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Dear Jacki Stitchery by Jacki Donhou

“Being a stay-at-home mom can make you go nuts. I mean, there’s only so many times you can put your toddler in the car and go walking around Target.

For years, I worked as a Visual Merchandise Manager in retail stores. I was in charge of setting up the display windows of well-known clothing stores. Then in 2013, for the sake of my husband’s career, we decided to uproot our family from Las Vegas to Seattle. After moving, we figured out that if I were to get a job in Seattle, I would actually be losing money after the cost of commuting and paying for daycare. It made more sense for me to stay home with our then 2-year-old daughter and was the right decision for our family. However, I don’t think I was actually prepared for how drastic the lifestyle change would be. I went from being around adults all the time, having intelligent conversations, running meetings, and having people around to assist me with things, to being at home all day long with nothing but the TV and the sound of my 2-year-old running around.

I was going insane.

I had to find a way to stay busy. Furthermore, I needed a creative outlet that stimulated my mind that I could enjoy doing. So I went on Pinterest to get some ideas and that’s when I first decided to take up knitting. I thought it would be a fun hobby for me because I could also use it to make things for my daughter. The first thing I wanted to make her was a fuzzy pink scarf I saw on Pinterest. So that same day, I went to Walmart and bought a ball of pink yarn, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Pretty soon I was making hats, plush animals, and toys. Over time, my technique became advanced enough where I was able to make my own patterns for other people (you have to follow a pattern while knitting). I realized I was getting great feedback on social media and people loved my designs. I was receiving inquiries about people wanting to purchase my plush toys and knitting patterns. That’s when I decided to turn this hobby into a business called Dear Jacki Stitchery.

Today, I am selling on Etsy, Revelry, and social media. When I first started sending out orders, I was going to the store and purchasing simple craft boxes which I was stamping with a custom stamp I had made up of my logo. But it was horrible because I would stamp a box, and if it didn’t come out perfectly, I’d want to redo it, and the whole thing became a mess. I knew I had to invest in some quality packaging. However, as a one-income family, I didn’t want to spend a lot. Initially, I looked at packaging companies overseas because I knew it would be the cheapest option. However, I was worried about the quality and the time delay. Even asking questions took too long for the companies to reply. As a result, I decided to go with a company in the U.S. and chose Packola.

I loved that Packola’s website was simple and that I was able to see my box designs right on the site. I also loved that I had the option to order a test box - even though it was a little pricey with shipping, at least I was able to see the box in person before having to commit to a large order. I loved how the test box turned out and have been using Packola for my packaging ever since.

My business isn’t what keeps food on the table and my family’s livelihood doesn’t depend on it - but that doesn’t always have to necessarily be the purpose. Maybe your business is about pursuing a passion project, having a creative outlet, or feeling fulfilled as a human being. Not everyone's entrepreneurial goals have to be the same, I think people should just do what makes them happy.”

Do you have your own #PackolaStory to tell? Share it with our growing number of creative packaging enthusiasts at community@packola.com.