught myself everything I needed to know about running a successful business, I’ve been helping others do the same for years. Over 3,000 makers from all over the world have taken my courses and workshops, and my mission is to reach as many makers as possible to help them grow thriving businesses.

I want to help you to realise your dream.

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