Who am I, and how can Create & Thrive help you?
Hi there Thriver, thanks so much for visiting Create & Thrive!
I’m Jess Van Den, the gal on the other side of the screen. I work from my solar-powered home studio & office in the gorgeous 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 business – let alone make a full-time living out of it.
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.
I’ve been teaching and helping people learn and work their way to success for a many years now.
Back in 2012 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.
I’ve been helping makers just like you navigate the waters of handmade business for years via my blog, podcast, ebooks, and courses – as well as my membership site for makers – The Thriver Circle.
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.
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!
More about me…
When I was a kid, all I wanted was to grow up and become a research scientist.
But after finishing my dual Bachelor’s Degrees in Science and Arts straight out of high school, I decided that wasn’t for me, after all.
So – I went back to uni again and got my Bachelors in Education. I then worked as a teacher, science communicator, and tuition centre manager before going full-time with my own businesses. As you can see – teaching is my passion!
I have spoken at numerous conferences & events, 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, and being an Etsy U instructor in 2019 and 2020.
For a few years, I published a print zine for the Australian handmade community, called *bespoke*. I loved creating this home for the handmade community – but the call to teach again got too loud, and I had to sell *bespoke* so that I had the time to teach – and Create & Thrive was born.
I am: married to the most zen Englishman you’ll ever meet; an only child; addicted to my kindle; adore travel, but believe there’s nothing better than coming home; the cat-momma of two insane felines; a qualified yoga teacher, and I love archery, swimming, strength training, & Tim Tam Slams.