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Create & Thrive Podcast: Episode 0 – Jess’ Story

Welcome to the Create & Thrive Podcast!

In this pre-episode, I share my story – how I went from studying science, and being super un-crafty, to today,  where I run my successful handmade business – Epheriell – as well as teaching here at Create & Thrive.

It was quite an accidental journey, really – and the turning point happened on a Fijian Island in 2008. Before then, I wasn’t at all ‘crafty’ – I was a teacher and an academic (I have 3 Bachelors Degrees that I earnt over 6 years… because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life!) and while I liked my job well enough, I always felt like there was something else I’d rather be doing.

Fast-forward to today, where I’m lucky enough to be doing exactly what I want to be doing – and living a life of immense freedom and satisfaction – and doing good work that I enjoy and am proud of that helps people and makes the world a little bit shinier.

So, how did I get from nerdy science kid to creative businesswoman?

Download This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create and Thrive’)


Van Den has written 320 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.



Hi Jess. Thank you for creating these podcasts. I’m a busy mama and like the freedom to listen and learn while I’m doing other things.


That’s exactly why I created them, Teresa – thank you for letting me know it works for you!


Hi Jess! I recently discovered your website and as someone who really want to find a new creative path in my life ( and one day hopefully be able to make a living of it as well) I find it extremly inspiring! I started to listen to your story and I´m really looking forward to listen and learn from the rest of your podcasts! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences! Best wishes, Linda


Great podcast Jess, what an amazing life story. You set such a great example and are a very powerful motivational speaker! I was one of those kids that did a lot of art as a kid and talked myself out of doing it for a living when it was time to pick a college major and ended up following my endless need to learn new things by doing research for a living, but I found I needed something “tangible” as well, that came just from my own two hands, to feel a better sense of balance in my life. Thanks for sharing your story, I really related to your journey a lot.


Hi Jess, that was a great first podcast, I can’t wait to hear more! I recently discovered Create and Thrive and it has come at a perfect time! I have a sewing ‘hobby’ of 6 years this year, where I sell at markets, love what I do and do well, with the time I have at the moment. My youngest (of 3) is at 3 year old kinder this year and I’m so ready to take my little business to the next level!! I’m excited 😀 Thanks! Looking forward to reading & listening to more! Hayley

Michelle Emma Kay

*waves* a fellow X files fanatic over here 🙂 I also remember how exciting it was when the internet began *recalls 1990’s chat rooms*

What say you?