Reclaiming my space.

For the last 2-3 years, most of my time and focus has been on growing my brand and business JLOVEKNITS. I have enjoyed and I am sincerely proud and happy with the community I built there, but as I continue to share my journey outside of eco-friendly alternatives I felt like it was best to go back to using my personal Instagram @jlove_g. As I share more beyond business tips and info, I felt it was time to separate JLOVEKNITS and JLOVE.

I want both platforms to be true to me, Jay (the J in JLOVEKNITS) but keeping one about business with the occasional personal insights and the other to being personal and a bit more candid and about this blog. Both cohesively existing but in separate places.

I have enjoyed sharing with my JLOVEKNITS community but at one point I realized that perhaps not everyone who follows JLOVEKNITS is there to know me the person behind the brand but to only stay up to date with new products, launches, and release dates. Which is totally understandable, when I follow a brand I follow them to stay up to date on new products, and release dates. When I follow bloggers, celebs/people its to see what they are up to, and to keep up with them, the person.

So I guess you can say this is me slightly breaking up with using JLOVEKNITS as a space to be vulnerable and share my story and journey and the beginning of me taking back a space where I can openly and freely share my story.

Coming to that realization is what lead me back to using my personal page on Instagram. Which in turn made me realize that the people on there, more specifically the ones who followed me, were people who never engage in any posts, and who I have not had a conversation with in years (if ever!).

When I began to post on their it felt strange and uncomfortable, I had a bunch of people who either made my upbringing painful, and to be honest were just looky loos. This space lacks that community feel that JLOVEKNITS has. Earlier this week I asked those on my business page to follow my personal page and to my surprise quite a few did show up to help me reclaim this space and fill it with individuals who make me feel loved, and comfortable.

Now I get what you’re thinking, not everyone that follows has to have some sort of connection to me, nor are they obligated to engage beyond what they want to or feel like doing. But considering how at this point in time, that space is still very small and intimate. I want those who are on there to want to be there because they can either relate and/or because they do genuinely want to be apart of this community, because that is what I want to build, community. I am totally okay with people not always liking me and fully prepared to have people hate on what I am doing and trying to build. I guess the part that irks me at this moment is how there are people on there who did deeply hurt me and I don’t understand why they have chosen to be here.

But moving forward, I refuse to let people who again I hardly ever, IF EVER, spoke to dictate or control how I feel in a place that is mine! I will continue to share candidly, openly and freely. And I will let those looky loos keep watching because clearly they find me intriguing (not to sound conceited or full of myself, but if I do then…oops) and if they choose to be here then who am I to deny them that.

And as I have said before in pervious posts, my hopes in sharing my story is to find and grow a community. One where we can all relate, come together, encourage and be there for one another.

Sharing my story and parts of my life feels very cathartic and like it is part of my legacy.

Here’s to sharing, growing, and evolving together. *chin-chin/cheers*

xo,

Jay

Jessica, aka Jay.

My name is Jessica, but I like to go by Jay or simply “J”. I am a 28 year old Latinx small business owner, who hand makes reusable eco-friendly items, but I’m also much more than that.

I started JLOVEKNITS in 2012/13 on Instagram to showcase my handmade knitted and crocheted goods. I began this craft journey as a way to gift friends and family members presents during the holidays, birthdays, etc. I was a broke college student working PT and my family was recovering from the financial crisis of 2007-2008 (thinking back to those days still triggers me sometimes but that’s a post for another day).

I sorta kinda forgot about my business Instagram only to restart it in the winter of 2017 (after yet again recovering from some personal issues) but this time I was making it all. Candles, beanies, scarves, Cricut crafts, you wanted it, I made it anything to help supplement my income and to fill my time.

It wasn’t until 2018 when I finally found my purpose, making cute and affordable REUSABLE ITEMS. You’ll also get to hear more about how this journey all got started if you keep following.

It has been two years since I rebranded JLOVEKNITS from handmade knitted and crocheted goods to handmade eco-friendly alternatives. Along this journey I have found personal, financial, and emotional growth & success. It hasn’t always been easy, and trying to balance building a business, keeping up with a fiancé and home life, and the occasional bouts of anxiety can feel overwhelming at times but the support I have received from my peers, *community, family, and friends has helped make this journey worthwhile.

  • I really don’t like using the words “followers” and “supporters” because those words feels too impersonal and snotty for me, which is why I tend to say “community” instead because honestly the love and support that has been sent my way goes far beyond what a “customer/follower” is)

So if you already follow me on IG then you already know I can be what some might consider an “oversharer” for being a business page. I always knew I wanted to create a blog where I could openly share my life, not because I think my life is so great or because I want to boast about it. But because I feel like sharing, story telling, and writing has always been a great form of expression for me. It has always felt like a set in the right direction towards healing. Journaling has been a love of mine since I was a young girl, it helped put down the words of my heart and soul on paper. It was where I would write out what I wish I could say out loud, in hopes that there were others out there feeling or going through the same thing so I didn’t feel so alone or so that I could share in my excitement with. This blog has been in the making for a long time. If only I could have found the courage I now have today. I let fear and self doubt keep me from pursuing this.

I was riddled with pesky little thoughts “who would care”, “why bother”, “your not interesting”, “what about the meanies of the internet”, etc. But as I continue to grow I have come to let go fear and self doubt, and I have decided to say, stop worrying about what others might think, stop letting fear dictate what you do and don’t do. I have come to a point where my biggest fear is not doing this and letting myself down.

And to those who maybe wondering why not just get a journal and keep it private? Well, I honestly have enjoyed sharing my personal journey, business experience, setbacks, and more with my community on IG and finding so many that can relate on there that I feel compelled to continue to share my journey on here where I’m not as restricted or confided to a single square and 2,200 character caption. That this blog too continues to grow to be a place where we all find community and perhaps a place where you feel seen.

I plan on continuing to share more in depth personal experiences, lifestyle tips, and of course shamelessly promote my little baby, my business JLOVEKNITS. This blog (and a book) was something that even as a kid I knew I would do, well actually as a kid I had no idea what a blog was, but I don’t know why or how I knew at such a young age that I would share my story.

My hope is that if this blog finds you that it may inspire, bring hope, joy, or even just laughter, or that you may feel like you’ve stumbled upon a relatable virtual amiga.

xo- Jay