Jennifer – Konjo Handmade
What do you make / sell? Tell us about yo’ self.
I’m Jennifer, I’m the maker behind Konjo Handmade. Born & raised in southern AB. I live close to Lethbridge, AB (by Coaldale), my husband is a farmer, so we live out in the country where we are raising our 7-year-old son, Job. Other than my Handmade Doll business I work at a quilt shop.
How long have you had your business?
How did you get started?
My husband and I adopted our son in 2011 from Ethiopia. During the process, we had met a couple other adoptive families, and one time meeting up with two other adoptive Momma’s I wanted to give their daughters some brown dolls because #representationmatters going to the big box toy story I started looking up and down the toy isles looking for a brown doll. I finally asked an associate where I could find one. She took me down one isle, and handed me one doll, and told me that was it. It honestly didn’t even look remotely brown. I left the store empty handed, and thought ‘well if I can’t find a brown doll, i’ll make one!’ At my local quilt shop that I work at, I found a pattern, I made up two dolls and impressed with my work I posted a picture on Facebook of the two dolls I had made. Other friends started commenting that it was so hard to find brown dolls, and if I were to start selling these dolls, they would buy them! My company started from there! My business name is ‘Konjo’ which means ‘beautiful’ in Amharic one of the languages spoken in Ethiopia, I hope you find my dolls beautiful!
Who or what inspires your work?
My son and Husband. All my family really! I also love going to markets and seeing little ones run up to my table to give one of my dolls hugs – it truly makes me happy which inspires me to keep going.
What do you dream for your business in the future?
WOW, it’s been such a long time since I’ve really thought about my business in the future. I had small dreams to start with, and i’ve blown them out of the water, that I just want to see how far this will take me. I guess i’d love to see if I could sell 1000 dolls. I’ve almost reached 600 soon, so it could happen someday!
What’s your favourite social media platform and why?
My favourite social media platform is Instagram. I love Instagram because I really feel like that helped grow my business. Before Instagram it was basically family & friends buying, and a few at some vendor events. Instagram allows me to connect with people from all over the place. I find out about other vendor events, I meet other makers that show me that I can grow even further #makerstrong
How do you pick yourself up when things go wrong?
I once saw a quote that said “Whenever life knocks you down, just calmly get back up, smile, and then say, ‘you hit like a little b*itch’. HAHAHA! Things go wrong to everyone, at least at some point. With business if sales are low, I constantly wonder and second guess myself if I should continue, my sweet husband just reminds me that I might just be tired, take a break and get back at it!
What’s one thing no one knows about you? Give us an interesting fact!
I have a serious ‘phone-phobia’ I loathe the phone, I dislike answering phones, if you ask me to call people I have serious knots in my stomach. ☎️. I have a cell phone, but really only use it to text people.
If you could have any super power what would it be?
The super power to ‘get it all done’. It seems like I’ve got SO much on the go. Preparing for vendor events-sewing Dolls, making samples of quilts for the quilt shop I work at, work, making meals, cleaning my house, spending time with my family, the list goes on and on and somethings go to the way side (usually cleaning my house ).
What are your social media handles?
Where can we find your stuff?