Editor’s Note: Makers is a weekly look at Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs tapping into the creative marketplace. If you know a local creative business owner who should be introduced via email: [email protected]
Jennifer MacNeil takes memories that have been captured through photos and transfers them onto wood or into memory photo ornaments.
It’s so easy. Or she makes it look so easy!
Through her business, JLM Designs, the Yarmouth woman also makes t-shirts, mugs and glasses, almost anything wedding-related, family name signs, photo transfer magnets and much more . And she’s been doing it since March 2021. That’s when she opened her small business on Facebook.
MacNeil says it all started with a homemade gift she made for her father-in-law and father-in-law for Father’s Day in 2020 during lockdown.
It was during quarantine when MacNeil said she just needed a hobby or something to do. It was then that she discovered her passion for wood photo transfers. Now it has become something she really enjoys.
She posted pictures of her creations on Instagram and Facebook and received a few messages from friends and family asking her to make one for them. Once in February 2021, MacNeil’s husband Andy told her that she should start a Facebook page and turn something she had been thinking about for a while into something amazing.
“Needless to say, I’m very glad I did,” she says.
To craft her items, MacNeil says she figured it out on her own or watched countless videos on YouTube. It also helps that she has always been creative, having had a passion for photography, videography and drawing.
MacNeil says the hardest part of what she makes is that not all the supplies are always on hand. Sometimes she needs to order supplies, but because of COVID it has been difficult at times.
“It’s about having fun and enjoying it and making sure you meet your customers’ needs and wants when it comes to creating something they’ve trusted you to do.”
I always try to use what local stores have to offer before ordering from online sources, she adds.
Of all the things she makes, MacNeil says her most popular items are the wooden photo decals or the photo keepsake ornaments she makes at Christmas.
She also does many custom orders. In these cases, the customer decides what they want, although they have a list of everything they offer. If there’s anything on the list that anyone would like more information on, they can contact MacNeil via email or Facebook messaging.
“If there’s something you don’t see on my list, never be afraid to ask if it’s something I’d be willing to do or try. I will always do my best to make this happen! she says.
While creating, MacNeil says she feels blessed to have been asked to create items with photos of so many beautiful memories,
“It’s about having fun and enjoying it and making sure you’re meeting your customers’ needs and wants when it comes to creating something they’ve trusted you to do,” says- she.
When not designing, MacNeil works full-time at Crescent Gold and Diamonds in Yarmouth, working primarily on JLM Design commissions at night or on her days off.
Anyone wishing to see their work, or place an order, can find the JLM Design group on their Facebook.